Dr. Corinne Syrnyk portrait

Dr. Corinne Syrnyk

Director of Research,
Associate Professor of Psychology

Phone: (403) 254-3736
Email: corinne.syrnyk(at)stmu.ca
Office: A220
PhD Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK
PGCE in Higher Education, University of Lincoln, UK
BSc Psychology (Honours), University of Manitoba

Specialization/research interests: the ‘Nurture’ approach for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties; standardised language assessment methodology; early language comprehension;

After spending the better part of a decade living in (and loving) England, I returned to Canada in 2012 to become a member of the StMU community. Since then I have gotten acquainted with Calgary’s drivers, the annual penchant for all things cow(person?), and the ‘expect anything’ weather.
Syrnyk, C., McArthur, A., Zwack, A., & Handelsman, A. (in press). Supporting young readers: A mixed-methods study of their literacy, behaviour, and perceptions when reading Aloud to dogs or adults. Early Childhood Education Journal.

Syrnyk, C. & McArthur, A. (under review). The impact of animal-assisted intervention on academic burnout in undergraduate students. Journal of Society and Animals.

Syrnyk, C. & McArthur, A. (under review). Reading to dogs at home: A pilot study. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin.

Syrnyk, C. & McArthur, A. (2022). The characteristics and motivations of human volunteers of animal-assisted interventions. Human Animal Interaction Bulletin, 10(2), 99-114.

Syrnyk, C. (2018). Knowing nurture: Experiences of teaching assistants for children with SEMH. British Journal of Special Education, 45(3), 329-348.

McArthur, A., & Syrnyk, C. (2018). Improving the post-secondary student experience: The effectiveness of animal assisted therapy events, Journal of Society & Animals, 26, 1-17.

Syrnyk, C. & Meints, K. (2017). Bye bye Mummy: Word comprehension at 9 months of age. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 35(2), 202-217.

Hyland-Russell, T., & Syrnyk, C. (2016). Teaching from the margins: Democracy depends on the humanities. In C. Wright-Maley and T. Davis (Eds.), Teaching for Democracy in an Age of Economic Disparity. Routledge.

Hyland-Russell, T., & Syrnyk, C. (2015). Challenging change: Transformative education for economically disadvantaged adult learners. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 34(5), 514-529.

Hyland-Russell, T., & Syrnyk, C. (2014). Transforming the margins: Increasing well-being and agency among marginalized non-traditional adult learners. Proceedings of the Transformative Learning Network, Columbia University, New York, USA.

Syrnyk, C. (2014). Capturing the nurture approach: Experiences of young pupils with SEBD. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 19(2), 154-175.

Syrnyk, C. (2013). Challenging behaviour in the early years: Nurturing a generation. In P. Beckley (Ed.), The New Early Years Foundation Stage: Changes, Challenges and Reflections. London: Open University Press.

Syrnyk, C. (2012). The nurture teacher: Characteristics, challenges and training. British Journal of Special Education, 39(3), 146-155.

Syrnyk, C. & Meints, K. (2012). A response to ‘Regarding “Syrnyk, C. and Meints, K., 2012, Fishy fishes: the typicality of object stimuli used to assess children’s language in the Reynell Developmental Language Scales-III [Letter to the Editor]. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 47(6), 753-755.

Syrnyk, C. & Meints, K. (2012). Fishy fishes: The typicality of object stimuli used to assess children’s language in the Reynell Developmental Language Scales-III. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 47(4), 437-450.

Meints, K., Syrnyk, C., & De Keuster, T. (2010). Why do children get bitten in the face?. Injury Prevention, 16(Supple). pp. A172-A173. ISSN: 1353-8047

A big believer of research-led teaching, I love to bring advances in the field into the classroom. In my view, good teaching is based on up-to-date research, so my students find themselves reading current articles, listening to podcasts, and having lots of discussions. I get to do all of this fun stuff in the courses I teach which include:

  • Introductory psychology
  • Child development
  • Language development
  • Adolescent development
  • Educational psychology
  • Statistics (Research design & methods)
  • The Honours seminar

  • CAREB (Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards) Conference, Winnipeg, MB, May 2019
  • Pets Access League Society (PALS): On-campus Event for Student Mental Health, December 2018, February/April 2019
  • Corgi’s on Campus, On-campus Event for Student Mental Health, April 2019
  • CAREB (Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards Conference and REB Administrator Advanced Ethics Workshop, Toronto, Ont, May 2016
  • CAREB (Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards Conference and REB Administrator Advanced Ethics Workshop, Toronto, Ont, May 2015
  • Faculty Research Profile, Animal Assisted Therapy Research ‘PALS’, for Marian Update, Summer 2015
  • CAREB (Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards Conference and REB Administrator Advanced Ethics Workshop, Vancouver, BC, April 2015
  • Nurture in Education, International Research Conference, Invited Presentation & Roundtable Discussant, London, England, October 2014
  • 11th International Transformative Learning Conference, Paper Presentation with Dr Hyland-Russell, New York, October 2014
  • International Society on Infant Studies, Paper Presentation, Berlin, Germany, July, 2014
  • International Society of Anthrozoology, Poster Presentation ‘Why Do Children Get Bitten in the Face’, Vienna, July 2014
  • Association for Psychological Science, Poster Presentation with Dr McArthur, San Francisco, May 2014
  • CAREB (Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards Conference and REB Administrator Basics Ethics Workshop, Montreal, Quebec, April, 2014
  • The Search for a New Humanism, Faculty of Education, St. Mary’s University College, Conference Facilitator, February 2014
  • How to Promote Behavioural Regulation and Integrate Programs Right in the Schools, Ontario Psychological Society, Toronto, October 2013
  • Society for Research in Child Development, Biennial Meeting, Symposium, Presentation “Why Do Children Get Bitten in the Face?” Seattle, Washington, April 2013
  • Differentiated Learning Conference, St. Mary’s University College. Presentation, “Understanding and Supporting Behaviour in the Early Years”. Calgary, Alberta, January 2013
  • Faculty Colloquim, St. Mary’s University College, Presentation: “Research Interests: Understanding the Nurture Approach”. Calgary, Alberta, November 2012
  • British Psychological Society, Developmental Section Annual Conference. Presentation: “Intermodal Preferential Looking and the CDI”. Northumbria University, Newcastle, September 2011
  • Training, Advancement and Cooperation in Teaching Young Children (TACTYC), Biennial Meeting, “Grounds for Play: Exploring Risk in the Outdoor Early Years Environment”. Birmingham, November, 2010
  • International Safety Conference. Poster presentation, “Why do children get bitten in the face” Meints, Syrnyk and De Keuster. London, UK, September, 2010
  • United Lincolnshire Health Trust, Research & Development Dept, Research Ethics Committee Workshop, Lincoln, February 2009
  • Northern League Developmental Consortium, Poster Presentation, Durham University, January 2009
  • UKRO, “New European Liaison Officers: Getting the most out of European Funding” Brussels, Belguim, November 2008
  • Association of Research Managers and Administrators, Supporting Research Proposals, London, November 2008
  • The 26th annual conference for the Association for the Teaching of Psychology (ATP), Lincoln, July 2008
  • Society for Research of Child Development, Poster presentations “Who is that? A study of the development of self-recognition using Intermodal Preferential Looking” and “A longitudinal examination of intermodal preferential looking as a language assessment tool”, Boston, MA, U.S.A., May 2007
  • East Midlands Post-Graduate Psychology Network, Workshop: “Making Research Methods Interesting, Getting Published, Your Top Teaching Worries Resolved”, Nottingham University, May 2007
  • International Congress for the Study of Child Language, Berlin, Germany, July 2006
  • Introduction to longitudinal data analysis, Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester, June 2006
  • Trent and Yorkshire Forum for Teachers of Psychology, Presentation: “The Assessment of Language”, Lincoln, July 2005
  • Society for Research of Child Development, Atlanta, GA, U.S.A., March, 2005
  • Third annual ARHB conference on Innateness and Structure of the Mind, Delegate, University of Sheffield, July 2005
  • Bayley Infant Scales of Development II, Workshop, Roehampton Hospital, London, April 2004