Yasmina Lotfi is a graduate assistant and a Ph.D. student in health psychology at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Her thesis aims to explore how women who have undergone female genital cutting (FGC) construct their sexuality in relation to different cultural contexts. To this end, she is conducting qualitative research in Switzerland and Egypt. In her thesis work, she studies the role of cultural societal discourses, especially those from digital media relative to the body and sexuality such as postfeminist discourses. Her research interests focus on the relationship to the intertwinements between bodies, sexualities, and health in general.
Yasmina was the recipient of the Impact with Communities Award at the most recent ISCHP conference in Rancagua, Chile (2023).
Beck Lowe is a PhD student at the University of Worcester, UK. Her work focuses on the reciprocal relationship between individual psychological wellbeing and dominant philosophical beliefs, and political issues that are formed in the process. Priding herself on an eclectic career background, Beck graduated with a first in Drama & Performance Studies (University of Worcester) in 2013 and completed her Masters in Psychology with distinction in 2022. In between that, she co-wrote and managed an award-winning educational theatre piece that was showcased to over 50 schools across the UK, managed prestigious corporate events, wrote for a queer arts and culture zine, Unicorn, and performed original, radio-played music under the stage name ‘Becky Rose.’ Beck is now pursuing a long-term academic career while continuing to work full-time to fund it, starting her PhD fresh off the heels of an award-wining presentation at the XIII Biennial ISCHP Conference.
Sarah Rileyis a Professor in Critical Health Psychology at Massey University, New Zealand and the ISCHP Vice-Chair. Her work looks at how taken for granted ideas in our society open up possibilities for what people can say, think, feel and do, while shutting down others. She is particularly interested in the dynamics between neoliberalism and subjectivity, and questions of gender, embodiment, health and citizenship. She has co-authored several books including Critical Bodies (Palgrave, 2008), Technologies of Sexiness (Oxford University Press, USA, 2014) and Postfeminism and Health (Routledge, 2018), she is currently writing Postfeminism and Body Image (Routledge), and Digital Gender, Affect and Subjectivity (Routledge).
Dr Miroslav Sirota is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex (UK). He mostly conducts experimental, quantitative research and teaches statistics to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as topics in judgment and decision-making. His lab is part of the Psychological Science Accelerator, an international network of psychological laboratories across the world aiming to conduct large-scale pre-registered studies. He is leading Essex University’s Open Science Working Group, which is part of The UK Network of Open Science Working Groups aiming to implement open science practices in their own research. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Studia Psychologica and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.
How did you embark on an academic career? What prompted this path? Funnily enough, I started my academic career by accident. After completing my master’s degree, I applied for a couple of non-academic positions but I was not successful. Fortunately, one of my roommates worked at the newly formed Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences at the Comenius University in Bratislava and she mentioned that they were looking for new teaching staff. I applied for the job there and got it. I mostly taught a first-year introductory psychology module and helped with the delivery of statistics and research methods classes. This caused me to stay in academia and go on to complete a PhD since it was a requirement of the position. I was lucky to have a great supervisor, Dr Alojz Ritomsky, who supported me and helped me to develop a good grasp of research methods and statistics.
Virginia Braun is a Professor in the School of Psychology at The University of Auckland, Āotearoa/New Zealand. She is a feminist and critical (health) psychologist, and teaches and researches in these areas. Her research explores the intersecting areas of gender, bodies, sex/sexuality, health, and (now) food. She has worked on projects related to heterosex, sexual health, cervical cancer prevention policy, sexuality and higher education, women’s genital meanings and experiences, and “female genital cosmetic surgery” (FGCS), pornography, body hair, and contemporary formations of “healthy eating”. Alongside this, she is a qualitative methodology writer (with long-time collaborator Victoria Clarke, and others), writing about qualitative research, thematic analysis, story completion, and a range of other qualitative methods and approaches.
Abi is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Bradford as well as being acting Associate Dean for Research & Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Management, Law & Social Sciences and about to become Head of Department. Abigail is a critical social/health psychologist, often applying a discursive lens to her research and has interests around gender, identity, parenting, social media and health. Much of her research work focuses on societal constructions of ‘good’ motherhood’ and ‘good fatherhood’, and she has applied this lens to issues around stay-at-home-dads, advice to parents and infant feeding methods.
Linda McMullen is Professor Emerita at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, having recently retired after 38.5 years in the department of psychology. She is presently enjoying the sense of liberation that comes from not having to set an alarm clock in the morning, being able to work from home, not having more than one (or sometimes any) appointments in her calendar, and having her golden retriever by her side and a cup of tea at the ready.
Catriona Macleod is an ISCHP international representative from South Africa. She works at Rhodes University where she holds the positions ofDistinguished Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction (CSSR) research programme. She is a leader in feminist health psychology and has made significant been in two main areas: sexual and reproductive health and feminist theory in Psychology.
Chris is one of the founding ISCHP members. She is currently Treasurer and has also been Chair. Currently, she is a Professor in the School of Psychology at Massey University in New Zealand–considered the cradle of critical health psychology. She co-leads the Health and Ageing Research Team, who has been conducting a longitudinal study of ageing, following older New Zealanders and their quality of life since 2006. In this Career File, Chris shares how she got to be where she is today.
Brett Scholz is a research fellow in the Medical School at
The Australian National University. His work is concerned with consumer
leadership in health services and systems, and the allyship that non-consumers
can engage in to create opportunities for consumer leadership. He is one of the
co-editors of ISCHP’s podcast The Operative Word. He can never say no
to a cup of tea.
Ally Gibson, is a long-time ISCHP member and co-host of the ISCHP pod-cast. Originally hailing from South Africa, Ally has just taken up a lectureship in the recently established School of Health at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). Prior to this, she held a postdoctoral fellowship in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW Sydney (Australia), where she also coordinated the Qualitative Research Network Hub. We asked Ally about her career path, experiences, and thoughts about working as an academic.
Dr Tracy Morison moved to Aotearoa (New Zealand) two and a half years ago to join the critical health psychology team at Massey University. She now teaches health promotion and critical social psychology and is also a research associate of the Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction research programme at Rhodes University, South Africa. Find out more about Tracy’s academic journey in this Career File.
How did you embark on a career in academia? What was it that prompted this decision? I didn’t decide to become an academic; I think academia slowly drew me in! In retrospect, I think I was always destined for the academy. I loved learning as a child and was, according to my peers, a ‘boffin’ (as they called Academic achievers then). When I was in grade 4, I I wrote a composition saying I wanted to be ‘an author’ when I grew up. Then, some years later, I explained that I wanted to be a researcher on my honours application. I think academe has allowed me to combine both of these. My love of language led me to qualitative research and in my postgrad years, I also discovered the rewards of teaching and mentoring. So here I am! Continue reading →
Dr Magda Marczak is a lecturer in clinical psychology at Coventry University in the UK. She teaches into the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural Sciences. She is also one of the new co-editors of the ISCHP blog. Find out more about Magda’s academic journey in this Career File.
How did you embark on a career in academia? What was it that prompted this decision? It was a very conscious decision. When I moved to the UK in 2004, I realised that my academic qualifications were not recognised. As such I could not officially practice as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK and needed to figure out what route to take. After a couple of years, I decided academia was the way forward. Working as an Assistant Psychologist afforded me enough ‘brain space’ to complete a PhD, although I must admit there were times I didn’t believe I would ever complete it and was ecstatic when it was done! Continue reading →
Andrea LaMarre recently defended her PhD, which explored experiences of eating disorder recovery from the perspective of people in recovery and their supporters. She is now working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo, and continuing to build community in the arts and social justice spheres.
What is your current position?
I recently defended my PhD at the University of Guelph in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition. I am now starting an exciting postdoctoral fellowship at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo. I am also continuing to work as a collaborator on a large grant under the directorship of Dr. Carla Rice, Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life, including some research exploring “relaxed performance” approaches to theatre with the British Council of Canada. I am also a facilitator for the organization Art with Impact, where I will be running workshops that aim to break down mental health stigma using film. Continue reading →
Dr Rado Masaryk is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava. He is also hosting the next 2019 ISCHP conference in Bratislava and our new conference chair. We are delighted to feature his career file.
Could you say a bit about your career trajectory so far?
One year after finishing my Masters in psychology I found out about a PhD position opening at the Faculty of Education which is a school that trains future teachers. I was sceptical at first. I had never thought of myself as an academic type. But I applied anyway, and got accepted, and found myself in a rather bizarre institution. The school was heavily underfunded, most of the students had no intention of ever going into teaching, there was no tradition of doing real research, many of my colleagues were severely burned out and they found no joy in their teaching or research. I nevertheless hung around until I got my doctorate. And then surprisingly I hung around for several additional years, because I felt that working with future teachers was the most important job in the world. However, I got to feeling a bit stagnant as far as my academic career went. So after 9 years it was time to move on. The Head of the Institute of Experimental Psychology at the Slovak Academy of Sciences offered me a job and a chance to manage a group of inspiring young researchers. I started to publish internationally (it was about time!). Now I work at the Comenius University’s Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences which is a small institution and at the same time a very dedicated group of researchers. We are the youngest and the most radical part of the Comenius University, and I enjoy working for this progressive faculty. Continue reading →