reports on the Stranger Things that happened in 2017-18


The year 2017-18 was filled with new experiences and activities for the three staff members of the Psychology Department Ruby, Linda and Karen Almeida, (who was filling in for Dean) ably supported by our Teaching Assistant, Priya Baid. Along with a new TYBA combination (Eco-Psycho) offered this year, (which was not that strange), we would like to file a report on the happenings and other ‘Stranger Things’...

We began with some special training for our TYBA psychology major students in the Psychology Lab (which, unlike the Hawkins Lab, has no gateway into another dimension that we know of). Dr. Trinjhna Khattar conducted a team building session and resource persons from Monk Prayogshala handled Research Capacity Building. These skills are essential for writing good research reports and working together (and in case one has to conquer potential demogorgons who may enter into our world through the open portal, trust and teamwork would be mandatory).

The other workshops through the odd semester (Season 1) and even semester (Season 2), attended by interdisciplinary groups of students, have been tabulated below.



Relationships & Communication: a psychodynamic perspective

Rupa Kalahasthi & Shruti Murali

Creative Arts Therapy and expression of sexuality

Devika Mehta

Interdisciplinary research study on Globalization & Health

Dr. Sonia  Suchday

Professor & Head, Psychology Department, Pace , NY, USA

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy

Shama Shah

Psychology of Storytelling

Toru Jhaveri

Animal Assisted Interventions

Aditi Bodas & Malvika Lobo Animal Angels Foundation


Prerana Dharnidharka

Forensic Psychology

Janavi Doshi

Sports Psychology

Maurelle D’Sa


We also had various guest speakers, some of whom interacted with interdisciplinary groups in a series of lectures and others who addressed specific classes. Two of these were symposiums with more than one speaker. (Unfortunately, Will, Mike, Dustin and Lucas were unable to come and share their experience of tackling the Shadow Monster).



Interaction with the TY psychology class on ‘The emerging field of Cognitive Psychology’

Dr. Narayanan Srinivasan                       
Professor & Head,     Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of  Allahabad   

Lecture Series on ‘Behavioural Economics’ for an interdisciplinary group

Poorvi Iyer 

Research scholar/ PhD student (LSE, UK)

SYMPOSIUM in collaboration with COSI

on Busting Myths about Work with Industrial and Organizational Psychology Research

Dr. Aarti Shyamsunder (Proprietor, Psymantics Consulting, Bangalore)

Dr. Comila Shahani-Denning (Professor, Hofstra University, New York)

Dr. Pradnya Parasher(Founder and CEO, ThreeFish Consulting)

Lecture for an interdisciplinary group on ‘Emotional Intelligence at the Workplace’

Mr. Rajiv Chelladurai

(Wisdom Coach and Founder Ergos Mind)

Interactive lecture for Counseling Psychology students on ‘Group Therapy’ (encounter group)

Rhea Gandhi (Psychotherapist)

Lecture Series on ‘Understanding the Extraordinary Behaviour of Ordinary People’

Ms. Maureen Almeida, Retired Head of Psychology Dept. St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

Lecture for the  POA class on ‘Suicide: Awareness and Prevention’

Mr. Farrokh Buchia, Ms. Khushnam Engineer and Ms. Gargi

The Vahishta Foundation

Possibilities (Self awareness and Actualization- Training for counselling CIA 2)

Mr. Aspi Shroff

Founder of NGO ‘Possibilities’


The Next Step was held as a symposium, on 12th February, the objective being to give our current students a glimpse of the PG courses and potential career paths they can choose from after graduating with Psychology. The resource persons (many of whom were alumni of the department)  from diverse fields, with varied experience, were invited to throw light on the kind of coursework, evaluate the course with respect to the pluses and minuses and share some personal insights from their journey towards a career path. Those who have had a lot of professional experience spoke about the profession/career rather than a course. This endeavor was undertaken to help our students make a more informed choice regarding their Next Step from St. Xavier’s College. (Chief Hopper was scheduled to speak, but was caught up... in the vines and had to be rescued himself)

Resource persons

Theme / course / career path

Sandhavi Venkatesh

From Christ college, Bangalore to Lecturer at MNWC Parla “Still figuring it out….”

Dr. Hemal Shroff

Interdisciplinary courses at TISS 

Dr. Rizwana Nulwala

Psychiatric Social Work

Vir Amar Dasmahpatra

“Follow your passion…”

Ashini Shah

Diagnostics & Therapy

Sanjana Meher

SNDT Churchgate & Clinical work

Dr. Ann Dolly

Working with Corporates (Industrial Psychology)

Goral Shroff

Management (MBA Marketing from K J Somaiya) currently working with Deloitte, Human Capital Consulting

Siddhartha Fondekar

Govt Law college (after MA in Industrial Psychology from Mithibai)

Jyayasi Kapadia

BEd (currently a two year course)

Priyanka Bajaj

Montessori training and teaching at School

Dr. Wilbur Gonsalves

Courses at UDAP, Kalina, University of Mumbai

Toru Jhaveri


Dr. Noellene Fialho

Human Development, Nirmala Niketan and school counseling

Sonal Elvis D’Silva

Music and Sound


The TY abnormal Psychology class went for a field visit to the Dilkhush special school. The group was supervised by Ms. Linda Dhakul. (Eleven, with her special telekinetic abilities, would have loved to be part of that visit, but was off on a quest to locate her biological mother).


As part of our extension work, the following activities were organized (some of these were conducted at locations outside college, but there was no need to use Will’s map of underground tunnels to get to the location):

  • Two department centric SIP activities were offered this year. 

    • Assisting an outstation student in adjusting to the college and the city. (35 students completed this mentoring and befriending activity and submitted reports).

    • Public Awareness Initiative regarding mental health, in collaboration with the SAA, Pune. Four senior members of the SAA set up their exhibition in the XIMR corridor for one day. (The 30 students had registered for this brought in two other adults and participated in the interactive lecture/discussion aimed at sensitization towards and destigmatization of mental illness). 

  • We also collaborated with the BMM department, who had invited 13 rural students from Shikshayatan Middle School in Arasavangkadu, Tamil Nadu, to visit our campus. Few TY Psychology students conducted activities with these children, aimed at boosting their personal efficacy and esteem.

  • After undergoing the structured exercises themselves, the counseling psychology students reached out to diverse groups outside college (housewives, the elderly, teenagers, caregivers of children with cancer) to conduct mini workshops on self-awareness, actualization and positive thinking.


The Annual Khandala Seminar was held from 29th November to 1st December. The theme was ‘Psychological Review of Famous persons, characters, events and trends’. Two staff members and 109 students (47 FY, 48 SY and 14 TY) attended. Twenty nine papers were presented. Lives of famous personalities (Princess Diana, Vincent Van Gogh, Robin Williams), characters (from the sitcom Friends, Power dynamics in the Game of Thrones, Po from Kung Fu Panda, Darth Vader), and events (The Salem Witch trials, Playing the Trump card in US elections) were analyzed through a psychological lens. Audience members gave constructive feedback on the presentations they heard, using the criteria identified by the department (they had pen and paper for this, they did not need strings of light bulbs to communicate).

We also participated at the 25th Annual Bombay Psychological Association (BPA) conference, in collaboration with Dept. of Psychology SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, titled ‘Positive Footprints Towards a Healthy Society’: A National Multidisciplinary Conference. It was held at Smt. P.N. Doshi Women’s College, Ghatkopar (W) on the 12th and 13th January, 2018. 14 students from St. Xavier’s registered and 6 papers were presented. They were accompanied by the Ms. Ruby Pavri. (Bob could have added his bit to the positive, creative problem solving ideas, but unfortunately, he was attacked by hive mind controlled demodogs and so didn’t make it to the conference).

This year’s department magazine Uncommon Sense had articles around the intriguing theme Psychology of Contrasts. (Had Joyce, Jonathan, Nancy or Steve read it, they might have gotten more insight into the Upside Down).


As we end this report, we would like to acknowledge the support given by the inclusion committee and the tremendous personal effort put in by our two students with disabilities, who successfully completed their TY with a psychology major, in spite of the physical challenges. We also place on record our congratulations to our Psychology student Jahnavi Pandya on earning the Student of the Year Award for her various academic and co curricular achievements. As she and our TYs step out from our college portals, it almost seems like they are entering an alternate reality. With learnings from the past and ‘now memories’ we wish them all the very best as they leave the familiar, to experience even more Stranger Things!


Ms. Ruby Pavri

Head, Dept. of Psychology

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