Meet the Team
Alma Natafji is a Research Assistant for the Karakter Project at the University of Toronto. Alma is currently in the fourth year of her Psychology Specialist degree. She is interested in developmental research specifically regarding trauma, environmental stressors, and psychopathology. Fun fact: Alma wanted a pet lion when she was a kid and she now has a big cuddly orange cat named Mango instead!
Benjamin Koshy Jacob is a second-year undergraduate student double majoring in Psychology and Biology for Health Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga. His multicultural upbringing in Morocco, Nigeria, and Azerbaijan has elicited a fascination with the complex interaction of race, culture, and emotion in identity development. He is especially interested in studying the experiences of undergraduate racialized students. Outside the Lab, Benji enjoys playing volleyball, oil painting, and singing.
Celine El-Hert is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She is double-majoring in Psychology and Criminology, Law, and Society and minoring in Sociology. She is hoping to continue my pathway of education in Psychology and pursue her masters in counseling and psychotherapy. She's very intrigued in the research areas of psychological trauma, development, as well as adolescence and emerging adulthood. She loves traveling, learning about new cultures, and working with people from all walks of life!
Dima Al Habbal is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto Mississauga, majoring in the Psychology program. Her primary research interest is in the field of Social-Personality Psychology. Specifically, she is interested in researching about human relationships and attachment styles and how they affect personality development. She is also particularly interested in the practice of Art in Therapy and how humans can learn to express their emotions in non-verbal modes of intercultural communication. Her interest stems from creating her own Art and Photography that she avidly enjoys practicing and sharing with others.
Elizabeth Fujita is a student researcher interested in exploring intergenerational trauma and posttraumatic growth with particular focus on minority and underrepresented groups and identities. Following many years of grassroots community work and engagement both in Japan and Canada, she aims to rededicate her career focus in highlighting intersectional challenges that marginalized and underrepresented communities face when accessing culturally or identity appropriate resources in supporting strong mental health and psychological well-being. She lives in Toronto where she enjoys making music, moving through dance and running, and playing board games with her children and husband.
Feyza Lafci graduated in 2022, with a Bachelor of Science in Exceptionality in Human Learning Specialist, along with a minor in Sociology. She is interested in the personality expressions of racailized emerging adults within everyday situations. Her hobbies include watching movies, cooking, and trying anything crafty.
Iten Allam graduated in 2022 with a Bachelors of Science specialising in Psychology from the University of Toronto Mississauga. She worked on her Undergraduate Thesis with Dr. Joanne in this lab. Her research was focused on the experience of transitioning to university and the identity development of undergraduate racialised students attending UTM. She enjoys baking (despite the many mishaps) and reading. Fun fact: she has a golden retriever that she avidly spoils!
Jaiditya Sharma is going into his fourth year of studies in Biology for Health Sciences and Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He is currently on a research fellowship continuing the very exciting research on the experiences and personality development of racialized students. He hopes to extract learnings from this research towards his passion for equity in healthcare. Outside of the lab, he enjoys his time as a barista, taking his cat on walks, camping and baking.
Jasnoor Sandhu is going into her fourth-year as an undergraduate student at University of Toronto Mississauga. She is double majoring in Biology for Health Sciences and Psychology. She’s interested in neuroscience, psycholinguistics, and social-personality psychology. She wants to focus her research on the experiences of racialized emerging adults. In her free time, she loves reading, painting, and drawing!
Jawahir Mohammed is going into her fourth year of undergraduate studies. She is Specializing in Psychology and Minoring in Biology. She will be working with Professor Chung on a Independent Research Project in the 2022-2023 academic year. Her research interests lies in children’s thinking, adult psychopathology, identity, interpersonal relationships and emotions. Outside of the lab, Jawahir enjoys watching anime, going to concerts and reading.
Layan Nablsi is a fourth-year undergraduate student. She is majoring in Biology for Health Sciences and double minoring in Chemistry and Psychology. She loves being outside with friends, especially when the weather is beautiful. This also includes working outside for research or working with new people from other places and interests.
Marim Adel is an undergraduate student completing her final year in Exceptionality in Human Learning with a minor in Biology. Marim's research interests include critical disability studies, land education, and personality psychology! She appreciates working within an intentional and collaborative space; her hobbies include reading and gardening.
May Khaled is doing a double major in Psychology and Biology. 2022-2023 is going to be her fourth and final year - making her a senior, both exciting and terrifying! She's interested in the developmental and cognitive changes in children, adolescents, and young adults, emotional intelligence in intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships, as well as how cultural and historical factors affect the development and treatment of certain disorders. Her hobbies include playing video games, painting and going to the gym. Fun fact: she Live Streams on Twitch and has created a supportive community off that!
Memoona Arshad received her Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Toronto, Mississauga in 2021. Currently, she is a Master’s student at York University in the Social and Personality Psychology program studying how inequality in power and decision-making, coupled with social structures, can affect the well-being of less privileged members of society. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading books, and being outdoors.
Mohamed Motasem Almesri is going into fouth year majoring in Biology and Psychology. He wants to focus on research in trauma and abnormal psychology as well as neuroscience. In his free time, he enjoys reading.
Mullai Sampath graduated in 2021, with a major in psychology and double minors in education studies and sociology. She joined the Chung Lab in 2021, working on the PSY310 course improvement project, with her research interests lying in improving representation of marginalized communities in psychological literature. Outside the lab she loves to crochet, read feminist literature and experiment with different forms of photography.
Nicole Twum-Ampofo is a third-year student doing a specialist in Neuroscience and a double minor in Psychology and Biology. She is interested in neurocognitive development and individual experiences. In her free time, she likes to practice mindfulness and wellbeing. She also enjoys cooking, reading a good book, making body oils and salt baths.
Rheanne Haider recently graduated with a double major in Psychology and Biology for Health Science. She's interested in research on the experiences of racialized folks, especially in an academic setting. In her free time, she loves to spend time outdoors and crochet!
Salma Abdalla received her Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Toronto, Mississauga in 2022. She is interested in learning about and understanding the experiences of BIPOC/multicultural identifies, with the aim of improving equity and access to suitable mental health resources in the community. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends somewhere in nature or near any body of water.
Shahed Al Asmi is a fourth year undergraduate, specializing in Molecular Biology and a Chemistry minor. Her interests stem from her background as a Syrian refugee, but she's also interested in genomics (interesting combo, she knows!). A little fun fact is that her name means "honey" in Arabic!
Shahed Ebesh is in her fourth-year of study. She is majoring in Psychology and English, with a minor in Creative Writing. Her favorite part of the Karakter Research Project is the inclusion of a non-WEIRD group of participants, and the EAR device as a method. Her favorite hobbies are writing short mystery stories and reading!
Stella Zhang is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, where she received her B.Sc in Psychology and Sociology. She is interested in understanding personality development and general well-being as these concepts pertain to individuals with marginalized identities. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music and going for a bike ride along the water!
Venus Asamoah graduated in 2022 from the University of Toronto Mississauga, with a double major in Psychology and Criminology, Law & Society. They are interested in youth development, particularly within racialized and marginalized communities. They love watching movies and shows, going out with friends and practicing self care. They are all about self development and ensuring their mental health is as healthy as their physical body.
Zaiyuan Hu is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Chung Lab. She received her H.B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Toronto. Her research interests include emotion, culture, and the representation of marginalized groups. In her free time, she loves to read, cook, take walks to explore the city, and spend time with her cat Blondie.
Zin Dewa graduated in June 2022 with my BA in Psychology at the University of Victoria. At the Chung Lab, she is a transcriber, extractor, and manual creator. Her research interests are intersectional identity, art as tools of healing, and culturally competent mental health care for racialized people. Outside of the lab, she runs a YouTube channel and a household with two bunnies (yes, they're neutered). She lives on Vancouver Island, so the beach is her second home.
Angela Smith is a 4th year doctoral candidate in Social/Personality psychology at the University of Toronto. Their research interests include the ways in which emotion and emotion regulation are influenced by socioeconomic factors, and how that in turn influences physical and psychological health. Additionally, they are interested in the role that emotion regulation plays in the contexts of politics and social justice. When not in the lab, Angela loves hiking, reading, finding new coffee shops, plus trying their hand at amateur comedy (or more often, just watching the professionals at work)!
Victoria Pringle is a second-year PhD student in Social/Personality at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. She is broadly interested in how people perceive others, including how people use physical cues to form impressions, what it means to know and be known by someone, and how impression formation differs in an online context. Her other research interests include morbid curiosity, recreational horror, authenticity, and morality.
Bansi Javiya is a former student at UTM. She graduated in April 2021 with an HBSc, with a double major in Psychology and Biology. From the many psych courses she's taken at UTM, her interest lies in abnormal psychology and in the treatment of mental disorders. And apart from watching Criminal Minds, she enjoys photography
Louis Lam graduated in 2022 from the University of Toronto Mississauga, where he double majored in Psychology and Professional Writing. He is interested in developing conselling techniques that tailor to a person's ethnic and cultural background. More recently, he developed an interest in writing therapy and its benefits for adolescents and emerging adults. Fun fact: as a child, Louid thought the moon was just a poster set up by people in the sky because he refused to believe a full moon happens for every single Mid-Autumn festival.
Shams Al-Badri is a 2021 graduate from UTM, who completed a specialization in Psychology and minor in Biology. She will be starting the Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences Master's program in May of 2022 at Western. She worked on the Karakter project as her ROP thesis for 4th year, and stayed on as a research assistant until May 2022. Her hobbies include anything photography, but mainly film photography!