Who is Yana?

This is tricky to answer, because my identity is in flux. I’m a researcher, a public speaker, a writer, and a self-care boutique owner. I’m currently moving more and more of my efforts from the beginning to the end of that list. But I am also a mother, a spouse, a step-mother, and a person with complicated health issues. Some days are easier than others, some years are easier than others, and 2018 was particularly difficult. This year, I am rebuilding my identity in the hope that I can contribute meaningfully to society while preserving my health.

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In my academic work, I apply cognitive psychology to education. This means that I take ideas from research on memory, attention, perception etc. and see how they play out when we are trying to learn something. This something could be a skill, some factual information, or an abstract concept. I no longer have a full-time job in academia, though I worked full-time in academia for a decade. However, I still continue to supervise graduate students, co-author papers, and give public talks on effective learning strategies around the world. If you like, you can read more about my academic work.

During a very difficult academic year (2017-2018), I was drawn more and more towards alternative activities. I started out by selling LipSense and other SeneGence make-up as an independent consultant, and even growing a small team (which you can still join). I then branched out to also sell ThirtyOne bags, and then I had an epiphany - what I really wanted to do with my life was own a boutique! All these years I had been holding back on the dream because I thought I had to do what was expected of me: something highly intellectual. Of course, a decade in academic is hard to give up, so I’m still holding on, and while I move more and more into business, I still care deeply about research, the scientific method as a whole, and supporting people who want to pursue an education. But my current passion, though, is self-care and mental health advocacy, so you will see a lot of references to this throughout the website!

If any of these topics speak to you and you would like to connect, please contact me!

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