Former PhD Students

ruizRui Zhang

Rui completed his Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication from Shanghai International Studies University, China. He joined this program because the Intercultural Communication Lab provides an intriguing niche between social psychology and communication. His main interests include internalization of cultural values, the dynamic processes by which one incorporates a new culture into his/her self-concept, and the role of communication in explaining the within-culture differences left untouched by the cultural psychological approach. He hopes his ongoing intellectual and personal adventures in Canada can also help elucidate the relation between ethnic identity and psychological adaptation.

kristieKristie Saumure

Kristie Saumure began work in the Intercultural Communication during late 2000 while she was completing her Masters of Library and Information Studies. She worked first as a research assistant and then later as a lab coordinator (until 2007 when she moved to New Zealand). Kristie was and is particularly interested in the work that Dr. Noels does with language learning and motivation, and it was this work that helped inspire Kristie’s PhD work (for which Dr. Noels was a co-supervisor) around Motivation and the Information Behaviours of Distance Learning Students.


Jianhui Song

Jianhui Song received her M. Ed. in Psychology in 1995. She spent seven years teaching and doing research in educational and developmental psychology before she moved to Canada in 2002. She received her Ph. D. in Social and Cultural Psychology from University of Alberta in 2010. She has worked on different projects related to immigrants and children since 2002. Her current research interests focus on child-rearing practice of Chinese immigrants, acculturation and identity, and social support to children with disability.


Dr. Kathryn Chaffee

Dr. Katy Chaffee’s research interests focus on motivation and foreign language learning. Her research examines the role of stereotypes and gender roles in men’s underrepresentation in female-dominated fields such as foreign language learning. Another line of research examines students’ academic motivation to learn foreign language within and across cultures.

Ruby Yang

Former Master Students

Hali KilHali Kil

I completed my BSc (Hons.) in Psychology and Latin American Studies at the University of Toronto. My interests span multiple areas of cultural, social, and developmental psychology. I am primarily interested in intergroup contact, with sub-interests in intergenerational cultural transmission and bidirectional parent-child socialization. Currently, I am researching accent-based language attitudes, stereotype content, cultural socialization of parents, and identity formation of individuals who hold non-corresponding phenotypical and self-identified ethnocultural identities.

Fang YangFang Yang

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Business Management from Singapore Management University. My experience of moving from China to Singapore in childhood, and now living in Canada, has motivated my interests cultural processes and their relations to individuals and their identities. From a situated perspective to identity, I examine how different cultures prescribe relational schema across situations differently, and how biculturals navigate situations with competing relational schema. Extending from my interest in multiculturalism, I am now exploring the role creolized languages (e.g. Singlish) play in creating national identities and cultural hybridization.

Ruxandra Comanaru

Ruxandra is now a Senior Researcher at NatCen Social Research, UK, working in the Questionnaire Development and Testing Hub .

gabriela2Gabriela Diniz

Gabriela Diniz earned her B.A. in Psychology from the Federal University of Parana, Brazil in 2011 and her M.A. in Psychology from the University of Alberta in 2017. She has already researched the intersection of studying abroad and career choice, as well as the motivations for being a foreigner. She founded an exchange student network at her hometown in Brazil and locally coordinated UofA’s e3 in Brazil programs in 2014 and 2015.

She got accepted to a Masters program in 2018, at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, for their program on International Relations and African Studies.

Mustafa Firat

Mustafa has a BA in Translation and Interpreting Studies and an MA in Psychology from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. He is interested in intergroup relations, cultural diversity, and immigration, which brought him to the Intercultural Communication Lab at the University of Alberta to pursue a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Kim Noels. Mustafa enjoys reading and writing fiction, loves exploring and experimenting new cultures, and likes nature very much. Mustafa is now a doctoral student in sociology at Radboud University in the Netherlands, where he is studying the “sociology of old-age inequality, with interest in the impact of work, family, and health trajectories on post-retirement economic, social, and psychological well-being”

Former Post-Doctoral Researchers

Maya Sugita

Maya Sugita

Maya Sugita, a post-doctoral fellowship student, completed her Ph.D. at the Graduate School of Foreign Language Education and Research, Kansai University, Japan. She has established expertise in teachers’ motivational strategies through her doctoral studies, in which she carried out observational and self-report studies, some of which included a longitudinal design. Through her training in the disciplines of applied linguistics, she is currently working on a comparative study of teachers’ motivational instruction in the language classrooms between Japanese and Canadian contexts based on the Self-Determination Theory.


JiawenJiawen Chen

My research focuses on the development from late adolescence to young adulthood to midlife. I’m interested in the psychosocial and work-related development in this period of life. My current project examines how language learning influences Chinese immigrants’ adaptation to living in Canada and their well-being.


Former Staff Members

Zoey (Xiaozhou) Zhang

My name is Zoey and I am from China. I gained my Bachelor and Master degree in Beijing Normal University. I also spent one year in South Korea as an exchange student. In 2010, I came to Canada. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in Educational Psychology, specialization in Psychological study in Education. While working on my PhD studies, I am working as the lab manager in the Intercultural Communication Lab. My research area focuses on self-identity (e.g., adulthood, ethnic and gender et al.) development and well-being among emerging adulthood aged from 18 to 29 years old from the cross-cultural and mixed methodology perspectives. By being in the IClab, I am hoping get more research experiences in the ethnic self-identity and well-being among immigrants.

Shadi Mehrabi

My name is Shadi and I’m a PhD student in Educational Policy Studies, specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership. While working on my PhD studies, I’m working as a research assistant and the lab manager in the Intercultural Communication Lab. My interest in the area of intercultural communication goes back to my background in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) on one hand, and my experiences of living two different cultures, Persian and Canadian, on the other hand. By being in the intercultural communication lab, I’m hoping to get a sense of and to learn more about quantitative research in the areas of language learning and cultural/ethnic identity.

Janice Feng

I hold a MA in Political Science and Cultural, Social and Political Thought from University of Victoria, and a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from University of Alberta. My general interests are identity/difference, phenomenology of lived experience, and feminist and queer theory. I am very interested in exploring how identity/difference is constituted and produced by relations of power, and how subjectivity is established in and through language and narrative. My MA thesis explored the ways in which normative violence constitutes and interpellates gender and sexuality, and the ways in which it could be destabilized and resignified by collective action. As the lab manager, I manage and coordinate the day to day operation of the lab, and at the same time also participate in ongoing research projects.

Ana Kovic

I am a recent psychology graduate and I have the privilege of joining the lab as the lab manager/coordinator. My research interests center around an intersection of developmental and cultural psychology, especially biculturalism, identity development, and language learning. When I’m not at the lab, I can be found working at a day care, skating (badly), or attending zumba classes!


Josh Katz

I have been a member of the Intercultural Communication Lab for two and a half years and, recently, took over as lab manager. My research interests include gender stereotypes and discrimination and motivation to take elective courses like Latin. In my free time I enjoy reading a good book or watching a classic horror movie.

Former Visiting Scholars

AliAli Dincer

Ali Dincer is a post-doc researcher, earned his PhD at the Department of English Language Teaching, Ataturk University, Turkey. He is working as a faculty staff of Education Faculty at Erzincan University, Turkey. His research interests are mainly Self-determination theory, L2 motivation, autonomy and student engagement. He is currently interested in perception differences of autonomy and motivation in different cultures and working on a cross-cultural comparison of language learner autonomy.

Marta del Pozo Beamud

My name is Marta del Pozo Beamud and I’m a research assistant at the UCLM (Spain), where I also teach English as a Foreign Language to undergrads at the School of Education. I got a BA in English Studies (English Linguistics & Literature) and a MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

My research interest lie in the field of Applied Linguistics, more specifically in L2 Acquisition/Learning, L2 Teaching, L2 Motivation, and L2 Anxiety.

Evy Ceuleets

Xiaoli Zhang

Former Undergraduate Students

20151109_214700Ashley Huang

Hi, my name is Ashley Huang and I am an undergraduate student doing an independent research course with the Intercultural lab. I started as a data entry volunteer in Katy Chaffee’s experiment, but after I became increasingly interested in intercultural communication, I signed up for the research course so that I could have more involvement in experiment design, execution, and analysis. This led to my study done in collaboration with Nigel Lou and several other undergraduate students, where we investigated the effects of different learning mindsets on second language anxiety in international students.


Yiyi Zhang

Hi, I am Yiyi. This is my last year of undergraduate study in psychology. I am currently taking 396 with Intercultural Communication Lab, and I am working on projects of multiculturalism with Dr. Kim and international student’s adaptation and wellbeing with Doris. I am interested in how culture shapes one’s identity and how language plays a role in one’s understanding of self.

Emmanuel Ibe

My name is Emmanuel Ibe. I am currently an undergraduate student, in my second year, pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Psychology. I currently am in my first year of volunteering at the Intercultural Communications Lab. The reason I am doing this volunteer work is, I am interested in personal identity and how one’s cultural and societal background influences the development of self-hood. During my free time, I mostly read philosophical texts and novels on Existentialism. Some of the philosophers I have looked into are; Friedrich Nietzsche, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Jessica Gill

My name is Jessica Gill and I am a second year psychology student currently studying at the UofA. Psychology is a passion of mine and I look forward to working and researching in this field.

LesleyLesley Divine Dona

Lesley Dona is a fifth-year undergraduate student working on her BA in English and Psychology at the University of Alberta. After studying abroad she developed an interest in intercultural relationships and the issues of identity for immigrant generations. Because of her interest in immigrant generations, especially in relation to the U.S and Canada, and how the process of acculturation influences one’s notion of their identity she decided to volunteer for the Intercultural Communication Lab. Additionally, she wishes to pursue further studies on minority studies (race, gender, and sexuality) in the future.

Belinda Ongaro

I’m Belinda Ongaro and I am currently in my fourth and final year of a double major in English and Psychology. I am a vegan, avid reader and runner, and a self-identified nerd. My academic goals include further studies in English with an emphasis on the various ways psychology intersects with literature and the act of reading.

Morgan Cselinacz

My name is Morgan Cselinacz and I am currently in my second year, completing my specialization in psychology. I have been a part of the lab since September, and have been working with Nigel on his language mindset study. When I am in the lab, I enjoy learning the intricacies of psychology, as well as the process of designing studies and encoding data. When I am out of the lab, you will find me studying even more about psychology (or playing video games).

Radha Saikia

Hi! My name’s Radha Saikia, and I’m a second year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. My interest in various aspects of culture was intensified when I chose

to move to Canada from India to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. I hope to gain further insight through working at Dr. Noel’s lab as a part of the Research Opportunity Program in Psychology (Psyco 299). I chose a major in Psychology because of my passion for the subject material, and also because I wish to understand people better in order to be more compassionate and empathetic. I plan on doing further studies in Psychology once I am done with my Bachelor’s. Currently, my career interests lie in Forensic and Counseling psychology. When I am not studying Psychology, I’m painting pictures of sunsets, dogs, or my favorite people.


Hey! My name is Arwa, and I’m a second year undergraduate science psychology student with a minor in sociology. I’m really passionate about psychology and its connections to sociology. I plan on continuing with psychology in graduate studies, and working in the lab has definitely broaden my perspective on psychology research, and allowed me to meet some amazing people too!


Gabriella Kwon

Hello! I’m usually called Gabriella, and I’m a fourth year undergraduate science psychology student with a minor in English. I have passion for both the science and arts aspect of psychology, and wish to expand my knowledge as far as possible. Working in this lab has really opened up many doors for me in the field, and I have met some of the most wonderful and supportive people!



Kate Dawson

Kate was a Psychology Honours student who completed her honours thesis on the relationship between situated language use, norms, and identity in first and second generation immigrants to Canada. Kate is interested in intergroup relations and all things norms.

Kate is currently working as a Regulatory Specialist with the Canadian VIGOUR Centre, which is an Academic Research Organization (ARO) within the University of Alberta. She helps manage the regulatory and data management components of multi-site cardiovascular related Clinical Trials within Canada and around the world.


Linda YaoLinda_photo

My name is Linda and I am currently in my fourth year double majoring in psychology and chemistry. As part of PSYCO 496, I am  primarily involved in Chinese Longitudinal Studies. After taking a cultural psychology course, I knew I should pursue this area of research. I was especially delighted to have the opportunity to join the Intercultural Communication Lab and study relations between culture and language of my motherland.



Natasha Hawryluk

Hey! Im Natasha and I am currently a volunteer with the IC Lab. I began as a student in Fall 2013 and have continued to volunteer on 2 projects. I had preformed research before, however, this year is my first in the topics of language, intercultural adaptation and identity. I am excited to be working on my own project dealing with Ukrainian-Canadian identity. I first became interested in this area after spending time studying abroad. It was this experience that made me see learning new languages in a new light.


Janelle Boisvert

My name is Janelle Boisvert and I am a recent graduate of the U of A with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in French language. I joined the Intercultural Communication lab as an Individual Studies student in psychology in order to gain some hands on research experience. I now volunteer for the Franco Albertan Study and am applying this fall to a master’s program in Counselling Psychology.


Suzette Duong

Hi, my name is Suzette Duong and I am a 3rd year psychology student. I have been volunteering at the Intercultural Communication lab since last semester. The lab conducts research related to language and culture, both of which are relevant to me. I look forward to learning more about research in the field of psychology and meeting new people.


Joy Peng

Hi, my name is Joy and I’m a third year psychology student minoring in sociology. This year I’m volunteering in the Intercultural Communication Lab examining language and cultural identity. I look forward to learning more psychology research methods and hope this may give me a better sense of what I would like to pursue in the field of psychology.


salasSylbia Jacqueline Salas

Hola! My name is Jackie Salas and I am in my last year completing a Psychology major with a Linguistics minor. During the Fall of 2010, I volunteered in the Intercultural Communication lab because of my personal interest in culture and language. During this time, I helped out with lab activities such as collecting, entering and checking data. Since the Fall of 2011, I enrolled in Psych 498 Independent Studies with Dr. Kimberly Noels. The research that I’m involved with focuses on ethnic identity, personality and well-being amoung Spanish Heritage speakers.



Michelle De Leon

Hello! My name is Michelle and I received my BSc with a minor in psychology last year. I am volunteering in the Intercultural Communication Lab to get more experience in psychology research. I will be helping out with a study examining ethnic identity and personality inconsistency among people of Latin American and East Asian backgrounds.


Wanyixiong Hua

My interest is broadly concerned with understanding questions of human behaviour, especially people’s psychological function of important beliefs about themselves and the world as well as how they will change when they are in a different culture context. Much of what I find exciting about the research so far is acculturation, cultural identity and the specific function that language might play when peoples’ cultural surroundings change. Some of my other interest are related to the terror management theory (TMT) in the relationship between mortality salience, self-control, self-esteem, and how the evolutionary theory can apply to the field of psychology in terms of understanding the social norms.


Rosa Fleischer-Brown

Hi, I’m Rosa. I’m in my third year of undergrad psych. After moving to Edmonton from Prague, I became interested in ethnic identity, bilingualism, and cultural adaptation, particularly in bicultural individuals, given I am one myself. Besides psychology, I enjoy writing, dancing and travelling.

Rebecca Alexander

I am in my second last year of my undergraduate degree. I am completing double major in psychology and sociology. My areas of interest are how bicultural people identify themselves and how they express their bicultural identity.


Allison Mock

My name is Allison Mock and I am in my fourth year of a Double Major in Linguistics and Psychology. I am currently a 496 Independent Study student in the Intercultural Communication Lab. I joined the lab after taking a course with Dr. Kim Noels in Intercultural Communication and wanted to further my knowledge in the field. My academic interests include child language development, bilingualism, and ethnic identity. If I am not at school, you can find me at a Zumba class or singing karaoke with my friends.


Antoninah (Toni) Obiero

Hi, my name is Antoninah (Toni for short) and I’m in my fifth and final undergraduate year as a student majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. This is my second semester doing independent research with the intercultural communications lab, led by Dr. Noels.
Having lived in different parts of the world, including Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, England, Scotland, Belgium, Paris, India, Thailand and Egypt as well as being a multilingual individual who comfortably speaks Swahili, German, American Sign Language, Kenyan Sign Language, English and (a little bit of) French, I am naturally drawn to the ways in which people communicate, express themselves and generally go about their lives based on the intersectionality of their age, race, gender, sexuality, physical ability, religious affiliation, generational teachings, culture, time/era of birth etc etc.
The endless possibilities of phenomena to investigate is the main reason I gravitated towards psychology. Humphry Davy beautifully encapsulated my sentiments when he said that “Nothing is so dangerous to the progress of the human mind than to assume that our views of science are ultimate, that there are no mysteries in nature, that our triumphs are complete and that there are no new worlds to conquer.”


Jessika Skurski

I am in my final year of a Bachelor in Biological Science specializing in Psychology. I am also currently working toward receiving a research certificate in psychology and have had the privilege to be part of the intercultural communications lab for the last two years. Over the last two years I have helped out with a number of projects and I am currently working with the data from the multicultural study to understand the relation between language and ethnicity.


Sharon Tahir

Hi, my name is Sharon Tahir and I am an independent studies student. I am in my 5th and final year of a Psychology major and a Biological Sciences minor. For the past two years, I have been given the awesome opportunity to be a part of the Intercultural Communication Lab! I have worked with Katy Chaffee on her Gender and Language Learning study, and currently I am working on the Multicultural Study, specifically focusing on ethnicity and discrimination. I am looking to have a career in the health care field in the future, and I believe that a background in intercultural communication offers an important perspective in that area. When I’m not studying, I love to knit and watch the next big hit on Netflix!

JayasreeJayasree Narayanan

I am currently working on getting my manuscript published. My research focuses on language usage, perceived discrimination and how each of them are related to the identity patterns of people in Singapore. In my free time, I like to exercise, learn Spanish and paint.


Princess Phiri

Hi, my name is Princess and I am currently in my 4th year of a BA Honors in Psychology degree. I am interested in the intersection of self and social identity in relation to stereotypes and discrimination. My undergraduate thesis is on the role of reflected appraisals in racial identity. When I am out of the lab, you will find me immensed in social justice issues.

Snehaa Suresh

Hi, I’m Snehaa and I am currently a volunteer at the Intercultural Communication Lab. I will graduate in November 2019 with my B.Sc (spec.) Psychology and certificates in Interdisciplinary Leadership, research in Psychology and International Learning. I initially joined the IC lab in 2016 as a PSYCO 299 (volunteer) student in my second year, in which time I learned how to develop a cultural psychology lens to view the world. Subsequently, I took independent study courses (like PSYCO 396, 496 and 498), mostly working
on the lab’s research project about the experiences of ethnically diverse peoples in Edmonton. In these last 3 years, working in the IC lab was not simply about learning about quantitative and qualitative research, but also about learning to levelheadedly comprehend the multitude of influences that diverse experiences, ideologies and societies can have on peoples’ lives. The things I learned were applicable to my other psychology classes (such as reading papers and working in teams), work/volunteer experiences (intercultural psychology research/theory) and my personal life. Outside of the lab, I volunteer and work as a youth tutor/mentor, watch old Hindi and Tamil movies, and spend quality time with my friends and family.

Undergraduates and Assistants

Amber Mellott

Jason Pheh

Michelle Burandt

Erin Karman

Karen Sprague

Peter Leavitt

Agnieszka Olszewska

Melanie Leeson

Inka Fakuade

Erin Goldberg

Zahida Kassam

Jay van Bavel

Pamela Hillaby

Rebecca Williams

Tory Pino

Jenna Smith

Teina Wang