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Catherine Ma


Catherine Ma, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. is an assistant professor of psychology in the Behavioral Sciences and Human Services department at Kingsborough Community College.  Her love of psychology trumped being an accountant when she first took Introduction to Psychology at Baruch College.  She later transferred to The University at Albany where she met the love of her life and received her bachelor’s degree majoring in psychology.  As she continued to pursue her love of psychology, she earned her master’s degree in psychology from Hunter College while working as the assistant undergraduate psychology advisor.  Her thesis advisor planted the seeds of further graduate study and she earned her master’s degree in philosophy and doctoral degree in social-personality psychology at the Graduate Center of CUNY.  She began her teaching career after her writing fellowship ended at the College of Staten Island and has honed her teaching skills while being an adjunct and later a substitute lecturer in their psychology department.  Having enjoyed her experiences at so many CUNY institutions, she is ecstatic to continue inspiring students in her psychology classes just as her professors had inspired her.


PSY 1100: Introduction to Psychology 
PSY 3200: Human Growth & Development
PSY 3000: Child and Adolescent Development
BEH 70: Introduction to Research
BEH 71: Conducting Research
Honors Enrichment Component (HEC) Courses



Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York

Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology, Dissertation: Eat at Mom’s: Reclaiming and Rebuilding the Breastfeeding Paradigm with Women’s Voices

Master of Philosophy

Certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy

Hunter College, City University of New York

Master of Arts in Psychology 

State University of New York at Albany     

Bachelor of Arts, major in Psychology

College Teaching

Dr. Ma has extensive experience teaching a wide variety of introductory and advanced psychology courses including introduction to psychology, developmental psychology, statistics in psychology, research methods, and health psychology.  She is interested in creating new courses that can be cross-listed with the nursing and women’s studies departments.

Selected Publications and/or Other Resources

Ma, C.(2009). If the Breast is Best, Why are Breastfeeding Rates so Low?  An In-depth Look at Breastfeeding from Policy Makers to the Bottom Dollar. In J. Nathanson & L. Tuley (Eds.), Mother Knows Best: Talking Back to Sears and Other Baby Trainers. Toronto: Demeter Press.

Ma, C. Booby traps: How breastfeeding promotional campaigns undermine maternal breastfeeding efforts.  Panel member and paper presented at: Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE) 65th Annual Meeting, Discovery 2014: New Health Education Strategies, Connections & Ideas; 2014 March 19-21, Baltimore, MD.

Ma, C.  Booby traps: How breastfeeding promotional campaigns undermine maternal breastfeeding efforts.  Panel member and paper presented at: Interventions: Women's Studies on the Edge, (Il)legible Identities; 2013 October 16; College Park, MD.

Ma, C.Booby traps: How the "Breast is Best" educational campaigns can undermine improvement in breastfeeding.  Paper presented at: The 41st Annual Hunter Psychology Convention; 2013 April 21, New York, NY.

Ma, C. Eat at Mom’s: Reclaiming and rebuilding the breastfeeding paradigm with women's voices. Paper presented at: DATABLITZ!, Graduate School and University Center of CUNY: Second Annual All-Psychology Research Day; 2011 March 21, New York, NY.

Ma, C. Rebuilding the Paradigm: Tracking First Time Mothers’ Experiences of Breastfeeding Presented at: Graduate School and University Center of CUNY: Advanced Student Presentations; 2011 April 1, New York, NY.

Events and/or Key Dates

  • Empowering Parents Workshop (Part 1) on Monday September 29, 2014 in V219 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Empowering Parents Workshop (Part 2) on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 in M239  from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Empowering Parents Workshop (Part 3) on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 in M239 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Women's History Month - March 2015

    Booby Traps: How the Breast is Best Ideology can Sabotage Breastfeeding Success 
    Empowering Parents Workshop on Monday, March 16, 2015 in the MAC Rotunda from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Research Interests

Her research expertise focuses on health promotion, individual belief systems and how they affect breastfeeding outcome.  Having experienced every single problem related to nursing her three children, she was inspired her to use her research expertise in helping women nurse their babies in an empowering manner and make informed decisions regarding infant feeding.  Her dissertation, “Eat at Mom’s: Reclaiming and Rebuilding the Breastfeeding Paradigm with Women’s Voices” was a mixed methods study that analyzed the breastfeeding experiences of first time mothers across three data waves (prenatal, early and late postpartum).  With a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, she was able to capture the ironies of breastfeeding promotional strategies that may unknowingly prevent women from breastfeeding success.  She hopes to create a new model of breastfeeding education that focuses on the mother-infant dyad as opposed to relying on outside experts.

Awards Recognition, Distinctions and Grants

2013 Faculty Achievements Recognition

2014 Faculty Achievements Recognition

Institutional Affiliations / Professional Societies

American Psychological Association, International Lactation Consultant Association

Society for Public Health Education

Personal Interests

When she is not teaching students or reading the Journal of Human Lactation, she enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and staring off into the ocean by the cafeteria.

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