Haruka Kokaze

  • 2022 Summer Intern

Haruka Kokaze (she/her/hers) is a rising senior at New York University enrolled in an accelerated program with a BS in Applied Psychology and MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness. Her curiosity in global mental health comes from living and surviving in Hyogo, Tokyo, New York, Houston, and London and witnessing how mainstream mental health practices and resources are often not functional for non-Western populations.

This summer, Haruka had the honor of working with Dr. Rachel Presskreischer and Dr. Kathleen Pike. She worked with Dr. Presskreischer to investigate the trends in visual and text-based marketing strategies that private eating disorder treatment centers utilize on their websites and how they might target certain demographics of prospective patients. Since she was involved in the project during the research proposal phase, she gained exposure in the research requirements of the study, performed preliminary research by looking into what is being said about the topic, and applied her findings to begin developing a codebook. Additionally, Haruka assisted Dr. Pike with writing a chapter rethinking where eating disorders exist today from global perspectives. Using extensive literature from Dr. Pike’s past publications and recent publications from other scholars, she was able to dive into each of the six WHO regions to provide a high-level overview of eating disorders with an international lens.

Haruka is extremely grateful for the research skills and network of support she gained from her colleagues and faculty at Columbia. She believes that it has contributed tremendously to her future goals of becoming a bilingual, transnational psychologist in the U.S. and in Japan.

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