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People

Lab Director

Michael Schmitt

Pronouns: he/him

Michael T. Schmitt is a Professor of Social Psychology at Simon Fraser University, where he has worked since 2005. His background is in collective identity and intergroup relations from a social identity theory perspective. He teaches courses and conducts research on the application of social psychology to climate change and climate justice. In particular, he is interested in understanding what motivates people to engage in activism and work for social change. Michael’s current work applies a social identity lens to climate change and other environmental problems. He enjoys reading sci-fi and playing the ukulele.

Email: mschmitt@sfu.ca

Lab Coordinator

Elaina (El) Buenaventura

Pronouns: they/them

Hello! My name is Elaina (I also go by El for short). I am a second generation, queer Filipino who grew up riding a bike along the Coquitlam River in Kwikwetlem territories (what's also known as Port Coquitlam). I hold a Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology and minor in dialogue in communication from SFU. After a couple of years volunteering as an RA with the SISC lab, I feel fortunate to be working as the lab's coordinator. Sometimes I dream about going back to post-secondary to become a counsellor. For now, I'll continue brainstorming travel adventures, singing and playing guitar, and testing more soup ideas (I love soup). 

Email: esb2@sfu.ca

Graduate Students

Caroline MacKay

Pronouns: she/her

I am a master’s student in social psychology, and received my BA in Psychology from SFU. Currently, I am studying how psychological identification with the natural world impacts whether people choose to help protect the environment. I am interested in in what leads people to identify as activists and engage in collective action, particularly to protect the environment.

Shanna Li

Pronouns: she/her

Hello! My name is Shanna and I’m a MA student in Law and Forensic Psychology where I’m completing my thesis under the supervision of Dr. Michael Schmitt and Dr. Nicole Muir. I previously completed my BA Honours in Psychology at SFU. My research primarily focuses on youth within the criminal justice system, and the use of violence risk assessment tools with BIPOC youth. Outside of school, I enjoy collecting houseplants and taking care of my betta fish.

Elyse Collyer

Pronouns: she/her

Hi! My name is Elyse Collyer (she/her). I am a Master's student working with Dr. Michael Schmitt researching the connection between social and environmental justice and the behavioral implications of this connection. Specifically, my Master's work focuses on creating a game-style intervention to educate participants about the co-benefits of climate action to increase behaviors that benefit both people and the planet. This work builds off previous research completed during my Honors B.A. in Psychology at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. My career goals include working with communities to promote co-beneficial pro-environmental action for a sustainable and just future. 

Annika Lutz

Pronouns: she/her

Hello! My name is Annika (she/her) and I am a PhD student working with Dr. Michael Schmitt to investigate what motivates people to engage in environmental activism and support climate change policies. Specifically, much of my research explores how visions for a more equitable and sustainable world impact people’s support for pro-environmental social change. I understand climate change as an issue of intersecting environmental and social injustices, and I am interested in working together with communities and non-profits to conduct research that supports the climate justice movement. To that end, I draw on various research methods, from open-science and quantitative approaches to in-depth qualitative research.

Email: annika_lutz@sfu.ca

Jonathan Mendel

Pronouns: he/him

Research Assistants

Chloe Pretchuk

Pronouns: she/her

Hi there, I’m Chloe and I am a research assistant in the SISC lab. I’m in the final year of my Psychology degree with a minor in counselling and human development. I’ve worked on many studies over the years in the lab. Some of my research interests are social psychology, developmental psychology, and educational psychology. After my undergraduate degree, I hope to pursue a master’s degree in counselling psychology. When I’m not studying you can find me hiking in BC’s beautiful forests or swimming in the ocean.

Rebecca Wagner

Pronouns: she/her

I am a 3rd year Psychology major at SFU, currently volunteering as a research assistant in the Sustainability, Identity and Social Change Lab and the Adolescent Health Lab. My goal is to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology, after completing my undergraduate degree. My current research interests include the impact of attachment style, ACEs and family systems on wellbeing and close relationships, with focus on adolescent and young adult health, risk prevention and addiction, as well as intersectionality and environmentalism.

Grace Mumbi Gitau

Pronouns: she/her

My name is Grace Mumbi! I have experience as a research assistant in the Forensic Psychology (Douglas) lab, and at the beginning of 2024 I started working for the SISC lab. I am pursuing my undergraduate degree in psychology and minoring in sociology with the ultimate goal of becoming a policy making therapist. As an international student I am motivated by a vision to improve and positively impact mental health services and discord in Kenya. Within the SISC lab I utilize my research skills in my support of multiple projects organized by graduate and PhD students. 

Hanna Chan

Pronouns: she/her

Hi there! I am Hanna. I am currently a research assistant at the SISC Lab. After completing my undergraduate studies, I decided to stick around the lab to enrich myself in an academic environment. Looking ahead, I hope to pursue graduate studies either in Social Psychology or Forensic Psychology. My research interests include biases and judgements in the legal system, wrongful convictions, psychology in social and political movements, and social cognition. Outside of my studies, I have taken up ice skating recently and have been thoroughly enjoying it!

Asmeetha Subramaniam

Pronouns: she/her

Bianca Pedron

Pronouns: she/her

Jasmine Khera

Pronouns: she/her