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Surrounded by forest and ocean, UBC’s Vancouver campus has no shortage of breathtaking vistas. It was one of these vistas that a sparked an emotional reaction in Dr. Jiaying Zhao, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at UBC.

When tears sprung to her eyes she realized what she felt was happiness. The scientist in her describes this as having an immediate affective experience. It was this very reaction that led her to launch Project Happiness, a year-long research project to discover where, when and why people are happiest on UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.


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We all have a hand in shaping campus environments that support health, wellbeing, and sustainability. By championing wellbeing, we can build stronger and more inclusive communities at UBC and beyond.