York PhD student Ayse Uskul (right) has received a $20,000 scholarship from the Ontario Women’s Health Council for the second consecutive year. She is one of two recipients — and the first York recipient — of an Ontario Women’s Health Scholars Doctoral Student Award, created to ensure that Ontario attracts and retains eminent scholars specializing in women’s health.
The doctoral candidate in psychology received the award at a ceremony Oct. 9. It is supporting her research into how women from different cultures react to and seek treatment for illnesses. Her research could lead to the design of more effective health messages and health information, which is especially important in multicultural societies such as Canada.
Uskul grew up in Turkey and completed her BA in psychology at Bogazici University in Istanbul. She completed a master’s degree in social psychology in the Netherlands. At York, she has worked with Michaela Hynie, psychology professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, and conducted studies on factors affecting women’s decision-making to undergo hysterectomy, doctor-patient relationships in gynecologic settings, socio-cultural determinants of delay in seeking medical help for breast cancer symptoms and experiences with menarche and menstruation in different cultural contexts.
Uskul wants to pursue her future work on how parents socialize their children in health and safety and the characteristics of health messages used by parents in different cultures.