An Undergrad From Ukraine is Exploring How VR Might Comfort Those With PTSD

You would never know from her sunny disposition that Sofiya Synychych’s interest in studying psychology is rooted in trauma — her own and her family’s.

As a senior psychology major at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, she is working with faculty members on a virtual reality experience to soothe the anxiety of those with PTSD.

Synychych was born in Ukraine and lived there until she started high school in Troy, Michigan, where her parents had moved to get away from the country’s war with Russia. They chose Michigan because of the area’s large Ukrainian population.

— Kimberly Marcott Weinberg, photography by Glenn Melvin