Hosted by SISP student committee, McGill University
& Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
Co-Chair & VP Finance - Despina Bolanis
Despina is a first-year doctoral student in the School/Applied Child Psychology program at McGill University. She completed her MSc in Psychiatry at McGill University in 2019. Her master’s thesis evaluated the longitudinal associations between cannabis use, depression and suicidal ideation/attempt throughout adolescence. For her doctoral studies, Despina will examine the effects of nature exposure on mental health outcomes in adolescents and clinically depressed adults. She is the recipient of the Graduate Excellence Fellowship from the Faculty of Education and Counselling Psychology (2019-2021), Graduate Excellence Fellowship in Mental Health Research (2018-2019), and FRQS Master’s Research Grant (2018-2019). Despina is excited to act as this year’s Co-Chair and VP Finance for SISP and looks forward to collaborating with the rest of the team
Co-VP Communications: Heather Kennedy
Heather is a second-year MA student in the School and Applied Child Psychology Program at McGill University. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at Laurentian University. Heather is a member of the C.A.R.E. Lab under the supervision of Dr. Tina Montreuil. Heather's research interests include promoting healthy emotion regulation in children, childhood social anxiety, and biopsychological measures of emotion regulation and anxiety. Heather is also currently serving as VP Student Life of the School Psychology Student Association at McGill University.
Co-VP Communications - Samantha Scholes
Samantha is a first year Master’s student in the School/Applied Child Psychology Program at McGill University. She received her B.A. in Psychology (Hons. Equiv) and Economics from McGill. She is supervised by Dr. Amando Bertone (Perceptual Neuroscience Laboratory for Autism and Development) and co-supervised by Dr. Reut Gruber (Attention, Behavior, and Sleep Lab). Her research will be investigating the role of sleep in academic functioning in children diagnosed with ASD. She is the recepient of the Graduate Excellence Fellowship (2019-2020) and the CIHR-CGS Master's grant (2019-2020). Samantha is looking forward to spreading the word about SISP this year!
Public Relations Coordinator: Shalaka Shah, PhD Candidate
External Coordinator: Ida Foster, PhD Student
Internal Coordinator: Laura Varona Prevez, PhD Student
Sponsorship Coordinator: Emily Stubbert, MA Student
School/Applied Child Psychology Student Association Rep: Micah Tilley, MA Student
Conference Chair: Marie-Michelle Boulanger, PhD Student
Communications Coordinator: Loredana Marchica, PhD Student
Co- Academic Program Coordinator - Hagit Malikin
Hagit Malikin is a first year Master’s student in the School/Applied Child Psychology Program at McGill University. She received her undergraduate Honours degree in Psychology from Concordia University in 2018. She is part of the Childhood Anxiety and Regulation of Emotions (C.A.R.E) Research Group and is supervised by Dr. Tina Montreuil. Her research interests reside in parent-child attachment and the influence of such relationship on child development. Her masters research project will examine the effect of parent-child relationship quality on the development of child emotion regulation.
Steven Shaw, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University in Montreal. He is the Graduate Program Director of the School/Applied Child Psychology Program. He earned a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Florida in 1991. At McGill University he is director of the Resilience, Pediatric Psychology and Neurogenetic Connections Lab and co-director of the McGill Developmental Research Lab. Before entering academia, he had 17 years of experience as a school psychologist in school, university, hospital, medical school, and independent practice. From 1997 to 2004, he served as lead psychologist and associate professor of pediatrics at The Children's Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina and Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Shaw is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. In 2000, the South Carolina Association of School Psychologists recognized him for "Outstanding Contributions to Education" for his work on addressing overrepresentation of minority groups in special education, and development of teaching techniques for children with borderline intelligence. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Faculty of Education at McGill University. In 2012, he received the President’s Award from the National Association of School Psychologists for his innovative research-to-practice efforts. His clinical and research interests include pediatric school psychology, improving education of children with rare genetic disorders and autism, and development of resilience skills in children at risk for academic failure. He has over 160 scholarly publications and presentations and has published four books. He is on the editorial board of several international scholarly journals and is editor of School Psychology Forum.
Jeffrey L. Derevensky, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology. In addition to his administrative duties, he is currently the Director of Clinical Training in School/Applied Child Psychology and Professor, Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. He has published widely in the fields of child development, developmental psychopathology, gambling studies and education and is on the editorial board of numerous journals. He has developed a comprehensive research program investigating many facets of adolescent risky behaviors with a particular emphasis on understanding youth gambling behaviors. He remains actively involved in basic and applied research, prevention, treatment, training and social policy development. Dr. Derevensky has been a consultant to gaming corporations and governments throughout the world and has provided expert testimony before legislative bodies in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He is the author of over 150 published refereed peer-reviewed journal articles, 60 book chapters, and 3 books. He is also the Director of the McGill University Youth Gambling Research and Treatment Clinic and Director of the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors.
Chair of the Committee - Vincent DiStefano
As a second year M.A. student in McGill’s School/Applied Child Psychology program, Vincent is excited to be returning to the SISP organizing committee, this time as Chair. Since 2007, he has been an integral part of the development of the football and sport program at a low-income public high school. He ensures the well-being and progress of student-athletes by developing personal relationships with the athletes and their families and providing academic support while promoting school belonging. This has molded his main clinical and research interests focusing on decreasing high school drop-out rates among at-risk youths through the use of sport as a medium to increase school engagement. Furthermore, he is currently invested in the creation and development of the NeuroProtection Project: a national concussion prevention program that uses on-field assessments to develop individualized interventions aimed at correcting risky on-field behaviors for young football players.
Communications/Advertising Coordinator: Joseph D'Intino, PhD Student
Sponsorship Co-Coordinator: Gabrielle O'Hara, PhD Student
Academic Program Coordinator: Ekaterina Lysenko, MA Student
Finance/Co-Chair: Nesma Etoubashi, MA Student
Conference Chair: Loredana Marchica, PhD Student
External Coordinator: Margarita Miseros, PhD Student
Internal Coordinator: Vincent Di Stefano, MA Student
VP Sponsorship - Emma Tedone
Back row, left-right:
Academic Program Coordinator: Loredana Marchica, PhD Student
Conference Chair: Marie-Michelle Boulanger, PhD Student
Internal Coordinator: Jenilee Napoleon, PhD Student
Advertising Coordinator: Micah Tilley, PhD Student
Finance Coordinator/Co-Chair: Catherine Archambault, PhD Student
Front row, left-right:
Communications Coordinator: Samantha O'Brien, MA Student
Sponsorship Co-Coordinators: Emily Stubbert, PhD Student and Hadas Dahary, MA Student
External Coordinator: Ida Foster, PhD Student
Communications/Advertising Coordinator: Samantha O'Brien, MA Student
Finance Coordinator/Co-Chair: Loredana Marchica, PhD Student
Sponsorship Co-Coordinator: Emily Stubbert, PhD Student
Internal Coordinator: Emily Beaudoin, MA Student
External Coordinator: Nesma Etoubashi, MA Student
Academic Program Coordinator: Katherine Andrews, PhD Student
Conference Chair: Catherine Archambault, PhD Student
Sponsorship Co-Coordinator: Julie Oh, MA Student
VP External - Margarita Miseros
Margarita is a second year doctoral student in the School/Applied Child Psychology program at McGill. Her research as part of the Perceptual Neuroscience Lab for Autism and Development focuses on perceptual information processing in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As the VP external, Margarita's responsibilities include program accreditation and accommodation arrangements for speakers and their stay in Montreal. Should you have any questions, comments, or feedback you would like Margarita to address, do not hesitate to contact her.
2017-2018 Student Committee
Co- Academic Program Coordinator - Maria Brown
Maria is a second year Master’s student in the School/Applied Child Psychology program. Her research as part of the Sladeczek Team for Applied Research (S.T.A.R.) lab focuses on evaluating an intensive intervention program for families of children with an autism spectrum disorder. As Academic Program Coordinator, Maria’s responsibilities include organizing speaker programs and communications with our guest speakers.
Research Activity Coordinator - Lisa-Marie Giogrio
Lisa-Marie Giorgio holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from McGill and is currently a second-year M.A. student in McGill’s School/Applied Child psychology program. She is a self-described emerging polymath, developing her expertise as a clinician, researcher, private educator, industry consultant, and Scrabble player. Lisa’s research investigates sleep and cognitive functioning in children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders under the co-supervision of Dr. Armando Bertone (Perceptual Neuroscience Laboratory for Autism and Development) and Dr. Reut Gruber (Attention, Behavior, and Sleep Laboratory). In this newly appointed role of research activity coordinator for SISP, Lisa’s responsibilities will include orchestrating a platform for research dissemination in the field of school psychology.
VP Internal - Sara Scardera
Sara is a first year Master student in School/Applied Child Psychology at McGill University. She received her B.A degree in Honors Psychology at Concordia university. For her undergraduate thesis, Sara examined the role of body image-related cognitive fusion on disordered eating symptomology. She also investigated whether those with higher self-compassionate responding display lower levels of body image-related cognitive fusion. Currently, she is conducting research examining the longitudinal role of social support on depression, suicide-related outcomes, anxiety and eating disorders in sexual minority youth. Sara is looking forward to work alongside the SISP team to organize this year’s School Psychology conference at McGill!
2018-2019 Student Committee
Emmanuela is a second-year doctoral student in School/Applied Child Psychology at McGill. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and journalism, and a M.Ed of Education prior to starting doctoral studies. As part of her M.Ed, she modified and implemented an existing social-emotional program for children with speech and language exceptionalities. She is currently investigating the role of social and cultural systems on language acquisition, bilingual-bimodal communication, and the implementation of early intervention services for D/deaf children. Her SISP responsibilities include advertising initiatives, bringing awareness to the conference and its programs, engaging with prospective sponsors, and developing professional relationships with sponsors.