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 11: Introduction to Psychology
PSY 32: Human Growth & Development
PSY 30: Child and Adolescent Development
PSY 82: Special Topics in Psychology - The Psychology of Immigration
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
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.
Ma, C. (2017 pending). The Benefits
of Incorporating Asian American Studies into Teaching Psychology in a Community
College Setting Post Election, Teaching of Psychology.
Ma, C. (2017 pending). Exploring
Maternal Transformations Through Breastfeeding: How First Time Mothers
Reclaimed Their Power Through Nursing Their Infants. In A. Einion and J.
Rinaldi (Eds.), Bearing the weight of the world: Exploring maternal embodiment.
Ontario, CA: Demeter Press.
Ma, C. (2017 pending). Quit Calling
My Kid, Yao Ming: Reflections of Race and Class From a Chinese Basketball Mom.
In Battaglia, Bromwich, and Redela (Eds.), Mothering, mothers, and sport:
Experiences, representations, resistances. Ontario, CA: Demeter Press.
Ma, C. What Does Asian
American Studies Have to Do with Teaching Psychology Courses? Reflections of a
Community College Professor Post 2016 Election. Presented at the Building Asian
American Studies in Polycultural New York City, Sponsored by the Building Asian
American Studies Across the Community College Classroom, 2017, March 10, New
Ma, C. What Does Asian American
Studies Have to Do with Teaching Psychology Courses? Reflections of a Community
College Professor. Presented at the 2017 CUNY Faculty Diversity & Inclusion
Conference, 2017, March 31, New York, NY.
Ma, C. Exploring Maternal
Transformations Through Breastfeeding: Using Nursing Women’s Narratives to
Resist Biomedical Discourses in Breastfeeding. Presented at the 8th Annual
Diversity in Research and Practice Conference, Sponsored by Columbia
University, 2017, April 1, New York, NY.
Ma, C. (2016). A Critical
Examination of Breastfeeding Education: A Qualitative Analysis of How First
Time Mothers Learn About Breastfeeding. The Journal of Mother Studies, 1, 1-23.
Ma, C. What do Asian American
Studies have to do with Teaching Psychology Courses? Reflections of a Community
College Psychology Professor. Presented at the 3rd Annual
Diversity Symposium, Sponsored by Kingsborough Community College, 2016,
November 3, Brooklyn, NY.
Ma, C. Empowering Parents
Workshop, Sponsored by The Women's Center, Kingsborough Community College;
2016, October 18, Brooklyn, NY.
Ma, C. Dodging Booby Traps:
How the Breast is Best Ideology Undermines Maternal Breastfeeding Efforts.
Presented at the Eastern Sociological Society: Mini-Conference on
Reproduction XII: Ideologies of Motherhood, The Boston Park Plaza Hotel;
2016, March 17-20, Boston, MA.
Ma, C. Game Changers Within
Breastfeeding: How Listening to One's Inner Voice Can Help First Time Mothers
with Breastfeeding. Presented at Women's History Month, Kingsborough
Community College; 2016, March 29, Brooklyn, NY.
Ma, C. Mother Knows Best: What
First Time Mothers Teach Us About Breastfeeding Pedagogies. Presented at
the Museum of Motherhood Conference: Theorizing Motherhood
in the Academy; 2016, Manhattan College, May 6-7, Bronx, NY.
Ma, C. Do You Deserve to Be
Happy? Exploring the Relationship Between Happiness & Gratitude.
Presented at What is Happiness? Viewpoints from Liberal Arts, Kingsborough
Community College; 2016, May 16, Brooklyn, NY
Ma, C. Booby Traps: How the Breast
is Best Ideology Can Sabotage Breastfeeding Success. Presented at Women's
History Month, Kingsborough Community College, 2015, March 16, Brooklyn, NY.
Ma, C. & Bartolomeo-Maida, M.
Empowering Parents Workshop. Presented at Women's History Month, Kingsborough
Community College; 2015, March 16, Brooklyn, NY.
Ma, C. Booby Traps: How
Breastfeeding Promotional Campaigns Undermine Maternal Breastfeeding Efforts.
Panel member and paper presented at the 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. (2013). Eat at Mom's:
Critiquing and Rebuilding the Breastfeeding Paradigm (doctoral dissertation).
Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International, 73, (9-B)(E). (Order
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. Paper presented
at The Graduate School and University Center of CUNY: Advanced Student
Presentations; 2011 April 1, New York, NY.
(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.
Professor Ma's research expertise focuses on health promotion, breastfeeding education, lived experiences of breastfeeding mothers, individual belief systems and how they affect breastfeeding outcome, the lived experiences of Asian American immigrants, how to incorporate Asian American studies into teaching, implications of race and class in travel basketball, maternal transformations through breastfeeding, and the effects of yoga in motherhood. Having experienced every single problem related to nursing her three children, she was inspired 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. Professor Ma is also an active reviewer for the academic journals, Maternal & Child Nutrition and Journal of Human Lactation
Professor Ma is also expanding her research on the lived experiences of Asian American immigrants which was inspired by her own immigrant experiences and the sacrifices made by her grandparents, Yuet Chun & Tai Yee Ma. She is actively raising $10,000.00 for the Yuet Chun & Tai Yee Ma Memorial Endowment Fund that will benefit Kingsborough Community College students in perpetuity. For more information on donating, please visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/YuetChunTaiYeeMaScholarship/fundraiser/catherinema
American Psychological Association, International Lactation Consultant Association
Society for Public Health Education
Asian American / Asian Research Institute
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.