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Leaff Lab

​The research we  conduct in the LEAFF lab is supported by SSHRC and is focused on the academic and psychological well-being of children, adolescents, and adults. Our research is situated within the humanistic approach to psychology. Ecological systems, sociocultural and social cognitive theories also guide our research questions and perspectives.  The Learning Errors and Formative Feedback (LEAFF) model currently focuses our research of learning interventions, methods and assessments.  My complete CV can be found here.


If you would like to learn more about opportunities in our lab, please contact me at jacqueline.leighton@ualberta.ca. ​Meet the team below!


I hold an MA degree in Clinical Counseling, and an MEd degree in Educational Psychology with concentration in Measurement, Evaluation, and Cognition. My educational and research interests are: psychological and educational assessments and measurement, psychometric methods for evaluating and validating tests, statistical techniques in educational research, methodology of think-aloud interviews, and cognitive and emotional processes in academic achievement and decision-making. I currently work on investigating the impact of person-related factors on accuracy and validity of think-aloud interview data.

PhD Student (PSE)

Alina Lutsyk

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 I am in my second year of the School and Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP) Master’s of Education program. I hold a B.A. Honours degree in psychology. My research background is in mathematical and numerical cognition. My current research interests include the acquisition of cognitive skills, academic achievement and assessment, and the social and emotional development of children. I’m very happy to be a member of the LEAFF Lab and take part in exciting new research!

MEd Student (SCCP)

Alicia Orr


I graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. In Materials Engineering in 2002. I quickly shifted to employment in the area of occupational health and safety, working for Alberta Innovates and Alberta Labour for a number of years. I took an extended leave to raise my children and in that time, my interests changed. In 2016 I began a M.Ed. In Interdisciplinary Studies, which I completed this summer. In this degree I have studied children’s mental health, supporting children with autism spectrum disorder, and identifying twice-exceptional learners. My research interests lie in the field of social and emotional learning, with emphasis in gifted education and twice-exceptional learners. I also focus on partnerships between school jurisdictions and university researchers to create mutually beneficial research.

Research Assistant

Victoria Qualie


I am currently completing my second year in Master’s in Education in School and Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Alberta. I graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science in a Psychology Specialist program at the University of Toronto, Mississauga in 2015. I previously worked as a research assistant in the Infant and Child Studies Centre and as a clinical research project assistant at the Hospital for Sick Children. My research interest is in the improvement of current assessment and intervention practices for children with psychopathology.

MEd Student (SCCP)

Katrina Aranas

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I am enrolled in my first year of the School and Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP) Master’s of Education Program. I currently hold a B.A. Honours degree in psychology. In addition, I work with Child and Family Services, as a family support worker, where I educate families on mental health and safe parenting practices in instances where children have been apprehended. My research interests include amalgamating my work and research experiences to study how adverse, or traumatic, childhood experiences impact children’s psycho-social functioning. I am both honoured and elated to be a member of the LEAFF lab! 

MEd Student (SCCP)

Jessica Joseph