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2021 Year in Review

To say the least, this year has been challenging time for our program and the world as the COVID-19 pandemic continued. Our area showed resilience during this time and impressively adapted to a work-from-home work schedule. At the time of writing, the year is close to being over and we have slowly returned to in-person activities! As has become tradition, we will be reviewing our area's achievements over this past year!

  • Our area has been busy writing reports and, dare we say, making the news! Here are some selected reports and media stories our area has published over the past year: 

    • Dr. Johanna Weststar and her colleagues ' new article in the conversation assessed whether university employees prefer working from home! This interesting study was conducted with 11,000 university employees across Canada and Australia.

    • Dr. Johanna Weststar and Shruti Kumar released the 2019 video game developer satisfaction report! This report is completed in partnership with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)

    • Reaching for the stars! Julie McMenamin (PhD candidate) and Dr. Natalie Allen’s research on teamwork during a Mars analog mission made international news headlines! Catch their research in publications such as CBCCNN, and Daily Mail UK

    • Eva Kwan (PhD Candidate) published an industry report investigating gender diversity in the Ontario manufacturing sector! Based on this report, Eva was interviewed by CBC, Global News, and Western News. 

    • Eva Kwan (PhD Candidate) published another industry report this year investigator the experience of racialized women leaders in manufacturing sector! Way to go Eva!

    • Dr. Johanna Weststar and Shruti Kumar (PhD Candidate) published a report on how Western University staff were impacted by the COVID-19 working arrangements. Their report can be found here!

    • Employee engage has become a major topic in HR and business - if you want to learn more, go read Dr. John Meyer's newly published book on employee engage in the changing world of work! Congratulations to John on this publication!

  • Scholarships and grants! This year, our faculty and students were wildly successful in bringing in scholarships and grants at federal and provincial level. 

    • Congratulations to Dr. Alex Benson for receiving a 5-year SSHRC insight grant! This grant is focused on the relational perspective of social rank dynamics in teams. We look forward to the results, Alex!

    • Congratulations to Eva Kwan (PhD candidate) and Dr. Johanna Weststar on being awarded a Mitacs Accelerate Grant! Their research will investigate the mentorship needs in the Ontario manufacturing industry. This Mitacs is in partnership with the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing.

    • Congratulations to Tianyue (Tina) Xu (MSc student) for securing the Canada Graduate Scholarship-Master's (CGS-M) this year! 

    • Congratulations to Noelle Baird (PhD candidate) for securing the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) this year! 

    • Congratulations to Sarah Carver (PhD candidate) for securing the Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral (CGS-D) this year! 

  • Graduations! This year we had quite a few students graduate from our MSc and PhD programs. Congratulations to all:

    • Congratulations to the new Dr. Kabir Daljeet! Kabir successfully defended his dissertation and met all of the PhD requirements this past summer. Kabir now has a tenure track position at the Université de Montréal!​

    • Congratulations to the new Dr. Natasha Ouslis! Natasha recently defended her dissertation and met all PhD requirements. Natasha is now working as a consultant at McKinsey & Company!

    • Congratulations to Cullen McCurrah, Jocelyn Brown, Jennifer Lynch, and Zhuo Li on successfully defending their MSc thesis!

Many of these updates are posted in the CSIOP quarterly newsletter! Make sure to check out our achievements in their most recent reports!

2020 Year in Review

Another great year for our program! We decided to do another year in review given the amount of change and progress our area has made in this past year. Here are some highlights from 2020!

  • Congratulations to Dr. Johanna Weststar for being inducted into the Toronto Leader's Circle in recognition of her role as Co-Chair and bringing the 10th International Labour and Employment Relations Association Regional Congress of America to Toronto. ILERA2020 was held at the Ted Rogers School of Business June 24-27th

  • New faculty alert! Our area welcomed Dr. Blair Evans as the newest faculty in the I/O Psychology area. Blair completed his doctoral studies in social psychology at Wilfried Laurier University, and is joining Western University from his previous position as Assist Professor of Kinesiology at Penn State University. Blair primarily studies small group dynamics using varying methods, including the extent to which group-related phenomena predict well-being as well as behaviors that are productive or health-enhance.

  • Welcome to our new grad students! Leonid (Leo) Beletski and Tina (Tianyue) Xu. Welcome to our area!

  • Congratulations to our recent graduate students on successfully defending their PhD theses dissertations!

    • Erica Sutherland successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled "The Measurement of Job Satisfaction among Workplace Leaders: Scale Development and Validation of the Leader Satisfaction Assessment”​

    • Brittney Anderson successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled "The Measurement of Job Satisfaction among Workplace Leaders: Scale Development and Validation of the Leader Satisfaction Assessment”

  • Scholarships and grants, oh my! Quite a few of our students and faculty received provincial and federal grants or scholarships this year. Congratulations to all!

    • Congratulations to Tina (Tianyue) Xu who was awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship!​

    • Congratulations to Jennifer Lynch and Leonid (Leo) Beletski who were awarded the Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS-M scholarship from SSHRC - Congratulations to both of you!

    • Congratulations to Eva Kwan (PhD student), Trevor Coppins (PhD student), and Dr. Johanna Weststar who were awarded a Mitacs Accelerate Grant. Their research will be conducted in collaboration with their industry partner, the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing.

    • Congratulations to Dr. Richard (Rick) Goffin who was awarded a multi-year SSHRC Insight Grant investigating how to maximize the value of personality assessment in human resource management. Congratulations to you, Rick!

    • Dr. Blair Evans, our newest faculty member, and Dr. Alex Benson (co-investigators) were awarded with a multi-year SSHRC grant investigating subgroups and cliques within teams - way to go Blair and Alex!

    • Dr. Johanna Weststar also received a SSHRC insight grant this year! The project is a longitudinal study of graduates from post-secondary video game education programs in Canada and the United states to understand the challenges and barriers to entry, with a focus on the experience of women. The project also involves a variety of other professors from various universities - Sean Gouglas (University of Alberta), Suzanne de Castell (Ontario Tech University), Jen Jenson (York University) and Jennifer Whitson (University of Waterloo) and with the support of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA).

Many of these updates are posted in the CSIOP quarterly newsletter! Make sure to check out our achievements in their most recent reports!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it: research from our very own Julia McMenamin and Dr. Natalie Allen has been featured in UWO's Media Relations. McMenamin and colleagues examined how team members' personality impacts performance during space missions, finding that conscientiousness is a key predictor of outcomes during these missions.  

You can access the Media Relations article by clicking on the above image, and you can further learn about this research in McMenamin, Allen, and Battler's paper titled 'Team Processes and Outcomes During the AMADEE-18 Mars Analog Mission' in Astrobiology.

Image:  Analog astronauts Joao Lousada and Stefan Dobrovolny before sunset.  (c) ÖWF (Florian Voggeneder)

2018 Year in Review

Our IO Psych Area at Western was very busy in 2018. Here are a few of our highlights:


  • Congratulations to Dr. Johanna Weststar and Dr. Alex Benson on receiving grants for their innovative research through SSHRC. 


  • New podcast alert! Jose Espinoza and UWO alum, Nicholas Bremner, launched an IO Related Podcast ‘Mind Your Work’ - listen to current and previous episodes at (


  • See you at SIOP! Our students Natasha Ouslis, Sarah Carver, and Kabir Daljeet will be presenting their research in Washington, D.C. at the 2019 Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology conference. 


  • Congratulations to Jose Espinoza and Natasha Ouslis on winning the SSHRC Doctoral Award. Also, congratulations to Trevor Coppins and Sarah Carver on winning the SSHRC Master’s Award. 


  • Congratulations to Kabir Daljeet on winning the Ontario Graduate Doctoral Scholarship, and to Eva Kwan on winning the Ontario Graduate Master’s Scholarship. 


  • We’ve been busy publishing! Look out for Kabir Daljeet’s article ‘The Dark Triad and Breakup Distress’ in Personality and Individual Differences; Alexander McGregor’s article ‘You can change the world, we’re just here to help: Activist consultancy firms as forms of neoliberal governmentality’ in Globalizations; Jose Espinoza, Dr. John Meyer, Brittney Anderson, Chelsea Vaters, and Christina Politis’s article ‘Evidence for a bifactor structure of the Scales of Psychological Well-being using exploratory structural equation modeling’ in the Journal of Well-being Assessment; Dr. Johanna Weststar’s article ‘Women’s experiences on the path to a career in game development’ in Feminism in Play; and Julia McMenamin and Dr. Natalie Allen’s article 'Team processes and outcomes during the AMADEE-19 Mars analog research’ in Astrobiology.


  • Vacationing with purpose: Dr. Joan Finegan traveled to Nicaragua with a group of undergraduate students through Western’s Alternative Spring Break program; Eva Kwan spent 5-weeks in Chicoutimi, Quebec conversing only in French through Western’s French Immersion program. 


  • Our students worked tirelessly to host the 2018 Southwestern Industrial Organizational and Organizational Behaviour Student Conference. With 50+ attendees, eight engaging panelists (including our very own Dr. Alex Benson and Erica Sutherland), and an incredible key-note speaker Dr. Ann Peng, the conference was a huge success! Thank you to our conference sponsors: CSIOP, Psychology Department at Western, Western SOGS, and Dr. Ann Peng - without you, the conference could not have happened. 


  • Congratulations to Dr. Alex Benson for receiving the Mitacs Accelerate Cluster Grant 2018-2020: ‘Having a pulse for the group: An app-based approach to collecting multiple time-point longitudinal data’. Further congratulations to Noelle Baird who received a Mitacs position through Dr. Benson’s Mitacs partnership.


  • Kabir Daljeet taught an undergraduate Psychology Research Methods and Statistics course at Western University.


  • We’ve been busy presenting! Kabir Daljeet’s research was presented at SIOP in Chicago; Noelle Baird’s research was presented at CPA in Montreal; Natasha Ouslis’s research was presented at INGroup in Maryland. Further, Julia McMenamin, Dr. Natalie Allen, and Dr. Melissa Battler gave a presentation at CASI ASTRO18 titled ‘The psychology of extreme teams: Thoughts on the evaluation of input-process-outcome trajectories’; Dr. Johanna Weststar was invited to speak at the Montreal International Games Summit with a talk titled ‘Unions in a Nutshell: History, Theory, Examples’; and Dr. Natalie Allen gave an invited talk during Surgical Grand Rounds at University Hospital (London Health Sciences Centre titled ‘The psychology of teamwork: A research-based look at challenges & strategies’. 


  • We welcomed a new student to the program! Welcome Shruti Kumar, who is working under the supervision of Dr. Johanna Weststar.



  • Congratulations, graduates! Alexander McGregor, Chloe Cragg, and Natasha Ouslis successfully defended their master’s thesis, and Kevin Doyle, Aaron Halliday, and Justin Feeney successfully defended their doctoral research. 


  • Awards, awards, awards! Trevor Coppins was one of Western’s Three Minute Thesis finalists; Kabir Daljeet received an award from HRPA; and Jose Espinoza won the Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award for 2018 from SOGS.


  • R you ready to learn? Kabir Daljeet started an R learning group to familiarize our area with R programming.


Congratulations to everyone in our area on a fantastic year. We look forward to seeing everyone’s accomplishments in 2019! For current updates on our area, follow @IOWestern on Twitter.

Congratulations to our award winners!

We'd like to congratulate some of our students on their recent awards!

Kabir Daljeet, one of our PhD. candidates, was awarded the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), London & District Chapter Graduate Scholarship.

Two our MSc. students, Noelle Baird and Trevor Coppins, received the Douglas N. Jackson Memorial Award.

The I/O area is very proud of Noelle, Kabir, and Trevor's accomplishments and hope their future efforts are recognized as well!

Western Hosts the IO/OB Student Conference

On Saturday, November 24th, 2018, Western hosted the 13th annual Southwestern IO/OB student conference. The conference was a huge success, bringing together students, alumni, and professionals from across the province. We were fortunate enough to have fantastic speakers spanning academic and applied IO/OB positions. To hear more about this event and to see our speaker list, please see our IO/OB conference web page!


We would like to extend our congratulations to the most recent graduates of our program. Congrats to Kevin Doyle, who successfully defended his dissertation and to Alex McGregor, Chloe Cragg, and Natasha Ouslis for defending their Master's theses! We wish all of you the best in your future academic and career pursuits!

Three Minute Thesis

Congratulations to Trevor Coppins for making the list of this year's Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) finalists! Trevor is a first year Master's student in the I/O program, and has been named the top ranked competitor from Social Sciences in this year's 3MT. He will move on to compete for the spot as Western's representative in 3MT Ontario. Best wishes on your upcoming presentation, and congratulations on your successes thus far!

For more information on the Three-Minute Thesis competition, and a complete list of finalists, see here.

Congratulations to our students!

The I/O area wants to extend their congratulations to three students who successfully defended their work this year. Congratulations to Rima Tarraf and Hayden Woodley for defending their PhDs, and to Julia McMenamin, Christina Politis, and Rebecca Factor for defending their Master's theses! Check out our Goblet Gallery in the Social and Recreation tab of our website to see the scholars celebrating post-defense!

Alex Benson joins the I/O Psychology program at Western!

This year, the Western I/O Psychology department is pleased to welcome Dr. Alex Benson, who is joining the Psychology department as an associate professor. For more information on Dr. Benson's research and career, click here.

Welcome to the new graduate students joining us for Fall 2017!

The I/O program is excited to welcome the new incoming graduate students for 2017! This year, Eva, Trevor, and Jaime will be joining Dr. Johanna Weststar's lab, while Noelle and Sarah will be supervised by Dr. Jennifer Robertson and Dr. Joan Finegan, respectively. 

The Handbook of Employee Commitment, edited by Dr. John Meyer

This fall, check out Dr. Meyer’s new book on commitment, the Handbook of Employee Commitment. Dr. Meyer, along with collaborators, both local and around the world, provide a culmination of the current research and theorizing on employee commitment, as well as suggestions for the future of this area of research. For more information on this publication, click here.

Welcome to our new graduate students joining in Fall of 2016!

The I/O program welcomes its new graduate students! This September, Natasha, Alex, and Chloe joined our program at the Master’s level, supervised by Dr. Allen, Dr. Rothstein, and Dr. Finnegan, respectively.

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