Departmental Students' Association

A room at OISE with a colourful background and white table and chairs.
Departmental Students' Association

Who is your Applied Psychology & Human Development (APHD) Student Association? Learn more about each member below! We sat down with each member and got to know each of them a little bit better. We will continue to share more information from your APHD Student Association on this page throughout the year, so keep an eye out here!

Meet your 2023-2024 APHD Student Association


Samantha Burns, President, DPE PhD, Year 3

Samantha is currently a third year Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychology and Education program and looks forward to being a part of this student organization and OISE community at large. Samantha’s goal in this position is to support students by creating opportunities for student connection, learning, and growth

Research focus: Research Methods, Child Development, and Early Childhood Education and Care Policy

After my degree, I want to: Achieve a Faculty Position

Remarks to APHD students: There is endless information to learn here, just take it one step at a time and remember that mistakes are a part of the student learning experience! And you are a part of an incredible community, at all levels (faculty, staff, and students). So let’s learn together!


Samantha Burns


Shamina Shaheen, Vice President, DPE PhD, Year 4

Shamina Shaheen is a PhD student in the Developmental Psychology and Education program. This past year, she was the Co-Director of Events and Accessibility of STGSU’s Race and Ethnicity Caucus (REC). As an adult ESL teacher for more than a decade, she had previously served students from different backgrounds with diverse needs.

Research focus:  Indigenous wisdom, educating for wisdom, youth developmental programs, teacher training programs

After my degree, I want to explore post-doctoral opportunities. Alternatively, I will look for research related works in non-profit organizations, or work as a youth program developer or coordinator.

Remarks to APHD students: Warm welcome to all APHD students! This year, I look forward to share my academic and professional knowledge and experiences to support and serve your diverse interests!

Image of Shamina Shaheen


Kanza Batool, Finance Officer, DPE PhD, Year 1

Kanza is a first year Ph.D. student in the Developmental Psychology and Education program at OISE. She is looking forward to being a part of the APHD student association and working to bring together students from the department and the OISE community at large.

Research Focus: Child Development,  Children's Moral Judgments, and Young Children’s Cheating Behaviours

After my degree, I want to: work in education policy to improve Canadian education systems.

Remarks to APHD Students: A warm and enthusiastic welcome to all APHD students! As you embark on this exciting academic adventure, remember that you are part of an incredible community that supports and empowers each other. Never hesitate to reach out for help, guidance, or collaboration; together, we can create a thriving environment that fosters growth and learning for all.



Image of aphd dept student assoc finance officer, kanza batool


Teresa Orbillo, Communications Officer, DPE PhD, Year 1

Teresa is a first year PhD student in the Developmental Psychology and Education program, with a program emphasis on Program Evaluation. She is also a member of the OISE Alumni Association Student Advisory Committee helping conduct events that foster community engagement. Teresa is on the communications team for the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) Student Emerging Evaluator Network, working to promote and enhance evaluation practice nationally. As a Neurofeedback Therapist, she values interpersonal connection and helping individuals reach their goals! Her goal with the APHD SA, is to improve student engagement, and to have fun while doing so!

Research focus: Physiological Reactivity, Emotion, Autism and Neurofeedback

After my degree, I want to: Become an entrepreneur, melding my clinical, research and evaluation skills. If I am making a positive impact on lives, I’ll be happy!

Remarks to APHD students: A warm welcome to all APHD students, I am beyond excited to work with all of you this year! Feel free to email me at with any questions, concerns or if you just want to talk!

Teresa Orbillo


Aliakbar Abbasi Garmroudi, Equity & Diversity Officer, CP EdDYear 2

My name is Aliakbar Abbasi Garmroudi (he/him), and I am usually called by my short name, Ali. I am a first-year student in Ed.D Counselling Psychology at OISE and work as a registered psychotherapist in Toronto. I have also been on and off involved in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in my agency at different times of my work and helped to promote equity-driven work through a commitment to identifying and mitigating barriers to access, advancement, and full participation of everyone. 

Research focus: Youth, Intellectual Disability, Mental Health

After my degree, I want to: Continue psychotherapy besides pursuing an academic position.

Remarks to APHD students: Warm welcome to all APHD students. You have started a remarkable, transformative journey in your life. Stay Motivated, work hard, and believe in yourself to achieve your goals. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns which may arise during your academic journey. I am looking forward to connecting with you all!

Photo of Ali G _ Student Association EDI Officer