My program of study is influenced by my own bicultural identity and as such is informed by an overarching social justice lens.

I am the Founder of the Vividhatà Research Group. Vividhatà (વિવિધતા) is the Guajarati word for diversity. Gujarat is the city in Indian where my paternal grand parents were born and the common language spoken there is Guajarati. My family has a fascinating immigration history, which has fielded my interest in diversity and social justice research, and has inspired the name for our research lab. Our lab is made up of a group of dynamic researchers who all share a passion for issues of diversity. We are committed to conducting socially and culturally responsive research, which prioritizes community engagement.

My research presently includes two major foci. First, I am studying migration experiences across different groups (i.e., newcomer youth, women, LGBTQ peoples). Second, I am researching teaching and learning, investigating cultural and social justice responsiveness among graduate students and supervisors. I believe this scholarship has important implications for psychology training, practice, research, and policy.


Current Group Members

The University of British Columbia, School and Applied Child Psychology

Aisha Ghani, MA

Aisha Ghani, MA

Doctoral Supervision
Child-Parent Relationship in South Asian Youth
Linnea F. Kalchos, MA

Linnea F. Kalchos, MA

Doctoral Supervision
Arts-Based Research with Newcomer Young Women
Julia Toews, MA

Julia Toews, MA

Doctoral Supervision
Gender-Based Violence and 2SLGBTQIA+ newcomers
Veronica Shim, MA

Veronica Shim, MA

Doctoral Supervision
Arts-Based Research with Newcomer Youth
Harris Wong, MA

Harris Wong, MA

Doctoral Supervision
Critical Consciousness in Asian Canadian Youth




Current Projects

Funded by an IRCC Service Delivery and Innovation Grant (2021-2024)

Funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant (2021-2024)

Funded by a SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant (2020-2021)

Funded by a SSHRC Partnership Engagement Grant (2020-2021)

Funded by a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant (2019-2021)

Funded by an IRCC Service Delivery and Innovation Grant (2018-2021)


“Anorexia doesn’t exist when you’re Latina”: Family, culture, and gendered expectations in eating disorder recovery

Saunder, J., Bravo, E. I., & Kassan, A. (in press). Journal of Latinx Psychology.

Feminist thought and guidelines for ethical psychological practice with self-identifying women and girls

Beks, T.A., Dyrda, A.J., Kassan, A., & Elleker, D.M.R. (in press). Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy

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A qualitative investigation of the factors that enhance, impede, and require attention for the school success and engagement of newcomer youth

Elia, J., Cohen, J.A., Kassan, A., Hieu, N., Stevens, K., Muralanda, D. (in press). Journal of Educational Research.

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“Falling in love with me means that she can never go back”: A case study exploring the cumulative costs of multiple migrations

Kassan, A., Nakamura, N., Toews, J., & Beks, T. (2022). Journal of Lesbian Studies. Advanced online publication. 

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The seemingly impossible quest and longing for change

Kassan, A. (2022). In G. Shukla and E. Esina (Eds), Landed: Transformative Stories of Canadian Immigrant Women (pp. 25-30). Campfire Kinship Storytelling Inc.

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Resilience in refugee children and youth: A critical literature review.

Jafari, H., Kassan, A., Reay, G., & Climie, E. A. (2022). Canadian Psychology, 63(4), 678-694.

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Learning from the standpoints of minoritized students: An exploration of multicultural and social justice counselling training.

Cohen, J. A., Kassan, A., & Wada, K. (2022). The Qualitative Report,27(2), 385-413.

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Supporting newcomer youth through the process of school integration in Canada: A brief report highlighting student voices.

Smith, D., Kassan, A., Domene, J. F., Mudry, T., Mukred, R., & Goopy S. (2022). Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 55(4), 484–496.

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The University of British Columbia

School and Applied Child Psychology

Master’s Supervision

• Bana Ashour, BA – Peer Relations among Newcomer Youth
• Sun Hong Min, BA – Resilience in Newcomer Youth
• Linnea Kalchos, MA – School-Based Supports for Newcomer Youth
• Julia Toews, BA – Conceptualization of Sexual Orientation among Newcomer Youth
• Harris Wong, MA – Anti-Asian Hate during Covid-19

University of Calgary

Educational Studies in Counselling Psychology

Post-Doctoral Supervision

• Jessica Saunders, PhD – Weight Bias and Social Justice
• Alberto Souza, PhD – HIV among Newcomer Gay Men

Doctoral Supervision

• Tiffany Beks, PhD – Intuitional Betrayal among Canadian Veterans
• Daniele Doucet, PhD – Pregnancy in Gender Variant Females
• Allisa Gallucci, MSc – A Collective Case Study of School Integration
• Amy R. Green, MA – Embodiment of Newcomer Women in Canada
• Helia Jafari, MA – Resilience in Refugee Youth in Canada
• Julie A. Cohen, MA – Multicultural Cultural Competence in Training
• Megan Suehn, MA – Identity of Multiply-Marginalized Individuals

Master’s Supervision

• Charis Falardeau, BA – Ethical Non-Monogamy
• Rabab Mukred, BA – School Integration Among Newcomer Youth
• Maryam Qureshi, BA – Cultural Competence in Cancer Care
• Danielle Smith, BA – School Integration Among Newcomer Youth
• Daniel Elleker, BSc – LGBTQ Newcomers Claiming Refuge in Canada
• Jasmin Nathoo, BSc – Pre-Service Teachers Working with Newcomer Youth
• Allisa Gallucci, BSc – School Integration Among Newcomer Youth



Association for Women in Psychology
Award for best manuscript – “Falling in love with me means she can never go home”
The immigration experience of a lesbian couple in a binational relationship


International Council of Psychologists
Early career research award