Election 2021 Candidates

PRESIDENT (vote for 1)

Byron G. Adams, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands and University of Johannesburg, South Africa
I am an interdisciplinary identity psychologist working at the intersection of organizational, (cross-) cultural, social, and developmental psychology. I examine identity primarily in non-Western contexts, cultures, and groups to evaluate the validity and applicability of theoretical perspectives developed in Western contexts.
I am a long-standing active member of the SSEA since 2015. I am currently serving on the Societies Governing Council (2017 – present) and as Conference Committee Chair (2018 – present), having served as a conference committee member since 2016. I have also been the Africa Topic Network Co-Chair (2015 - 2017) and Chair (2017 – 2018) and served on the Editorial Board of Emerging Adulthood (2018 -2020).
During my term as president of the SSEA, I intend to focus on two objectives. First, promoting and developing more cross-cultural, interdisciplinary research collaborations between scholars of different (particularly underrepresented) localities. Where these links already exist, it is important to highlight them and their impact on advancing inclusive theoretical and methodological approaches. Second, it is important to balance the society’s growth and recognition ambitions and sustain its culture of inclusivity, egalitarianism, and approachability. This objective could be accomplished by continually creating opportunities for emerging scholars to develop and encouraging scholars across different generations to engage and work together.

Carolyn McNamara Barry, Loyola University Maryland, USA
Dr. Carolyn Barry, Professor of Psychology at Loyola University Maryland, is eager to serve as the President of the SSEA Governing Council given her longstanding membership in SSEA since its inception. She served on the Executive Board as Chair of the Finance Committee (2014-2015). She has attended every CEA conference, and chaired a conference review panel on close relationships (2013). She gave a master lecture on her meaning-making work (2015 CEA). She co-chaired the 2017 CEA Conference. Since 2015 she has served on the Editorial Board for Emerging Adulthood. More recently, she co-chaired the SSEA Topic Network on Religion and Spirituality (2015-2019). In addition to her contributions to SSEA, she is a prolific scholar on emerging adulthood (31 articles, 11 chapters, and a co-edited book with Mona Abo-Zena on meaning-making within the OUP Series on Emerging Adulthood), with 71 total publications to date. She also brings university administrative and leadership expertise having chaired Loyola’s Psychology Department, Academic Senate, Faculty Affairs Committee, and served on Loyola’s strategic planning committee. Currently she serves as Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Graduate Programs, where she has, among other tasks, coordinated funding for social science undergraduate students’ research pursuits. Utilizing her scholarly expertise, she is the lead PI on a NetVUE grant that supports vocational development in first-year students in Loyola’s Messina program. As President, Barry would work to strengthen SSEA’s visibility, and bring scholars and practitioners together to increase outreach efforts that holistically supports emerging adults around the globe.


Itzel Eguiluz, UNAM, Mexico
Since 2013 I have been involved as a reviewer and presenter for the SSEA Conferences. In that same year, I had the opportunity of being a visiting student with Dr Jeffrey Arnett at Clark University. I am part of the Journal editorial board and a regular reviewer.

Regarding the SSEA, so far I have been involved in different roles. I have been contributing to the development of the Study Abroad topic network since 2017 as Co-chair and Chair, and during the last months relaunching the Latin American studies network as Chair.

Today, I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at the IIEc, UNAM, the National University in
Mexico. My research is about the health access of Venezuelan women emerging adults in Mexico City. Most of my work is on migration and health, and last year I participated in an international COVID-19 project with Healthcare Workers in which more than 22 countries convey.

I see myself contributing to the SSEA in this role through a Latin American perspective, integrating researchers from diverse countries that usually do not have an important representation in society. I also will be contributing from migration studies and health perspectives to enhance qualitative studies. I am very willing to be part of the SSEA Governing Council and will be honored to keep working on behalf of a diverse and multidisciplinary SSEA.

Shagufa Kapadia, the M.S. University of Baroda, India
I am keenly interested in participating as a member of the SSEA Governing Council.
SSEA has an interdisciplinary and inclusive orientation, and its encouragement and support for non-Western scholars is particularly noteworthy.

SSEA has offered me significant opportunities to participate in its different facets, for example, serving as a member of the editorial board of the journal Emerging Adulthood (2016 -2019) and Founding Board membership. Recently (2021) I received the SSEA small grants award for a study on understanding the lives of emerging adults from an Indic cultural-developmental perspective.

I am enthusiastic to participate in the Governing Council as this would offer an opportunity to contribute to the advancement of SSEA, particularly from an international perspective. Although the SSEA Biennial Meetings have a fairly good international representation, I think the reach needs to be expanded and strengthened, especially to South and South East Asia. This will facilitate dissemination of much good work that is underway, including action research that is culturally grounded in the lived realities of emerging adults. I am keen on garnering more membership from non-Western contexts and initiating cross-cultural networks of emerging adults interested in research, teaching and practice focusing on self and societal development.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for global dialogue and collaboration across board. I would like to see SSEA as a forerunner in initiating and fostering international collaborations among scholars with the goal of deepening our understanding of emerging adulthood and contributing toward enhancement of everyday lives of emerging adults across the globe.

Dalal Katsiaficas, University of Illinois Chicago, USA
I am humbled by the nomination for a potential role on the Governing Council. I began working with the SSEA in 2014, when I served as the chair of the Membership Committee. During my three years in this role, we were successful in meeting our goal of sustaining and growing the society membership. In 2015, I simultaneously held the position of North American representative to the Emerging Scholar Committee, where for two years I helped to coordinate emerging scholar events and communicated emerging scholar needs to the Governing Council. Most recently I served as the Conference Chair for the 2019 Biennial Conference. The 2019 conference program embraced the diversity of experiences of emerging adulthood with the invited program, highlighting the voices of often marginalized populations of emerging adults. Throughout these various roles in the organization, my focus has been to work towards equity and social justice in our field. As a potential member of the Governing Council, I hope to bring a greater focus onto the centering issues of power, privilege and oppression in our work and as a society. We are at a historical moment where emerging adults are grappling with these pressing issues through their political discourses, their educational pursuits as well as through their relationships, identities and commitments to others. The SSEA holds the potential to significantly meet this moment and I look forward to contributing to this end in meaningful ways.

Luzelle Naudé, University of the Free State, South Africa
Luzelle Naudé is a professor at the Department of Psychology, University of the Free State, South Africa. Being committed to support young people towards flourishing, as well as making a contribution to a diverse and humane society, both her teaching and research endeavors are focused on late adolescent and emerging adult development. She has a strong appreciation for the dynamics of diversity in the multicultural milieu of South Africa and, in her research, she explores topics such as the youth’s transformational journeys regarding self and society and the challenges of forming an integrated identity in contexts of change and transition.

During the past few years, my involvement in SSEA has provided me with the opportunity to be part of a community of enthusiastic and eminent researchers, educators, and practitioners who dedicate their leadership, time, and expertise to advance the field of emerging adulthood. I am currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Emerging Adulthood, Chair of the SSEA Membership Committee, and also serve on the 2021 Virtual Conference Programme Committee. By participating in SSEA’s international conferences, topic networks, and scholarly journal, I have experienced how SSEA is ideally positioned to engage with challenges and opportunities in the lives of young people.

I support the society’s vision and, if given the opportunity, I look forward to collaborate with the existing SSEA structures in finding ways to promote SSEA as a multidisciplinary, truly diverse, international organization dedicated to emerging adults across the world - a society where engaged scholars can collaborate across disciplines and continents, to find a professional home and a sense of community.


Perry Leviss, UMASS Boston, USA
My name is Perri Leviss and I am interested in serving as an emerging scholar representative on the SSEA Governing Council. I first joined SSEA about four years ago when I was beginning my dissertation research about opportunity youth and college students in Rhode Island. I was interested in better understanding the trajectory to adulthood for marginalized young people and how an emerging adult’s agency and other factors may help to explain their educational and career pathways. When I found the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, I was very happy to discover a unique space that embraced scholars from different disciplines with a focus on this critical time period. At the fall 2019 SSEA Conference, I presented my preliminary research and was given the Innovative Research Award for my community engaged research that included emerging adults as a core part of my research design, data collection, and data analysis. I would like to serve as one of the emerging scholar representatives on the SSEA Governing Council because I believe that my research and practice in youth development and public policy would help strengthen SSEA’s role in national and state policy making around education, employment, national service, health/mental health, and other areas. Additionally, from my work with local and national community based organizations, I would like to identify new ways to partner with
practitioners serving emerging adults and share the scholarship of SSEA members to improve programs.

Samuel McKay, Bordeaux France
I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of becoming the emerging scholar representative on the SSEA council. I have been an active member of the SSEA community since commencing my PhD in 2017. This has included presenting my research at the last 2 SSEA international conferences, telling my counter-story during the Toronto conference dinner, joining and leading an international project with the study abroad topic network, along with both publishing and reviewing papers in the Emerging Adulthood Journal. Through this experience, I have developed a strong appreciation for both the quality of the work and the wonderful people that make up the SSEA group, and I would relish the opportunity to become an even more engaged member of the community. If I were to become a member of the council, I would like to use my skills to revamp the website and strengthen online communications, support the development of a conference in Australia or France, and drive the creation of an SSEA summer school that supports emerging scholars to further their skills and create strong networks for future collaborative research. These ideas are limited by the current COVID situation, but a revamped and streamlined online system could support the development of such ideas in an online context until we can move back to a more open and international world.


Melissa Fenton, University of Florida, USA
I am interested in serving as an Emerging Scholar Representative for the SSEA Governing Council to increase my involvement in SSEA and learn about governance in professional societies. I began my SSEA membership at the beginning of my doctoral program in 2018. As a member, I presented at the 2019 Biennial Conference, served as a peer reviewer for the 2019 and 2021 conferences, and hope to present at this fall’s virtual conference. I’m looking forward to engaging with the innovative scholars in this society virtually! I am a member of the Emerging Scholars Topic Network and benefitted from their professional development opportunities. As a member of the governing council, I would continue to support these opportunities for emerging scholars.

My research focuses on the transition to adulthood in the rural context with a specific interest in substance use and mental health outcomes. I grew up in a very rural area and recognize how my upbringing and geographic location both provided and constrained opportunities for my development. The disparities in access to mental health treatment and prevention and intervention programs in rural communities is of great concern. Thus, I hope to promote scholarship focused on contextual factors that shape emerging adult development. As the Emerging Scholar Representative, I would recruit new scholars, support new research paths in the applicability of emerging adulthood to different subpopulations (e.g. rural emerging adults), and promote increasing prevention and intervention activities tailored to emerging adult populations.

Tracy Walters, University of Connecticut, USA
I joined SSEA in 2019, shortly before beginning my PhD program. I research sexual health among emerging adults, making the society and conference an excellent fit. Thus far, my involvement with SSEA has been minimal and includes submitting abstract proposals for the 2019 and 2021 conferences, attending the 2019 conference, and submitting a proposal to the 2021 Small Grants Program. I want to be more involved, though, which is why I asked to be nominated for the Emerging Scholar Representative position. Regarding this position, I am most excited about the prospect of aiding in shaping new and current SSEA initiatives, as well as assisting with planning future thematic and biennial conferences, including selection of influential and diverse speakers. As a developing scholar, I also look forward to possible networking and collaboration opportunities with other emerging adulthood scholars and learning more about how societies work. This position would provide knowledge and experience that would benefit me in potential future positions within SSEA, such as reviewing for conferences and (co)chairing one of the topic networks. Not only would serving in this position benefit me, but I can also make useful contributions to SSEA. Before returning to graduate school, I worked as a college instructor and served on both department- and college-level recruitment committees where I helped grow our recruitment efforts. Knowledge gained in these positions would allow me to contribute to SSEA by helping to increase both membership and conference attendance and, ultimately, further interest in and research of emerging adults.