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Lab Director


Victoria M. Esses, Ph.D.

Victoria Esses (PhD, University of Toronto) is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations at the University of Western Ontario. She is also Principal Investigator of the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership, a national alliance of university, community and government partners dedicated to fostering welcoming communities and promoting the integration of migrants and minorities across Canada. Dr. Esses has conducted research on immigration and cultural diversity for over 20 years. Her work has covered such topics as factors influencing the settlement and integration of immigrants; the role of economic and cultural threat and competition in determining attitudes toward immigrants and immigration; the dehumanization of refugees and immigrants; the framing of national identity and public attitudes toward immigration and cultural diversity; and causes and consequences of immigrant unemployment and underemployment in the labour market. In 2010, Dr. Esses received the Harold Crabtree Foundation Award in Public Policy Research and the Western Faculty Scholar Award for her work in this area.

Email: vesses@uwo.ca


Postdoctoral Fellows

StelianStelian Medianu, B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Stelian received his Ph.D. in social psychology from University of Western Ontario in 2014. His specialization is in the area of migration and ethnic relations. Stelian is currently involved in several projects exploring: 1) public attitudes towards immigrants and refugees; and 2) refugee integration.

Email: smedian@uwo.ca


Graduate Students

AlinaAlina Sutter, M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate

Alina received her M.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2012. Broadly, she is interested in researching the relationships between national identity, perceived threat and prejudice, as well as the underlying processes and consequences of the dehumanization of outgroups. Alina is also part of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations.

Email: asutter2@uwo.ca


JoshuaJoshua D. Wright, B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D. Candidate

Joshua Wright received Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Texas Tech University in 2012, and his M.A. at Hunter College of the City University of New York in 2014. His main research focuses on the empirical relation between religion and violence, theoretical models of radicalization and terrorism, and the role of psychological ownership of country in intergroup conflict. He is also broadly interested in immigration, terror management theory, and the effect of general commitment to beliefs (CTB) on the relation between specific ideologies and behaviors. He was awarded the International Council of Psychologists Early Career Research Award in 2015. Further information can be viewed at his website, www.joshuadavidwright.com.

Email: jwrig42@uwo.ca


AnjanaAnjana Balakrishnan, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate

Anjana received her B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Toronto – Scarborough Campus in 2013 and received her M.Sc. in Psychology- Personality and Measurement from Western University in 2015. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Psychology and a member of the Migration and Ethnic Relations Program, and is co-supervised by Dr. Victoria Esses and Dr. Don Saklofske. Anjana’s research interests are in the areas of I) immigration antecedents, outcomes, and perceptions, II) biculturalism and intercultural relations, and III) the personality-culture link. Anjana is a member of the Canadian Psychological Association and the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Email: reachanjana.bala@gmail.com


AnjanaPaolo Palma, B.Sc., M.Sc. Candidate

Paolo’s goal as a researcher-in-training is to learn how to apply sound research methodology and psychological theory to solve real-world issues, and how research in applied settings can better inform theory. To that end, he is pursuing graduate studies with Dr. Victoria Esses, and joined the collaborative graduate program in migration and ethnic relations, with the goal of understanding how psychological research can be integrated into immigration policy. Paolo completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, where he studied intergroup relationships and person perception.

Email: ppalma@uwo.ca


Pathways to Prosperity Partnership

photo copy (1)Communications Manager: Sonali Advani

Email: communications@p2pcanada.ca





Amna_WastyFinance and Administration Manager: Amna Wasty

Email: admin@p2pcanada.ca





Lab Coordinator

amyAmy Beaudry

Email: abeaudr@uwo.ca





Honours Students

rourkeRourke Van Rossem

Rourke van Rossem is a 4th year Honours student completing an undergraduate thesis in Social Psychology. Her research focus is on prejudicial attitudes, with a particular interest in how individuals’ attitudes toward Syrian refugees are formed.

Email: rvanross@uwo.ca



Research Assistants

Maggie Campbell

Mackenzie James Claggett

Robin Deleemans

Sydney Eaton

Christian Ferreira

Lydia Hutchinson

Maya Ingrao

Jessica Jin

Ben Khoo

Janice Lam

Erika Malana

Parmveer Mundi

Celine Pitre

Laura Sheriff

Kevin To