Luminate Leaders

Meet the 2021-2022 Luminate Leaders!

Domenic Blass

Honors Biology, Third Year

Domenic’s academic interests include the intersection of psychology, biology, and neuroscience; with specific interest placed on how an understanding of neurophysiological functioning can be used to understand and promote psychological well-being. He hopes to continue his education and career in the field of neuroscience with the goal of conducting research that may inform future mental-health treatment. In joining the Luminate team he hopes to facilitate conversations surrounding current psychological research, and to advocate for the adoption of mental-health promoting behaviors within the greater community. Outside of his academic pursuits, he enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and trail running.

Eli Blyuss

Kinesiology, Third Year

Eli Blyuss is a third year Kinesiology student at York U who joined Luminate to fulfill his passion for improving the mental health of his community. Eli also pursues his interest in cardiovascular health by volunteering at a cardiology clinic. In addition to his academic endeavours, Eli is a pianist with the ‘Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto’ diploma and is a national champion in ballroom dance. He aspires to be a physician because of his longstanding passion for health and medicine.

Denisse Boada Dobronsky

Honors Psychology & Creative Writing Minor, Fourth Year

Denisse was originally drawn to psychology through her love of the arts and performance, seeing these fields as ways to connect with others and to feel understood. Now, she intends to use her studies to promote mental health, foster healthier relationships/environments, and hopefully inspire or motivate others. She has experience working with children and coordinating team-building exercises. She is interested in counseling as well as social and positive psychology. This experience at Luminate provides her with an invaluable opportunity to continue to spread mental health awareness and education. Her free time consists of singing, reading, and playing the piano.

Paige Eldridge

Honors Psychology, Second Year

Paige is an aspiring psychologist with interest in mental health and personality psychology. She hopes to one day work as a therapist specializing in teen and young adult mental health. She has joined Luminate in hopes to meet likeminded people and to hopefully learn some new things. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing her instruments, and drawing.

Ahmed Hussein

Psychology, Fifth Year

Ahmed is passionate about psychology and research. His research interests include looking at antisocial behaviour in sporting events. His career goals include publishing his research on antisocial behaviour in soccer fans, enrolling into a masters program followed by a PhD to become a researcher. His reason for joining Luminate is to expand his communication and leadership skills, as well as his knowledge about other psychological phenomena. His hobbies include playing soccer, researching technology, and occasionally indulging in video games.

Nusrat Iftikhar

Honors Psychology, Third Year

Nusrat’s research interests lie in clinical psychology, particularly depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and eating disorders (ED). Nusrat aspires to attend graduate school and contribute to the representation of South Asians in clinical psychology research. As part of being in the Luminate club she hopes to meet like-minded people who are interested in Psychology research and how it can be used to make a positive impact on students’ lives through understanding and awareness. Outside of school, Nusrat enjoys baking, traveling, and binge-watching thriller series.

Liran Leidershnaider

Specialized Honors Psychology, Third Year

Liran is a passionate psychology student studying at York University, whose career goal is to become a licensed clinical psychologist. He joined Luminate to help spread awareness about the importance of mental health, and to meet new peers who share similar psychological interests at workshops and conferences. Liran enjoys competitive swimming, which is also his favorite sport, as well as watching psychology-related TV shows and movies on Netflix.

Carol Mansour

Specialized Honors Psychology, Fourth Year

Carol was initially attracted to the field of psychology because of her interest in human behavior and desire to help others. She decided to be a part of the Luminate team as she felt it was a good opportunity to raise awareness on important issues. Her primary research interests include emotion regulation, parent-child relationships, attachment styles, and overall how early childhood experiences shape development, behavior, and coping mechanisms. Additionally, Carol is interested in exploring outcomes of psychotherapy interventions on individuals who have experienced traumatic events early in life. Carol hopes to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology and eventually become a Clinical Psychologist.

Leila Ohadi

Honors Psychology, Second Year

Leila joined Luminate to be part of a great cause and a goal of breaking the stigma around Mental Health. Her interest in psychology includes social and counseling psychology. Leila wants to become a Counseling Psychologist and work with youths and adults struggling with any sort of mental health issues. Leila enjoys doing Yoga, watching comedy series, and listening to podcasts.

Sam Osman

Psychology, Fifth Year

Sam is passionate about cognition, memory, and educational psychology. She is currently interested in researching the progression of neurodegenerative diseases in bilinguals. Her career goal is to become a clinical psychologist and advocate for the mental health of marginalized communities. In her free time, she loves to read, paint, and learn languages. Above all, Sam loves to learn and experience new things. She is joining the Luminate team to start important conversations and support mental health on campus.

Nirzaree Pandya

Psychology, Second Year

Nirzaree is a Psychology major and her dream career is to become a Clinical Psychologists. Her research goals are to identify how OCD manifests in children. She joined Luminate in an attempt to connect and network with likeminded peers who share the same passion as her. Some of her hobbies include hiking, baking, making sculptures, and reading.

Reece Rabanal

Honors Psychology, Fourth Year

Reece’s goals are to complete a Master’s Degree in Social Work or Counseling/Psychotherapy. Reece is interested in researching eating disorders and maladaptive body image. Reece joined Luminate to encourage students to become educated around mental health.

Icess Rawlings

Honors Health Studies, Second Year

Icess is very passionate about mental health and well being. She is excited to be a part of Luminate and can’t wait until she shares her knowledge and lend a helping hand to those in need!

Cyrus Rezaei

Honors Psychology, Second Year

Cyrus’s career aspiration is to become a neurologist. He is also hoping to start a healthcare-related technology startup in the future. His research interests include crowd psychology, neuropsychology, evolutionary psychology, psychiatry, psychedelics, and neurotechnology. By joining Luminate, he is hoping to contribute to the fight against the present depression epidemic that has been intensified by COVID-19. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, coding, gaming, hanging out with friends, and lifting weights. His topics of interest include literature (Russian, Chinese, or Persian), philosophy, finance, technology, startups, neuroscience, physics, psychology, and economics.

Par Safaraifard

Honor Psychology & Biology, Fifth Year

Par is particularly interested in communication as it relates to mental health. She is passionate about creating spaces that make socialization and participation accessible to all, despite challenges such as mental illness, disabilities, and speech disorders. She aims to expand her reach with this goal as a speech-language pathologist. With a focus on promoting healthy living, Par has conducted recitation services in her community for over five years. She also enjoys volunteering in programs for individuals with speech disorders to combat social isolation. Par is excited to build a welcoming environment where prioritizing mental health is normalized and exciting.

Alessia Scanga

Global Health, Fourth Year

Alessia is passionate about human rights, mental health, psychology, and law. Her career goals include becoming a lawyer in hopes of advocating for human rights in relation to health. Alessia aspires to do her part in de-stigmatizing mental illness and advocating for a health care system that provides universally accessible mental health services, which is also the main reason she joined the Luminate team! In her free time, Alessia loves to sing, listen to music, and enjoys exploring the city and trying new foods.

Andrew Shaw

Psychology, Second Year

Andrew is in pursuit of a Psychology degree at York in order to attain a Master’s degree in Addiction and Mental Health. The opportunity to examine practical applications of research in this field, as well as interact closely with the York community led Andrew to apply to become a Luminate Leader. He is beyond grateful to be a part of this inspirational team for this year’s Luminate Conference.

Aiman Siddiqui

Honors Psychology, Second Year

Aiman is an international student, originally from Pakistan and raised in the Middle East. A heightened consciousness of other’s feelings and her own ignited Aiman’s passion for psychology initially. The desire to help others makes her determined to develop a deeper understanding of the subject. She would love to formally work alongside others to discuss the importance and prevalence of mental health. She hopes to pursue a career in counseling psychology and looks forward to playing a key part in Luminate’s exciting and engaging events. Outside of academics, Aiman loves watching movies and spending time with family.

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