From Edmundston to Moncton, Sabah-Izayah Cyr, doctor of psychology

Sabah-Izayah Cyr. Photo credit: UMCE

Ten years after obtaining her high school diploma from the Cité des jeunes A.-M.-Sormany in Edmundston, Sabah-Izayah Cyr now holds a professional doctorate in psychology from the Université de Moncton!

She owes this long journey to her love of studies, punctuated by a good dose of perseverance and unfailing resilience.

Originally from Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, this 28-year-old woman has never spared her efforts, which were rewarded on May 31 at the Moncton campus when she climbed onto the stage of the Louis-J.-Robichaud vineyard to receive her well-deserved parchment.

However, her path was not predetermined. She began her university studies by enrolling in the Bachelor of Business Administration program at the start of the 2014 school year at the Edmundston campus (UMCE).

“When I started my second year in September 2015, I was already thinking about changing programs. I attended all my classes on the first day back at school, then I consulted the UMCE guidance counselor and that’s when we determined that psychology was really my field,” she said.

The adaptation to her new psychology program was gradual, so much so that she was on the Dean of Studies honour roll as early as the winter 2016 session. She continued her studies at the Moncton campus in September 2016, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree (specialization in psychology) in May 2019.

A turning point in her studies was the production in 2019 of her research thesis entitled “Perceptual and attentional processes in the confusion between disgust and anger”. She presented her work at the 41e annual congress of the Quebec Society for Research in Psychology in Mont-Tremblant, then on the 30the Colloquium of young researchers at the Université de Moncton. This same thesis will become an article that will be published in 2023 in partnership with other young researchers (Exploration of visual factors in the disgust-anger confusion: The importance of the mouth. Hendel, E., Gallant, A., Mazerolle, M.-P., Cyr, S.-I., & Roy-Charland, A. (2023).

“During my final year of my undergraduate degree, I made the ambitious decision to apply to the professional doctorate program in psychology in order to become a psychologist. However, this program is limited and, at the time, only eight students were accepted per year. My profile was not quite like the other students. The faculty authorities examine several components, including grades and involvement in research laboratories. I had not done as much research as the others. However, I had a great deal of experience in community involvement. I was involved in everything! I did a lot of volunteer work, for example with the Roch-Voisine Celebrity Golf Tournament, the Relay for Life, the science fair as a judge, in the University’s cognitive laboratories, with recruitment from the Université de Moncton and other organizations in the region. I have also been a member of the board of directors of Escale MadaVic, of the SANB and secretary of the organizing and administrative committee of the A.É.APNB since 2018.”

Sabah-Izayah Cyr is well known in the North West as part of the cast of the former show Acadia of lands and forests in celebrationShe played several roles there for ten years, including many seasons playing the sympathetic Aunt Blanche.

For those who know her, Sabah-Izayah loves to socialize, share her good humor and offer her support to others in need. She recounts her wonderful experiences working with psychologists in the region, including Claude Beaulieu, with whom she got her first job in a psychology center, and Hélène Ouellet, with whom she did her very first internship of her professional doctorate in psychology.

“One internship that particularly marked me was the one that focused on adult care and advanced care at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, where I worked in the obstetrics clinics, in oncology, and with people dealing with chronic pain. It was the time of COVID-19. Families were not allowed to visit their sick loved ones. It was one of the most difficult, but also one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. The people I met and had the chance to support during this global upheaval also opened my eyes to how beautiful, unique, and fragile human life is.”

She is currently doing her residency with the Vitalité Health Network under the supervision of Hélène Ouellet. “I have accepted a new position with Vitalité,” she said. “I offer my services to employees of the provincial network. My meetings are partly done virtually and I am also required to travel to the province where my services are needed.”

“If all goes well, I will become a certified psychologist in a year. I have a big written EPPP (Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology) exam and an oral ethics exam with the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick,” she explained, knowing that she will have to work extra hard.

And what does Sabah-Izayah Cyr remember from her years at the Université de Moncton? “I met so many wonderful people throughout my university career,” she says without hesitation. “I became attached to the other students, whom I now consider friends, as well as to the professors at the University. When I arrived in Moncton, I met a professor from Saint-Basile, Annie Roy-Charland. She became my thesis supervisor for my bachelor’s thesis and my doctoral thesis. She changed the course of my story the day she included me in her cognitive laboratory. I am the type to get involved in my region, and the speeches I heard convinced me that I can make a difference close to home.”

Here is another success story, that of Sabah-Izayah Cyr.

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