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Current Members

Lab Director

Victoria M. Esses, Ph.D.

Victoria Esses (PhD, University of Toronto) is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Network for Economic and Social Trends and 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 research focuses on immigration policy and practice, including public attitudes toward immigration and cultural diversity; promising practices in settlement and integration; factors promoting the settlement and integration of immigrants; and the measurement of community welcome-ability and immigrant outcomes. Victoria has extensive experience conducting research in this area, including invited work for federal, provincial, and municipal governments and for the settlement sector. She has has also served as an Expert Consultant for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on several occasions.

Email: vesses@uwo.ca

Postdoctoral Fellows


Alina Sutter, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Alina received her M.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2012, and her Ph.D. from University of Western Ontario in 2017. 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.

Email: asutter2@uwo.ca

Mamta Vaswani, M.A., PhD.

Mamta Vaswani received her MA and PhD in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Guelph, Canada. Her research interests include: (1) intergroup relations, (2) national and heritage identities, and the acculturation experiences and well-being of immigrants and their children, and (3) cultural diversity and immigration related public policies and legislation.

Email: mvaswani@uwo.ca

Graduate Students

Paolo Palma, BSc, MSc, PhD Candidate

Paolo is a PhD student in Social Psychology and the Collaborative Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations researching people’s attitudes towards immigrants and experiences of discrimination. Paolo’s graduate studies are currently being supported through a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, and have been previously funded through a SSHRC CGS-M.

Email: ppalma@uwo.ca
Website: https://palmapa.com/

Bidushy Sadika, MA, PhD Candidate

Bidushy is a PhD student in Social Psychology and the Collaborative Specialization in Migration and Ethnic Relations (MER) at Western University. She received her MA in Culture, Health, and Human Development and BA (Honours) in Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Her research focuses on intersectionality theory and the lived experiences of immigrant, newcomer, and refugee women in interpersonal, social, cultural, and institutional/systemic spaces in Canada. Bidushy’s graduate studies are being currently supported through a SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship, and have been previously funded through a SSHRC CGS-M.

Email: bsadika@uwo.ca

MBesselink (2)

Maria Besselink, B.Sc., M.Sc Candidate

Maria received her BSc in Psychology from the University of Bridgeport in 2019. She is a MSc student in Social Psychology and the Collaborative Program in Migration and Ethnic Relations. Her research interests broadly include; minorities with a focus on issues of ethnic and cultural identity, discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes as well as, integration of immigrants and racial biases.

Email: mbesseli@uwo.ca

Rama Eloulabi BA, MSc Candidate

Rama is an MSc student in Social Psychology and the Collaborative Graduate Specialization in Migration and Ethnic Relations. She received her BA in Psychology and Human Rights and Ethnic Studies at York University, and has occupied several research positions since. Rama has primarily worked as a research coordinator for a SSHRC-funded project examining the experiences of Syrian refugee parents in Ontario. She is broadly interested in research in the experiences of minority populations including immigrants and refugees, racism and discrimination, and intergroup relations.

Email: reloulab@uwo.ca

Thesis Student

Kate Shields

Kate is in her fourth year of an undergraduate degree where she is completing an honours specialization in psychology. She is currently working on an honours thesis project under the supervision of Dr. Esses and Dr. Vaswani. She will be studying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on attitudes towards immigrants.

Email: kshield7@uwo.ca

Affiliate of ELSIR

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Sonali Advani: Communications Manager for Pathways to Prosperity

Email: communications@p2pcanada.ca

Lab Coordinator

Caitlin McCuaig: Administrator and Manager of Finances for Pathways to Prosperity

Research Assistants

Xena Elghazali

Christina Kim

Annie Liu

Maya Mickalow

Farwa Rana