Research Assistants & Post-baccs 


Maggie Caffrey

Carnegie Mellon University, 2020

B.S. in Biological Sciences and Psychology

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Research Interests: Biological factors influencing mental health, and how different ways of thinking can influence psychological markers

Fun Fact: I have been playing the clarinet since fourth grade


Name: Amanda Yang

University and year of graduation: 2021

Major of study: Cognitive Science

Hometown: Beijing, China

Research Interests: Neuroscience, applications of cognitive science

Fun Fact: I had seven rabbits before.



Elijah Lawrence
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown '16
B.S. in Psychology 

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Research Interests: Clinical psychology; coping and emotion regulation strategies as preventative measures and ways of improving well-being

Fun Fact: My preschool teacher taught us how to sing Head Shoulders Knees and Toes in Korean, and I still remember how to sing it.


Lab Alumni 


Gowri Sunder 
Carnegie Mellon University '18
BHA in Psychology and Art

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

Research Interests: Clinical psychology, specifically looking into the development of mood disorders and applications of art and mindfulness.

Fun Fact: My favorite art museum is either the Dali museum or the Rijksmuseum



Seh-Joo Kwon
Carnegie Mellon University '17
B.S. in Biological Sciences and Psychology

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Research Interests: I'm interested in how adolescent social experiences shape social-cognitive processes using neural mechanisms, and how that ultimately affect behavior and downstream psychopathology 

Fun Fact: lived in 9 countries!

Fun Fact: I lived in 9 countries and currently my "home" is Zimbabwe.



Daniel Choi
University of Pittsburgh '17
B.S. in Psychology and Sociology

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Research Interests: Neural mechanisms behind cognitive consequences of stress, anxiety, depression.

Fun Fact: Photography is a passion of mine.


Please click on the following link to download Daniel's curriculum vita: Daniel Choi CV

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Spencer Dunnison
Carnegie Mellon Universiy '18
B.H.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience and Vocal Performance

Hometown: Vancouver, Canada

Research Interests: Clinical Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience; the meditative qualities of music; how music can affect pain

Fun Fact: I have sung the Canadian and US national anthems for a US vs Canada women's national team rugby game



Sandy Chen
Carnegie Mellon University '18
B.S. Psychology and Policy & Management 

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Research Interests: I/O Psychology - how stress and mindfulness can enhance productivity and performance and the mechanisms behind burnout and how it can be prevented

Fun Fact: I love stuffed animals



Yusuf Mehkri
Carnegie Mellon Universiy '20
B.S. in Biological Sciences and Psychology

Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ

Research Interests: Health psychology; The long term effects of stress and depression on the mental and physical well-being of a person. The effects of psychological interventions on positive affect, resilience and acceptance in terminally ill patients.

Fun Fact: I did Mixed Martial Arts for four years throughout middle school and junior high. I hope to take it one step further and learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu one day.



Hayoung Woo
Carnegie Mellon Universiy '17
Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Neuroscience

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Research Interests: Social and Affective Neuroscience; Neural mechanisms and heath implication of social relationship and connection

Fun Fact: I love cats!


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Malcolm Udeozor

Carnegie Mellon University '19.

B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience

Hometown: Potomac, Maryland. 

Research Interests: Micro & Macro Neurobiology, Neural Plasticity. Neuroimmunology, Psychoneuroimmunology.

Fun Fact: I eat, sleep, and breath Spongebob Squarepants 



Samanda Valente

Carnegie Mellon University '20

B.S. in Neuroscience, Concentration in Neurobiology 

Hometown: Ponce, PR. 

Research Interests: I am interested in the biological effects and social impacts that mindfulness meditation and interventions can have on people. Other interests also lie in the biological pathways for memory processing and learning. 

Fun fact: I am a dual a citizen of two countries (Venezuela and Portugal) and hold permanent residencies of other two ( US and Dominican Republic).

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Haadi Ali

Geisinger Commonwealth Medical School '22

University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences '17

Doctorate of Medicine- In Progress (Minor: Chemistry)

Hometown: Hartford, Ct

Research Interests: I am enthusiastic about exploring the effects of healthy living, mindfulness and successful adaptation to states of adversity in the treatment of chronic conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases with the goal of integrating these approaches to traditional medical treatment plans.

Fun Fact: hen I backpacked France in 2016, I spent too much money on madalines (A soft French pastry), and had to spend a few nights in a Parisian mosque where I had an unforgettable experience aiding Syrian refugees.


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Hayley Rahl

Doctoral Student, University of Minnesota

B.S. in Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, 2014

Hometown: Northern Virginia

Interests: Developmental psychopathology, adolescence, resilience, trauma/maltreatment, prevention/intervention

Fun fact: I have been on over 100 domestic flights!


Michael Tumminia

Stockton University '15
B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience

Hometown: Freehold, NJ

Research Interests: Globally, I am interested in investigating how mindfulness interventions (classroom-based, smartphone-based, and retreats) can enhance social-emotional learning and academic achievement. Specifically, I aim to explore how mindfulness training can improve self-regulation in adolescents and how this might influence academic and behavioral outcomes (reducing dropout, aggression/suspensions, improving GPA, etc). In short, my goal is to learn how these interventions can be improved, standardized, and tailored to change trajectories especially during critical transitional periods.

Fun Fact: In April of 2010, I played the lead role (Prisoner #8612) in the first ever live performance of the classic Stanford Prison Experiment study in front of psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo.