top of page

About Me

Sarah K. Davis, PhD, RCC

​In the spirit of reconciliation, I recognize that I am an uninvited guest on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen peoples and the Songhees, WSÁNEĆ, and Esquimalt peoples who also have historical relationships with this land I feel so gracious to call my home.

I’ve had the privilege of working with students, educators, and families in a variety of settings, roles, and countries for over 20 years. From working in education as a high school counsellor to my current roles as registered clinical counsellor (RCC), researcher, and postsecondary instructor, my priority is to help people find and define success for themselves.

I am an ally to LGBTQQIP2SAA communities, and I am committed to educating myself on  the lived experiences of BIPOC.

​I love spending time with my family and friends in the beautiful outdoors of Vancouver Island, including sailing, kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, and camping, as well as playing hockey, cooking, and supporting the local arts and theatre scene in Victoria.

Photo of Sarah next to a sea kayak with the ocean in the background
Photo of an island next to the ocean

Professional Background

I’ve worked as a secondary English teacher, a high school counsellor, a gifted and talented educator, and a postsecondary instructor in Canada, the US, and England.


I also worked at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development where I started my journey as an advocate for gifted and talented students.

I started my private practice as a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in BC in 2020. In total, I have over 10 years experience (and counting!) as a counsellor.


I have completed recent counselling professional development in:

  • solution-focused therapy

  • cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)

  • trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT)

  • family therapy

  • supporting gender creative children

  • providing neurodiversity affirming counselling

Academic Background

​I have a MA in School Counselling from the University of Iowa, with a specialization in counselling gifted and talented students.


In 2020, I completed my PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Victoria with Dr. Allyson Hadwin, where my dissertation research focused on mental health and self-regulated learning. I've also published academic articles around student engagement, learning analytics, and self-regulated learning.


And, I wrote a children's book about pirates called Uncommon Women: Pirates, about Anne Bonny and Mary Read. It's out of print now but this was such a fun book to write!

I currently teach undergraduate courses in the University of Victoria's Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies and Camosun College's Department of Psychology.

I'm a member of a BC-wide community of inquiry interested in exploring decolonizing approaches in educational psychology. I work with this group on research projects, including conference presentations and other research activities.

Our Tests

Helping Graduate Students Succeed

As an educator and counsellor, I know the link between mental health and learning is crucial.

During my PhD, I gained expertise in self-regulated learning, which is a much-researched area of educational psychology. My PhD research and dissertation focused on mental health and self-regulated learning in university. I also taught learning strategies to undergraduate students and worked with them one-on-one through the Centre for Accessible Learning at UVic.

Post-PhD, I wanted to use the knowledge I gained to help other graduate students succeed. Often, grad students are overlooked because they are assumed to be "good students." This is not always true and often grad students need help both with their learning and mental health.


How To Grad School was created to provide helpful, independent resources for grad students. I currently write a blog and newsletter, and co-host a podcast aimed at supporting grad students.

logo for How To Grad School
bottom of page