Maja (far right in the photo above) was invited to be a jury member on the PhD defense of Canan Coskan (main supervisor: Prof. Karen Phalet), in the Department of Social and Cultural Psychology, at the University of Leuven in Belgium this past fall. It was very exciting being “on the other side” of a defense for the first time, and a great experience to get accustomed with the Belgian way of having a defense (and getting to wear a nice gown 🙂 ). It was also a great opportunity to spend more time with and get to know the team of the Department of Social and Cultural Psychology.
Aside from acting as a jury member, Maja also gave a talk on one of her most recent studies and met with eight PhD students in the department to consult with them over their PhD projects. It was also great to talk with Karen Phalet and Colette van Laar, both professors in the department. With their focus on dealing with cultural diversity in schools, they are looking into very similar questions as our team in Potsdam, and there will surely be more opportunities to work together in the future.
As a next step, Maja and Karen organized a symposium “Interethnic Contact Experiences at School – Effects on Psychological Adjustment, Academic Achievement and Intercultural Competence of Culturally Diverse Students” together for the upcoming conference of the International Academy of Intercultural Research to take place in New York in July 2017. Researchers from both teams will present and Kay Deaux, from the City University New York, will act as a discussant. So all in all, the research visit was a very fruitful experience and we are looking forward to more collaborations with the team of Social and Cultural Psychology in Leuven.