Members of the "A Lab" Research Team

Farin Bakhtiari, Lab Supervisor, is a master's student in general experimental psychology and has a bachelor's degree in psychology. She works for the Psychology Department and the Psychology Research Area at CSUN. Her goals are to complete a Ph.D. and become a professor where she can teach future helping professionals and provide workshops in the community. Her interests include hiking, dancing, poem performance, playing basketball, trying new things, learning about life, and laughing.

Jaclyn Gross, Senior Researcher, is a master's student in clinical psychology and has a bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in family studies from CSUN. She is interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in school psychology, and her career goals are to teach and conduct research. She is interested in researching sociocultural factors in relation to mental health and educational/academic outcomes of marginalized youth. Her interests outside of academics include music, baking, and all things Disney!

Hector Nolasco, Senior Researcher, is in the general experimental masters program and has a bachelor's degree in psychology from CSUN. His long-term career goal is to complete a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and to obtain a university faculty position. He hopes to conduct research pertaining to adolescent’s developmental outcomes. His hobbies include reading, working on cars, playing massively multiplayer online games, as well as participating in archery tournaments. 

Antranik Tony Kirakosian, Senior Researcher, is a master's student in clinical psychology and has a bachelor's degree in psychology from CSUN. His long-term goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and teach in higher education, and be a psychologist practicing therapy. Tony is interested in individual qualities related to the mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety) of young Armenians. Tony is an afterschool program leader and private tutor. His interests include photography, drawing, baking, and technological innovations.

Andrew Takimoto, Senior Researcher, is a master's student in general experimental psychology and has a bachelor's degree in psychology from CSUN. He plans to obtain a Ph.D in developmental psychology. Andrew’s career goals are to be able to do research on stress affecting young adults and how they adapt to the struggles of responsibilities and expectations. He is also interested in how mood disorders of a parent can affect a family and young children. His interests include swimming, hiking, reading, weight lifting, being more exposed to the arts (e.g., plays and museums), and going out with friends.

Nouha Hallak, Senior Researcher, has a master's degree in clinical psychology and a bachelor's degree in psychology from CSUN. Her educational goal is to complete a doctorate in clinical psychology, and her career goal is to be a practicing psychotherapist and teach classes in higher education. Her interests include cooking gourmet meals, music, and traveling.

Diana Velez, Senior Researcher, has a master's degree in clinical psychology and a bachelor's degree in psychology from CSUN.  Her educational goal is to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Her career goals are to practice psychotherapy and research contextual factors related to anxiety and depression in adolescents and emerging adults. She has been a Teen Group Leader in the PEERS program at CSUN for a year.  In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking, and watching movies.

Lisa Dalati, Senior Researcher, is a master's student in clinical psychology and graduated cum laude with a major in psychology. Lisa’s education goal is to earn a Ph.D in clinical psychology, and her career goal is to teach at a university and research ethical violations in psychology. Her interests include hiking, running, reading, and spending quality time with close friends and family.

Briana Ponte is currently a graduating senior majoring in psychology. Her goals are to earn her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology and hopefully work with the FBI or some other form of government. She currently works at Barnes and Noble Booksellers. Her interests include reading, playing tennis, cooking, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

Michelle Contreras is a graduating senior majoring in psychology. She’s determined to earn a masters degree and then a doctorate in school psychology. Her objective is to work with the K-12 population, preferably to help diagnose children with learning disabilities at an early age. She currently works in a elementary school as an afterschool instructor, helping 1st graders with their homework and creating fun arts and craft activities to nourish their brains.   

Vivian Nguyen is a senior at CSUN majoring in psychology. Her educational goal is to get a PhD so she can be a clinical psychologist. She is currently completing training with the CSUN Help Line. She especially wants to work with soldiers who went to war and are dealing with PTSD. In addition, she wants to work with people from different cultures where there is a stigma attached to poor mental health. She loves traveling and making adventures.

Ashley Cortez graduated cum laude with a major in psychology and a minor in family studies from CSUN. She obtained an AA in sociology from Los Angeles Mission College. Her educational goal is to apply to a PsyD or LCSW program. Ashley is currently an instructional aide working with individuals whom have autism and other learning disabilities. She is also a facilitator for “Yes I Can” organization where she helps survivors of all types of abuse. Her interests include traveling, going to music festivals and concerts, volunteering as a social worker intern, and spending time with family and friends.

Veronica Martinez graduated from CSUN with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in family studies. She is currently working with students as a behavioral intervention therapist and volunteers at the Maple Counseling Center as a facilitator assisting children in building self-esteem. Her educational goal is to obtain an LCSW so she can work with children in a hospital or school setting. Her interests are watching movies, listening to music, hiking, and interacting with family and friends.

Kimberly Hernandez is majoring in psychology with a minor in business management. Her goal is to obtain her Ph.D. in industrial organizational psychology. She has very high hopes and aspirations for her future. She also works as a university ambassador at CSUN and as a sales associate for Bloomingdales. Her interests outside of academics include hiking, movies, and cooking.

Sofia Ramirez is a senior majoring in honors psychology with a minor in urban studies and planning. Her goal is to obtain her Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She wants to specialize in adults with schizophrenia. She also volunteers at the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center and works as a university ambassador. Her interests outside of academics include reading and exercising.

Yola Diab is a senior majoring in psychology. Learning is her passion in life. She aspires to complete a master's in clinical psychology and then a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.  She would like to teach at a university and practice therapy as a psychologist.  She is interested in all aspects of human interactions and their relationships; this includes spending time with family and friends. Some of her other interests are reading, music, dance, and yoga.

Larisa Gavrilova is currently a senior at CSUN majoring in psychology honors. Her educational goal is to obtain a PhD in psychology. She plans to pursue a psychological research career. She is especially passionate about investigating (1) stress, coping, and psychoneuroimmunology, (2) mindfulness and health, and (3) emotion dysfunction in psychopathology.

Erin Womack is a senior double majoring in psychology and child & adolescent development. She is currently working for the Psychology Department and Research Area at CSUN. She is a peer mentor for Dr. Roxanne Moschetti’s Child Abuse & Neglect course. Additionally, she has begun interning at the CSUN Child and Family Studies Center “Lab School.” She is currently applying to school psychology graduate programs, with the hopes of eventually being accepted into a Ph.D. program after practicing as a certified school psychologist for a few years. Her interests include Teen Wolf, Harry Potter, her two Yorkies (Mumford & Sun), Lord of the Rings, Disney, and Comic Con.

Carlos Corvera is a junior majoring in psychology. Carlos is expected to earn his bachelor’s degree in psychology in Spring 2017 and plans to pursue a master’s and then a Ph.D. in clinical psychology where he hopes to have his own private practice. Carlos is known to be a passionate soccer fan as he is a huge fan of the Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Barcelona, Manchester City, and AC Milan. His interests also include reading the works of Edgar Allen Poe, and he enjoys Marvel and DC Comics TV shows including Gotham, Arrow, and Agents of Shield, along with a variety of other action, comedy, and horror TV shows.

Ashley Magana is majoring in psychology. Ashley’s education goals are to achieve a bachelor's in psychology, followed by a masters in clinical psychology, leading to a Ph.D in clinical psychology. Ashley’s career goal is to researchto environment, family relationships, andposttraumatic stress disorder in adolescents and emerging adults. Her interests include dancing, performing arts, hiking, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Rosario Mendoza is majoring in psychology and getting a minor in human sexuality. Her educational goals are to obtain a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in human sexuality. Her career goals are to conduct research and write books on the psychological aspects of human sexuality. Her interests include painting, reading, running, and exploring nature.

Rachel Hoang is a senior majoring in psychology. She is planning on attending graduate school and obtaining a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology. She aspires to work as a consultant and teach part-time as a lecturer. Rachel is currently a tutor for an educational company called StudyRoom, and she currently volunteers at the CSUN Helpline. Her interests include listening to music, writing, photography, socializing with friends, and working out.

Evelyn Alfaro graduated from CSUN with a bachelor’s in psychology. Her goal is to acquire a master's degree and a PhD in school psychology. She is also a volunteer for Strength United where she helps victims of sexual assault. She is also an after-school instructor for 15 kindergartners. In her free time, she likes to read and watch reruns of the TV series FRIENDS. She is also a lipstick collector.

Jose Estrada is a senior and emerging researcher at CSUN, he is a psychology major and queer studies minor. He is planning to attend graduate school with aspirations of attaining a Ph.D. His research interests involve the intersectional relationships of Gender, sex, and ethnicity and their influence on a range of social factors. Including but not limited to, identity construction, community organization, career and academic goals, mental health disparities, experiences of discrimination, and stereotype threat. He hopes to become a mentor for future researchers who aspire to create social change.

Chloe Telles is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her interests include hiking, traveling to new places, the beach, poetry and learning about wellness on a holistic level. Chloe is currently volunteering at a hospital and at a non-profit organization called the Children’s Hunger Fund. Her career goals include becoming a primary care physician and eventually having her own private practice.

Mario Herrera is majoring in psychology honors. He has developed a keen interest in the function and development of the human mind. After graduating from CSUN he will puruse a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology. He has also developed a passion for statistics. He is currently working as a supplemental instructor for Math 140 (Statistic) and as statistics tutor for the CSUN Learning Resource Center.

Stephanie Dunn graduated from UCLA in 2014 with a B.S. in psychobiology.  Since that time, she has been working as a private tutor for students grades 6-12 and preparing for graduate school. She plans to earn a master’s degree and, ultimately, a Ph.D. in experimental psychology.  Stephanie hopes to meaningfully contribute to research that elucidates the both the psychological factors and neurobiological mechanisms underlying mood disorders.  In addition to her scientific endeavors, Stephanie enjoys writing poetry and aims to one day have both her academic and creative writing published.  

Bryan Denq is a sophomore in high school. He is interested in studying sociology and psychology. His research goals include determining and understanding motivation and conformity among populations, as well as, devising ways to measure their intensities. He also wishes to explore humanistic and rational emotive therapies. He volunteers regularly with Tzu Chi International, which gives him both the opportunity to help the less privileged and to observe social behavior up close. His hobbies include hanging out with friends, analyzing artworks and sculptures, walking, and writing stories.

Richard Gonsalez is a junior entering his second year of research. He is interested in going into the field of industrial organizational (or business) psychology. His research experience involves (1) evaluation research, (2) qualitative work using critical race theory and inequities in education and  (1) quantitative work examining family factors related to mental health. He would like to do research that can be applied to everyday life as well as related to his interests in IO psych. He has many hours working in community service and has held leadership roles in these organizations.

Darren Winograd is a senior majoring in psychology at CSUN. His education goals are to achieve a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. His career goals are to teach psychology while seeing clients. He currently works as a behavior interventionist at Autism Behavior Services, INC. and volunteers as the communications director of the CSUN Helpline. His interests include photography, film, cooking and running.

Maryam Kakar is currently a senior pursuing bachelor’s degree in psychology at CSUN. She plans on attending a master’s program for clinical psychology with an ultimate goal of completing a PhD in clinical psychology. Her interest is mostly in eating disorders and depression among adolescence and young adults. She has been a volunteer for the CASE program at the Klotz Student Health Center at CSUN in which she gained experience working in a hospital setting (e.g., shadowing physicians, measuring weight and height, and understanding the importance of physician patient confidentiality). Maryam hopes to open her own private practice dedicated to helping young adults and adolescents in low-income environments that suffer from eating disorders, stress, and/or depression.

Cristal Aguilar graduated from CSUN with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in Spring 2015. She plans to earn a master’s degree and, ultimately a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Cristal hopes to own her private practice and give people in her community access to affordable help. Her interests include poetry, fitness, reading and spending time with her family.

Maral Aghvinian is a master's student in clinical psychology and has a bachelor's degree in cognitive science with a minor in biology from the University of California, Irvine. Her long-term goals include obtaining a PhD in clinical psychology and becoming a licensed neuropsychologist. She would like to work in a hospital setting while conducting research on various brain disorders in the adult population, as well as working in academia. Additionally, she is passionate about LGBTQ issues and plans on pursuing and expanding research in this area as well. Her interests include film, classic rock, cooking, and reading.

Mitch Kanemori is graduating in Spring 2016 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. After he receives is degree he wants to go to graduate school to achieve his master's in occupational therapy. Mitch has an interest in the human mind and the various chemicals that cause disorders. He would like to work with adolescents with disabilities. He loves working out, hiking, being active, as well as doing adventurous activities

Kristina Davtyan is graduating in Spring 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She plans to continue onto graduate school to receive her master’s in experimental psychology. Her research interests include cognitive neuropsychology, pedagogy, and ecopsychology. She is a long time sustainability activist and spends her undergraduate years organizing student environmental groups on college campuses across California. Outside of the lab, Kristina enjoys discovering California’s diverse trails and is an avid DIYer.

Ian Merion is a 1st year master's student studying clinical psychology. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and become a professor/clinician (combining teaching, research, and practice). His research interests include social support in online video games, the effect of social support on psychological wellbeing, and how social support buffers depressive symptoms. In his off time, Ian enjoys hiking, camping, biking, and video games.

Michelle Zuniga is a senior majoring in psychology honors. After graduation she plans on attending law school where she hopes to attain a career in entertainment law. She has a passion for learning, and she really enjoys all of her psychology courses. She is very interested in the social aspect of psychology, and hopes one day to help others. On her time off, Michelle likes to spend time with her family and watch films.

Miki Abe is a senior graduating in spring 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her main interests include health psychology such as cognition and food, eating disorders, and depression in young adults. After graduation she would like to attend graduate school to receive her master's in health psychology. In her free time, Miki enjoys hiking, music, food, traveling and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Mike Martinez is a senior in psychology. He hopes to get into a Ph.D. program with his main focus on social psychology focusing on cultural influences. Currently, he works at an urgent care clinic as an x-ray technician. In his free time, he enjoys playing the guitar and writing music. He also enjoys spending time with is friends, CSUN Ambassadors, and JADE (Joint advocates on Disorder Eating).

Jiang Rui is a first year master's student general experimental psychology. She completed her undergraduate degree in China. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in research psychology and become a professor and researcher. Her research interests include social cognition, emotion regulation, social emotional intelligence, and how these factors influence individuals’ well-beings and their social interaction with others. She enjoys horror movies, reading, cooking, eating cheesecake, and drinking red wine plus conducting research in horoscopes. She is a virgo-libra.

Emily Fuller is a junior expecting to graduate in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in honors psychology and a minor in art. She hopes to go to graduate school for art therapy. During the school year, Emily plays water polo for CSUN’s varsity team, and in the summer she is a beach lifeguard. In her free time, Emily enjoys relaxing, making art, food, and going on adventures with family and friends.

Recent Past Students

  • Kelly Whaling is working on her Ph.D. in counseling psychology at U.S. Santa Barbara.
  • David Alpizer, is working on Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Washington State University
  • Brian Iliescu is working on a master's degree International Disaster Psychology.
  • Alexander Reid is working on his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at The University of Connecticut.
  • Dani Yomtov is working on his Ph.D. in Education: Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment at The University of Connecticut.
  • Kayleigh Welsh is working on her Ph.D. in school psychology at UC, Santa Barbara.
  • Paige Seegan is working on her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Texas Tech University.
  • Simon Ferber is working on his Psy.D. at Alliant International University, San Francisco.