Amber Stark

SIOP Member Spotlight: Laura Dryjanska

Position/Employer: Associate Professor at Biola University, Rosemead School of Psychology

Interest area(s): migration, human trafficking, intergenerational solidarity

What sparked your interest in I-O psychology? I became fascinated with I-O psychology during my graduate studies, as I was interviewing expats in Rome, Italy. It was a part of my dissertation. I realized that I-O psychology is much broader than personnel selection, performance evaluation, leadership, organizational culture, and change, and so forth. Topics such as transnational living and working, cultural issues, well-being at workplace, and family–work balance are also of interest to I-O psychology. I started exploring the field more and went into its history in different countries, discovering some fascinating concepts, such as “bellessere” of Spaltro, an Italian I-O psychologist. This has truly sparked my interest.

What role do you see I-O psychology playing in the future of work? There is huge potential for I-O psychology to shape the future of work in this critical historical period that we are living right now. The field can provide insight and recommendations into well-being at work in relation to the anti-pandemic measures. It can also play a decisive role in addressing inequalities and fighting for social justice, for example by promoting organizational cultures that do not tolerate human trafficking (in particular, labor trafficking) and racism.

Which of the Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2020 do you most strongly relate to and how can I-O psychology practitioners, educators, and students impact this trend? I most strongly relate to the workforce health and well-being trend. I believe that some concepts from international I-O psychology, such as the contributions of Enzo Spaltro in Italy, can be relevant in other places. The idea of “bellessere” and the importance of beauty resonates with me and as an educator I feel that I can promote this approach.

How long have you been a SIOP member? Since 2017.

What roles have you had within SIOP? I’ve been serving on the International Affairs Committee since 2019. I’m currently a vice chair of the White Papers subcommittee. I am also a mentor of a graduate student under the mentorship program.

What is one of your favorite SIOP annual conference memories/highlights? The international panels and relevance of I-O psychology globally.

What advice would you give to students or early practitioners? Don’t be afraid to explore new frontiers and apply I-O psychology in innovative ways.

Please share one non-I-O-related bit of information about yourself. Each person in my nuclear family has a different nationality: I am Polish, my husband is Italian, and our two-year old son is American.

If you would like to be considered for a Member Spotlight, or if you would like to recommend a SIOP member for a Spotlight, please email astark@siop.org.

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