I did my PhD at McGill’s School of Communication Sciences & Disorders in the Faculty of Medicine. The focus of my research is the neurocognition of language and multilingualism – how we use, process, learn and forget languages over our lifespan, and the associated changes that occur in our brain. I am also interested in how a multilingual speaker’s languages interact, and the individual differences that influence how our brain copes with multiple languages.
My PhD research looked at the language behavior and processing (in the brain) of speakers who are no longer regularly exposed to their native-language, because of immigration to Canada where they have been predominantly using English.
After my B.Sc from McGill, I moved to Europe for two years to pursue an unconventional M.Sc program in three European countries. My parents gave me my first digital camera as a “bon voyage” gift. Those travels enabled me to write, but also to discover a new form of storytelling -- photography. I learned mostly by doing, until photography became so natural to my daily routine that it changed the way my eyes were accustomed to seeing the world. As I conducted a part of my PhD research abroad and travelled to international scientific conferences, I collected more photographs and stories to tell. For this reason, I always say that my career in science fueled my art and accelerated my vision for an online art shop, culminating in its launch during the most intensive part of my PhD (data analysis and manuscript-writing).
I think we all have this in us, perhaps some of us more than others, and it’s more about following the drive to pursue those interests to see where they might lead, what we might learn, how we might impact others. That is what has led me to have an unconventional academic experience, where I was involved in so many different initiatives and living in multiple places. People, including myself, have not easily been able to fit me into a box, and I consider that both a great blessing and a great challenge, primarily because of expectations we are confronted with all the time. In academia, there are certain expectations of you and what your path should be, and the artistic community also has expectations of your approach to your craft. A track is often seen as a linear trajectory, and any deviation as unfocused or a waste of skill. But, truthfully, the only waste I see is a calling or opportunity not explored.
I am about to launch a second business that allows me to combine all these facets of me and all my scientific and creative skills. I hope it will work out because that would be a real dream.