1. Doctoral students
    1. Mariana Borges
    2. Jie Chang
    3. Jude Nachabe
    4. Dan Tao
  2. Doctoral candidates
    1. Maryam Nemati
    2. Jiahong Sun
    3. Momoka Watanabe Sunohara

Doctoral students

Mariana Borges


Mariana is a Brazilian clinical psychologist, researcher, and artist. She obtained her M.A. in Clinical Psychology and Culture from Universidade de Brasilia in 2016 and spent the last five years in Brazil exploring her diverse interests in theatrical arts, psychotherapy, and hypnosis. This trajectory includes working in private practice as a psychotherapist, an unfinished B.A. in Theatre Arts (Universidade de Brasilia), the publication of a book on the uses of humor in psychotherapy, the participation as an actress and researcher of an international art project of Coletiva Teatro (Universidade de Brasilia/Stanford University), the teaching and supervision of students at hypnosis and brief psychotherapy training program, as well as the creation and contribution to a Brazilian meditation podcast to aid people during COVID-19 pandemic (“Grupo Crescer”). In 2020 Mariana “accidentally” stumbled on the Culture, Health and Personality Lab when looking for a Ph.D. program in which she could develop her interests in the intersections between culture, art, and mental health. She is especially interested in the human proneness to storytelling and the potential power of stories in facilitating culturally-mindful assessments and interventions. Mariana is very family-driven and enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog doing basically anything. Wherever they are: there is home.

Jie Chang


Jie completed her B.Sc. at the University of Toronto Scarborough, majoring in neuroscience and mental health studies. She stumbled upon the field of cultural psychology during her undergraduate studies, and became fascinated by it. She moved to Montreal to pursue her interest and is currently in her third year of Doctoral studies in the Clinical Psychology program at Concordia University. Jie’s Masters research with the Culture, Health and Personality Lab analyzed qualitative reports of alexithymia in a group of Chinese psychiatric outpatients. In her doctoral dissertation, she is examining the cultural differences in attention to emotions in Canadian and Chinese-heritage individuals, using a mixed-methods approach. Jie trained in neuropsychology in her clinical practicums and is currently learning to conduct psychotherapy. She is interested in promoting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in her local, reachable surroundings. Outside of her studies, Jie has equal love for both double-doubles and bubble tea, although she favours double-doubles more during the roll-up season.

Jude Nachabe


Jude obtained her B.A. (Hons) in Psychology at the University of Ottawa, and her undergraduate thesis looked at emotional regulation and anxiety. In 2019, she moved to Montreal to begin her journey in the Clinical Psychology program at Concordia University. She completed her M.A. in Clinical Psychology in the summer of 2021 where her thesis examined the impact of COVID-19 on sleep and the moderating role of Heart-Rate Variability. Jude joined the Culture, Health, and Personality Lab in September 2021 for her PhD. As a Lebanese-Canadian herself, and having lived in both countries and spent time abroad in Europe, Jude was always passionate about culture, the mind, and their interaction. Struggling to find her own cultural identity only fuelled her passion to further examine the field of culture psychology, and her passion for mental health and its advocacy brought her to the lab. Jude is interested in cultural-clinical psychology and she hopes to research mental health in cultural minorities, such as the Arab-Canadian population, in hopes of informing future interventions. Clinically, she is interested in working with adults, conducting psychotherapy as well as assessments, and is currently completing her practicum at the Memory Clinic, Jewish General Hospital. Jude is passionate about everything EDI-related and is part of the Marginalized Student Committee of DISSECT and Concordia’s EDI Clinical Student Committee. Jude also enjoys travelling, spending time with her cat, learning about the social and political injustices and raising awareness on these issues, buying books, baking, and hanging out with friends.

Dan Tao


Born and raised in Beijing China, Dan moved to Canada as an international student to complete a business degree at the University of Toronto. She worked as an auditor for a major accounting firm for a couple of years, and then went through a quarter-life crisis that guided her towards the journey of becoming a psychologist. She worked in many interesting places, including homeless youth shelters, before moving to Montreal to attend graduate school. She chose Montreal because she was (and still is) attracted by its diversity with a French touch. Dan’s research interest lies in understanding and assessing the acculturation process with cross-national and internal migrants of Chinese origin and beyond, with data collection both in Canada and China. Her clinical interest is in using integrated approaches to conduct psychotherapy with adults and adolescents with diverse issues and cultural backgrounds in Canada and beyond. Outside of school and work, you can find Dan dancing salsa/bachata, travelling, being active in nature, volunteering, learning new things, and enjoying all the things that Montreal has to offer. 

Doctoral candidates

Maryam Nemati


Maryam received her B.A. in Psychology from Carleton University in 2011. She then completed a Master’s degree in Counselling in 2013. Maryam is currently completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University and has been a member of the Culture, Health, and Personality laboratory since 2017. 

Her research interests broadly center upon exploring how culture shapes psychopathology. More specifically, Maryam is studying cultural minorities’ values and beliefs about mental health and their help-seeking behaviours when feeling distressed. She hopes that her findings can be used to optimize mental health services offered to individuals from diverse backgrounds. Maryam is passionate about mental health and psychotherapeutic interventions. In the upcoming academic year, Maryam will be completing an internship at the University of British Columbia’s Counselling Services providing psychotherapy to students presenting with mood and anxiety disorders.

Jiahong Sun


Jiahong Sun obtained her B.A. from McGill University in 2009. She joined the Culture, Health, and Personality lab as a research coordinator and later as a graduate student in 2011. Jiahong is now a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University. Her overarching interest is in the area of culture and mental health, with a particular curiosity toward the cultural shaping of the experience, communication and treatment of emotional distress. Jiahong’s doctoral dissertation examines the impact of rapid sociocultural change on depression in China, with a focus on the expression of and explanatory beliefs about depression. 

Jiahong completed a one-year CPA accredited pre-doctoral internship in Saskatoon in 2019. She currently works as a part-time clinician in supervised-practice in Vancouver while finishing her dissertation. Outside of her work, Jiahong enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring the beautiful coastal city and planning her next adventure.


Momoka Watanabe Sunohara


Momoka is pursuing her Ph.D. in Psychology (Research) as an international student from Japan. Growing up in a culturally homogenous environment in the “Far East” and getting her education and research training in U.S. (B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Canada (M.Sc in Transcultural Psychiatry from McGill University) while traveling around the world, she has always been fascinated by the cultural diversity as well as the human universals. She is interested in studying to what extent our knowledge and theories about psychological functions are universal across cultural contexts, and they are relative to and uniquely shaped by a specific cultural context (e.g., Western vs. Japanese). She also adopts an interdisciplinary (i.e., drawing knowledge from anthropology, sociology, medicine), mixed-methods approaches (i.e., combining quantitative and qualitative methods) in an attempt to challenge the existing theories and methods in mainstream Psychology to better understand psychological phenomena. She has also been involved in various cross-cultural projects promoting international research collaboration and conversation. Specifically, her research activities focus on two strands of inquiry: (1) a cross-cultural study of beliefs about mental illness (explanatory models) between Japan and Canada; and (2) a study on the relationship between immigration, acculturation, and psychosocial adaptation. She also “conducts experiments” in her kitchen trying to “replicate” authentic Japanese food with available ingredients in Canada (e.g., making unfiltered Sake!) and enjoys new recipes and cuisines from all over the world!