Psychology MA and PhD students graduate virtually in fall 2020

On November 25, 2020, a number of psychology master’s and doctoral students will officially graduate at UBC’s virtual graduation ceremony.

From developing parenting interventions to support child development—to showing evidence that hearing persists at the end of life—to understanding how infants acquire speech, these early career researchers are addressing some of the critical challenges facing our society today.
We celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and it is with great pride that we congratulate each one of them!

MA Graduates

Ashley Mary Battaglini

MA Psychology, Clinical Psychology

MA Thesis title: Intra-and interpersonal emotion regulation

Sam Kristen Can

MA Psychology, Quantitative Methods

MA Thesis title: Simplifying response surface analysis: proposing a new model specification

Leilani Forby

MA Psychology, Cognitive Science

MA Thesis title: Gaze behaviour of individuals with autistic traits while assessing peer status.

Michelle Hunsche

MA Psychology, Clinical Psychology

MA Thesis title: Social Functioning and the Presentation of Anxiety in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Ray MacNeil

MA Psychology, Cognitive Science

MA Thesis title: Tracking the Closed Eye by Calibrating Electrooculography with Pupil-Corneal Reflection.

Maria G. M. (Joey) Manaligod

MA Psychology, Cognitive Science

MA Thesis title: Attentional biases by induced microvalence in novel objects: an emphasis on the role of experience.

Mikayla Pachkowski

MA Psychology, Clinical Psychology

MA Thesis title: Examining the relationship of dissociation to suicide ideation and suicide attempts.

 Jin Wen

MA Psychology, Clinical Psychology

MA Thesis title: Perceived control and cortisol reactivity to acute stressors: Variations by age, race and facets of control (T).

Bita Zareian

MA Psychology, Clinical Psychology

MA Thesis title: Coping with stress: the contribution of cognitive biases to rumination.

MA students Natalie Brown, Oliver Jacobs, William Jettinghoff, and Jackson Schumacher are also graduating in fall 2020.

PhD graduates

Elizabeth Blundon

PhD Psychology, Cognitive Science

Doctoral citation: Dr. Blundon showed that hearing may be one of the last senses to remain active before death. She detected neural responses to sound, namely music, from unresponsive patients in the hours before they passed away. These studies represent a first attempt to answer the question: is hearing the last to go?

Dawoon (Sheri) Choi

PhD Psychology, Developmental Psychology

Doctoral citation: Dr. Choi investigated speech perception in preverbal infants. Her behavioural and neuroimaging research demonstrated that infants integrate information from their articulatory movements during speech perception. These studies advance our understanding of how infants may acquire speech, the complex perceptual and motoric skill essential for language.

Marlise Hofer

PhD Psychology, Health Psychology

Doctoral citation: Dr. Hofer found that a romantic partner may improve health even when not physically present. Olfactory cues from a romantic partner improved people’s ability to cope with stress and the likelihood of a good night’s sleep. Her work suggests simple strategies that promote health and can be readily applied to a range of people and situations.

Spencer Murch

PhD Psychology, Cognitive Science

Doctoral citation: Dr. Murch investigated gamblers’ experiences of immersion during slot machine use. He identified behavioural and physiological markers of this trance-like attentional state. These findings clarify role of slot machine design in the incidence of problem gambling.

Joanne Park

PhD Psychology, Clinical Psychology 

Doctoral citation: Dr. Park found that parents’ executive functioning skills are important in reducing the association between the experience of chronic stress and harsh parenting. Given that stress is such a common experience for parents, her study provides important implications for parenting interventions to support healthy child development. 

Theresa Pauly

PhD Psychology, Health Psychology

Doctoral citation: Close individuals tend to show synchronized ups and downs of stress hormones such as cortisol. Dr. Pauly examined interconnections in cortisol levels in older couples’ daily lives. Her findings help us understand the everyday dynamics that contribute to health being linked in older couples.

Lisa Zhang

PhD Psychology, Clinical Psychology

Doctoral citation: Dr. Zhang studied how individuals high in perfectionism form relationships in group psychotherapy. Her research elaborates on the mechanisms of how perfectionism may negatively impact the process of psychotherapy and informs intervention strategies.

PhD students Katharina Block, Alessandra DiGiacomo, and Simon Ho are also graduating in fall 2020.