CSC student profile: Winky Lee

Meet Winky Lee, a Master/PhD student in Educational and Developmental Psychology whose research topic is Mindfulness for emerging adults: Application, perception, and practice.

Winky Lee was first exposed to mindfulness during her training as a provisional psychologist in the field of education. Mindfulness was being introduced and practised in schools via the Smiling Mind app, and Winky observed high levels of interest among teachers while also discovering the heated debate surrounding the delivery of mindfulness programs to students. This led to a keen interest in the application and practice of mindfulness in the context of education.

Winky’s research focuses on examining the perspectives of young adult/university students and educators regarding mindfulness practice, and its promotion across educational settings. Understanding both students and educators’ perceptions of mindfulness can help to inform the design and promotion of mindfulness initiatives. The Contemplative Studies Centre was an ideal home for Winky’s topic, providing the space for conversations and research surrounding important issues in the areas of mindfulness, contemplative practices, mind-body health, and psychological wellbeing.

A highlight of the course so far has been data analysis: Data reveals many expected and unexpected results that point to some truth about the phenomenon of interest. Winky has developed skills in cleaning and analysing data, and learned that while online surveying is a relatively quick and easy way to recruit participants, she has less control over data quality, so effective survey design that yields quality data is of utmost importance.

Winky’s advice to other students is to make good use of supervision time and be thoroughly prepared, to ensure that the conversation is fruitful. She also suggests connecting with other academics, and attending as many conferences as possible, to generate ideas through collaboration and stimulation. She recalls asking numerous questions and initiating conversations with guests at the Mind and Life retreat in Europe, and doing so confidently despite her perceived lack of expertise.

Having cycled through a number of career aspirations when she was younger (fashion designer, artist, interior designer, judge), Winky settled on psychology after realising she’d spoken only to psychologists at a careers’ dinner. She hopes to continue contributing to the field of educational psychology, with the aim of influencing policy-making. When Winky isn’t studying, she likes to listen to music and spend time with friends and family.

Headshot of Winky Lee.