I am currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow preparing to begin my fellowship at University College London. I will be working with internationally renowned minority stress scholar, Dr. David M. Frost, at the Thomas Coram Research Unit of UCL’s Institute of Education. I completed my PhD (2020) in social psychology at the University of Waterloo, where I was a Vanier Scholar and the 2020 recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal for highest standing in a doctoral program. I’m also the proud father of two beautiful little fur-babies, Zara (Shorkie) and Kyra (Havanese). I originally hail from Mexico (you’d never guess by looking at me), grew up between Ontario and Manitoba, Canada, and moved to Ukraine for 2 years before returning to Canada to attend university in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I wanted to be an actor, so I enrolled in Theater Arts. After my first term, I received an opportunity to audition for Winnipeg’s prestigious The School of Contemporary Dancers’ Junior Professional Program, was accepted (I’m still not sure how), and spent the next 2 years training to be a professional dancer. After injury derailed my career potential, I returned to the classroom and began my psychology degree. Several years later, here I am, a newly minted doctor and postdoctoral fellow, wondering how to leverage my training, experience, and knowledge to reach out and make a difference in the world.
Identity is a topic that preoccupies the majority of my academic focus. In my dissertation research, I focused on the impact of social environments on people’s perceptions of straight-identified young men’s sexuality based on their gender performativity. Based on that work, I articulated a novel theory of identity suspicion. Together with my PhD supervisor, Dr. Richard Eibach, I am working on several follow-up studies on this theory.
Beyond identity processes, I am deeply interested in issues pertaining to gender and sexuality. I currently work with Drs. Michael Woodford and Simon Coulombe on multiple projects examining 2SLGBTQ+ university/college students’ wellbeing, including their mixed-methods study – Thriving on Campus – of Canadian 2SLGBTQ+ university students’ experiences on and perceptions of university campus and how they impact these students’ academic and mental health outcomes.
I try to constantly learn new ways of seeing the world, adopt new lenses through which to interpret the goings on around the world, and expand my theoretical knowledge to make more informed contributions to discussions about the issues around these topics.