Former Graduate Students and Lab members


Orny Alon (Rotem)
Orny Alon (Rotem)


I'm married to Ido and the mother of Amit. I have a BA in Special Education and Counseling and Human Development, as well as an MA in Educational Counseling from Haifa University. I intend to work as an educational counselor at the Ministry of Education, as I feel particularly connected to adolescents.  
My thesis, guided by Dr. Maya Benish-Weisman and Dr. Moti Benita, investigates two types of social behavior: prosocial and aggressive behavior. The purpose is to examine two main constructs, values and emotional regulation, and their interaction in predicting social behavior, by using behavioral and self-report measures to assess social behavior.
Thesis title: Values and social behavior: The moderating role of emotional regulation.



Tal Barashi
Tal Barashi


I hold a BA in Special Education and Guidance and Human Development and am a licensed Special Education teacher, currently completing, with honors, an MA in Educational Counselling with a specialty in Early Childhood at Haifa University. I am in the process of submitting my thesis, while working as a guidance counsellor in an elementary school and am finding great satisfaction in my work with children, staff and parents despite facing new challenges daily. In my work at the school, I am experiencing the implications of the present educational policy, its positive and negative aspects. This has led me to question and think, leading to ideas to improve education and socialization in the school.

Thesis topic: Researching the relationship between values and pro-social behavior, with gender as a modifier.


Former Lab Memebers


Moran Ministar - Research coordinator
Moran Ministar


I have a BA in Psychology and am currently studying for an MA in Educational Counseling at Haifa University. Over the past few years I have worked as a group coordinator for children and youth at risk; I am now an instructor at a day care center for teenage girls at risk.





Reem Meklada - Research assistant
Reem Meklada


I am a BA student with a double major in education and sociology - anthropology. I volunteer at a youth center and am an active member of the “Maase" organization that aims  to develop personal skills and individual empowerment among Druz youth. In the future, I would like to work in education and consulting for Israeli youths, while working towards a PhD.




Mirna Safieh - Research assistant
Mirna Safieh


I began my studies in biology and psychology but decided to focus on biology and medical sciences, hoping to pursue a graduate research field that combines biology (particularly genetics) with the study of behavior. In addition, I work in and train volunteers at the youth center.





Liraz Segal - Research assistant
liraz segal


I am an MA student in Educational Consultancy and have a dual BA in education and sociology and anthropology. I served in the army for five years (2005-2010) as War Room Officer in Southern Gaza, as Team Commander at the Officers’ Training School  in Mitzpe Ramon, and as Coordination Management and Training Officer in a Commanders’ course in the general Branch. My research interests include Matchmaker TV programs, websites, forums and Facebook pages. I believe we should all live according to the motto: "Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst".




Former Graduate Students

Orly Baumel-keren
Orly Baumel-keren


I'm married to Shai and am the mother of two young daughters. I have a B.A in Community Theatre and Special Education and a Theatre Teaching Certification from Haifa University. I am currently working on my Thesis for an M.A in Educational Counseling also at Haifa University
Most of my adult life, I have worked in the non-formal education of adolescents who choose to participate, have a feeling of belonging and are active in their environment. Now I want to introduce elements of non-formal education to the formal sphere. Specifically, I'm interested in finding factors that can make school a place that gives a feeling of belonging and presents opportunities for students to be active in their environment, thus making school a better place for teachers and students.

Thesis Title: School Engagement: promoting and inhibiting factors in the school system.


Abeer Halabi
Abeer Halabi


I have a B.A in Communication and Educational counseling, a Teaching Certificate in Psychology, and M.A in Educational counseling, from Haifa University. Currently, I am working on my thesis at its final steps.
I've always been interested in working with youth in general and with youth at risk in particular, from different perspectives.
I'm a school counselor at a high school in Daliat El-Carmel, a Druze village near Haifa. My work makes me feel contentment and joyful every single day, despite the complexities involved in dealing with various problems of adolescents during this period.

Thesis title: Ethnic Identity and Self-Esteem among Druze Adolescents



Martha Stapura-Ifrah
Martha Stapura-Ifrah


Having been born in the Former Soviet Union, raised in the ethnically diverse city Acre in Israel and immigrated to the USA when I was a teen, cultural identity and immigration have, unsurprisingly, become main fields of interest and inquiry for me. In 2009 I graduated summa cum laude from the City University of New York majoring in Psychology and minoring in creative writing in English. During my B.A., I had received a grant from the American Federal Research Foundation to conduct an independent research study which concerned the impact of stereotype threat on the performance of immigrants on intelligence tests. I have also taken part in different volunteering projects around the world, including India, Israel and the US.


For the last couple of years I have been involved in a number of research projects concerning immigrants and ethnic minorities in Israel and I am currently working on my thesis for an M.A. degree in Educational Counseling at the Haifa University. I have been very fortunate to join a German-Israeli Young Researchers’ Exchange on Diversity program which gives me the opportunity to learn and widen my understanding of inter-cultural processes and diversity.

Thesis title: Seeking the Help of Educational Counselors: Cross Cultural Differences in Mothers’ Attitudes, Knowledge and Actual Experience



Roni Peles
Roni Peles


I have a B.A. in Psychology and Multidisciplinary Studies (Education and the Arts) from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Currently, I am writing my thesis as a part of my M.A. in Clinical and Educational Psychology in the University of Haifa, and have started my internship in Educational Psychology.
I am very interested in cultural differences and their expressions in psychological and educational processes

Thesis Title: The Relations between Students’ Peer Relations and School Engagement in Middle Adolescence.
Thesis goal: To investigate, in a multicultural context, adolescent students’ school engagement and its affiliations to two distinct but overlapping aspects of their peer relations: peer acceptance and friendships. roni.peles@gmail.com