Kelly Schwartz

Kelly D. Schwartz, PhD - Social Development Research Team Director

Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz is Associate Professor, School and Applied Child Psychology, at the University of Calgary. A Registered Psychologist (Alberta) practicing in school and private settings for over 20 years, he holds a PhD in Social Psychology and an MSc in School and Community Psychology. His research focuses on how psychosocial factors and developmental assets contribute to healthy child and family development. Dr. Schwartz has held national and international grants for his research, has published articles and chapters in academic and common publications, and has presented symposia and invited lectures at over 40 national and international conferences.



Jenna Young, MSc - Doctoral Candidate

Jenna is a doctoral candidate. She joined the School and Applied Child Psychology program in September 2014 and completed her master's thesis, which explores how to empower Canada's Aboriginal youth at school with the use of Positive Youth Development, in August 2016.  Her research interests include social justice, culture, social psychology, youth development and at-risk populations. 


Marisa Van Bavel, MSc - Doctoral Candidate

Marisa is a doctoral candidate in the School and Applied Child Psychology program. In August 2018, she defended her master's thesis which explored the role of art and culture in Blackfoot student wellness and educational engagement in order to consider how pedagogy and curriculum can be adapted to better serve Blackfoot students. Her research interests include prevention, positive youth development, and social justice. For her doctoral dissertation, Marisa is interested in collaborating with the Tsuut'ina Nation Policing Service to support a youth violence prevention program. Specifically she is exploring resilience among youth typically deemed high-risk.


Melissa Mueller, MSc - Doctoral Student

Melissa is a second year doctoral student in School and Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary. Within the Social Development Research Team, Melissa's research examines the relationship between screen time and child development outcomes with a specific interest in understanding any long-term impacts. Melissa is also interested in understanding what are appropriate screen time recommendations for children and examining the important role that parents play in their children's relationship with screens.


Jennifer Boey, MA - Masters Student

Jennifer is a second-year MSc student in the School and Applied Child Psychology program. In 2017, Jennifer completed a Master of Arts in Community Development at the University of Victoria. For her final project, she worked with the British Columbia SPCA to partner with BC Indigenous communities toward common goals. Jennifer's current research interests include the social and emotional development of gifted students.


Kaleem Khan, BA (Honours)- Masters Student

Kaleem is a second year masters student in the School and Applied Child Psychology program. His current research interests broadly include child development, resilience, and diversity. He is currently publishing research involving identity and its relation to psychosocial outcomes in cancer survivors. Following four years of clinical experience as a psychometrist for psychologist Dr. Kerry Mothersill, Kaleem has administered various neuropsychological, vocational and academic assessments.  


Rachel Canfield, BA (Honors)

Rachel is a recent graduate from the University of Calgary and completed her BA (Honours) in June 2021. For her honours thesis, she explored gender differences in adolescent mental and behavioural health during the COVID-19 school re-entry. She is currently taking time off school to further her research experience alongside the Social Development Research Team. She hopes to go teach English abroad in 2022 before returning home to continue her studies in School and Applied Child Psychology.

SDRT Alumni


Min Baek, MSc 2020

Min successfully defended her Master’s thesis in 2020 and is now a graduate of the School and Applied Child Psychology program. Min completed her Bachelor of Science in Combined Honours in Psychology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Dalhousie University in Halifax. Min is now a provisional psychologist in Calgary. 


Valerie D. Willan, PhD 2019

Valerie is originally from Ontario and moved to Calgary to complete her Masters and PhD studies. She successfully defended her research on Cyber-Based Dating Aggression (CBDA; aggression between romantic couples through communication technology, such as social media) in an adolescent population. Using an iOS and Android mobile application to collect data, adolescents answered daily questions about their CBDA experience. 


Andrea M. Stelnicki, PhD 2018

Andrea successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in 2018. Her research examined how a parent’s operational stress injury (OSI) impacts children’s social-emotional and behavioral development and the related effects on school functioning. Andrea is currently completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Regina where she specializes in mental health and rehabilitation in active duty personnel, Veterans or families. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys knitting sweaters for her long-haired dachshund, Giovanni. 


Karly Warren, MSc 2018

Karly successfully defended her thesis and finished her MSc degree in School and Applied Child Psychology in September 2018. Her thesis focused on the relationship between playtime activities, executive functioning, and sleep habits in preschool children. Karly is currently working at Golden Hills School Division.


Ian Campbell, MSc 2018

Ian is a successful Master's alumni of the School and Applied Child Psychology program. His Master's research focused on school engagement, structured extracurricular activities, and cultural connectedness within a sample of Indigenous youth in the Stoney Nakoda Nation. He hales from Brandon, Manitoba; a small, cold town on the prairies with exceptionally long winters. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and spent three years prior to his Masters running a restaurant that made wood fired pizzas that could rival those of the streets of Italy.


Madelyn Worth, MSc 2018

Madelyn successfully defended her thesis and finished her MSc degree in School and Applied Child Psychology in July 2018. Her master's thesis focused on the effectiveness of rTMS as a treatment for adolescent depression - with her research specifically examining the impacts of comorbid social anxiety. She is originally from Victoria BC, and has returned there to work as a school psychologist. 


Bailey Wheeler, MSc 2018

Bailey successfully defended her thesis and finished her MSc degree in School and Applied Child Psychology in September 2018. Her thesis explored friendship qualities and their associations with social, emotional, and behavioural functioning in military-connected youth. In her spare time, Bailey enjoys hiking, tap dancing and watching movies.


Chelsea Durber, MSc 2015

Chelsea successfully defended her thesis and finished her MSc degree in School and Applied Child Psychology in November 2015. Her thesis focused on parent-child relationships and children’s socio-emotional development, with particular emphasis on the interrelationship between these two domains. In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys cooking, reading, and jogging.

Harriet Winterflood, MSc 2016

Harriet successfully defended her thesis and finished her MSc degree in School and Applied Child Psychology in August 2016. Her thesis focused on positive youth development within a Canadian Aboriginal population. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Winnipeg. Her undergraduate thesis explored first graders sensitivity to orthographic regularities. While completing her undergraduate degree, Harriet worked in a foster home with teenage girls, and also tutored adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Harriet’s current research is exploring positive youth development within a Canadian Aboriginal population. Specifically, it aims to determine whether school bonding (i.e., students feelings of attachment to their school) is a significant predictor of academic achievement in Canadian Aboriginal Youth that reside on-reserve. Harriet returned to Manitoba to start a new job as a school psychologist!

Serena Smygwaty, MSc 2016

Serena successfully defended her thesis and finished her MSc degree in School and Applied Child Psychology program in August 2016. Her research examined how parent's participation in the Teen Triple-P program (an 8-week parent training program) impacts both parents' and adolescents' perceptions of parent-adolescent relationship quality and family climate. Serena is an avid runner and enjoys competing in half-marathon races, drinking coffee, and hanging out with her two awesome cats, Ninja and Bacon. Serena recently started her new job as a school psychologist!