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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

Alexandra M. Bozheva, M.Ed., MA (Geo), MA (Soc and MER), MSA, Candidate of Sciences, Ph.D.

Alex is a scholar, whose alma mater network spans across three countries: Russia (Herzen State Pedagogical University), the USA (University of Northern Iowa), and Canada (Ryerson University, Western University). Upon completing her PhD in Geography and Migration and Ethnic Relations Studies in 2019, she joined the Network for Economic and Social Trends (NEST) as a MITACS postdoc. Her research interests encompass international student migration, migration policy, geography of migration, and immigrant retention rates.

Email: abozheva@gmail.com

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/

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

Pathways to Prosperity Partnership

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Communications Manager: Sonali Advani

Email: communications@p2pcanada.ca


Finance and Administration Manager: Sherry M. King

Email: admin@p2pcanada.ca

Lab Coordinator


Suzanne Chang, BSc

Suzanne completed her BSc in Pharmacology and did an undergraduate research project under the supervision of Dr. Gregory P. Downey at the University of Toronto. She is currently pursuing her second degree (BA) in Psychology at Western University, with particular interests in Social Psychology pertaining to immigrants/refugees’ acculturation. In addition to her full-time studies, Suzanne practises TUSA meditation and Tai-Chi, as well as volunteering her time working as a lab coordinator in ELSIR.

Email: schan626@uwo.ca

Independent Project Student

Tehya Quachegan
Tehya is in her fourth year of her undergraduate degree completing an honours double major in Psychology and Indigenous Studies. She is currently conducting an independent study project under the supervision of Dr. Esses that will explore experiences of discrimination towards Indigenous peoples with a focus on the London-Middlesex Region and how these experiences impact Indigenous peoples’ spiritual, physical, emotional and mental wellness.

Email: tquacheg@uwo.ca

Research Assistants

Min Jy Kim

Nethnie Nandadasa

Alex McArthur

Natalie Sophie Prenevost

Clara Schott

Jie Yi Wang

Temitayo Olasehinde

Xena Elghazali

Ashley Li

Aiza Khan

Annie Liu

Janvi Shah