Top 40: Shelly Ben-David
Okanagan Edge Staff - Dec 01 - Columnists

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This year, Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce have partnered to showcase some of the Okanagan’s most exciting entrepreneurs, through the Top 40 Under 40 program.

Sponsored by BDO, the Top 40 Under 40 recognizes innovative young professionals in our community, and showcases their accomplishments.

Okanagan Edge will feature a new honouree each week, so check back often.

This week we recognize Shelly Ben-David, a professor at UBCO.

Image: Contributed

Shelly Ben-David only moved to Kelowna in July, but she’s already making an impact in the city.

She came to work as an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, where her program of research focuses on adolescents and young adults in the early stages of psychosis.

Ben-David is specifically interested in how these groups increase their access and engagement with services in order to increase their well-being.

“At UBCO I hope to contribute substantially to the evaluation of, and development of, services for youth and young adults with psychosis/schizophrenia in and beyond the Okanagan,” she says.

Ben-David grew up in Toronto, and got her BSc in psychology and religion at the University of Toronto. In 2006, she moved to New York City, where she received her MSc at Columbia University and PhD at NYU in social work.

She is a licensed master’s social worker in New York, and has 8 years of research-practice experience there with youth and young adults with serious mental health challenges, with a focus in psychosis/schizophrenia.

Ben-David has a world track record, including working with major research teams at prestigious ivy-league schools, working with World Health Organization data; cutting-edge research providing radically fresh insight into how to treat youth and young adults with major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

She also has 19 journal articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as Psychiatric Services, and Schizophrenia Research.

Dr. John Graham nominated Ben-David for Top 40 under 40 program.

“Shelly was hand-picked by UBC Okanagan, and carefully courted and recruited. Her work is world renowned, and will help put UBC-O on the map as an international player in treating youth and young adults with major mental illnesses,” he says.

“She is on international teams and is being cited worldwide. She is a true up-and-comer, and we are so terribly lucky to have her in the Okanagan…there is a palpable buzz at her presence in our small region of B.C.”


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