Our Team


Our Team
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Dr. Maureen Drysdale, Associate Professor, Psychology & Lab Director

Dr. Maureen Drysdale is a Psychology professor at St. Jerome’s University and cross-appointed professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. Her research involves the many factors that impact academic achievement and the subsequent transition to and success in work after graduation. This includes examining the skill acquisitions, mental health, and overall wellbeing of students in post-secondary education as well as under-represented secondary school students preparing for full-time employment. A primary focus has been on examining the attitudes and behaviours that are believed to be important for successful school-to-work transitions. This include self-concept, self-efficacy, hope, study skills, work ethic, career identity & certainty, motivation, sense of belonging, peer support, social support, anxiety, depression, and other mental health and wellbeing constructs. A second focus is examining the role of cooperative and work-integrated education on school-to-work transitions.

Margaret McBeath
Margaret McBeath, PhD Student & Lab Manager 
Margaret McBeath is the lab manager and a graduate student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. She has been involved in numerous research projects examining school-to-work transitions and the  outcomes of participation in work integrated learning programs for post-secondary students. She completed her Honours BA thesis and MSc thesis in this lab. Her research interests include: student mental health and wellbeing, the impact of sense of  belonging and peer support, and the role of social media use for emerging adults.
Renate Donnovan, PhD Student

Renate Donnovan will be starting part-time doctoral studies in the Public Health and Health Systems (Work and Health) program at the University of Waterloo. She has extensive experience in the design and delivery of resilience training programs as an intervention for improving mental health, success, and achievement. She received a Master of Arts degree from Royal Roads University in the area of Leadership and Adult Education. Her research interests include resilience, coping, transformational learning, design of mental health interventions, and wellbeing. In addition to her studies, Renate is the Programmatic Assessment Manager for the School of Pharmacy at UW where she supports the continuous improvement processes, and the coordination of the Supplemental Support Program that provides supports to students in the areas of wellbeing and academic success.

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Keehan Koorn, M.Sc., Registered Psychotherapist
Keehan Koorn is a Registered Psychotherapist with extensive experience leading peer support groups and training peer support leaders. She is currently the Coordinator for Skills for Safer Living at Self Help Alliance, a consumer survivor program within the Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo-Wellington-­Dufferin, running psycho-­educational/peer support groups for people who have attempted suicide. She has been running peer support groups for youth and adults for over 5 years on the topics of LGBTQ+ identities, mental health recovery, and suicide.
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Zach MacDonald, Librarian & Consultant
Zack MacDonald is a Librarian at St. Jerome’s University. Zack has an MI (Library and information Science) from the University of Toronto and an MA in History from the University of Waterloo. By day, Zack’s work at St. Jerome’s investigates how learning environments can better facilitate experiential learning through the creation collaborative research ecosystems, and how libraries can enhance these ecosystems and learning experiences. His work looks at how research on student engagement, student mental health, and design thinking can better inform how we build higher education learning environments. By night, his research looks at the different ways in which digital tools can be used to enhance learning and research in the humanities. His has particular interest in the intersections between historical research and digital reconstructions of the historical environment and climate. He is currently working on a project that uses historical data, GIS, and 3D modelling to rebuild lost medieval landscapes, and manorial estates to inform historical inquiry. .
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Areesha Satti, MSW, Medical Student, & Researcher

Areesha completed her BA in Honours Psychology at the University of Waterloo, with a focus on adolescent psychology. She participated in many research projects within this lab during her undergraduate degree. She has worked in the developmental services sector as a vocational counsellor, as well as a crisis counselor for youth mental health. Areesha graduated from the University of Toronto with her Masters of Clinical Social Work. She is presently employed in the child welfare sector and is interested in adolescent mental health and decision making. Areesha will be starting medical school in January 2018.

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Maria Jose Reyes, MEd Student & Research Intern 
Maria completed her BA in Psychology at the University of Waterloo with a minor in Social Development Studies. She obtained a diploma in Social Work from Renison University College (University of Waterloo). She is currently in the Masters of Education program specializing in Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Toronto. She has worked in the developmental services sector as a child and youth worker, working with at risk youth, as well as support for individuals with behavioural disorders and developmental disabilities. Maria’s research interest is adolescent and emerging adult mental health. 
Sarah Callaghan
Sarah Callaghan, Research Intern 
Sarah is an upper-year psychology student with a minor in SMF studies who has completed her undergraduate honours thesis in the lab. Her thesis project focused on the wellbeing of self-identified gifted students in university. She has plans to pursue graduate studies in the educational psychology field.
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Paulo Dos Santos, Research Intern 
Paulo is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Psychology degree with a Legal Studies minor. In addition to being a research intern in the Mental Health and School-to-Work Transitions lab, he is a University of Waterloo (UW) Unicef member, volunteers as a UW MATES peer counsellor, and is an active member of the UW Psychology Society and the UW Legal Studies Society. Past volunteer and work experience includes working with youth in various transition settings.
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Nathaniel Hewitt, Research Intern

Nathaniel is at 4th year Recreation & Leisure student with a Psychology minor at the University of Waterloo. He plans to pursue Teachers College (primary) in 2018. In addition to his internship at the MHSTW Lab, Nathaniel is a youth program facilitator at the Stork family YMCA in Waterloo.

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Sophia Kudriavtsev, Research Intern                                                                    
Sophia is working towards her Bachelor of Arts, Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies major with and Anthropology minor. Sophia is highly involved in social justice initiatives both on and off campus, including her position as president in the UW Animal Rights Society. She also acts as a Teaching Assistant for the SMF department at St. Jerome's University. Her research interests include mental health and well-being of minority groups, environmental sustainability, and cross cultural experiences of human sexuality.
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Fiqir Worku, Research Intern
Fiqir is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science, Honours Health Studies with a Philosophy and Health Informatics minor. Including her internship at the Mental Health School-to-Work Transitions lab, Fiqir has previously worked in various research projects throughout the University of Waterloo in the department of Kinesiology as well as Psychology. 


Research Collaborators
Dr. Tracey Bowen, University of Toronto
Project: Deconstructing employability, work-readiness, social connectedness, and psychological well-being for new graduates transitioning to full time work after graduation
Dr. Kristina Johansson, University West, Sweden
Project: Sense of Belonging, Peer Support, Social Media, Mental Health, and Health Behaviours of University Students Preparing for Full-Time Employment in the Labour Market: An International Study
Nicholas Bohn, Research Assistant 

 Nicholas Bohn has worked as a research assistant for Dr. Drysdale since January of 2014. He completed his BA in Honours Psychology and Peace and Conflict Studies at UW with Dean’s List standing. He has also worked as a teaching assistant for Adolescent Psychology and the Honours Seminar in Child and Adolescent psychopathology.  In September 2016, he began graduate studies in counseling psychology at McGill University, while still remaining active in our research lab.