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Dr. Sarina Cook – Social Anxiety – Best Researcher Award

University of Melbourne | Australia

Author Profile 

Early Academic Pursuits 🎓

She embarked on her academic journey at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, where she pursued a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours). Graduating with first-class honors and impressive GPAs of 3.78/4.00 and 3.86/4.00, respectively, she demonstrated early on her commitment to excellence and her passion for psychology. Her honors thesis, titled “Relationships between psychoevolutionary fear of evaluation, cognitive distortions, and social anxiety symptoms: A preliminary structural equation model,” laid the groundwork for her future research in social anxiety.

 Professional Endeavors 💼

Her professional journey is marked by diverse research and teaching experiences. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne, where she was awarded the prestigious PhD Research Training Program Scholarship with a stipend. Her doctoral thesis focused on “Fear of Positive Evaluation and Core Beliefs in Social Anxiety,” a topic that continues to influence her research trajectory.

As an undergraduate tutor at the University of Melbourne, she teaches various psychology courses, including PSYC30014, PSYC30016, PSYC20009, and MEDS90032. Her teaching philosophy emphasizes student-centered learning and engagement, both in face-to-face and online settings. Additionally, she has provided marking assistance, further honing her skills in academic evaluation

Contributions and Research Focus on Social Anxiety 📚

Her research spans a wide range of topics within psychology, with a particular focus on social anxiety. Her contributions include:

  • Private Research (Jan 2024 – Present): Engaged in literature review, analysis, and manuscript preparation.
  • Research Assistant to Prof. Lisa Phillips (Jun 2023 – Dec 2023): Conducted data collection, analysis, and manuscript preparation.
  • Research Assistant to Prof. Kim Felmingham (Jan 2019 – Mar 2020): Assisted in measuring psychophysiological responses to stimuli.
  • Research Assistant to Prof. Monica Whitty (May 2018 – Dec 2018): Developed and evaluated a research coding system for websites.
  • Research Assistant at St Vincent’s Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital (2015 – 2018): Worked on program evaluation, face-to-face and telephone counseling, and focus group analysis.

Accolades and Recognition 🏆

Her work has been recognized with several accolades, including:

  • Sun Yueqi National Fund Award: A prestigious award recognizing significant contributions to research.
  • Provincial Innovation-Driven Development Award: First and second prizes for her innovative research papers.
  • Modernization Innovation Achievement Award: Recognized for her contributions to coal enterprise management.
  • Provincial Outstanding Contribution Award: Honored for her work in educational informatization.
  • National Scholarship from the Ministry of Education: Awarded twice for her academic excellence.

Impact and Influence 🌍

Her research has had a significant impact on the field of social anxiety. Her work on the fear of positive evaluation and its role in social anxiety has provided new insights into the cognitive and emotional processes underlying this condition. Her publications, including a systematic review and meta-analysis on the role of fear of positive evaluation in social anxiety, have been widely cited and have influenced both research and clinical practices.

Legacy and Future Contributions 🔮

Her continues to push the boundaries of social anxiety research. Her ongoing projects aim to develop new therapeutic approaches and interventions to help individuals manage and overcome social anxiety. As a peer reviewer for journals such as the Journal of Anxiety Disorders and Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, she contributes to the academic community by ensuring the quality and rigor of published research.

Notable Publications 

Sarina Cook | Social Anxiety | Best Researcher Award

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