Newsletter Article

Joy Kawamura

"Be proactive in discovering your genuine passion." - Joy Kawamura (BS, June 2010)

For Joy Kawamura, that passion began with a desire to work with children, and eventually inspired her psychology honors thesis, Parenting Stress and Child Adjustment in Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Survivors: The Mediating Role of Parenting Behaviors.  Joy will continue to pursue pediatric cancer research as a graduate student in the UW Child Clinical psychology graduate program.

A native of Hawaii, Joy came to UW where she found a major in psychology to be the perfect way to integrate her interests.  "I chose psychology as a major because I have always been fascinated by the ways in which people think, interact, and deal with challenges in life," recalls Joy.  By complementing her academic studies with hands-on research and field experiences, Joy's interests began to gel into a focus on working with critically ill children and their families.

Throughout most of her undergraduate career, Joy participated in child development and child clinical research, with psychology professors Stephanie Carlson and Lynn Fainsilber Katz.  She will continue her graduate studies with Dr. Katz, who has served as the faculty sponsor for Joy's honors research.  Joy gained extensive and varied experience working with children as a tutor at Laurelhurst Elementary School through UW's Pipeline Project, and as an Inpatient Psychiatric Unit intern at Seattle Children's Hospital.  Perhaps her most rewarding field experience came via two summer internships at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, in Honolulu.  "Through these internships," says Joy, "I worked with pediatric cancer patients and their families and was instantly captured by the amazing spirit of this population."

Proactive, passionate, and with a clear gift for working with a unique population, Joy stands ready for the exciting road ahead.