Lab Assistants

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 Click HERE if you are interested in becoming a member of our research lab!

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Lab Manager

melanie

Melanie

Title: Lab Manager (2016 – present)

Pursuing a Master of Arts in General Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated May, 2016

About me: After returning from a semester abroad in France, I began my position as lab manager in 2016. During my undergraduate studies at Montclair State, I was a research assistant for Dr. Campanella. I also volunteered at Good Grief and Rocking Horse Rehab, helping with therapy sessions. I have assisted with outreach and research at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services at Montclair, and was a teacher’s assistant for Child and Developmental Psychology courses.

Research Interests: development of children and adolescents

Future Aspirations: I wish to continue on to my doctorate degree after receiving my Master’s.


Graduate Students

chelsea

Chelsea

Title: Graduate Research Assistant

Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology,
with a concentration in children and adolescents

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Elementary Education Certification, Graduated January 2014

About me: I joined Dr. Lakusta’s Lab in the Spring of 2017. I have experience with children in various forms. I have been an Elementary and preschool teacher and have spent numerous years as a nanny.

Research Interests: Exploring child development and infant/child Mental Health.

Future Aspirations: To obtain a PhD in clinical psychology and eventually open my own pediatric private practice.


Lab Assistants

 

sam

Samantha

Title: Research Assistant

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a certification in Child Advocacy and Policy

About me: I joined the lab in the Summer of 2015.  I have also volunteered at Deirdre’s House, which deals with victims of sexual abuse. In my free time I enjoy reading, exploring new places and expanding my knowledge of the ASL language.

Working on: I am currently working on a study that aims to understand how children categorize goal motion events of inanimate objects.  Within this project we are interested in seeing if infants show a preference for goal events, and to what extent they categorically represent goal spatial relations (e.g., onto or next to).  Prior to this, I helped code and analyze data for a study that looked at categorization with animate objects and spatial relations.

Research Interests: I’m interested in school psychology, particularly social justice within a school wide and systemic context, bullying and aggression, and prevention and intervention strategies.

michelle

Michelle

Title: Research Assistant

Currently pursuing a B.A. in Psychology,
with minors in both Russian and Women & Gender Studies.

About me: I joined the lab in the summer of 2015.

Working on: Investigating the understanding of spatial prepositions within infants and young children.

Other research: Investigating sentence comprehension within young adults

Research Interests: Psycholinguistics

Future Aspirations: To attend graduate school

holly

Holly

Title: Research Assistant

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology

About me: I joined the lab in the Fall of 2016. My experience working with kids comes from years of babysitting and working on an inpatient unit for children and adolescents struggling with emotional and behavioral health issues. I am also involved with research regarding developmental factors of anxiety disorders in children.

Working on: Coding data from the Preferential Looking Paradigm study to explore infants’ categorization, as well as goal vs. source infant studies

Research Interests: I am interested in both normal and abnormal aspects of child development, childhood anxiety disorders, and child/adolescent mental health in general.

Future Aspirations: I plan to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology after graduation.

carla

Carla

Title: Research Assistant

Pursuing a BA/MA in Psychology. Expected to graduate with a Master of Arts in General Psychology in 2019.

About me: I joined the lab in the spring of 2016 after taking Dr. Lakusta’s developmental psychology class. I have experience working with toddlers and young children at a daycare and through several years of babysitting.

Research Interests: Children’s knowledge representation and language development

Future Aspirations: To obtain a PhD in child and family clinical psychology

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Kelly

Title: Research Assistant

Currently Pursuing a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Portuguese

About me: I recently joined the lab to complete an independent research study, as well as to gain experience and grow in the lab as a research assistant. I have experience with children through babysitting as well as teaching Sunday School voluntarily.

Research Interests: I am interested in Child Developmental Psychology research.

Future Aspirations: I hope to do research with adults in the field of Behavioral Psychology.

Yasmin Pic

Yasmin

Title: Research Assistant

Currently pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Mathematics.

About me: I joined the lab in the summer of 2017, and was previously a research assistant for Dr. Ragin in the fall of 2016.  I have also volunteered as a teacher’s assistant for classes involving 3-5 year olds at my local mosque.

Research Interests: My main interests are in child development and Psycholinguistics.

Future Aspirations: To enter a PhD program in Developmental Psychology.

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Julia

Title: Research Assistant

I am currently enrolled in the 5 Year Masters Program in General Psychology at Montclair State University

About me: I joined Dr. Lakusta’s lab in the summer of 2017. I have experience with children through babysitting and being a summer camp counselor. I love to color, go to the beach, and play with my pets.

Research Interests: Developmental Psychology as well as Social Psychology

Future Aspirations: I am hoping to get a PhD in Psychology and open my own clinical practice involving psychological assessment of children with a specialization in animal assisted therapy.

 

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Bill

Title: Research Assistant

Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from William Paterson University with minors in Psychology & Sociology

Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with a concentration in children and adolescents at Montclair State University

About me: I joined Dr. Lakusta’s lab in the summer of 2017, and will be working with children in Newark at the Youth Development Clinic as well.

Future aspirations: I am planning on getting a doctorate, and opening my own practice after I complete my schooling.

 

Past Research Assistants

Where are They Now?

Hannah pic

Hannah

Title: Research Assistant

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Minor in Quantitative Analysis

About me: I joined the lab in Summer 2017. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, and playing the piano.

Research interests: I’m interested in the cognitive basis of literacy development, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Future aspirations: I plan to go on to graduate school for Psychology after I earn my Bachelor’s degree in May 2020.

dawn

Dawn

Title: Research Assistant

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated May, 2016

About me: I joined Dr. Lakusta’s lab in the Fall semester of 2016. In addition, I am wrapping up an internship at the Kessler Foundation’s Stroke Lab in West Orange. I previously worked in Dr. Yoav Arieh’s lab for 2 semesters completing my Psychology Honors research thesis in Music Perception. I have also worked in Dr. David Townsend’s lab for 2 semesters exploring areas in the field of Psycholinguistics using eye tracking.

Research Interests: I am very interested in the effects of poverty on social well-being and cognitive development. I am also involved with non-academic research into Universal Basic Income and alternative socio-economic models.

Future Aspirations: I hope to begin a PhD program in 2018.

megan

Megan

Title: Research Assistant

Currently pursuing a B.A. in Psychology

About me: I joined lab in the spring semester of 2016. I have experience working with children through volunteer organizations such as Key Club International and Rotary International. I regularly took part in the “Caring for Kids” events, which allowed students to reach out to children within the community.

Research Interests: I am generally interested in everything related to psychology. However, I am incredibly interested in exploring new and exciting psychological concepts.

Future Aspirations: I plan to become an Experimental Psychologist where I can work in a lab.

 

jenny

Jennifer

Title: Graduate Research Assistant

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with a concentration in children and adolescents, School Psychology Certification

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Child Advocacy & Policy, graduated May, 2015

About me: I joined Dr. Lakusta’ lab in the Spring of 2016 as a research assistant. I am also a teaching assistant in the Psychology department. Prior to this role, I have had experience working with children as a behavioral assistant, at Ben Samuel’s Children’s Center, Boys and Girls Club of Clifton, as well as in public schools.

Working on: Coding and analyzing data pertaining to early language development with the Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm. Our study focuses on goal and source paths and trying to understand if infants comprehend prepositions such as ‘to’ or ‘from’.

Research Interests: The development of infants, children, and adolescents in urban public schools

Future Aspirations: I would like to pursue a Ph.D in School Psychology. My ultimate goal is working as a school psychologist in an urban area. I would also like to become and adjunct professor.

 

maria

Maria

Title: Research Assistant

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Minor in Computer Science

About me: I joined the lab in the Fall semester of 2014. My current research projects involve investigating categorization and language acquisition of support relationships in children. When I’m not in class or at the lab, you can most likely find me reading, sketching, painting, or seeing plays in the city. I also enjoy spending my time learning Italian and coding projects in Java and HTML.

Working on: I have been working on a project that aims to achieve a better understanding of how children learn semantics of support terms such as “on” in English. The first study within this project asks what the earliest understandings of support are by observing infants’ pre-linguistic categorization of support relationships using a preferential looking paradigm. The second study being conducted uses transcript analysis to investigate the extent to which toddlers use a variety of support types—taking into account the context of support-term use—during early language production.

Research Interests: I’m interested in cognitive neuroscience, particularly neurocognitive development of memory and social cognition, as well as neural correlates of creativity and morality.

Future Aspirations: After my anticipated graduation in May of 2017, I plan to continue my education and earn a PhD in cognitive neuroscience.

maddy

Maddy

Title: Research Assistant

Pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology

About me: I am a visiting research assistant from Johns Hopkins University for the summers of 2015 and 2016. I have experience with children from working at summer camps and preschools.

Research Interests: Child language acquisition

Future Aspirations: To obtain my Master’s in Social Work

karina

Karina

Title: Research Assistant

Undergraduate senior, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated May, 2014

About me: I joined the lab during the summer 2016. I love being a mom and spending time with my daughter, Zoe Bella. In my free time I enjoy riding my bike, making jewelry, taking photos, reading, and watching Ted talks.

Research Interests: Brain plasticity, language development in bilingual children, and the relationship between motivation and emotions on productivity in the workplace.

Future Aspirations: After my graduation in May of 2017, I plan to obtain my Master’s Degree in Psychology.

amrita

Amrita

Title: Graduate Assistant

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in child and adolescent psychology, Certification in School Psychology

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University, graduated May 2013

About me: I joined the lab in the Fall semester of 2014. I worked at NJID for a year doing individual support care.

Research Interests: Child and adolescent development

Future Aspirations: To become a child/family clinical psychologist

danielle

Danielle

Title: former Lab Manager
(2014-2016)

Master of Arts in General Psychology, graduated May, 2016
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated May, 2014

About me: I was Dr. Lakusta’s Lab Manager for 2 years. During my undergraduate studies at Montclair State I also worked as a Lab Manager and a research assistant for Dr. Jason Dickinson. The two projects I worked on were “Collaborative Research: The Impact of Disclosure History and Interviewing Protocol on Children’s Eyewitness Testimony” and “The Effects for Interview Forecasting and Cognitive Control on Children’s Eyewitness Testimony”.

Research Interests: Children’s eyewitness and autobiographical memory development with a focus on how children categorize and organize memory.

Future Aspirations: To pursue a career within the legal system, helping children to report their experiences while preserving accuracy

jessica_a

Jessica A.

Title: Graduate Research Assistant

Masters in Clinical Psychology, Certification in School Psychology, graduated May, 2016

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated May 2014

About me: I joined the Lakusta Lab in the Fall semester of 2014. In the past, I have worked as a research assistant for Dr. Dickinson on a project named The Effects for Interview Forecasting and Cognitive Control on Children’s Eyewitness.  I also have experience with children through babysitting and from currently shadowing a school psychologist team at a public school district in North New Jersey.

Research Interests: Child Development

Future Aspirations: To work as a school psychologist in a public school district

deanna

Deanna

Title: Research Assistant

Undergraduate Student: Junior

Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology

About me: I joined Dr. Lakusta’s lab in the Spring semester of 2013. I have gained a great deal of experience with children through babysitting.

Working on: I am currently working on a study that looks at the notion of source in children’s event representations.

Research Interests: Child Development

Future Aspirations: Master’s degree in Psychology

stephanie

Stephanie

Title: Graduate Research Assistant

Master of Arts in General Psychology, graduated May, 2012

omaris

Omaris

Title: Graduate Research Assistant

Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Psychology, graduated May, 2015

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated May 2013

I’ve been working full-time as a case manager in Union County with children and adolescents through school systems, DCP+P, and various treatment and residential facilities.

daphne

Daphne

Title: Research Assistant

Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Psychology

moira

Moira

Title: Research Assistant

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

kelsey

Kelsey

Title: Research Assistant

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, Graduated May 2015

I am currently a graduate student at Sacred Heart University in the Occupational Therapy program.

I was recently accepted into the Occupational Therapy Honor’s Society, Pi Theta Epsilon, and was elected the president of Sacred Heart University’s chapter for this organization. My duties include ensuring we meet all of our goals and requirements, running the meetings and updating members about national happenings for Pi Theta Epsilon.

In addition to this, I am remaining involved in research through different symposiums and conferences. In October I attended the Lead the Way symposium at Boston University and have recently signed up to volunteer at two major occupational therapy conferences.

As a member of Pi theta Epsilon I will be representing Sacred Heart University at the Connecticut Occupational Therapy Association. I was accepted to partake in a Service learning opportunity where I will be going to Guatemala to offer services on an interdisciplinary team. I will work alongside my professors as well as students in the fields of nursing, physical therapy and speech pathology to volunteer our healthcare services to those that otherwise may not receive it.

delores

Delores

Title: Research Assistant

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Child Advocacy

I am currently a full-time student pursuing an MSW. I am also interning at an Early Learning Center within the Early Head Start program.

amanda

Amanda

Title: Research Assistant

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Graduated May 2014

jessica_b

Jessica B.

Title: Research Assistant / Lab Manager

Master of Arts in Teaching Students with Disabilities and Inclusive Education, Graduated May 2014

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Graduated May 2013

About Me: I am currently working as a reading specialist, and am pursuing a career teaching students of all abilities.

katie

Katie

Title: Lab Manager/ Graduate Assistant
(2012-2014)

Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Certification in School Psychology,
Graduated May 2015

I am currently working as a school psychologist in a public high school in Bergen County, where I manage cases for 10th – 12th grade students. I conduct psychological evaluations and provide counseling support.

sara

Sara

Title: Research Assistant
(2013-2014)

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated in May 2014

megan

Megan

Title: Research Assistant
(2011-2014)

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
graduated in May, 2013

Megan is in her first year of doctoral level studies in the Combined School-Clinical Child Psychology PsyD program at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology. She is a research assistant and has begun training in intelligence and achievement test administration.

marija

Marija

Title: Research Assistant
(2011-2013)

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated in May 2012

Masters degree in Psychology, graduated May, 2015

I currently work full time as a renal social worker in dialysis center in Manhattan. I also manage a research study at Fordham University that evaluates 16 senior centers in 5 boroughs of NYC. I have my license in both NY and NJ.

serina

Serina

Title: Research Assistant
(2012-2013)

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology,
graduated August, 2013

lauren_p

Lauren P.

Title: Research Assistant
(2011-2013)

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated May, 2012

I am currently in my 3rd year of my doctoral program and laying the foundation for my dissertation. My current research interest is developing interventions to increase interest and self-efficacy for children in STEM fields. I am also teaching my second semester at Middlesex County College.

noelle

Noelle

Title: Research Assistant
(2011-2013)

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, graduated in May 2011

Since I left the lab, I became a certified medical assistant and spent a year and a half working at a pediatric urgent care office. I’m currently in my 2nd semester of PA school at Rutgers University.

jessica_b_2

Jessica B.

Title: Research Assistant
(2009-2011)

I am currently working on my Clinical Psychology PsyD from Loyola University in Maryland. I am in my fifth year on internship at the NJ VA Hospital working with veterans. I am almost done with my dissertation, so I anticipate graduating in May, 2016.