International Recognition for Dr. Maureen Drysdale and her Work-Integrated Learning Research
St. Jerome's University is pleased to congratulate Dr. Maureen Drysdale, Professor of Psychology and Adjunct Professor in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo, who has been awarded an honorary doctorate at University West in Trollhättan, Sweden, for her work with work-integrated learning (WIL).
Dr. Drysdale first visited University West in 2008 to learn about WIL. Since that time she has worked together with academics at University West and with other international partners, advancing the knowledge and practice of WIL. Her research has focused on the transition from education to professional life and the attitudes and behaviours considered important in making that transition a successful one, including self-esteem, study methods, mental health, work ethic, and motivation. In particular her focus has been on the shift from student life to work life.
Through her work, and operating out of her Well-Link lab located at St. Jerome’s University, Drysdale has contributed to creating global research networks around the topic. Her current research projects in the lab involve examining the impact of peer support and sense of belonging on the mental health and well-being of university students. It also explores the relationship between experiential learning and certain psychological constructs such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, self-concept, self-efficacy, motivation, study skills, and work ethic.
University West acknowledged Drysdale’s “deep knowledge and visionary attitude” as being “instrumental in building a research environment for WIL” at the university. Many of her publications are compulsory reading as part of University West’s masters and doctoral programs. Her contributions are considered “invaluable” to lifting WIL research from a regional and national level to becoming an international research topic. The honorary doctorate recognizes Drysdale’s contributions and will be presented at a virtual ceremony in November, with an in person ceremony taking place once travel restrictions are lifted and she is able to return to Sweden.
“It is such an honour to be recognized in this way by my colleagues at University West,” says Drysdale. “We have spent many years working together to advance the research in WIL! WIL and mental health are very important topics given the difficulties many emerging adults encounter as they transition to adult roles and full- time work. Sweden is an amazing country and the people so warm and friendly. I am so looking forward to my next visit!”