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


Shruti Nadkarni

Ph.D. Student

Birth Place/Raised: Pune, Maharashtra, India
Cultural Ethnicity: Indian
Education: Ph.D. Student, Applied Social Psychology, University of Guelph
Previous: M.A. in Clinical Psychology and B. A. in Psychology from Fergusson College, India.
Research Interests: This feeling of being split, the fear, the fight to belong yet not lose one’s roots, the strive to keep connection between two countries, two cultures and two identities is what I hope to understand and study.
My research interests thus accommodate research in Immigrants and their understanding of “home”, their national identity, use of ethnic clothing/food/language in building identity and duality of identity in immigrants.

 “They have no idea what it is like to lose home at the risk of never finding home again, have your entire life split between two lands and become the bridge between two countries.”
                                                   -Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers


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