John L. Michela, PhD., Director

Jay MichelaDr. John L. Michela (aka Jay) is a tenured associate professor with the Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology graduate program at the University of Waterloo. Since the 1990s, Jay has led the Waterloo Organizational Research and Consulting Group (WORC Group) as its founding director. He or other members of the I/O Psychology faculty supervise projects such as those sketched on this website in the section on Our Expertise. 

Jay's own expertise for consulting on issues in change management (e.g., culture or teamwork) and in staffing (e.g., selection, structure, and training) is based partly on corporate-type training that he received in the Columbia-Michigan programs in organization development, when he was a tenured faculty member at Columbia University's graduate school of education, psychology, and health studies. Simultaneously, at Burke Associates in Pelham, New York, Jay contributed to the design and implementation of feedback processes used in major organizational change at British Airways. Shortly thereafter, at Hay Management Consultants in Manhattan, Jay co-designed and developed a software-assisted, consulting product that integrated a pre-existing management tool with a novel extension involving management communication networks and patterns.

On the academic side of his career, Jay has been on the editorial boards of two of the three sections of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Attitudes/Social Cognition and Personality/Individual Differences) and he has served as an associate editor of the International Journal of Organizational Analysis.

His research applies theories from social psychology, often along with advanced statistical methods, to address management issues that involve leadership and teams seeking product innovation or broader organizational or community change. The topics of vision in leadership and identity-based motivation in work and career are his current focus. His contributions to various books or book series include chapters in the Handbook of Organizational Climate and Culture and the Annual Review of Psychology; his journal articles have appeared in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Organizational Research Methods, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, among others. He previously received research grant support from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Spencer Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council — under its program for knowledge transfer from academia to the broader society.

Back to top

K. Yourie Kim 

Yourie KimYourie is a graduate student in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on entrepreneurship and career choice motivation as well as gender and leadership. In addition to her studies, she facilitates workshops with the university’s Student Leadership Program where she develops the leadership skills of young adults. She has experience with public speaking, coaching, as well as coordinating and managing projects involving professionals from different fields. On her spare time, Yourie enjoys photography, dance, and hot yoga.

Back to top

Navio Kwok

Navio KwokNavio is a PhD candidate in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at the University of Waterloo. His research interests involve understanding the process of leader and leadership development. In his most recent work, Navio has collaborated with the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program to explore the role of identity in training and developing leaders. Navio is also a researcher at the University of British Columbia Centre for Collaborative Research on Hoarding, where he works with various multi-disciplinary hoarding task forces across North America.

Back to top

Canaan Legault

Canaan LegaultCanaan received an honours degree in psychology from the University of Western Ontario for his research working with big data analytics programs. Currently, Canaan is a PhD candidate in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at the University of Waterloo with interests in employee motivation, safety, and personality. His recent research has looked at individual traits that predict optimal risk taking within work simulations. Past applied projects have included the design and implementation of the King's Academic Mentoring Program at King's University College, a mentorship program intended to increase student engagement and retention at the post-secondary level.

Back to top

Frank Mu

Frank MuFrank received his joint honours degree in psychology and business from the University of Waterloo for his research on conflict resolution among coworkers. Currently, Frank is pursuing a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, with research focusing on conflict management, fairness in the workplace, employee commitment, and diversity. Frank also has over two years of experience mentoring co-op students on employability skills as part of the Professional Development Program at the University of Waterloo. During his spare time Frank enjoys basketball and learning about technology.

Back to top

Vincent Phan

Vincent PhanVincent completed an honours degree in psychology at McGill University, where he conducted research on gender and intergroup relations. At the moment, he is completing a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Waterloo, with a particular interest in employee motivation, fairness in the workplace, and occupational health. Research endeavours aside, he also provides coaching to students in an undergraduate class on training and development. During his few free moments, Vincent loves to talk about his baby nephews and watch the Montreal Canadiens.

Back to top

Jared Valdron

Jared ValdronJared is a bilingual human resources professional with over four years of experience working in the information technology industry. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, with research focusing on preventing unwanted biases in workplace decision-making. Having worked in countries such as Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada, and the U.S., and organizations such as Microsoft Partners, Junior Team Canada and Harvard University, Jared provides a unique perspective on organizational functioning. Beyond his professional pursuits, Jared enjoys cooking and playing board games.

Back to top

Edward Yeung

Edward YeungEdward has over five years of experience working with businesses and individuals as a human resources advisor, employment counsellor, and internship developer. He has consulted in this capacity for a multitude of small businesses, as well as larger organizations such as Johnson Controls, Sunlife Financial, and Royal LePage. Currently, Edward is a PhD candidate in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at the University of Waterloo.  His research has examined workplace stress, employee engagement, leadership effectiveness, and talent recruitment.

Back to top