Academic Conference 2023

Welcome to our academic psychology conference!

Our three-day conference from March 16th to March 17th aims to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to learn about current research in the mental health field.

Students can watch an engaging keynote speech delivered by an expert in the field, participate in thought-provoking discussions on personally relevant topics with faculty and student guest speakers, and view their peers’ research at our Student Research Fair and data blitz.

Conference Dates:

March 16th – March 17th 2022

Itinerary 2022 (TBD for 2023)

Day 1

Wednesday, March 23rd

3:00 – 4:00 PM ET
Keynote Speech – “To Disclose or Not Disclose – Mental Health out of the Closet!”

Presented by Dr. Chyrell D. Bellamy, Associate Professor at Yale University

Disclosure of mental health and addictions experiences have been taboo in some academic settings and workplaces. Dr. Bellamy will discuss her own experiences, research in this area, how disclosure is used in peer support work, and ways we can promote disclosure and people disclosing.

6:00 – 7:30 PM ET
Panel Discussion on Self-Care in Academia

Dr. Monique Herbert
Jeffrey Esteves, Graduate Student
Peyman Moghimi, UPSA Co-President
Ayla Sadeghi, UPSA Co-President

Join us for a discussion with professors, graduate students, and undergraduate student leaders on the topic of maintaining balance and prioritizing self-care as a student in academia.

Day 2

Thursday, March 24th

Virtual Student Research Fair

Presented Asynchronously
throughout the conference

Take the opportunity to view the showcased research projects at our Virtual Student Research Fair!

How to engage with the Student Research Fair:

View & Listen: When the Fair goes live, view the presentations by clicking “Student Research Fair 2022” from the menu above or click the button below.

Interact & Engage: Leave comments and questions on presentations!
Leave a meaningful comment on one or more academic poster/audio presentation, and be entered into a raffle to win a $20 gift card!

Vote: Be sure to vote for your favourite project! The top-voted presentation will be announced at the end of the conference.

Day 3

Friday, March 25th

4:30 – 5:30 PM ET
Panel Discussion on Indigenous Perspectives on Mental Health

Melissa Major, Graduate Student
Megis Oskalns, Graduate Student

Join us for a discussion on how mental health is viewed and experienced from an Indigenous lens.

6:00 – 7:30 PM ET
Interactive Skills Workshop: Living Mindfully as a Student

Presented by the Luminate Team

Join us to learn more about mindfulness, how it is more than just meditation, and how to implement it into your daily life as a student.

Chances to Win!

Attend events
For each conference event you attend, you can be entered into a raffle to win a $20 gift card! Each event attended equals one entry to the raffle for a maximum of four entries.

Student Research Fair
Leave a meaningful comment on a poster or audio presentation at the Student Research Fair and you will be entered into a raffle to win a $20 gift card!

Feedback Form
Complete the conference feedback form and you can enter a raffle to win a $20 gift card. The conference feedback form will be sent via email after the conference.

Guest Speaker Bios

“To Disclose or Not Disclose – Mental Health Out of the Closet”

Chyrell D. Bellamy, PhD, MSW is an Associate Professor of Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, Director of Yale’s Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH) and serves as the Director of Peer Services/ Research. She has experience as a frontline service provider, community educator, and organizer, and as a community and academic researcher. Dr. Bellamy’s expertise includes developing and conducting community-based interventions and research initiatives; and, involving and partnering with community, specifically with people living with mental illness, addictions, trauma, and HIV. Her research examines socio-cultural experiences and pathways to recovery in prevention and treatment.

Dr. Chyrell D. Bellamy

Associate Professor, Yale School of Medicine

Self-Care in Academia

Monique is an associate professor, teaching stream in the department of psychology and teaches statistics and program evaluation. She was recognized in 2016 with the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award for her deep commitment and outstanding contribution to teaching. In addition to her teaching, she focuses on undergraduate student success in and out of the classroom, academic identity development, and effective learning strategies to support the teaching of statistics. She is the faculty mentorship liaison and mentor for the Black Students in Psychology Association (BISP) and Black Student Mentorship Program (BSMP).

Dr. Monique Herbert

Associate Professor, York University

Jeffrey Esteves

Graduate Student
Clinical-Developmental Psychology Program

Jeffrey is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the clinical developmental psychology program at York, supervised by Dr. Adrienne Perry. His research has centred around Autism diagnosis and treatment. He is primarily interested in alternative communication systems (more specifically the Picture Exchange Communication System) for children with autism who do not develop speech. He has also completed research on the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia using behaviour analytic interventions. Clinically, Jeffrey has worked in two regional autism programs, in a hospital-based outpatient mental health clinic, and in and inpatient dementia treatment unit.

Hello! My name is Peyman and I am a fourth year Psychology Honours (BSc) student in the York-Seneca Rehabilitation Program. That means I need to take one extra year of school to account for Seneca courses and placement. I work with people with Autism and Down syndrome at my placement. Other than that, I am one of the two co-presidents of UPSA! If you want to learn about rehabilitation or generally pathways in psychology that aren’t heavy on research, I’m your guy!

Peyman Moghim

UPSA Co-President
Psychology Undergraduate Student

Ayla Sadeghi

UPSA Co-President
Psychology & Music Performance

Undergraduate Student

My name is Ayla and I am in my 5th year at York. I am currently pursuing a degree in Music Performance and recently graduated from the Specialized Honours Psychology program at York. I have been involved in the York community through my role as Co-President of UPSA and previously Luminate Conference. I am currently an IRP student in the Behavioural Alcohol and Cannabis Lab and a Research Assistant in the TULiP Lab. I hope to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology investigating substance use and borderline personality disorder.

Indigenous Perspectives on Mental Health

Melissa Major identifies as a Métis researcher who takes a relational approach to positive youth development and equity studies in transcultural clinical-developmental psychology. Her current work with Dr. Debra Pepler, her superior, includes mapping Indigenous historical trauma in Canada, evaluating a culturally embedded Inuit youth wellness program, describing how moments of love and warmth support the development of Indigenous girls in an Anishinaabe family care service, and exploring hope as one of the benefits of a culturally embedded Anishinaabe substance use rehabilitation program.

Melissa Major

Graduate Student
Clinical-Developmental Psychology Program

Megis Oskalns

Graduate Student
Clinical-Developmental Psychology Program

I am a researcher with Ojibway and mixed European heritage. My research interests involve Indigenous intergenerational trauma, suicide intervention, personality, memory, social behaviour, emotion regulation, art, family therapy and spirituality. I approach research with an interdisciplinary lens involving biology, psychology, developmental pathways and history. My current research projects are with the ISPARX suicide e-Intervention for Inuit youth and the Indigeneity project grant which looks at pathway for Indigenous science student success.

What Our Conference Offers

Keynote Speech

Watch an introductory presentation delivered by a mental health expert to kick start our conference.

Research Fair

Present your research project and learn about the work of your peers.

Asynchronously presented

Panels & Sessions

Participate in interactive discussions with guest speakers.

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