Science Career Talks

Virtual Science Career Talk:
Psychology & Behavioral Neuroscience

February 25th, 2021
12pm-1:30pm via Webex


Laura Hoffe
Policy Analyst
Central Health

Bachelor of Science (Honours, Psychology)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Certificate in Business, International Relations and the Political Economy
London School of Economics and Political Science
Masters Degree in Public Health (Candidate)
University of Saskatchewan

Laura Hoffe is a Policy Analyst at Central Health in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador. She graduated from her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology (Memorial University (MUN)) in 2016. During her time at MUN, she worked with Dr Ken Fowler on a research project focused on the social support programs on mental health. This sparked her interest in the importance of health policy and planning. Following graduation, Laura attended Law School at the University of New Brunswick. Upon deciding that law was not the path for her, she moved to Ottawa for an internship with a Member of Parliament. Following her internship, Laura returned to St. John’s and took on the role as Policy and Research Analyst at the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Here, she put the research skills she gained during her science degree to work on various projects related to enhancing women's economic and social standing in the province. Currently, Laura is a Policy Analyst with the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Authority. In this role, she manages the Policy Office and works with internal and external stakeholders to develop, implement and evaluate organizational policies. Laura's primary focus is on creating a policy system which is based on research and best practice to support the transfer of knowledge within the healthcare system.

Outside of work, Laura is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Health Association and is an advocate for food accessibility and sustainability as a former member of the St. John’s Food Policy Council.

2020-Present Policy Analyst, Central Health
2019-Present Started Masters of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, SK
2019– Completed Certificate in Certificate in Business, International Relations and the Political Economy, London School of Economics and Political Science
2018-2020- Policy and Research Analyst, Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, NL
2018- Summer Leadership Program Intern, Ottawa, ON
2016-2018- Law School, University of New Brunswick, NB
2016 – Competed a Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Memorial University, NL

Jacqueline Higgins
NL Francophone Health Network

Bachelor of Science, Honours (Behavioural Neuroscience)
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Master of Science (Vision Science)
Université de Montréal, école d’optométrie

Jacqueline Higgins is the newly appointed Director of the NL Francophone Health Network. Equipped with a diverse background in health sciences, Jacqueline oversees the development and improvement of quality health services for the Francophone and Acadian populations of Newfoundland and Labrador. While working toward her Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience at Memorial University, Jacqueline worked on an Honours project with Dr. Jamie Drover that focused on the development of the visual system in children. Meanwhile, Jacqueline took on various roles outside of school in an ocular surgery clinic, including an optometric relations coordinator position. Motivated by her interest in the visual system and her newly discovered coordinating skills, she completed her Master of Science in Vision Science at one of the two optometry schools in the country, Université de Montréal. Under the supervision of Dr. Elvire Vaucher, Jacqueline managed various research projects and clinical trials in collaboration with Health Canada, Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille, the Vision Health Research Network, and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal. Jacqueline then continued in the field by taking on a surgical coordinator role, coordinating one of highest volume intraocular lens surgery programs in the country.

Returning to Newfoundland in early 2020, Jacqueline continued to coordinate programs in ocular surgery until she branched out of eye care to take on the role of Director at the NL Francophone Health Network. Here, she uses her communication and project management skills to work on improving French-language services in mental health, healthcare access, child development, any many more.

Ashley Butt
Bachelor of Science (Honours, Psychology)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Masters of Science Experimental Psychology
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Ashley Butt is a Clinical Lead in the Direct Home and Autism Service Program at Eastern Health. Ashley completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. During her time as a student, Ashley also worked as a home therapist for children with Autism. Working with these children inspired her to focus her Masters’ research on reading comprehension and decoding ability for children with Autism, it also inspired her motivation for her career path. Upon graduation, Ashley began her career with Eastern Health working in a supportive role for families and children with Autism. In the Direct Home Service Program at Eastern Health she has been selected for further specialised training and is currently a clinical lead in the Autism Program. Ashley overseas the training of Child Management Specialists and Senior Therapists in the Applied Behaviour Analysis and (ABA) and Joint Attention Symbolic Play Engagement and Regulation (JASPER) programs.

More speakers are currently being contacted for the event, please stay tuned!

Registration Details:

Click here to register. If you encounter any issues registering, please email to register. 

A Webex link will be sent to your email following registration. 


Faculty of Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000