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 the Berger Institute. I transferred from Riverside City College and graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and a B.S. in Psychology from UC Riverside 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: intergenerational impacts of trauma and childhood adversity; the biological embedding of stress; psychopathology and pathophysiology of trauma responses; trauma assessment and diagnosis; and investigating the autonomic underpinnings that underscore variations in vulnerability and resilience in underserved populations. I am currently applying to clinical psychology doctorate programs to delve into my research interests to disseminate translational science and inform treatment approaches–particularly trauma-informed care. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my partner and our pets, watching the latest show on Netflix, or potting plants into pots with funky faces.

Hello! My name is Jenna Iwamiya. I’m a staff member of the Ad Lab and graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and a BA in Psychology and Law and Society from UC Riverside. Since joining the Ad Lab I have worked on various projects ranging from participating in data collection, behavioral coding, data analysis, and creating and orally presenting a poster on the moderating effect of emotion regulation on youths exposed to neighborhood violence and later aggressive behaviors. Though my research interests have yet to be finalized, broadly speaking my interests revolve around the impact of trauma and the development of maladaptive behaviors and coping mechanisms, biological measures to conceptualize that impact, and ADHD. I am currently attempting to finalize these research interests while exploring my interest in the legal field. I intend to either pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology or a law degree. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, skateboarding, and a variety of nerdy hobbies, including running a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, playing video games, and when the inspiration arises, building DIY home projects.

Hello! My name is Thomas Lee. I’m a staff member of the Ad Lab and I earned my B.A. in Psychology at UCR in Spring 2023. My research interests in the developmental field are always changing as I learn more about the depth and scope of the field, but I take a special interest in neurodevelopment and media effects. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, rock climbing, and philosophical discourse with my dog Toto. 

Research Assistants

Hi everyone! My name is Alejandra Moissiy, I will be receiving my bachelors degree in Psychology in the spring of 2024. My love for psychology began when I was 10 years old, volunteering at my local preschool and seeing how children’s personalities and mannerisms at such a young age are so uniquely different. Along with my psychology degree, I am also pursuing a minor in Business Organizational Behavior/ Human Resources. I hope to one day open my own psychology office and start a private practice. I look forward to pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology and expanding my knowledge of what this field has to offer. I am particularly interested in humanistic, positive psychology in pursuit of aiding youth to live life to its fullest potential and understand how experiences in life shape us, but do not hold us back. With this, I have really found a home in the UCR Adversity and Adaptation Lab. Outside of school I spend my time doing things that help me to live my life to its fullest which include, spending time with loved ones, traveling, gaming, and swimming.

Hi everyone! My name is Alexa Zelaya. I am planning on receiving my degree in Psychology in 2025! My dream is to pursue a career in clinical psychology and find new ways that we can help those who struggle with their mental health. I joined this lab to engage in research as well as educate myself on the ways a child’s environment influences their mindset. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music (Taylor Swift), reading, and making new memories with friends and family! 🙂

Hi there! My name is Hong-Yi (Alfred) Koo. I’m a Psychology and Sociology major (Class of 2024). 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.

Hi! My name is Anel Lozano. I am a psychology major with a minor in Spanish and plan on receiving my degree in the spring of 2024. I joined the Ad Lab because of the focus they placed on children and their experiences growing up, I am an older sister of two and love interacting with children and hope to one day work with them. I am interested in understanding how adversity shapes their lives in order to provide assistance in hopes of improving their well-being. I am particularly interested in learning about topics such as parenting styles, and low-income, immigrant families. Aside from school, I enjoy reading, building puzzles, and hiking.

Hi everyone! My name is Arushi Verma and I am a Biology major (class of 2025). I aspire to be a PA and specifically work in pediatrics because I love working with children. I was interested in the Ad Lab because of its focus on child development and seeing how different environments affect a child’s life into adulthood. I enjoy going to the gym, watching movies, hanging out with my friends, cooking, and creating mendhi (henna) art.

Hi! My name is Daisy Cisneros. I am recent Psychology graduate 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 am so excited to learn about how the experiences of adversity in childhood have an impact on development through the Ad Lab. 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 recent psychology graduate 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. 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 earned my BA in Psychology in Spring 2022. Alongside my three-year-old daughter, I cherish outdoor activities and painting as our hobbies. My aspiration is to delve into Clinical Psychology and explore psychopathology across different contexts. Joining this lab offers a chance to understand psychological experiences in childhood and explore research methodologies. Looking ahead, I aim to focus on studying antisocial and violent behavior among minoritized 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!

Hi everyone! My name is Karen Lam and I am UCR Class of 2024. I am a psychology major and hope to become a psychiatrist in the future. I want to work with at risk youth and children going through adversity in order to help them cope and thrive in their situations. I joined the AD Lab because I want to work with child in adversed environments and learn how they adapt and cope to these situations they have been put in. In my free time, I love to bake, go to the gym, and watch movies.

Hello! My name is Kay Lee, and I graduated from UCR with a BA in Psychology. I am taking a gap year then I plan on 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 Maisha Ahmed. I will receive my BA in Psychology in 2026. My research interests include adolescent psychology and how one’s circumstances can influence psychopathology over time. I’m excited to learn more about developmental psychology and expand my research capabilities in the Ad Lab. In my free time, I love reading, going on walks, and listening to music.

Hey y’all! My name is Neil Anthony Roces Lopez and I am a recent graduate from UCR with a BA in Psychology. I am taking a gap year and then pursue either a PSYD or PHD in Clinical Psychology. I am excited to apply the knowledge I have learned in my classes to my position as a Research Assistant in the Ad Lab. 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.
Hi! My name is Nia Kandimalla and I am a neuroscience major (Class of 2025). I am hoping to attend medical school after undergrad and become a neurosurgeon in the future. I joined the Ad Lab in the fall of 2022 because the research being conducted on analyzing children’s behaviors in face of different lifestyles and challenges really drew my attention. I want to learn about how people are shaped based on such aspects and this lab proposes the perfect opportunity for this. Outside of academia, I enjoy traveling, napping and eating.

Hello, my name is Rachel Francis! I will receive my bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2024. My interest in the field comes from my experience as an EMT and youth counselor at a Youth Shelter. I aspire to have a career in Clinical Neuropsychology to understand cognitive strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to improve quality of life. I joined the Ad Lab to explore child development, especially in the context of trauma and resiliency. I want to learn more about cognitive functioning and child development to serve these populations better. Some hobbies I like doing outside the lab are going to the gym, crocheting, and traveling.

Hi! My name is Ruhi Barman and I will be graduating with a BA in Psychology, Law and Society in 2025. I’m very interested in the intersection between psychology and law, especially in the context of juvenile justice. I find the AdLab’s focus on understanding the influence of life experiences on child adaptation especially intriguing and am excited to learn more about it! In my free time I love baking, reading, hanging out with friends, and pretty much anything outdoors!

Hi! My name is Sachi Ashtikar, and I will be receiving my degree in Psychology in 2026! I have an intention to minor in Neuroscience as well. My current academic interests are in development and clinical psychology. I will be pursuing a PhD in the future. I am excited to gain research experience with the AdLab! I love listening to music, hanging out with my friends, and binging shows on Netflix.

Hi everyone! My name is Savannah Wong, and I will be receiving my bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Medical and Health Humanities Studies in 2024. I’m interested in pursuing a Psy.D. in clinical psychology, and hopefully specializing in pediatric clinical neuropsychology. After graduating from UCR, I will be taking a gap year(s) to gain more experience in research and clinics. I love working with children/adolescents and understanding how an individual’s environment can influence their development/brain, which is one of the many reasons why I was drawn to the Ad Lab. I cannot wait to learn new skills and grow as an individual in this lab. In my free time I enjoy working out, listening to music, traveling, and spending time with friends and family!

Hi, my name is Taimur Ali. I am a recent graduate here at UCR with a BA in Psychology. 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.
Hi my name is Tylar Youngblood. I recently graduated here at UC Riverside with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Ethnic Studies. I am from San Diego. I really love going the beach, as well as hanging out with dogs and horses. I joined the lab 2 years ago 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 further studying addiction and the process of recovery.

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
Ashley Johnson
Audrey Hong
Aztli Ramirez
Azul Navarro
Betty Bang
Blanca Bautista
Breannon (Bre) James (Staff)
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
John Nguyen
Jose Garcia
Joseph Morgan
Joowan Son
Juhee Kim
Justine Martinez
Kaleilani Ishiyama
Kane Li
Karlygush Smith
Kassandra Salinas
Kailee Mannak
Kayla-Hope Martinez
Kevin Phalavisay
Klaudia Gallardo
Kristal Munguia
Kyrie Francis
Lemesis Reyes
Liana Willis
Liliana Valencia Lemus
Linus Huynh
Maby Lomotos
Mariana Romo
Marisela Becerra
Marisha Subia
Matt Radican
Maximilian (Max) Tang
Maya Desai
Maya Hernandez (Staff)
McKenzie Marchan
Melanie Mooangprang
Melina Romo
Mohamad Alami
Monica De Dios
Morgan McLoughlin
Muskan Behera
Nancy Aguilar
Natalie Napoles
Nelson Lee
Niva Manchanda
Oretioluwasefunmi (Tose) Agbelusi (Staff)
Pedro Mejia Sum
Rafael Lopez
Reante Talton
Renmar Ignacio
Rifat Ahmed
Ryan Pham
Saanie Rizvi
Sabrina Parra
Sabrina Peterson
Samara Ramos
Samia Alam
Sandra Rosales (Staff)
Sarah Touati
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
Vincent Chávez
Vivian Voong
Yujing (Cindy) Du
Yvette Hernandez