Current Research Associates
Dr. Ram Sapkota, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
Ram is a Senior Research Associate in Dr. Hadjistavropoulos' Online Therapy Unit (OTU). He received his Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Psychiatry from McGill University and completed 3 years of postdoctoral training in the Research Lab on Psychological Trauma in the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. He received funding from the Global Health Research Capacity Strengthening Program (GHR-CAPS) and Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) Program for his doctoral and postdoctoral training. Ram's research has focused on culture and mental health, trauma, and dissociative disorders (esp. dissociative trance and possession phenomena in cultural groups), and political violence and its mental health outcomes in Nepal. His future research and intervention work will also involve event-based depression, adjustment and substance use disorder, cultural concepts of distress, local ways of care and healing, and different culturally responsive Internet- and mobile-based psychotherapies.
Andrew Wilhelms, B.A. (Honours)
Andrew began working as a Research Associate with the OTU in 2018 after receiving his B.A. (Honours) Psychology from the University of Regina (UofR). His Honours project focused on how societal pressures affect the body image of gay and bisexual men as they relate to heterosexual standards of masculinity. Andrew is particularly interested in qualitative research and analysis for understanding the lived experiences of individuals. His other research interests include statistics, the impacts of the Internet and social media on mental health, and LGBTQ+ issues.
Tristen Lozinski, B.Sc. (Honours)
Tristen recently began as an OTU Research Associate after receiving her B.Sc. (Honours) in Psychology from the University of Victoria (UVic). Throughout her undergraduate years, her research focused on risky behaviours (e.g., substance use, suicide), and she maintained a suicide crisis line responder position with Youthspace.ca. Her Honours thesis research employed ecological momentary assessment methodology to examine how personality moderated the associations between day-to-day stress and day-to-day engagement in healthy behaviours (e.g., physical activity) and unhealthy behaviours (e.g., alcohol use). Upon completing her B.Sc., Tristen was awarded the Jubilee Medal for graduating with the highest GPA in UVic's Faculty of Social Sciences. Tristen's primary research and clinical interest is substance use, and she is excited to continue in her new research position, contributing to the Patient-Oriented Research Steering Committee's enhancement of the OTU's Alcohol Change Course. She hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.
Giuliano La Posta, B.A. (Honours)
Giuliano is an Research Assistant who completed his B.A. (Honours) in Psychology at the UofR. He began as a volunteer at the OTU in 2017 and transitioned to becoming a Research Assistant that same year. He completed his Honours thesis under Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos and Dr. Swati Mehta in 2019, where he examined the effects of benefit finding among those who live with chronic health conditions. Giuliano is interested in anxiety disorders and hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology.
Marcie Nugent, M.SW.
Marcie is the Operations Director of the OTU, a registered Social Worker, a certified psychosocial rehabilitation practitioner, and is Reality Therapy certified. She completed her M.SW. at the UofR in 2010 after completing a B.A. (2004) and a B.SW. (2005), and has been with the OTU since 2011. Prior to the OTU, Marcie worked at Phoenix Residential Society as a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner in the Westview Concurrent Disorders program and the Phoenix Assisted Living (PALS) program, where she assisted individuals with addictions and persistent mental health problems in various stages of their recovery journey. Marcie has always been interested in increasing the range of services available for people in recovery. Her graduate research focused on peer specialist training and implementation in mainstream mental health service provision. Presently, Marcie is exploring Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and the idea of Green Care to increase health outcomes for individuals.
Emma Valli, M.PA.
Clinical Research Associate
Emma is a Clinical Research Associate at the OTU. She received a B.SW. at the University of Regina and a M.PA. from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. She is a Registered Social Worker with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers. She began working at the OTU in 2019 in an intake position, primarily completing telephone screens with those interested in participating in ICBT. She has since moved into a research role helping to develop courses and collect participant feedback.