Where are you from and how did you end up in U of T Psychology?
I have always been interested in the psyche of human interactions. Therefore, it was no surprise that I became increasingly more passionate about psychology as a field throughout my undergraduate degree. I developed a particular interest for studying issues related to intergroup relations while conducting my undergraduate thesis. When considering possible graduate programs, I was first drawn to U of T’s exceptionally strong psychology department. Fortunately, I was able to find a supervisor and a lab at U of T that matched my research interests and my professional goals.
Whose lab are you in and what are you studying?
I work at the Adult Development Lab under the supervision of Dr. Alison Chasteen. My main research focus is on stereotyping and prejudice. In particular, I study attitudes towards stigmatized romantic relationships, such as mixed-race or mixed-faith couples, and how these attitudes affect behaviours towards these couples and the couples’ families.
What do you currently want to know more about? Or what is a skill you would like to develop?
I’m excited to learn to apply eye tracking and mouse tracking techniques to my research.
Last non-non-fiction book you read?
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
If not this, what would you be doing with your life?
As a current certified teacher, I would be teaching Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology as well as French courses in high school.
Advice for potential graduate students?
Consider very carefully what career path you are interested in and whether graduate school is the best way to achieve that goal. Although I enjoy research very much, it is not for everyone.
Want to get in touch with Maria? She can be reached at: maria.iankilevitch <at>mail.utoronto.ca