Current Graduate Students

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Ashna Jassi

Ph.D. Candidate

Birth Place/Raised: Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Cultural Ethnicity: Indian
Education: PhD candidate, Applied Social Psychology, University of Guelph
Previous: MSc. Social and Cultural Psychology at the London School of Economics, BSc. (Honours) Psychology at the University of British Columbia
Research Interests: Gender Equality across Cultures, Immigration, Cultural Identity 
Sample Publications: 
Rowntree, G., Ayatero, S., Diem-O’Connell, M., Hoffman, M., Jassi, A., Narusvicius, V., & Tspektos, D. “Examining the impact of a journaling intervention on resilience of emergency medical responders: A feasibility study.”  Journal of European Psychology Students, 6(2), 79-84.


Saghar (Helia) Chahar-Mahali

Ph.D. Candidate

Birth Place/Raised: Iran
Cultural Ethnicity: Iranian (Persian)
Education: PhD student, Applied Social Psychology, University of Guelph
Previous: M.A. (2019), Experimental and Applied Psychology, University of Regina; B.A. (Honours) Psychology, University of Regina.
Research Interests: Immigrant acculturation, Mental well-being of immigrants, National policies and their impacts on intergroup relations, Responses to discrimination and prejudice, and Positive psychology


Elçin Ray-Yol

Ph.D. Candidate

Birth-place: Hatay, Turkey.
Education: PhD student, Applied Social Psychology, University of Guelph
Previous: M.A Social and Organizational Psychology at Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey, B.Sc (Honours) Psychology at Middle East Technical University, Turkey.
Research interest: As I have a strong wish to play an active role in the process of solving the problems of society, I am keen to conduct cross-cultural studies to facilitate the achievement and well-being of immigrants, refugees and ethnic minorities, that elicits the cooperation of all members of societies in any culture where a large number of ethnic minorities, refugees, and immigrants live. Moreover, in line with my hands-on work, personal and research experiences, I am also interested in strategies that promote positive inter-group relations.

I am inspired by the quote of my remarkable role model, Çiğdem Kağıtçıbaşı who was the first female President of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

“Some findings of social psychology may refer to general panhuman relationships, others to relationships that hold only within specific socio-cultural settings. Only systematic cross-cultural comparison can separate these or identify the limits within which particular generalizations hold” (Kagitcibasi, 1970, p. 444)


Rima Marie Hanna

Ph.D. Candidate

Birth Place/Raised: Orlando, Florida 
Cultural Ethnicity: Lebanese
Education: PhD student, Applied Social Psychology, University of Guelph
Previous: MA Applied Social Psychology, University of Guelph; BA Psychology (Honors w. Thesis), University of Windsor
Research Interests: Anti-oppressive feminist theory and practice, emotional and cognitive effects of street harassment, bystander initiative, intersections in street harassment (gender, ethnicity, and religion), identity politics, implications of/preventing sexual violence and harassment, cross-cultural understandings of gender relations, discrimination and inequality within social justice systems


Hajar Soltan

M.A. Student

Birth Place/Raised: Iran 
Cultural Ethnicity: Afghanistan
Education: M.A. Student, Applied Social Psychology, University of Guelph
Previous: B.A. (Honors), Applied Psychology, Douglas College
Research Interests: Biculturalism and Identity, Immigrant youth personality development and mental wellbeing