Previous Research Team Members

Sonia Zawitkowski

Sonia Zawitkowski is a Master’s student in the Applied Social Psychology program.  She graduated with her BA in Economics in 2014 from the University of Guelph, and her experience afterward working as a Research Assistant at organizations like CAMH and St. Michael’s Hospital made her want to pursue her own research in Applied Social Psychology. Her past research has involved criticizing common methods of evaluating batterer intervention programs and financial abuse as a form of intimate partner violence.  Her current research involves looking at how the social and political attitudes of students (particularly in the context of research on sexism) relate to different personality characteristics and other factors.

Sophia Suzuki

Sophia Suzuki is majoring in Psychology: Brain and Cognition with a minor in Neuroscience. She is currently working on her Honours Thesis Project with Dr. Barata. She is specifically researching the Trauma-Informed Framework in the context of a childhood education program at a shelter for abused and homeless women. She hopes to continue on to graduate school in either Health or Social Psychology. 

Alex Zebeljan

Alex Zebeljan is completing her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Family and Child Studies. While in the research group, she has completed her Honours Thesis Project. For her thesis, she researched women’s sexual communication and sexual double standards within the context of hookups (casual sexual encounters). She hopes to continue on to graduate school in clinical or counselling psychology.

Paul Copoc

Paul is currently completing his undergraduate psychology degree in Honors Psychology at the University of Guelph. In the Fall of 2019, Paul began working on his undergraduate thesis with Dr. Barata. His undergraduate thesis is an experimental study investigating the function of trigger warnings in university classrooms. Specifically, Paul is interested in two outcomes. First, he is interested in observing the relationship between trigger warnings and stigma, and if trigger warnings play a role in increasing or decreasing stigma towards those with mental health issues. Second, he is interested in the relationship between trigger warnings and the willingness to seek help. That is, do trigger warnings impact people’s willingness to seek help if they experience depression or anxiety after viewing sensitive material in the classroom. Paul will also be a research assistant for Dylan Schentag, a master’s student of Dr. Barata, who is currently working on a sexual assault bystander project. In the past, Paul was a research assistant in Dr. Safdar’s Centre for Cross-Cultural Research lab where he worked on the Syrian Refugee Giving Hope Project. Paul completed an Independent Research Project for Dr. Safdar examining the Acculturation of Syrian Refugees in Germany which accumulated in a publication in the SURG Journal. Paul hopes to continue in the Applied Social Psychology program after completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph.

Dylan Schentag

Dylan Schentag completed his BA in psychology at the University of Windsor and is currently a second-year MA student in the Applied Social Psychology program at the University of Guelph. His research interests lie broadly in the area of sexual violence prevention and education, particularly on university campuses. Other research interests include gender-based violence, toxic and healthy masculinities, and social power dynamics. Dylan’s current research project focuses on educating university-age men on the impact ‘lower-level’ forms of rape culture (e.g., rape jokes) has on sexual assault and the role they play in either facilitating or disrupting this process.