Lab Members

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Angela Jarmillo is a doctoral student in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture program in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests center on the emotional lives of children, particularly the social and emotional development of preschool-aged children in relation to the development of emotion knowledge, emotion regulation and social and emotional competence and how these skills are fundamental to children’s academic learning, health, and success in life. Moreover, she is interested in social competence promotion programs for preschool-aged children and social and emotional learning as a global movement. Angela also has a five-year professional degree from Pontifical Xaverian University, School of Psychology in Cali, Colombia.


 Jacqueline Maloney completed her MA in Human Development, Learning, and Culture at UBC under the supervision of Dr. Schonert-Reichl and is continuing this work in her doctoral studies. She has been a part of the Social-Emotional Learning Lab since 2012. She has worked on several studies, including those that investigate mindfulness-education programs for children and teens, and program evaluation studies of SEL programs, such as MindUP, Random Acts of Kindness, and Maxi the Taxi Dog . Her research interests include exploring the effects of contemplative practices (such as yoga and mindfulness) in educational settings, as well as programs that support well-being across the lifespan. This is complemented by her professional work as a yoga teacher and educator for teachers (learn more at When she’s not in the lab, you can find her riding her bike in Pacific Spirit Park, reading in the Rose Garden, or doing yoga on the beach.


 James Floman is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia studying how contemplative practices influence emotion regulation, compassion, and prosocial behavior in teachers with Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl. He also investigates the dynamic relationships between emotion and cognition and their influence on teaching and learning at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence with Dr. Marc Brackett. James holds an M.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University.



Jenna Whitehead Arruda has been a Project Coordinator in the KSR SEL lab since 2011.  She is one of Dr. Schonert-Reichl’s PhD (and former MA) students in HDLC, and her research focus includes cognitive, social, and emotional development of students and teachers, with a particular interest in the effects of mindfulness practices on adolescent development.  Outside of academia, Jenna enjoys performing in musical theatre, getting crafty, and throwing theme parties.



Karen Forsyth is a M.A. student in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture program at UBC. She has been part of the lab since 2013, working on studies that explore social and emotional learning and mindfulness-education programs in school settings for children and adolescents. Prior to coming to UBC, her work for organizations such as Roots of Empathy and the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative have influenced her passion for fostering skills and tools that empower children and adolescents to succeed socially and emotionally. Her research interests include relationships between non-family adults and at-risk youths, alternative education, and knowledge translation. In her spare time Karen likes to read fantasy fiction, play soccer, ride her bike, and take photographs.


Lina Sweiss completed her Doctorate degree in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education at the University of British Columbia in 2014. She completed her Master of Arts degree in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2006 and her Baccalaureate degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Northeastern Illinois University in 2005. Lina has worked on multiple research projects in Kim’s lab that include the Random Acts of Kindness Randomized Controlled Trial, Maxi the Taxi Dog Program Evaluation Project, Social and Emotional Learning in Teacher Education Programs Project, and the Middle Years Development Instrument Project. Her major research interests are in early adolescents’ participation in out-of-school time activities and their correlates with indicators of positive functioning.


M. Jennifer Kitil holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Human Development, Learning and Culture at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests involve the application of the contemplative arts to promote social and emotional competencies in youth.




Michelle Sipl holds a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an AMS Early Childhood Montessori Diploma and completed her Masters of Education at UBC in Human Development, Learning and Culture with a concentration in Social Emotional Learning. She has worked in the lab since 2011 on such projects as the Smart/MindUp project, SEL TEd, Taxi Dog Educational and Random Acts of Kindness.



Shami Suhrid is a graduate student in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture program and joined the lab on September 2014. He is keenly interested in different Social and Emotional Learning programs. Through his research, he wants to explore the possibilities of knowledge translations in this regard in the context of developing countries like Bangladesh, which is where he comes from. Previously, he worked for BRAC University in Dhaka as a Psychosocial Counselor and Lecturer having professional training in Counseling Psychology. He is a passionate film enthusiast who wishes to make his own films and dreams of composing his own songs and playing them on guitar for others one day.