Thalia Lang: On Learning and Leading in Psychology

This past week, HCUBC sat down with Thalia Lang for an amazing interview. Here is what we learned:  

HCUBC: Thalia, please give us a short introduction about yourself.

Thalia: I’m a third year psychology honours student interested in all things human-related, especially through a clinical lens. Relationships and friendships captivate my interest a lot of the time. I study suicide, anxiety, and children with ADHD and their friendships. When I’m not doing research, I'm either working as a behavioral interventionist alongside children with autism, going for a run, or searching for next my daily dose of adventure.

HCUBC: Is there any organization you are involved with? Or are you currently working on any project?

Thalia: I chair the UBC United Way Student Committee, which raises awareness about what the United Way of the Lower Mainland does and the UBC fundraising campaign’s impact on the community. The United Way is the only non-profit fully supported by the UBC Board of Governors and raises over $500,000 each year to help support local community organizations.

My love for empowering communities transcends a lot of my life. I’m currently leading a study funded by the AMS to investigate how living conditions (commuters versus those living on campus) impact first year students’ suicidal ideation and attempts. My goal is to identify which students may need more support and assess how to increase awareness (and hopefully subsequently needed use!) of mental health resources on-campus. It’s been a remarkable experience to work with the UBC VP Students office. I’ll be sharing my findings with on-campus mental health organizations and finding relevant ways to address mental health on-campus, hopefully on a larger-scale.

HCUBC: What are you passionate about?

Thalia: Humans and learning! I love figuring out why people do the things they do. Also - I’m a huge fan of problem solving. I’d say these two passions drive my love for clinical psychology. It’s enticing and challenging to address psychological disorders, especially with its vast implications, and every case is different. Whether it’s research or working one-on-one with children with autism, the idea of figuring out how to know people work on a deeper level - whether it’s through research or more hands on - it’s extremely satisfying.

HCUBC: What are your interests outside of school?

Thalia: While I’d say I’m a functioning workaholic (sometimes), I love to run and get outside to destress! I usually bike or run to the beach, even during the winter months. Otherwise, I’m out exploring different restaurants, people-watching, or trying to find a good cup of coffee.

HCUBC: Who inspires you the most? Who is your role model?

Thalia: It’s hard to narrow down just one. Honestly, I’d have to say my mom. She immigrated to Canada in her teens with my grandparents and with a bunch of rebellious tenacity. It took her a lot longer to overcome the language barrier and learn English, so she didn’t push forward in her education. She’s the toughest person I know (and she also works in a casino, so I’d say it’s pretty representative!). I admire how even though a lot of her life has been full of challenging curve balls, she’s always firm and stands exactly by how she acts.

HCUBC: What’s your short term goals, and long term goals?

Thalia: After undergrad, I plan to take a breath, destress from the constant days in the lab and writing, and go travelling. It’d be amazing to see the world, try different foods, and explore different cultures. I’m on the fence right now about taking a year off to do this, alongside with working more as a behavioral interventionist and gaining more experience working with children who have autism.

Long term, I want to become a professor and inspire other undergraduates to pursue psychology too (or at least make them laugh with my bad jokes and funny slides). I guest lectured a class of abnormal psychology and it was so thrilling! I would love to lecture and teach, along with tackling research topics.


Thank you Thalia for the insightful and powerful interview. Her Campus UBC wishes you all the best!