Out Team 2017-04-12T12:46:16+00:00

We’re a boutique firm that applies
psychology and data science
to real-world challenges.

Our team & partners

Out Team Psychology

Brian Cugelman, PhD
Senior Scientist and Director

Since 1997, Brian has built an extensive career in social mobilization, digital engagement, and program evaluation. Brian obtained his PhD in Online Social Marketing with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, a world-leading Internet research team. He obtained his Masters in Business and Computers.

He is published in JMIR, the world’s top e-health journal. The United Nations General Assembly has recognized the impact of his digital campaigning work. He has been invited to act as an expert advisor for the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the annual International Conference on Persuasive Technology. Even the Pentagon invited Brian to present his research on persuasive design to the Cyber Influence Project.

connect: LinkedIn | Twitter | Google Scholar
email: brian (at) alterspark.com
phone: (888) 977-2055 ext 101

Out Team Psychology

Prof Mike Thelwall
Partner & Scientific Advisor

As a world leading professor in online big data and social scientific research Mike Thelwall holds many titles, including Professor of Information Science and leader of the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, Docent at the Department of Information Studies at Åbo Akademi University, and Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Mike has developed numerous tools for gathering and analyzing web data, including hyperlink analysis, sentiment analysis and content analysis for Twitter, YouTube, Myspace, blogs and the web in general.

His 400+ publications include 244 refereed journal articles and two books, including Introduction to Webometrics.

With AlterSpark, Mike and his research team collaborate on online big-data for our largest projects, such as our many evaluations for the United Nations. Mike also advises on AlterSpark’s innovative R&D projects on large-scale predictive personality detection.

connect: Academic Resume
partner organization: Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group

Out Team Psychology

Leonardo Restivo, PhD
Scientific Advisor & Product Developer

For over 17 years, Leo has worked as a Behavioral Neuroscientists, for numerous universities, with a focus on experimental neuroscience. He has published over 20 scientific papers, many on the neuroanatomy of memory and behavior.

He is also a founding partner for Hubbian, Inc., an information design company specialized in the development of data solutions and web applications for the biomedical and life sciences fields, where Leo participates in product development, UI/UX development, strategic planning, web-analytics and conference analytics.

Leo collaborates with AlterSpark on developing neurologically-based personality assessment tools, lexical parsing engines, and predictive algorithms aimed at integrating neuroscience with online behavior. He also provides backstopping support on AlterSpark’s training on using neuroscience for interactive design and marketing, to ensure AlterSpark’s training is grounded in the latest brain science.

connect: LinkedIn | Google Scholar

Out Team Psychology

Debra Weinryb
Content Support & Events Coordinator

Debra Weinryb has over 7 years of experience working in communications, consulting and journalism. She has agency and client-side communications experience, having worked as a Communications Consultant for Sheer Concepts NYC, as a Communications Associate for The Regional Municipality of York, as an Editorial Contributor for the Markham Review Newspaper, and most recently, as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ecotour Magazine.

Debra has a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Communications from Seneca College and an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in Environmental Studies. She also completed the Accelerator for Centennial Community Entrepreneurs and Leaders program at Centennial College.

In her role at AlterSpark, Debra supports community relations through web editing and supporting influencer relations, and community announcements for workshops and the scholarship program. Debra also supports marketing and logistics for AlterSpark’s digital psychology workshops across North America.

email: debra (at) alterspark.com
phone: (888) 977-2055 ext 105

Out Team Psychology

Michael Kim
Senior Digital Strategist

Michael has 12 years of business and marketing experience, working at all levels of B2C accounts. Having worked the big digital agency circut, and started up the social media wing of a mid-sized Toronto agency, Michael brings a broad and deep understanding of social media engagement, and when it comes to social, nobody shoots from the hips faster or straighter than Michael.

Michael assists AlterSpark with social media projects on a project-by-project basis.

connect: LinkedIn

Out Team Psychology

Rena Cugelman
Interactive Designer, Co-founder

Rena Cugelman has worked in the print and web industry for over 15-years, working for commercial and social sector clients. Rena possesses an impressive design portfolio that includes hundreds of websites, microsites and print campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, TV stations, and brands.

She has designed promotional websites for 20th Century Fox, Time Warner, Pepsi, Smirnoff, Fuji, Miller, Kellogg Canada, Glow by J-Lo, and Sarah McLachlan, to name a few. Moreover, her designs have been showcased on MuchMusic, CityTV, CityLine, Bravo, Star!, Space, and ChumLimited. Rena has a formal education in graphic design and website development.

Rena is no longer active in the day-to-day operations at AlterSpark, but holds a special role as our co-founder, who provides ongoing advice on design and visual strategy.

connect: LinkedIn

Our partners

University of Wolverhampton
Online, human-focused data science 

The Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group (SCRG) , at the University of Wolverhampton, is a world leading Internet research group, that specializes in big data and data science, for human-centered research. They produce and distribute online data collection and research tools, that sustain a large segment of the scientific community. We’ve carried out numerous research projects with them for the United Nations, and other large organizations. Plus we’ve developed a suite of psychology focused algorithms.


Macromator Inc.
Marketing automation platforms

For consulting and training that integrates digital psychology with marketing automation, we partner with Macromator, who specializes in a range of CRM and marketing automation technologies, including popular platforms such as Pardot, Marketo, Salesforce, Act-On, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.


IMC Brands Applied
Data analytics & institutional tech

When it comes to human-centered technologies and cognitive computing, IMC Brands Applied is our partner of choice for large scale institutional technology projects, that fuse software with the latest psychology-infused algorithms and human centered design. IMCBA is the exclusive partner IBM Watson in Canada.


Kanetix Digital
Digital marketing and conversion design

We’ve developed customized content and training for the insurance industry, with our partners at Kanetix Digital. By combining our expertise in digital psychology, with their in-depth knowledge of the online insurance industry, we’re able to offer a powerful combination of scientific-know-how combined with practice.


Logical Outcomes
Specialists in evaluation technology

For anything that integrates technology, evaluation, and social research, our go-to partner is Logical Outcomes a Canadian social enterprise that combines classic program monitoring and evaluation with DHIS2 technologies.


Program monitoring and evaluation

When it comes to global scale evaluations for governments and United Nations agencies, our go-to partners are Leitmotiv, a Spanish-based firm specializing in developmental and social issues. Together, Leitmotiv and AlterSpark present a diverse evaluation team drawing on significant international development experience, research methods, and a range of evaluation skills.


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