Speakers and Exhibitors Information

Stay tuned for more bios as the event nears!

Panellist Bios

Madeline Sawatzky

Counselling Psychology


Madeline is just finishing up her first year in the Master’s of Education in Counselling Psychology program at UBC. She has a special interest in children with social, emotional, and behavioural challenges (i.e. kids with ADHD, ODD) and hopes to pursue a career that caters to this population of children.

Katheryn Morrison

Educational Psychology


Katheryn (Kate) Morrison is finishing up her Master’s in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture department program at UBC. During her time at UBC, Kate won a SSHRC grant for her Master’s thesis on teen dating violence and how teachers can become better support systems for students’ that may be experiencing dating violence.

Megan Giroux

Forensic Psychology


Megan Giroux is a Vanier scholar and a Ph.D. candidate in the Experimental Psychology and Law program at SFU. She earned her B.S. in Psychology and her B.A. in Dance from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania before earning her M.A. in Experimental Psychology and Law at SFU. Her research interests include cognitive biases in legal decision-making, false confessions, and false beliefs and memories.

Yusra Said

Clinical Social Work


Yusra Said graduated from the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Counselling from KPU in 2017. In her time as a student at KPU, she worked and volunteered in several departments under the Kwantlen Student Association and KPU. Additionally, she volunteered with non-profit organizations outside of KPU. She was recently accepted to attend the University of Calgary for a Master of Social Work with a specialization in Clinical Social Work starting in May 2019. She is excited to start this new chapter of her life and pursue her dream of becoming a social worker to support individuals with mental health concerns.

Susan Daflos

Clinical Psychology


Susan Daflos received her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and has 11 years of experience as a clinical counsellor specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and self-harm. She has research experience in treatment dissemination and psychotherapy treatment trials, and is currently researching social cognition across the lifespan.

Kristie Dukewich

Psychology Instructor


Kristie Dukewich is a faculty member in Psychology and  an educational consultant in the Teaching & Learning Commons. She studied psychology at the University of Alberta before completing her MSc in Experimental Psychology and PhD in Neuroscience at Dalhousie University. Kristie also completed two post-doctoral fellowships, a research post-doc in Neurology at the Halifax Infirmary, and a teaching post-doc in Psychology at the University of British Columbia.

Exhibitors Bios

Kwantlen Psychology Lab


The psychology labs on the Surrey and Richmond campuses are vibrant hubs for students. Their first introduction to the lab is through lab assignments. However, the labs also serve as a help center for students needing assistance with their other course tasks. There are resources that students can borrow, including DSM-5, APA manuals, and various textbooks.  Importantly, the atmosphere in the lab is welcoming and inviting to all with an area for students to study and complete assignments on publicly available computers. As such, students connect here with other students to learn and facilitate each other’s school work.

Another important task we undertake is coordinating the psychology subject pool. The on-line registration system allows researchers to set up their requirements and students to register their participation. There are about 550 students participating in various research studies through this subject pool.

Lifespan Cognition Lab


The Issues in Media, Advertising and Gender (IMAGe) Lab is devoted to exploring the psychology of gender-related issues in mainstream media and advertising. Since 2007, Dr. Arleigh Reichl and the IMAGe Lab have conducted numerous empirical studies on various forms of prejudice in advertising and the effects of such on individuals’ attitudes and behaviour.The lab has also expanded its scope to include the effects of other cultural constructs in addition to magazine advertisements.

Lifespan Cognition Lab


Our lab conducts research on developmental and cognitive psychology–how thinking changes and develops across the lifespan. Our most recent areas of research involve perspective taking and theory of mind, false memories, metacognition, and hindsight bias. We are also interested in a wide variety of areas within cognitive psychology including, but not limited to: belief and memory, mild head injury, and sleep and dreams.

O.R.G.A.S.M Lab



The Observations and Research in Gender and Sexuality Matters (O.R.G.A.S.M) research lab in the department of Psychology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is where we actively explore issues in human sexuality such as sexual orientation, commercial sex, and atypical sexuality in an effort to disseminate knowledge about these important topics in our society.

Group Dynamics and Psychometrics Lab


The Group Dynamics and Psychometrics Lab was established at KPU in early 2018 and is run by Dr. Shayna Rusticus. There are two main streams of research occurring in the lab. The group dynamics stream focuses on aspects of individuals working, studying or socializing in groups. Examples of projects in this stream have involved looking at methods of forming teams for group projects and exploring student and faculty perspectives of the learning environment. The second stream focuses on  measurement issues. Psychometrics is a field of study that is concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. Particular areas of interest in the lab in this stream are survey development and equivalence testing

Bee Cognition


In 2014, Dr. Levente Orbán established the Bee Cognition Lab. Conducting basic and applied studies in the area of cognition, ethology, and behavioural informatics, the Bee Lab uses bees and other small brains to study the mechanisms of decision making and visual perception. We use a variety of techniques including a closed-loop Virtual Reality system to track bee flight, a radial arm maze to record decision making, and a flight cage to track choice behaviour. Some of our current projects include how bees use the presence of other bees on flowers to make their very first choices, as well as using a bee-VR system to fill the gaps in understanding about how bees use visual information to fly through cluttered environments.

Virtual Reality


Under the direction of Dr. Farhad Dastur, KPU’s new Virtual Reality Lab is interested in students who want to do research in the exciting field of virtual and augmented reality.  The VR Lab has access to cutting-edge equipment including the HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Google Cardboard, and GoPro Fusion 360 video camera.  

Kwantlen Psychology
Student Journal


KPSJ was founded in 2018 by KPU Instructor Dr. Arleigh Reichl with the support of student-members of the Kwantlen Psychology Society and other KPU faculty members. Dr. Reichl’s vision for this journal is to give students the experience of being reviewers and editors in an academic journal, and to introduce students to the peer-review process through publishing their undergraduate work. 

The scope of KPSJ publications are empirical research articles (such as course-based research projects or honour’s projects) and analytical papers.

Peer Support Resource Center


The Peer Support Resource Centre (PSRC) is a unique and student-led initiative at KPU, connecting students with resources that will support their well-being and ideally, their overall experience at KPU. Whether that entails referring a student to a service such as advising, scheduling a peer chat between a student and one of our volunteers, or recommending a wellness workshop, our goal is to employ a personalized approach to supporting each student who comes our way.  


We envision a KPU community where departments can collaborate to promote optimal student well-being and greater awareness of available resources. The PSRC strives to actualize this vision by creating a space for students to feel heard, informed, and empowered to navigate their academic journey at KPU. Through resource referrals, one-on-one support, group programming such as Chatterbox, and on-campus events such as Welcome Week, conferences and Stress Relief Week, the PSRC aims to utilize several avenues to promote wellness on all of our campuses and ideally, contribute to student success.

Open Education


Open education is a philosophy about the way people should produce, share, and build on knowledge. Proponents of open education believe everyone in the world should have access to high-quality educational experiences and resources, and they work to eliminate barriers to this goal. At KPU, open education is supported through the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open textbooks and other open educational resources (OER) as part of our Zed Cred initiative, support for open pedagogy, and the use of open-source educational technology.

Table Host Bios

Debra Finlayson

~Interviewing Like a Pro~

CPHR, SHRM-CP, HR/Learning Consultant, Speaker, Author and Instructor, SFU (BBA, KPU; Post Bac. HR (Honours), KPU; MA, Leadership & Change (Merit), Exeter U., UK)

Debra has walked the halls of Kwantlen Polytechnic University many times, beginning with Kurt Penner’s Employment and Educational Access class to acquiring her BBA, and HR Post Baccalaureate in 2008. She has held several roles throughout her career, such as an HR, Marketing, Project and Relationship Manager and is a published academic author on ‘Followership’.

She will share with us some key networking tips for in-person events and how participants can get the most out of the ‘Networking 101’.

Debra Finlayson, holding her Provincial Instructor’s Diploma and Online Teaching Certificate, teaches Human Resources Management and Workplace Training and Development at Simon Fraser University. She also provides curriculum development and training for public and private organizations.

She has interviewed thousands of candidates in her role as a consultant and corporate recruiter for YVR, Duty Free, Gateway Casinos, and Simply Computing. For seven years, Debra oversaw the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver regions as the Member Relations Manager for HRMA (CPHR BC & Y), whereby she managed two advisory councils and many volunteers who executed hundreds of professional development and networking events serving 2,000 members.

Debra would be happy to answer any questions you have and, in particular, could provide advice on:

  • Getting known through volunteerism

  • Knowing what to say and not to say in an interview

  • Exploring the types of questions, you might be asked

Mohammad Kallas

~Marketing Yourself Professionally~

Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, CIBC Human Resources (MA, UBC, HR Post Bac., KPU, MBA Cand., SFU & Board Director, KPUAA)

Mohammad is an HR leader with a strong passion for working with people and over 10 years’ experience in leadership, management, talent acquisition and development. He has a dynamic background in Psychology, Criminology and Human Resource Management coupled with a self-driven and determined attitude to achieve results and make a strong impact.

He has particular strengths in problem solving and negotiation with an ability to quickly build rapport, coach, and inspire people through innovation and a commitment to excellence. Specialties: Retention Strategy Analysis, Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Training & Development, Problem Solving, Leadership & Team building, Strategic Planning, Consulting & Negotiation.

Mohammad would be happy to answer any questions you have and, in particular, could provide advice on:

  • What recruiters look for in job candidates

  • Self-promotion strategies

  • Getting to the interview

Rita Schnarr

~Exploring Registered Clinical Counselling and Workplace Mental Health~

Registered Clinical Counsellor and Workplace Consultant with Dr. Joti Samra and Associates, (MA, Counselling Psychology, Yorkville U.; BA, Adult Ed.; Diploma, Professional Counselling; Diploma, General Business)

Rita has expertise in the following evidence-based modalities of treatment: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT); Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); Interpersonal Therapy (IPT); Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and Stress Reduction (MBCT/MBSR); and, Dr. John Gottman’s approach to marital therapy. Using a holistic and biopsychosocial approach, Rita customizes treatment plans for individuals, couples, families and workplace employees and executives with a range of presenting issues including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, OCD, behavioural disorders, relationship difficulties, and life transition.

With over 25 years of professional experience in Human Resources, consulting and adult education, Rita has been instrumental in leading, developing, managing, and facilitating programs and people. She has held positions during her corporate career ranging from non-profit to Fortune 500 companies.

Rita would be happy to answer any questions you have and, in particular, could provide advice on:

  • The value of developing a specific area of expertise

  • A day in the life of a Registered Clinical Counsellor

  • Careers within workplace mental health

  • Building a therapy practice

  • Online Counselling master’s programs: Pros and Cons

Michael Chow

~Creating a Winning LinkedIn Profile~

Instructor/Trainer/Instructional Designer on a mission to help learners succeed in their lifelong learning

Michael is a freelance graphic designer/instructor who specializes in print, web, and marketing. He started his corporate training and teaching in higher education institutions in 2006 and 2011 respectively. A passion for graphic design and education, he is dedicated to lifelong learning and enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with others. Some of his past and current instructional clients are BCIT, Langara College Continuing Studies, UBC Extended Learning and Vancouver Community College.

*Note: Bring in your laptop, tablet or mobile device with your LinkedIn profile already logged-in to receive a minute or two review if you want!*


Michael would be happy to answer any questions you have and, in particular, could provide advice on:

  • Show and create a unique LinkedIn URL

  • Let recruiters know you're open to opportunities

  • Adding relevant contact information for your profile

Elizabeth Chamberlin

~Gaining Employment with the Federal Government~

Personnel Psychologist, Government of Canada

Dr. Chamberlin works as a personnel psychologist with the Government of Canada, helping managers find good fit candidates for positions they're staffing, and helping employees better understand their strengths and areas of development.


Elizabeth would be happy to answer any questions you might have and, in particular, could provide advice on:

  • Industrial-organizational psychology

  • Practical tips on how to apply to federal government jobs

Victoria Pazukha

~Managing Your Career with Purpose~

Principal at Career Mobility Group (CPHR, CCDP, Masters in Neurophysiology, Odessa National ‘I.I. Mecnikov’ University; Certificate, Design Thinking, Harvard U.; Psychology Diploma, SFU; HR & Employment Law, BCIT)

Victoria is a talent and labour market development strategist, consultant and project manager.  She specializes in designing and executing talent training, assessment, and performance solutions for multiple stakeholders across various sectors, including mining, construction, oil and gas, forestry, pulp and paper, shipbuilding, utilities, post-secondary, and non-profit. 


In her consulting engagements, Victoria uses a blend of human resources, career management and design thinking approaches. She is passionate about developing and implementing talent practices that align employees’ aspirations and organizational goals.

Victoria would be happy to answer any questions you have and, in particular, could provide advice on:

  • Using career mobility as your successful employment strategy

  • Telling your career story to find work

  • Understanding competence and skills transferability

  • Exploring global career mobility and international experience

Kevin Kokoska

~Marrying Your Passion and Your Career~

Registered Clinical Counsellor; Instructor; Artist (BA, KPU; MEd, UBC)

Kevin is a psychotherapist, artist, and teacher. He offers clinical counselling and creative consulting services through his private practice (Kokoska Co.), writes/produces/performs solo shows about mental health (Furniture, The Mirror Test, Nobody's Boy), and teaches in the Family & Community Counselling program at Native Education College (NEC). Kevin is interested in supporting KPU students in: pursuing graduate studies in counselling psychology, establishing professional authenticity, engaging with community, and developing a teaching practice. 

Kevin would be happy to answer any questions you have and, in particular, could provide advice on:

  • How to maximize your chances of getting accepted into a counselling psychology program

  • How to transition from graduate school to private practice

  • Marrying your passion and your career and engaging with your community

Raman Dhaliwal

~Finding a Job with a BA~

Student Recruitment Coordinator for KPU (BA Honours, KPU)

Raman Dhaliwal graduated from KPU in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Honours and Minor in Counselling. As a student, she had volunteered with Peer Support and worked as a research assistant. She now works as a student recruitment coordinator at KPU's Future Students' Office.

Raman would be happy to answer any questions you have and, in particular, could provide advice on:

  • Balancing work, school and life as a student

  • Taking a gap year before applying to graduate school

  • Finding a job after graduating

  • A day in the life of a student recruitment coordinator

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