Research Staff

Hi! My name is Alexa Aringer, I am staff in the Ad Lab, as well as the Lab Manager for Claremont McKenna College’s Applied Mind and Health Lab within Claremont McKenna’s Berger Institute. I graduated from UC Riverside with Phi Beta Kappa honors and earned my B.S. in Psychology in 2020. I joined the Ad Lab in the Summer of 2019, and have worked on various projects since joining, including a poster on Attachment Security and post-traumatic stress responses during COVID-19. Broadly, my research interests include examining biomarkers of traumatic stress responses among underserved populations. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our three pets, watching the latest show on Netflix, or potting plants into pots with funky faces.

Hello, my name is Breannon (Bre) James. I graduated from UC Riverside with a major in psychology and a minor in African American studies. I joined the Ad Lab so that I can gain hands-on research experience, work with my peers and learn from others. My research interest includes child development, multicultural psychology, coping with racial trauma, and working with children who have disabilities and come from disenfranchised communities. My favorite quote is “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” – Eric Thomas. I look forward to this experience to learn and grow in the Ad Lab. 

Research Assistants

Hi there! My name is Hong-Yi (Alfred) Koo. I’m a third-year student who majors in Psychology and Sociology. My dream is to pursue a career in clinical psychology and open my own private practice. Ultimately, I hope to become an experienced therapist who not only helps people through my practice, but also inspires the general public through creating psychology-based media contents, workshops, blogs, and so on. I used to work at a consulting firm for two years, where I designed and taught mind-training programs to elevate cognitive and social abilities in children. This is also the reason why I feel gravitated toward the research at the AD lab! Through this lab, I hope to accumulate knowledge and experiences regarding how mental health and life outcomes manifest in a real-world sense.

Hello! My name is Ashley Johnson. I am a fourth-year Psychology transfer student. I am from San Diego. This is my first year working in the AD lab and I am excited to expand my knowledge of the environmental effects on youth and make great connections with fellow Psychology peers. I am looking forward to gaining experience with research and getting a better idea of what career I’d like to pursue within the field of Psychology. I plan on pursuing either my masters or PhD in clinical psychology or psychiatric nursing. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with loved ones/friends, going to the gym, playing volleyball, and exploring new places. I am so excited for this year working in the AD lab.

Hi! My name is Daisy Cisneros. I am a 4th-year Psychology transfer student here at UCR! I am interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical or counseling psychology and plan to take a gap year to gain more experience in research. I recently joined the AD lab and I am so excited to learn about how the experiences of adversity in childhood have an impact on development. My personal research interests are within this area, but I am also interested in learning about how experiences in the early years, including childhood trauma and attachment styles, play a role in shaping the individual as a whole, and how they cope and view the world. I am primarily interested in seeing how this impacts the developmental transition between adolescence to adulthood. I am truly passionate about mental health and well-being and like to spend my free time doing things that make me happy such as spending time in nature, working out, and going to music festivals (occasionally)!

Hi everyone! I’m Gerardo Michel. I’m a third-year psychology major interested in pursuing either a PhD or PsyD in clinical psychology. I am very passionate about mental health topics, and I’m mainly interested in treating depression and anxiety in young people. This is also my first year in the Ad Lab! I hope to learn more about how youth navigate and cope with different challenges so I can gain a better understanding of mental health. Alongside being an RA, I’m also a volunteer crisis counselor for the Crisis Text Line. Some of my hobbies include photography, gaming, and watching YouTube videos. Thanks for reading my bio!

Hello! My name is Haylee Lemus and I am a fourth-year psychology major. As of Spring 2022, I will have my BA in Psychology. I have a two year-old daughter and our hobbies include being out in nature and painting. This is my first year with the AD Lab and I look forward to expanding my research experience and collaborating with my fellow lab mates. I hope to pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology and I am interested in learning more about psychopathology in various contexts. I joined this lab to broaden my knowledge on children’s experiences in relation to their own psychology. as well as how to conduct research. In my future career I hope to study antisocial behavior in teens and adults within the incarcerated and previously incarcerated populations.

Hola friends, if you’re looking for a header as to what my interest in psychology is, it would be Academic Achievement. I know there are many circumstances in which it is challenging for a youth to situate themselves into the role of a student and humbly believe I can contribute in this area of the field, after graduate school. Understanding the ways in which one can excel is the reason why I adore the AD Lab, since our studies revolve around the ways in which life experiences influence development. Quite recently, I thought the world of academia to be an elusive type of beast, but I made it as a transfer student. Feel free to ask me about this if you’d like. My name is Hernan Zurita and I am the newest RA, making me the baby of the lab.

Greetings! I’m Jenna Iwamiya, a third year psychology student attending UC Riverside with an interest in pursuing either a PhD in clinical or forensic psychology. I joined the Ad Lab during the Summer of 2021 and have since become interested in coping mechanisms, trauma, and ADHD. Alongside being an RA, I am an active gamer and engage in a variety of “nerdy” hobbies.

Hello! My name is Joowan Son and I am currently a 3rd-year Neuroscience major. I recently joined the Ad Lab in the fall of 2021. I decided to join Ad Lab because I wanted a better understanding of how children and adolescents face and handle adverse situations throughout their life. Ultimately, I hope to grasp a better understanding of the relationship between children and adversity so that in the future, I can take that knowledge into account in my patient care. I also am passionate about helping people in any way that I can.

Hello! My name is Kaleilani Ishiyama, and I am a third-year psychology major. I joined the Ad Lab because I am interested in understanding how a child’s environment and the adversities they face can influence their development. I look forward to gaining new skills and furthering my experiences in this lab!

Hello! My name is Kay Lee, and I am a third year psychology major here at UCR. I plan on taking a gap year then pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Broadly, my research interests include child development and more specifically, how psychopathology or parent interactions may influence that development. I am additionally interested in differences across cultural contexts, race, and ethnicity. I hope to hone in on and dive into my interests further here at the Ad Lab!

Hi! My name is Liana Willis, and I am a 4 th year Psychology/Law and Society major at UCR. I plan to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology after I graduate in Spring 2023. My main research interests revolve around improving our criminal justice system’s responsiveness to perpetrators and survivors of child abuse, intimate partner violence, and related offenses. I am joining the AD Lab in Fall 2022, and am looking forward to learning more about childhood adversity, family dynamics, and their impact on development. I am also an RA in the Social Neuroscience and Youth Health and Development labs on campus, and have contributed to projects studying social identity and Black youth development. In addition to research, I also enjoy performing arts and writing.

Hi Hi! My name is Maximilian (Max) Tang. I’m set to graduate during Spring of 2022 as a Psychology major. The Ad Lab work with children and the factors that influence their growth and development captured my interest and I’m looking forward to being an RA here! In addition to the AD Lab, I’m also involved in the Observe Lab as an RA, where I help convert qualitative data about memorable life experiences into quantitative data. After graduation, I plan to take a gap year, gaining more research and relevant experience before applying for a PhD in Clinical Psychology. During my spare time, I love browsing cat memes and videos. I also read a lot of fiction and very much dislike first person POVs.

Hi, my name is Maya Desai! I am a fourth-year psychology student and this will be my first year as an RA in the AdLab. I have a growing interest in PTSD research and how individuals’ physiological and developmental functions are affected by adverse life circumstances, so when I first learned about the Ad Lab and its mission, I was so excited to finally get involved and learn more about this field of research! Post-graduation, I plan on continuing research in a master’s program and then obtaining a PsyD in Clinical Psychology. My end goal is to practice psychology as a licensed Clinical Psychologist! Additionally, I would like to add that I love to spend time in nature, painting, and watching films with my friends! I’m so excited to begin working with my passionate peers and to begin cultivating our knowledge of psychology!

Hello! My name is Melanie Mooangprang. My interest in the different types of adversities that children face and how it affects them through different stages of life has sparked my desire to join this lab. As a student who is still discovering the right career path, I believe that this lab will help me pave a clearer road to my destination. I am looking forward to participating in and learning from the AD lab this year, as this is my first year working in it!

Hey y’all! My name is Neil Anthony Roces Lopez and I am a fourth year psychology major here at UCR. This is my first year here with the Ad Lab and I am excited to apply the knowledge I have learned in my classes to my position as a Research Assistant. After I graduate, I plan to take a gap year and then pursue either a PSYD or PHD in Clinical Psychology. Growing up in my mom’s daycare, I have a great interest in discovering how children face and overcome adversity in different contexts. In my spare time, I enjoy playing and listening to music, reading, basketball, and eating good food.
Hello! My name is Nelson Lee and I am a first-year psychology major here at UCR. I have always been interested in how adversity and environmental factors impact child development, hence why I am very excited to be able to work in the AD Lab! I also joined the lab in hopes of becoming exposed to research and gaining as much experience as I possibly can. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, exploring new places, and meeting new people. This is my first year in the lab, and I am very much looking forward to the experiences I will gain from it!
Hello! My name is Sarah Touati and I am a third-year psychology major on the Bachelor of Science track here at UC Riverside. This is my first year with the AD Lab and I am excited to work with fellow research assistants who are passionate in psychology! I am interested in learning more on how children and teens develop anxiety and joined the AD lab to expand my knowledge on children’s psychopathology as well as how to conduct research. I plan on pursuing a PsyD or PhD in clinical psychology and eventually become a licensed clinical psychologist. In my free time I love to crochet, swim, dance, and watch movies!
Hi, my name is Taimur Ali. I am a rising fourth year psychology major and this will be my first year in the Ad Lab. After graduating, I hope to pursue a PhD and eventually work in the field of clinical psychology. I am looking forward to learning more about working in a lab setting and gaining experience with research. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, watching/playing basketball, and spending time with friends and family.
Hello! I’m Thomas Lee, a fourth year transfer student from Riverside City College, majoring in psychology. My academic plans are to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology. I’m interested in epidemiology related to mental health, so I joined the Ad Lab to expand my knowledge of environmental effects on youth development. I’m most interested in working with youth who have faced trauma and adversity, so that we may better understand how best to serve that population. I’m so excited to be working with this team, and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!
Hi my name is Tylar Youngblood. I am a 3rd year psychology major. I am from San Diego. I really love the beach, dogs and horses. This is my first year in the AD lab and I’m really excited about it! I joined the lab to help figure out what I would like to pursue in my future and it has helped me realize my passion for research. I am interested in attending graduate school and learning more about different fields of interest.
Hello! My name is Vincent Chávez. I am a fourth-year psychology transfer student. I am from SoCal. It is my first year working in the Ad Lab! I look forward to learning more about how children are affected by different adverse life experiences. I plan to pursue a graduate degree in the near future within developmental psychology. I’m excited to start collaborating with my peers and graduate mentors as I gain hands-on research experience along the way. In my free time, I enjoy riding my bike, taking my dog out for a hike and trying new coffee shops.

Alumni RAs

Alexa Lino
Alexis Sanchez
Alfredo Bolanos
Alfredo Velasquez
Alondra Reyes
Alyssa Ibarra
Amy Villanueva
Analisa Surita
Angel Mayorga-Chafolla
Angeles Rivera
Aryadna Ricardez
Audrey Hong
Aztli Ramirez
Azul Navarro
Betty Bang
Blanca Bautista
Brenda Benites
Brenda Meza
Camille Lamb
Carolina Herrera
Cecilia Fabe
Cecilia Uribe
Cherry Elbermawy
Cheryl Mae-Mallebo
Chris Dietrich
Christian Garcia (Staff)
Christian Partida
Christina Vu
Christine Dang
Cindy Nguyen
Claudia Rivera Sanchez
Courtney Berthiaume
Daniel Garcia Rodriguez
Daniel Horta
Daniel Sung
Darlene Mendoza
David Vargas
Deanna Nabi
Deja Goodwin
Edwin Garcia
Emily Moorehouse (Staff)
Erika Castro
Estefanie Altuna
Fe Llabres
Gema Guzman
Geraldine Quinones
Gilberto Torres (Staff)
Haley Rashidi
Hannah Lee
Hollie Almeria
Hope Becker
Ida Moumneh
Jackson Huang
Jaimme Rodriguez
Jasmine Ho
Jasmine Salinas
Jaqueline Dighero
Jay Martinez
Jazmin Eguiluz (Staff)
Jenna Trinh
Jennifer Moon
Jordan Barnett
Jose Garcia
John Nguyen
Joseph Morgan
Juhee Kim
Justine Martinez
Kane Li
Karlygush Smith
Kassandra Salinas
Kailee Mannak
Kayla-Hope Martinez
Kevin Phalavisay
Klaudia Gallardo
Kristal Munguia
Kyrie Francis
Lemesis Reyes
Liliana Valencia Lemus
Linus Huynh
Maby Lomotos
Mariana Romo
Marisela Becerra
Marisha Subia
Matt Radican
Maya Hernandez (Staff)
McKenzie Marchan
Melina Romo
Mohamad Alami
Monica De Dios
Morgan McLoughlin
Muskan Behera
Nia Kandimalla
Nancy Aguilar
Natalie Napoles
Niva Manchanda
Oretioluwasefunmi (Tose) Agbelusi (Staff)
Pedro Mejia Sum
Rafael Lopez
Renmar Ignacio
Rifat Ahmed
Ryan Pham
Saanie Rizvi
Sabrina Parra
Sabrina Peterson
Samara Ramos
Samia Alam
Sandra Rosales (Staff)
Sarina Alavi
Sathish Kumar
Sitara Puliyanda
Sofia Razak
Stephanie Nunez
Tahnia Alam
Tanvi Saki
Thomas Leong
Tiffany (Tiff) Garcia
Tiffany Wu
Timothy Parker
Tina Yang
Tommy Thai
Tyler Garrett
Valeria Marquez Arzola
Vanessa Gamboa
Vivian Voong
Yujing (Cindy) Du
Yvette Hernandez