Research Assistants

Aileen Huang

Humans have always been fascinating to me. It is this same curiosity that has lead me to the Interpersonal Relations and Social Justice lab as a research assistant. As an undergraduate psychology student, it has been a pleasure to work along others who are also interested in how people think, act and behave in different situations. Beyond working as a research assistant, I am a peer-support worker for at-risk youth, and volunteer for those in crisis. I believe in bridging the gaps between people, and ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to excel their life. Eventually, I hope to pursue graduate school and achieve my goal of becoming a clinical psychologist for all age groups. In the meantime, I hope to further my understanding of people, and build on my psychology knowledge through research.

Jessica Friesen

Juliana Valerio

I am currently an undergrad student at SFU studying Psychology. I have an interest in researching gender inequalities, especially in the context of sport. Relationships between dominant and subordinate groups fascinate me, and I am grateful to be able to explore these topics in the lab. I received the USRA award for the Summer 2022 semester, and I am working with Dr. Wright and Dr. Kahalon on research examining gender inequality in different contexts. I hope to continue exploring diversity and equality in graduate school upon completing my Bachelor’s degree.

Kyle Jung

I am an undergraduate student majoring in psychology at SFU. As I studied various fields of psychology here, what attracted me the most was the development of a child and how environmental factors affect it. Exploring various psychology fields, I started volunteering in the Intergroup Relations Lab. I was curious about how different researches were done and how experiments and studies were conducted. My goal is to go to graduate school after finishing my bachelor’s degree and continue psychology research. I work as a volunteer at a center where supports orphans and HIV/AIDs patients. By learning psychology, I want to support people and the community who are suffering from discomfort and difficulties in a proper way.

Maegan Fox

I’m an undergrad student studying psychology with a focus on clinical counselling and clinical research. My areas of interest include harmful stigmas towards people with mental illness and/or people who use drugs, the added stigma of being a mother and having an addiction, how people perceive gender based violence and the differences in gender influence behaviour and reactions to rehabilitative practices in correctional settings. My goal is to pursue graduate school after my bachelors is complete. I spend my free time working as a Peer Support Worker and First Responder in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Community, directly supporting and resuscitating people who have been subject to trauma and social injustice. The career I’ve developed alongside my education has had a huge influence on the areas that I want to study so that I can hopefully influence policy changes that benefit my clients in the future. 

Mai Baptiste

Sara McRae

I am currently an undergraduate student at SFU, majoring in psychology. My primary area of interest is in social identity theory and how group memberships may influence the use/misuse of substances and the willingness to access (and respond to) treatment. I am also interested in exploring the role of attachment on identity formation, particularly within the context of social identity theory.

When I’m not studying or helping in the lab, I am a mother to an energetic 10-year-old and a volunteer, working to support the independent living needs of local seniors. In the future, I am hoping to pursue a graduate degree in counselling psychology that will provide me with the skills and knowledge to become a better helper within the community.

Sophia Mincheva

I am an undergraduate student completing a major in Psychology and minor in Counseling and Human Development at SFU. In the meantime, I am also taking American Sign Language classes at Vancouver Community College. I am deeply driven by the foundations of social psychology that explore intergroup relations, social injustices, disability activism, social change, and inclusivity in various agencies (particularly mental health agencies). What interests me most is learning about how underrepresented minorities, particularly those with disabilities and other intersecting identities are impacted by social factors and barriers within our society. I joined the Intergroup Relations and Social Justice Lab with the goal of gaining more invaluable research experience and be involved with the social justice and social inequity projects of this lab.

When I am not studying or helping in this lab, I am an active social justice volunteer within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) community where I take part in breaking down barriers, providing education, awareness, resources, community initiatives, outreach services, accessibility, advocacy, and mental health support.

In the future, I hope to pursue graduate school and dive into my research interests on D/HH youth and the psychosocial barriers they face in educational and clinical populations.

Veronica Wong

I am currently an undergraduate student studying psychology and minoring in counselling. I started volunteering for the lab to learn more about social psychology, especially the phenomena that can be found in everyday life. I wanted to volunteer for this lab as a stepping stone for future lab experiences and to build on my knowledge of research methods in psychology and on topics related to social justice. In the future, I plan to continue studying counselling psychology in graduate school. Outside of academics, I work with youth with developmental disabilities and volunteer as a crisis responder with Kids Help Phone.

Ying Tian

I am an undergraduate student at SFU, majoring in psychology. I have always been fascinated by psychological techniques that help people live better lives. Studying psychology here has allowed me to become more aware and informed about people’s daily mental health status and behavioral implications. My areas of interest include counselling/clinical on adolescent stress, differences in group status between societies, etc. Volunteering in this lab has helped me gain a deeper understanding of intergroup relations and allowed me to practice the psychological theories I have learned from my courses. My future goal is to apply to graduate school in psychology and continue to conduct psychological research. I interned in Human Resources Management while I was off-campus, and it was exciting to observe people in different positions and learn about the differences in people’s personalities on a daily basis, which made me pay more attention to how people’s social status affects their psychology and behavior.