PEOPLE

ISABEL HERRERA GUEVARA

Lab Manager

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Born and raised in Tijuana, B.C. Mexico, Isabel recently graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Psychology with a Specialization in Cognitive Psychology and a Biology minor. At UCSD, Isabel worked as a research assistant at the Social Cognition and Learning Lab studying the development of social cognition in infancy. Isabel is interested in cognitive development and intends to keep doing fun research with children. In her free time, Isabel enjoys watching shows, reading, petting her housemate’s cat, and walking by the beach!

DR. NADIA CHERNYAK

Lab Director/Principal Investigator

Dr. Chernyak is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at UC - Irvine and the director of the lab. She received her BA and PhD from Cornell University, and completed additional postdoctoral training at various universities in the Boston area, including Brown University, Harvard University, Boston University, and Boston College. Her work investigates the early roots of our social behavior. She is particularly interested in how we can use developmental data to better understand the cognitive building blocks of our understanding of equity, justice, fairness, equality, and social group cognition. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award, her most recent work has focused on the cognitive and social predictors of our understanding of inequality.
 

CASSIDY WOLFE

Graduate Student

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Cassidy is a Cognitive Science PhD student working with Dr. Nadia Chernyak. Cassidy completed her M.A. in Developmental Psychology at Cornell University in 2021. She also completed her B.A. in Psychology at Cornell University in 2019.

 

Cassidy is interested in researching children’s moral cognition and the relationship between wealth and possibility. Cassidy is particularly interested in how cultural markers impact how children process and form decisions, specifically using an intersectional framework to pit cultural markers against each other. In her free time she enjoys playing with her nieces and nephews, drinking coffee, spending time with her cat, and playing Animal Crossing.

JACQUELINE BECK

Graduate Student

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Jacky is a graduate student working with Dr. Nadia Chernyak. Jacky received her B.S. in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked as a lab manager at the University of Chicago.
 
Jacky is interested in how children’s social environment shapes their beliefs and behaviors. In particular, she is interested in how children from different socioeconomic backgrounds explain concepts of equity, free will, and social mobility. In her free time, she likes to decompress by trying out new food and playing games.

SHARANYA BASHYAM

Graduate Student

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Sharanya is a graduate student working with Dr. Nadia Chernyak. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Hyderabad, an M.A. in Applied Psychology with Specialization in Clinical Psychology from Tata Institue of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and an M.A. in Social Sciences (concentration - Psychology) from the University of Chicago.

 

Sharanya is interested in understanding how non-WEIRD contexts shape children's social cognition. She is interested in understanding how markers such as status and familiarity affect children's social preferences in multi-lingual and multi-cultural environments. Apart from research, Sharanya is an avid reader, loves watching the latest K-dramas, enjoys long walks, and listening to new music.

DANYANG MA

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Project Coordinator

Danyang Ma recently graduated with a Bachelor in Psychology at UCIrvine. Her research interests are exploring children’s cognitive development and the neurobiology mechanism underlying it. She enjoys working with children and looks forward to pursing a master and PhD in developmental psychology.

JOSE RAMIREZ

Project Coordinator

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Jose Ramirez recently completed his B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. He is eager to gain experience and learn more about the cognitive development of children. Besides cognitive development, he is also interested in abnormal psychology and the treatment of mental disorders. In the future, he hopes to go on to graduate school after gaining experience in the field of developmental psychology.

TAYLOR ASHQAR

Project Coordinator

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Taylor Ashqar is a student at UCI pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Cognitive Sciences. She is very interested in AI and developmental cognition and hopes to transition into grad school to further her knowledge of both. In the future, she hopes to teach and continue research in the field. In her free time, she likes reading, writing, and spending time with friends. 

Research Assistants

VIVIAN NGUYEN

RA & SURP recipient

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Vivian Nguyen is an undergraduate student studying for a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is interested in studying child development, particularly how children are able to acquire social behaviors and learn about the world. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology to eventually become a Marriage and Family therapist.

JOLINA LEE

RA & Thesis Student, SURP recipient

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Jolina Lee is an undergraduate working towards a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is particularly interested in child development and, more specifically, in understanding the mechanisms through which children are able to rapidly learn about and understand the social world around them. After collecting her degree, Jolina hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

JASMINE NGUYEN

RA

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Jasmine is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is looking forward to gaining knowledge as a researcher and experiencing hands-on the growth of developmental and cognitive sciences. She has worked with children for a good chunk of her college career, and is excited to be back at it again. In her free time, she likes hanging around her dog, practicing piano, and playing games with her friends.

CASSIDY WONG

RA & SURP Recipient

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Cassidy Wong is an undergraduate at UCI pursuing a BS degree in Cognitive Sciences on a Pre-Med track. She is interested in behavioral development and neuroscience. With a prospective career in pediatrics, she aims to intertwine the disciplines of biology and cognitive science to elevate healthcare experiences within the medical field. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, and hammocking with friends.

JESSIE LEE

RA

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Jessie is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is interested in neuropsychology, particularly conditions that can interfere with one’s social cognition. After graduating, she wants to continue her education at graduate school and study cognitive neuroscience. When she’s not busy, she likes to draw, play Animal Crossing, and spend time with her dogs.

UMIEMAH FARRUKH

RA

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Umiemah Farrukh is an undergraduate at UCLA, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She has previous research experience and is particularly interested in how an individual's childhood experiences shape them and their mental health. She is very excited to be working at the DoSC Lab this summer. Upon completion of her BA and progessive master's, Umiemah will be applying to grad school to pursue a health-related career. In her free time Umiemah loves writing poetry, making art, and trying out new coffee shops in LA! 

SOPHIA TONG

RA

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Sophia Tong is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Sciences. She is very interested in developmental and behavioral psychology as well as how public health factors can influence child development. After graduating Sophia plans on attending graduate school to further pursue her studies in public health and psychology. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, dancing, and watching sitcoms.

LIZBETH ROMERO

RA & SURP recipient

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Lizbeth Romero is a third year undergraduate student at UCI pursuing a BS degree in Psychology. She is interested in human decision making as well as cognition and perception. After graduation her goal is to pursue a master’s in Human Factors or I/O Psychology. In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to music and hanging out with friends. 

KIANA GEE

RA

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Kiana Gee is a second-year undergraduate student pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Cognitive Science. She enjoys studying developmental cognition and language acquisition, and she especially loves working with children. In the future she hopes to continue her work with children and further her studies in graduate school. During her free time, she enjoys listening to and playing music, drawing, and spending time with friends and family.

HANNAH GONZALES

RA & SURP recipient

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Hannah Gonzales is a 4th-year transfer student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is interested in neuropsychology and brain disorders. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology or neuroscience and hopes to do research on understanding mental illnesses in the future. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym and napping with her cat Tuna :)

ELI ROBINSON

RA & SURP recipient

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Eli is an undergraduate pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biological Science. She is interested in neuropsychology and cognitive science, she hopes to continue her studies of these topics in graduate school. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, baking, and hunting around Irvine for new coffee shops :)

RAE PETERSEN

RA

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Rae is pursuing a double major with a B.A. in Psychological Sciences and a B.A. in Criminal Law and Society with a Minor in Sociology. She plans to pursue higher education, specifically her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and work with the Department of Defense to change mental health policies within the military. She enjoys cooking, baking, and learning Japanese in her free time. Rae is excited to be working with the DoSC Lab!

SOPHIA MA

RA 

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Sophia is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in psychological science and criminology, law, and society at the University of California, Irvine. Sophia has previous research experience in conducting case studies on formerly incarcerated individuals, those with mental illnesses, and diversity in law firms. She is particularly interested in risk assessment and mental illness diagnoses and prevention in children. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Sophia hopes to pursue a doctorate in forensic psychology. In her free time, Sophia likes to take care of her pets and go hiking. 

AUDREY LAGRISOLA

RA 

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Audrey Lagrisola is a third year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is interested in cognitive development and how nature vs. nurture plays a part in this process. In the future she hopes to further her understanding of people and the brain in graduate school. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, trying new foods, and napping. 

TATI RIOS

RA 

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Tati is an undergraduate student pursuing her B.S. in psychology. She is particularly interested in how childhood experiences and mental disorders may affect one's understanding of the social world. She loves working with children and is excited to learn more about cognitive science through a more hands-on approach. In her free time, she enjoys singing along to music, going on walks, and trying new foods :) 

EMILIE KIM

RA 

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Emilie Kim is an undergraduate at UCI pursuing a BS degree in Psychology. She is particularly interested in the neurological behaviors of psychology and has previous experiences as a Behavior Technician and working with children. Through this research, Emilie is excited to furthermore understand child development and grow experiences as a researcher in social cognition. During her free time, she likes to watch old Disney movies, spend time with her cats, and go out with her friends.

Lab Mascot
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IVY

Lab Cat

Hi, my name is Ivy Elizabeth Wolfe, but you can call me Ivy Cat. I love to eat, play, run and jump! I really really love boxes and paper bags-they are the best! Also my life motto is “closed doors are really only opportunities to find ways to make them open doors, aka by scratching and meowing.

Lab Alumni

Dear wonderful DoSC lab alumni! We'd love to hear from you on what you are up to now. Please consider filling out our alumni form here :)

Former Research Staff

Lucy Stowe (Lab Manager 2020 - 2022; now Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology at UC Davis)
Sifana Sohail (Lab Manager 2018 - 2020; now: Ph.D. student in Psychology at Yale University)
Allegra Midgette (Postdoctoral Collaborator 2019-2021; now: Assistant Professor and ACES Fellow at Texas A&M)

Former Research Assistants

Stephen Sanders (2019)
Sarvenaz Tate (2019)
Ane Avetisyan (2019-2020)
Nina Hoang (2019-2020)
Alek Marantz (2019-2020)
Samia Miss (2019-2020)
Naomi DeLuna (2020)

Michelle Ortiz (2019-2020; now: MA student in Counseling Psychology at Mount St. Mary University)
Jenny Li (2020)
Annie Dinh (2020)
Yunshi Luo (2020; now: MA student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania)
Abe Guevara (2020)
Ameera Azzam (2019 - 2021)

Katherine Brogan (2019 - 2021; now: Research Coordinator at UCSF)
Rui Zhang (2019 - 2021; now: MA student in I/O Psychology at New York University)
Sahrai Garcia (2019 - 2021)
Erin Conghuyen (2019 - 2021)
Ariel Tan (2021; now: Lab Manager in the UCI Working Memory & Plasticity Lab)
Daisy Mercado (2021; now: Research Staff at UCLA)
Sofia Babool (2021) former Summer Intern
Olivia Ramos Jacquez (2021) former SURF Intern
Isabel Hoffman (2021) former Summer Intern
Kevin Ramirez (2021 - 2022)
Rakat Rahman (2020 - 2022)
Shakira Noriega (2020 - 2022)
Catherine Kagoo (2021 - 2022; now working at a marketing agency in Dallas, TX)
Habiba Amir (2022) former Summer Intern
Tenzing Choeying (2022) former Summer Intern
Jennifer Hodel (2022) former Summer Intern