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2009 December End of Year Party

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Professor Saadi Lahlou celebrated the success of Psychology@LSE's three recent PhD graduates at the Institute's recent end of term party. Supervisors paid tribute to the achievements of Parisa Dashtipour, Morten Skovdal and Stavroula Tsirogianni. 

Below is the video of the event. Get Adobe Flash player

Tribute to Morten Skovdal:

Morten Skovdal TributeProfessor Catherine Campbell congratulating Morten Skovdal on his successful PhD

"It is with great pride and pleasure that I congratulate Morten on his PhD. Morten came to us with an MSc from the Institute of Child Health at University College London, to study for a doctorate entitled: Young carers in western Kenya: collective struggles and coping strategies. With my doctoral programme director's hat on, Morten is the first in our new streamlined PhD system to complete his thesis within three years. This on its own would have been an amazing achievement, but he has done much more besides this over these three years.

Whilst he was doing his PhD Morten also published six papers in strong academic journals, including one in Social Science and Medicine, the most frequently cited journal in the social sciences. This is a strong achievement for a PhD student. He also successfully completed his Post-Graduate Certificate of Education, and achieved top teaching ratings in his student teaching evaluations.

In addition to this, he found time to set up, raise funding and run an NGO in Western Kenya, which uses state-of-the-art child led approaches to help communities support HIV/AIDS-affected children ( He has also raised money for scholarships to enable 420 Kenyan AIDS orphans to attend school. He also did a big and time-consuming consultancy for the World Bank, evaluating the impact of a community-based cash transfer initiative across 13 districts in Kenya.

Morten's work is having a powerful influence on research and policy in his field in southern Africa, and he has been identified as a key rising star in the field of child community health.

Supervising him has been a great privilege. I have learned more from working with him than I can say. He is a wonderful person who combines a sharp academic mind with exceptional emotional intelligence and a strong sense of social justice. Together with a remarkable capacity for hard work! He also has an exceptional ability to see the implications of academic findings for policy and intervention. We all wish him well in what I have no doubt will be an important career in the fields of academia, philanthropy and social development."

Click here to view Morten Skovdal's personal page

parisa tributeProfessor Saadi Lahlou representing the ISP in congratulating Parisa Dashtipour on her successful PhD

Dr Caroline Howarth's tribute to Parisa Dashtipour:

"I am utterly delighted to be able to congratulate Dr Parisa Dashtipour on her recent very successful PhD viva! It has been a real pleasure getting to know Parisa, in supervising her together with Derek Hook. I first knew Parisa as an MSc student – and was impressed by her eagerness to take on difficult and contentious issues in her academic work. Her MSc research report examined the possibilities for resistance for Iranian Swedish women. This work really developed Parisa's very thorough and intellectually sensitive approach to theorising the connections between identity, representation and resistance.

Parisa DashtipourIn her PhD she has developed a theory of resistance that connects identity, resistance and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Her PhD examiners , Professors Ian Parker and Stephen Frosh, recognised the quality and originality of her thesis (passing it with no corrections, a great achievement), and they saw that this makes a significant contribution to our understanding of racism and antiracism. In addition, Parisa's work is also innovative in terms of methods: her data consisted solely of the Swedish anti-racist magazine, Gringo; in her ambition to challenge the individualism of much of the work on racism (and indeed much Social Psychology) at the levels of theory and methodology, her approach to data was thoroughly original in that it proposes the construction and contestation of racism as essentially collaborative.
Supervising Parisa has been very rewarding. Her PhD thesis demands a re-engagement with the social in quite a radical way that depicts the psyche was fundamentally social and cultural. She deserves a bright future in academia and I wish her all the best in securing this. " Click here to read about Parisa's research

Dr Jan Stockdale's tribute to Stravroula Tsirogianni:

Stravroula TsigiannaAlthough not Stavroula's supervisor – that honour falls to George Gaskell – I am privileged to be asked to congratulate Stavroula on her doctorate on behal f of the Institute.

Stavroula's PhD thesis entitled 'Social Values in Context: a Study of the European Knowledge Society' is a valuable contribution to understanding how social values align with changing patterns of 

Dr Jan Stockdale congratulating Stravroula Tsirogianni on her successful PhD

economic development, work and QoL in the European knowledge society. However, in my view, it is more than that. It is a tribute to Stavroula's enthusiasm, commitment and generosity of spirit – you have only to read Stavroula's page of acknowledgments to all her friends, mentors and, not least, her partner Yannis – to realise the extent of Stavroula's friendship network and open-heartedness.

So, as well as congratulating Stavroula on her academic success and her teaching ability, which I have had the good fortune to witness at first hand, I would like to place on record her excellence at cooking – her spanakopita and dolmades are to die for - her ability to share ideas, everyday concerns, often over a glass of wine or two – and, most important of all, her enjoyment of life. I shall miss her bubbly presence in St Clements but wish her every success in the future. " Click here to read about Stravroula Tsirogianni's research