Chair-Elect Candidates

Alexandra Richard

Statement of Intent

I am pleased to submit my application for the Chair-Elect position of the CPA Student Section for the 2018 – 2019 academic year. Upon beginning graduate school, I became an active member of the McGill University Graduate Association of Students in Psychology (GASP). This association represents the interests of all graduate students in psychology at McGill University and acts as a liaison between the students and the department and/or the university. This initiative demonstrates my interest in representing and working for graduate students in psychology; and this is an interest that I hope to bring with me to the Chair-Elect position, should I be elected. Being awarded the Chair-Elect position would allow me to contribute to the field of psychology as an academic discipline and a profession and give back to graduate students across the country. I hope to work together with the other Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Student Section Executive Members in order to represent graduate students in psychology across Canada and to enhance their graduate school experience. This would entail providing venues for students to connect and learn from each other throughout their degree, such as at the annual CPA convention. I also hope to ensure there is adequate discussion about career opportunities for psychology students inside and outside academia, as I feel that it is crucial for graduate students to be cognisant of all of their potential career paths. As Chair-Elect, I would integrate my interpersonal, organizational and leadership skills to plan and execute the necessary initiatives under the Student Section Mandate in collaboration with the other executive members.

Biography

My name is Alexandra Richard. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Honours Psychology at Concordia University in 2017. During my undergraduate degree, I conducted research on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I also worked in a research laboratory that studied attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. I am currently a first year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at McGill University working under the supervision of Dr. David M. Dunkley. My research focuses on investigating the role of perfectionism, a cognitive-personality vulnerability factor, in psychopathology. Specifically, I explore the mechanisms by which perfectionism places individuals at greater risk for developing certain forms of mental illness such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders through longitudinal and daily diary studies. Ultimately, I hope that my research can help inform interventions tailored for perfectionists in order to prevent this trait from instigating or maintaining a broad range of psychological problems. In terms of my academic goals, I hope to pursue a career that integrates both research and clinical practice to ultimately offer individuals evidence-based treatments that are not only geared towards their specific problem, but also tailored to best match their individual personality traits. I hope to blend the skills I obtain from both my research and clinical training to achieve this goal. During my spare time, I love to read, and try new recipes. I am also a strong advocator for animal rights and have two dogs of my own.

Patryk Siergiej

Statement of Intent

I would like to apply for the Chair position. I joined the CPA in my second year of bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2015, and the same year I became a Campus Representative at Red Deer College. Ever since I have joined the Association I wanted to be more involved and learn more about CPA and its day-to-day operations. In the last three years I have been promoting CPA on the Red Deer College campus among undergraduate students. In the summer of 2015 and 2017 I have worked as a Volunteer Coordinator at Canadian Blood Services. I was responsible for recruiting, training and supervising volunteers, as well as planning and facilitating various events. I believe the experience I gained in that position would be beneficial in the role of the Chair. In this position I would like to give more exposure to the student’s section by promoting it more effectively and creating and maintaining connections with students and faculty members at colleges and universities across Canada. 

Biography

I am a fourth year Bachelor of Arts Psychology Student at the University of Calgary. I was born in Poland and moved to Canada in November 2008.
I have been the President of the Red Deer College Psychology Society for the last two years. Two of my biggest accomplishments in that role were organizing the Society’s Annual Symposium “Conversation on Mind”. In 2017 we talked about consumerism and its impact on human interaction, and this year our panelist will discuss students’ resiliency in the age of trigger warnings and self-entitlement.
I have been an Undergraduate Reviewer for MindPad since 2015. I have learned a lot about the reviewing as well as publishing process.
I was an intern at Luna Therapy & Lifestyle from September to December 2017. I was responsible for facilitating and presenting at a workshop dedicated to destigmatizing depression and anxiety “Overcoming Depression and Anxiety: You Are Not Your Thoughts.”
Currently I am working as a Research Assistant at Red Deer College. The project I am working on in collaboration with two faculty members and another student researcher focuses on conducting research with Indigenous people, more specifically on developing effective guidelines for researchers.
My goal in the field of psychology is to work with children and teenager, possibly as a school counselor or therapist.


Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer Candidates

Baenie La Fleur

Statement of Intent

As a senior undergraduate student, I believe that I would excel as the undergraduate student affairs officer as I would be able to relate to other undergraduate students struggles and needs. I believe that I will provide useful insight for other students with a combination of my personal experience as an undergraduate and the unique and shared experience of my peers. Having held an executive position within my university psychology student association, I have gained valuable experience acting as a liaison between the student association and the professors and other adjunct members of the university, developing relationships between myself and other committee members as well as assisting them with their duties. By being the undergraduate student affairs officer, I would further develop my leadership and communication skills, while building relationships with my peers and being able to assist the graduate student affairs officer with their required tasks. Nearing the end of my undergraduate degree and looking back on the first few years I find that there are many things that I wish I had known and I feel as though this position would allow me the opportunity to help other students in a way I wish I had been helped. Having had the opportunity to be a member of the student association has helped me develop better time management and prioritizing skills which would be of use as the undergraduate student affairs officer to help me manage the undergraduate student representatives and assist them with any questions or concerns that they may have.

Biography

As a senior undergraduate student, I firmly believe that its never too early or too late to get involved within the psychology community which is why in September of 2017 I decided to join my university undergraduate psychology student association as the co-faculty of arts liaison within the executive team. Through this association I have gain valuable insight and experience and have further developed my relationships with my classmates and my professors. This position has enabled me to become more exposed to the wide variety that exist within my local psychology community through our presentations and guest speakers. Another way in which I have decided to become more involved is with the CPA mentorship program, where I am a mentee. This opportunity has enabled me to get advice from a graduate student and helped me with my academic journey, something I would like to pass on in the future. I have currently taken on the responsibility of being a research assistant for a community project to better understand how the minority French community identifies itself within a predominantly English society, and its associated effects. As well, in the fall of 2018 I plan to operantly condition either a cray fish or a pimelodus blochii (cat fish) with the use of darkness as a reinforcer. Throughout my studies I have found great interest with human behaviour and the surrounding contingencies that either maintain or extinguish those behaviours, particularly with abnormal behaviour patterns. This why I would like to combine my interests and become either a clinical psychologist or a board-certified behaviour analyst. I believe that we are a constant work in progress and should always strive to improve ourselves and our skill set which is why I enjoy learning more both within and outside of psychology regarding subjects such as mindfulness, mind/body connection and minimalism.

Prashant Aukhojee

Statement of Intent

Hello students of psychology,
This is to inform you that I am very much interested in the position of becoming an Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer.
I greatly value making a positive change in a student’s academic life. I believe that by registering as student affiliates of the CPA, we have made an important first step to advancing the field of psychology. Therefore, as an undergraduate student affairs officer, I will seek out opportunities that will promote student’s experiential learning while making certain that all programs and services are accessible to all. I want to facilitate communication between members and being in this position will allow me to voice all of your concerns, comments and inquiries.
I have been progressively involved in volunteering in my community and at the university for the past few years. I am currently a member of the AccessAbility outreach team at the University of Toronto which ensures that all students with visible/invisible special abilities are involved in all facets of university life without restrictions. I have great experiences working with students at various mature levels which have strengthened my awareness of their emotional and psychological needs. My skills and commitment to helping them has helped me to excel in my work and have resulted in building excellent rapport with fellow peers, colleagues and supervisors.

Biography

I am currently a 4th year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto in the life sciences program. I am majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology and French. A fun but not too fun fact about me is that I can speak six different languages which include French and Creole. I am currently a research assistant under supervision of Dr. Becky Chen as part of the Department of Applied Psychology and Human development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). The research project is a longitudinal study that examines language acquisition and development in children enrolled in French immersion programs. I am also involved as a research assistant under supervision of Dr. Konstantinos Papazoglou as part of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services - Justice Section. Research projects revolve around trauma experienced by law enforcers and its impact on health holistically as well as compassion fatigue experienced by first responders. I have an extensive background in areas of hospitality and service based on tutoring, volunteering and working in diverse settings such as in a clinic, at a community or regional event or in schools.
After my undergraduate studies, I plan on continuing my research studies as a Masters student in the Chen lab at OISE.
Personal interests include working on vehicles. I am a car enthusiast and apart from having the useless ability of knowing all the names of cars across continents, I also service and modify cars.
I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to the development of the CPA as an undergraduate student affairs officer.
Thank you for your consideration.


Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Jérémie Richard

Statement of Intent

I am applying for the position of Graduate Student Affairs Officer in the CPA Student Section Executive. Both undergraduate and graduate students studying Psychology in Canada deserve to have a voice and I believe the CPA Student Representative program has provided students with a platform to have a far-reaching impact and influence in regards to both their research and clinical interests. The Graduate Student Affairs Officer is critical in maintaining this program and I believe I would have much to offer in this role in addition to fulfilling the responsibilities bestowed upon me as a member of the Student Section Executive. I consider engagement in conversations with students, professors and mental health professionals as being at the heart of development in the field of psychology. Given the position of Graduate Student Affairs Officer, I would make it my mission to ensure contact is established between a diverse group of students across Canadian universities, while providing students with the structure necessary to share knowledge and current advances in the field. In regards to the qualities I will bring, I believe I have the dedication and dependability necessary for the position of Graduate Student Affairs Officer. From my experience as a member of multiple research labs and teaching assistant of university psychology courses, I recognize the importance of communication and responding to inquires in a timely manner. Furthermore, I believe openness, honesty and genuineness are essential elements for individual creativity and institutional growth and I would bring these qualities with me in my work. Lastly, as a bilingual and native French speaker from Québec, I would make it one of my personal responsibilities to recruit and involve Student Representatives from francophone universities across the country. 

Biography

Jérémie Richard is presently a Master’s student in Counselling Psychology at McGill University. He completed his B.A. (Specialization) in Psychology in 2016 at McGill University, completing his undergraduate project in the field of health psychology under the supervision of Dr. Phyllis Zelkowitz. Currently, his research focuses on the factors influencing addiction and high-risk behaviours in adolescents and young adults, with a focus on gambling and mental health. Jérémie currently works as a research assistant in the International Centre For Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky. In the recent past, he has conducted research on alcohol and substance-use policies in Canadian universities, men and women’s reproductive health, existential concerns among cancer patients and executive function deficits in adolescents with attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). After his Master’s degree, Jérémie hopes to continue his studies at the doctoral level and become a licensed Counselling Psychologist. In the future, Jérémie plans to conduct research on the motivations underlying gambling behaviours amongst university students using a self-determination theory framework. Although his true passion resides in the field of psychology, his interests range the entirety of the humanities and liberal arts. From history to philosophy, politics and law, eastern and western literature, and evolutionary psychology, Jérémie is interested in all knowledge exploring the human condition. Outside of school, Jérémie works as a tutor and mentor for adolescents with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. He is also a volunteer at the Peer-Support Centre at McGill University, a student-run service dedicated to providing non-judgmental and confidential support to students in need. In his spare time, Jérémie enjoys hiking, snowboarding, weight-lifting, and practices Vipassana meditation on a regular basis.


Administration and Finance Officer

Kaitlin Wilson

Statement of Intent

Administration and Finance Officer position available in the Section for Students in Psychology at the Canadian Psychological Association. I am interested in this position not only because it is well-suited to my professional experience and qualifications, but it will also provide me with valuable administrative experience working with one of the leading organizations in my chosen academic field.

My most relevant administrative experience includes two years of working as an Executive Assistant to both the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Education), and the Vice Dean/Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary. Among the many administrative responsibilities I had in this position, I managed several executive calendars in the Dean’s Office, scheduled internal and external meetings, generated meeting agendas and subsequent minutes, and worked on a variety of other special projects. Since 2014, I have worked as a Research Coordinator in the Faculty of Kinesiology’s Human Performance Lab. In this position, I am responsible for the financial management of our group’s numerous research projects (some of which have been funded by the Tri-Council, as well as other non-government organizations). I am often required to develop budget proposal for grant applications, prepare financial documents and reports in compliance with the University of Calgary financial administration policies, as well as make financial forecasts and budgeting decisions on a daily basis. In both of the aforementioned positions, I have gained extensive administrative experience serving as a member, secretary, and/or treasurer on a number of academic committees, taskforces, and work groups across campus. This includes the Psychosocial Research Theme Group, Strategic Research and Innovation Committee, and Thrive Centre Advisory Committee in the Faculty of Kinesiology, as well as the Curriculum and Academic Review Committee, Research & Scholarship Committee, and Academic Appeals Committee in the Faculty of Science.

Taken together, these activities demonstrate my experience and qualifications for the position of Administration and Finance Officer. Please find attached my curriculum vitae and a short biography to support my application. Should you have any questions or require any additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Biography

Kaitlin (Kate) is completing a combined undergraduate degree program in Psychology (minor in Anthropology) and Communication Studies (Minor Workplace Learning) at the University of Calgary. She is currently in her third year and plans to pursue a Masters and Ph.D. program in clinical psychology after successfully completing an undergraduate Honour’s Thesis. Her clinical and research interests include adult psychopathology, and patterns of comorbidity and multimorbidity associated with substance use disorders.
Kate is also a Research Coordinator in the University of Calgary’s Health and Wellness Lab; a subspecialized research facility affiliated with the Faculty of Kinesiology’s Human Performance Laboratory and the Roger Jackson Centre for Health and Wellness Research. Research in this lab specializes in psychosocial oncology and health psychology, with a primary focus on the physical and mental health implications of exercise intervention in different cancer populations. This work continues to inform both her research and clinical interest in positive psychological approaches to achieving rehabilitation and sustainable recovery at both the individual and population levels. Apart from work and academics, Kate enjoys travelling, writing, practicing yoga, and spending time with friends and family.


Communications Officer

Alisia Palermo

Statement of Intent

I am applying for the position of Communications Officer for the CPA Student Section. The opportunity to continue for a second term as the Communications Officer for the Student Section will allow me to continue developing my skills in this role, as well as continue my progress on the work I have done thus far. I would be able to continue to meet and interact with psychology students across Canada, both learning how the CPA can better support them encouraging them to promote the CPA. I possess many qualities that will allow me to continue to excel in this position. I have gained effective communication skills as Communications Officer, both verbally and through emails, creating newsletters, and website updates, with both executive members of the organization and psychology students across Canada. My experience assisting in the organization Student Section activities of the 2017 CPA conference in Toronto has also allowed me to understand the implications of organizing large student-based activities, as well as the needs and interests of students in psychology across Canada. In addition, my past experience as a Community Advisor with McMaster University Residence Life has given me the skills to plan and execute events, recruit and encourage participation among individuals, as well as communicate clearly. I am excellent team member, as most of my jobs have been team-based. I am also extremely hard working, friendly, and always open to new ideas. I would love the opportunity to once again hold the position of Communications Officer with the Student Section of the CPA.

Biography

My name is Alisia Palermo and I am a first year Master’s of Science in Forensic Psychology student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). I attended McMaster University for my undergraduate studies and received my Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour with a minor in French in 2017. Over my education career, I have participated in several research projects that relate to my areas of interest—corrections and sexual violence—as well as local and national psychology conferences. Currently, I am a student representative on UOIT’s Advisory Committee for Student Sexual Violence Prevention responsible for various tasks related to sexual violence prevention, including the revision of university policy on student sexual violence and evaluating the efficacy of programming and activities related to help-seeking behaviours. After my Master’s program, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology or Clinical Psychology. As a forensic clinical psychologist, my aspiration is to provide psychological assessment and treatment to individuals in federal correctional facilities. In addition, I plan to continue in research pertaining to treatments for sex offenders in a correctional setting. Apart from school, I have volunteered at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre leading a workshop for male inmates, where I taught the advantages of making pros and cons when making decisions. I enjoy reading anything and everything, and writing. I also love photography, hiking, watching documentaries, and advocating for mental health wellness and awareness.