People

Members: Faculty | Graduate | Undergraduate | Alumni


Jessica C. Guszak

Jessica C. Guszak received her B.A. in Psychology and minor in Criminal Justice at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Her career aspirations include obtaining her PsyD with a concentration in assessment. She will be attending Alliant International University Fall of 2018. Jessica is currently working on research with her mentor Dr. L. Mark Carrier where they observe the cognitive and mental health effects of how people absorb information online via social media.

Jessica served as Vice President for Psi Chi International Honors Society for the 2017-2018 academic year. She also won 2nd place at Student Research Day held at CSUDH. For the past year in a half, Jessica interned at L.A. County Department of Mental Health where she shadowed clinical psychologist and received hands-on experience doing clinical work.


Stephanie Elias

Stephanie’s interests are in Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology research. She is the President of the Psychology Club. She currently received her A.A. from Cerritos College, and is working on earning her B.A. from CSUDH. Her aspirations include earning her Ph.D in Cognitive Neurological Psychology. She joined the lab in the fall of 2015, her research interests are in multitasking, executive functioning, short term memory in relation to technology.

Contact: Stephanieelias014@gmail.com


Marcos Jimenez

Marcos Jimenez is a senior at California State University Dominguez Hills, pursuing a Bachelors in Psychology. He is currently a member of the George Marsh Applied Cognition Laboratory working on different projects. He plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology.

Contact: mjimenez113@toromail.csudh.edu


 

Joshua Lozano

Joshua Lozano, a MARC U STAR scholar, received his A.A. in Psychology at Los Angeles Harbor College. His academic aspirations include obtaining his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuro-Psychology. His research interests include cognitive processes of executive functioning in relation to technology with an emphasis on applied and experimental research.

He is currently working on a project with his mentors, Dr. Larry D. Rosen and Dr. Mark L. Carrier, to identify if presentation format has an impact on student learning processes and retention by focusing on possible factors that impact executive functioning among college students of different generations using digital and traditional textbooks. In addition to investigating the previous, this study will examine brain activity during digital and paper-based textbook use with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR), a neuroimaging device used to examine executive functioning in the prefrontal cortex through measurements of blood oxygenation.

Some of Joshua’s accomplishments include winning 2nd place at the 10th annual Student Research Day held at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. Joshua is currently working as a student co-chair for the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity department for Student Research Day. Joshua recently achieved acceptance into the Student Research Fellows Program and is also a Psi Chi honor student and currently holds the Vice-Presidency position for Psi Chi at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills.

Contact: 24jplozano@gmail.com


Jonathan Pedroza

Jonathan Pedroza (JP) received his BA in Psychology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in December, 2014. He is currently a second year graduate student in the MA Health Psychology program at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

His primary research interests are focused on intervention and prevention models in regards to chronic illnesses. His main focus of research is the implementation of health interventions through the use of technology. Jonathan’s previous research includes topics on the effectiveness of various Type 2 Diabetes interventions. He is currently working on several studies that utilize the functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), a neuro-imaging device that examines blood oxygenation levels in the prefrontal cortex. The studies can be found in Jonathan’s CV (listed below). He is also finishing up his thesis which looks at how technology use and health behaviors predict psychological well-being in college students. Lastly, Jonathan is gathering data for a study examining the use of Pokémon GO as a physical activity intervention tool as well as a means for being more socially connected with others playing Pokémon GO.

Jonathan’s short-term plans are to get a Ph.D. in either social or health psychology and to become a professor. His long-term goal is to start a technology based intervention lab. He would like to continue researching and developing technological interventions that address health disparities and chronic illnesses.

Contact: jpedroza7@toromail.csudh.edu
Curriculum Vitae: [PDF]


Jonathan Bentley

Jonathan Bentley is a member of the Psychology Club and has been a member of the GMAC lab since 2013. He worked on a project over the summer that looked at the relationship between electronic media violence and pro-social/aggressive behaviors.

He wants to pursue a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology.

Contact: jbentley3@toromail.csudh.edu


Lizzette Ceja

Lizzette is currently a senior at California State University, Dominguez Hills majoring in Psychology. She joined the GMAC Lab in the summer of 2014. Lizzette also holds a position as an fNIR technician. Her research interest focuses on Cognitive Psychology dealing with electronics, memory, long term effects, fNIR device. She has worked on a couple projects: 1) Looking at the relationship between metacognition and the effects of text messaging interruptions in the classroom environment; 2) involved in neural correlations of language brokers; 3) Looking at high technology and low technology users’ oxygenation levels of the brain using an fNIR device; 4) starting a project looking at long-term effects of memory when multitasking (also using fNIR device). Lizzette plans to pursue a PhD in either Experimental Psychology or Cognitive Psychology.
Contact: lceja10@toromail.csudh.edu

Curriculum Vitae: [PDF]


Jane Jacob

Jane Jacob is a senior at California State University, Dominguez Hills majoring in Psychology. Her research interests focus on neuropsychology and wants to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology.

Jane is currently working on several different projects: Metacognition and the impact of text messaging in the classroom, and the neural correlates of language brokers among Spanish-English speakers.

Contact: jjacob1@toromail.csudh.edu


Alex F. Lim, M.A.

Alex Lim earned his BA (2010) in Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills and recently earned his MA (2013) in the General Experimental Psychology program at California State University, Northridge.

He is in interested in individual differences and cognitive traits that predict creativity, multitasking abilities, and working memory capacities. He is also interested in applying cognitive principles to best develop instructional tools that would improve learning. Alex is currently the lab coordinator, fNIR lab
technician, and teaches part-time in the psychology department at CSUDH.

He is currently conducting and supervising several research projects: 1) converging evidence for a new cognitive flexibility measure, 2) executive functioning differences between low-tech users and high-tech users, 3) whether cognitive flexibility moderates the relationship between working memory capacities and creativity, and 4) a comparison between stutterers and non-stutterers in executive functioning.

Contact: alim@csudh.edu
Curriculum Vitae: [PDF]


Kaitlin O’Brien

Kaitlin O’Brien received her BA in Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) at Point Loma Nazarene University in 2014. She is currently a second year graduate student in the MA Clinical Psychology program at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Her primary research interests include executive functioning (such as impulsivity and self-regulation) and addictive behaviors including technology addictions and Facebook overuse. Currently, she is a research assistant to two ongoing projects, one on executive functioning and Internet addiction and the other on prefrontal cortex activation of heavy and light technology users. Her thesis will be investigating impulsivity as a predictor for high-risk behaviors, Facebook addiction, and substance use. She hopes to continue cognitive research as well as investigate neurological underpinnings of addictive behaviors in a Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Her career goals are to become a university professor as well as a clinician who conducts neurological assessments and testing for patients.
.

Contact: kobrien20@toromail.csudh.edu


Abraham Ruiz

Abraham Ruiz is a senior at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and is a MBRS-RISE Scholar. Broadly, he is interested in the topics of stress, learning, creativity, memory, attention, multi-tasking, and individual differences. His current project focuses on metacognition and the impact of text messaging during class lecture.

Abraham is also a member of the Social/Developmental Lab at CSUDH and Psi Chi, the international honor society in Psychology.  His goal is to attain a Ph.D. in Cognitive or Social Psychology and pursue a career as a university professor. He hopes to conduct research examining the effects of social hierarchies on cognitive development and individual differences in executive functioning.

Contact: aruiz96@toromail.csudh.edu


Kristin Peviani

Kristin Peviani is a senior at California State University Dominguez Hills majoring in psychology. She earned an Associates of Arts degree from Saddleback College in 2013. Her primary research interests include trauma, mood disorders and borderline personality disorder.

Kristin currently holds a research assistant position at Counseling4Kids, a non-profit organization specializing in providing mental health services to abused and neglected children in the foster care system throughout Los Angeles County. While most of her work is committed to PTSD, she also assists with evidence-based practices dedicated to the treatment of anxiety, disruptive behaviors, and depression.

Additionally, she is assisting research on a project aimed at discovering whether cognitive flexibility moderates the relationship between working memory capacities and creativity. As a McNair Scholar, she will continue her education through graduate research in developmental psychology.

Contact: kristinmpeviani@gmail.com


Chris Odudu

Chris is interested in adolescent development amidst household chaos (divorce, parental maltreatment of children, etc…)

Current Research: Electronic Cigarettes study with Dr. Sneed; differences in Executive Functioning and neural correlates among Low & High tech users; gratitude predictors among youth with Dr. Bono; Ethnicity and inhibitory control, independent study.

Affiliates: McNair Scholar, past Fundraiser for Psych Club, Psi-Chi candidate.

Future Goals: PhD in Clinical Psychology with a Developmental application

Contact: codudu1@toromail.csudh.edu


Claudia Aguilar

Claudia joined the GMAC lab in Spring 2013. She is an undergraduate student at California State University, Dominguez Hills pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her research interests focus on criminals’ social media usage.

Claudia is currently working with Dr. Carrier, the Psychology Department Chair, in his multitasking study. In addition, she is working for Academic Advantage providing free tutoring services to elementary school children.

Her goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and pursue a career in forensics psychology.

Contact: claudiaaglr89@gmail.com


Murat Arikan

Murat Arikan earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from CSUDH in 2012. His research interests include exploration into the effects of digital media usage on time perception.


Vanessa Black

Vanessa earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from CSUDH in 2012. She is currently continuing a research study that explores the risk factors behind becoming a victim for online human sex trafficking.


Lyzette Blanco


Lyzette Blanco graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in the spring of 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. She is currently earning a Ph.D. in Public Health at Claremont Graduate University.


John Bunce

John P. Bunce earned his Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with honors in the major from CSUDH in 2011.  Currently, John is earning his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Merced.  His research interests include language acquisition, the impact of current technology on the developing brain, and how future technology can facilitate learning in children.  John’s current work includes a project on how 3 year olds track word-object pairs to learn new words from video and one exploring if 2 year olds can use video based social cues to learn words. Throughout the course of the 15 months he spent with the GMAC lab, John worked on several studies investigating the impact of e-reading technologies on learning and the relationship between technology and empathy.


Jamisson Costa

Jamisson Costa hails from the Federative Republic of Brazil. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Colorado Springs and recently earned his Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology here at California State University, Dominguez Hills. His research interests revolve around Cross-Cultural Psychology; cultural impacts on social behavior, media usage on the workplace; international industrial relations; impacts of diversity on the workplace; and mental health policies and programs in the workplace.

Jamisson also works for Life Adjustment Team, a company that offers counseling support for clients who are diagnosed with clinical depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and other mental health problems.  Jamisson ultimately wants to pursue a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and when time permits, he enjoys teaching group fitness exercise (Zumba).

Contact: missoncosta@gmail.com
Curriculum Vitae: [PDF]


Lynne Erwin


Lynne is currently pursuing a Ph.D at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include self-regulation, decision-making, and consumer behavior.


Esbeyde Garcia

Esbeyde Garcia obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology in 2012 from CSUDH graduating Cum Laude as well as earning honors in the major. She will be attending California State University, San Bernardino starting Fall 2012 in pursuit of her Masters of Arts in Psychology. Upon completion of her masters, Esbeyde plans to earn her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. Her research interests revolve around the influence technology has on adolescent girls’ body-esteem and body satisfaction as well as the way in which emotions play a role in communicative technology.

Esbeyde first joined the GMAC lab in 2010 when she joined the MBRS RISE Scholars program. Throughout her time in the GMAC lab, she worked a project entitled Seeing is Believing: The Emotional Impact of Video-Based Messages and is currently in the process of publishing her results. She is currently working on a project entitled The Effect of Avatar Ideals on Body-Esteem and Body Satisfaction and currently preparing to collect data. Esbeyde has earned several awards for her service to CSUDH as well as her academic achievements. She is a member of The International Honors Society in Psychology, The University Honors Program at CSUDH and Whose Who Among Students . When time permits, Esbeyde enjoys swimming, cooking, and spending quality time with her family and friends.


Michael Gomez

Michael Gomez is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in Spring of 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology. He joined the GMAC lab in February of 2012. He is broadly interested in the cognitive effects produced by digital media task switching, specifically as they relate to attention. His most current work seeks to gather empirical evidence to support the existence of the multitasking concept popularly referred to as Continuous Partial Attention. He was formerly President of the CSUDH PSI CHI Chapter

 

Michael will begin the Cognitive and Brain Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Nevada, Reno in Fall 2013.

Contact: mgomez219@toromail.csudh.edu
Curriculum Vitae: [PDF]


Helen Gutierrez

Helen Gutierrez is a CSUDH alumna (2010) and was a member of the GMAC lab from 2008-2010. She was also a McNair scholar in 2009 with Dr. Larry Rosen as her primary advisor. Helen is now on her third year in the Ph.D. program in Lifespan Developmental Psychology at Oklahoma State University. Her current research interests include: decision making, information processing and retirement planning. Along the way, Helen also earned her M.S. in Psychology. She also has a publication and several manuscripts in preparation.


Tristan Hahn

Tristan earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from CSUDH in 2012. He is currently developing a study to investigate the mechanics behind aggressive online behavior.


Marilynn Hernandez

Marilynn Hernandez is a senior at California State University, Dominguez Hills majoring in Psychology. She joined the GMAC Lab in 2012 and is working on a study investigating whether or not social skills learned in one setting (offline or online) will transfer to the other setting. In addition to the GMAC Lab, Marilynn also volunteers at the Suicide Prevention Center.

In 2012, Marilynn was inducted into The International Honor Society in Psychology. After completing her bachelor’s in psychology, she hopes to obtain her Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Marilynn’s research interests encompass suicide and mental health, treatment for Schizophrenia, and coping strategies associated with chronic pain.

Contact: mhernandez394@toromail.csudh.edu


Michael Kersten

Mike Kersten graduated from CSUDH in 2012 with his B.A. in Psychology with honors in the major. Currently, he is attending Texas Christian University (TCU) working toward his Ph.D. in social experimental psychology. Mike’s time at CSUDH was highlighted by his two-year involvement the George Marsh Applied Cognition Laboratory. As a research assistant, he worked on a variety of studies that were presented as eight oral and poster presentations spanning across six different psychological conferences. Broadly, Mike’s is interested in researching topics related to existential threats, morality, interpersonal relationships, technology, humor, and meaningfulness under the scope of Terror Management Theory.

As a Student at CSUDH, Mike received the 2012 Outstanding Psychology Student Award and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 major, and 3.9 cumulative Grade Point Average. While Psi Chi President at CSUDH, his chapter obtained local and national recognition in receiving The President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, an award given to one student organization that has demonstrated exemplary service to the CSUDH community; and the Kay Wilson Leadership Award for Outstanding Chapter Presidents, a national award given to one chapter president who demonstrates excellence in leadership of the local chapter. When time permits, Mike loves watching and attending baseball games; playing guitar; listening to music and standup comedy; and spending time with his dog Abby.


Jose Lara-Ruiz

Psychology Major, Biology Minor, California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH); President, Psi Chi – International Honor Society in Psychology, CSUDH Chapter; Student Advisor, Psychology Club; CSUDH; Research Assistant, George Marsh Applied Cognition Laboratory, CSUDH; Research Assistant, Neurocognitive Equipotentiality Recovery and Development Laboratory, LABioMed at Harbor UCLA Medical Center.

Jose is in interested in researching the factors associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in active duty and combat veterans amongst underrepresented populations. He is also concerned with the comorbidity of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), blast injuries and PTSD. Furthermore, his interests extend to the epidemiology of PTSD, including biopsychosocial predispositions, the cognitive deficits and the subsequent risks for self-harm and suicide as a result of this disorder.

Currently, he is involved in several different projects in the GMAC Laboratory including: (1) the investigation of the association between media use and multitasking, (2) the link between personality traits and social media, (3) the use of online chat to enhance face-to-face communication, and (4) the effects of technology on trauma.

In addition to the GMAC Laboratory, Jose is involved in the cognitive recovery from TBI and evaluation of the efficacy of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) as a treatment modality for memory impairment following TBI project at the NERD Laboratory at LABioMed.

Jose earned his BA in Psychology and minor in Biology from CSUDH in 2014. He is now enrolled as a first year graduate student in the MA Clinical Psychology program at California State University, Northridge.

Jose plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical or Neuropsychology and work with military veterans.

Contact: jlararuiz1@toromail.csudh.edu


Hugh Leonard

Hugh Leonard graduated from CSUDH in 2013 with his B.A. in Psychology and Sociology with honors in both majors.  Throughout his time in the GMAC Lab, his research largely focused on understanding the effect technology has on interpersonal communication in the context of social relationships. While at CSUDH, Hugh participated in the MBRS-RISE scholars program, was Psi Chi President, and won first place at CSUDH’s 8th Annual Student Research Day.

Hugh is currently earning his Ph.D. in the joint Clinical-Community Psychology program at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and University of Alaska-Anchorage.

 



Jessica Mendoza

Jessica is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar who will obtain her BA in Psychology in May of 2014. She joined the GMAC laboratory in the Spring of 2013. Her research interests focus on human information processing and cognition such as memory, attention, learning, judgement, and decision making as they relate to technology. Jessica is actively investigating how technology alters human memory and is also researching the effects of video games on behavior and perception.

Jessica is currently a first year doctoral student in the Cognitive Psychology program at the University of Alabama.

Contact: jsm.mendoza1@gmail.com


Aimee Miller

Aimee D. Miller obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with honors in the major, from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), and recently her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology in 2014. Aimee plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology. Her research interests include substance related disorders and delinquent/risk behaviors.

Contact: aimeemllr@gmail.com
Curriculum Vitae: [PDF]


Alejandro Morales


Alejandro Morales participated in the Minority Biomedical Research Support program at California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a Spanish minor in 2002. He went on to earn a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2004 and 2009, respectively. He is now an assistant professor of counseling psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Fred Pasquarella

Fred Pasquarella is a current undergraduate senior at California State University, Dominquez Hills, pursing a B.A. in psychology. Fred has designed and carriered out several psychological experiments at CSUDH. He competed at the CSUDH Student Research Day 2012 and won first place in his session. As a result, he and his research were invited to compete at the statewide California State University research competition that same year.

In Fall of 2012, Fred was elected chapter Vice-President of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. He joined the GMAC lab in Spring of 2012.

Contact: fpasquarella1@toromail.csudh.edu


Saira Rab

Saira earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Biology at CSUDH as of May 2012 and will now be attending the University of Houston earning her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences. Saira has been a member of the GMAC Lab since Summer 2009. In the four years that she has been in the lab, she has helped with various research projects ranging from texting in classroom experiments to building a scale on technology usage. The main research project she is known for is her 3D movie study which she has presented this work at multiple conferences nationwide and is now published and entitled Pathways for Learning from 3D Technology.) Saira is currently working on the iDisorder study and is in the process of writing up the results with Dr. Rosen.

While at CSUDH, Saira was a Ronald E. McNair scholar, received multiple scholarships throughout her undergraduate years, and enjoys helping those who want to achieve a higher education. Saira has worked for the Toro Learning Center as an instructional tutor and was the student assistant for the Psychology department. She was a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance club, Anime club, Pacific Islander club, and Asian Pacific Student Association, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, The CSUDH Chapter in Psi Chi, and Phi Kappa Phi.


Jeff Rokkum

Jeff Rokkum obtained his B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2012, and recently earned his Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology.  Jeff is now pursuing twos PhD’s: Human Computer Interaction and Experimental Psychology at Iowa State University.

Contact: rokkum@iastate.edu


Alex Spradlin

Alexander Spradlin is a doctoral student in Experimental Psychology (with a minor in Evolutionary Anthropology) and an instructor at Washington State University (WSU). His primary research focus at WSU is on the role that empathy plays in the interpersonal difficulties associated with borderline personality pathology. While a member of the GMAC lab from late Spring 2010-Summer 2011, Alex worked on several projects, including one survey on the relationship between empathy, technology, and face-to-face communication; one experiment on the impact of viewing mixed martial arts on several emotions; and a combination survey and experiment on how reading modality impacts learning.


Erika Torres


Erika earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from CSUDH in 2011 and is currently pursuing her M.A. degree.


Leslie Vasquez

Leslie graduated from CSUDH in the spring of 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is hoping to get her Ph.D. in Clinical Health or Health Psychology. She is interested in looking at how chronic illnesses like cancer, affect the lives of both the patient and their family members. She has been working at the GMAC lab since 2011 where she is currently working on her study entitled Breaking Up is Hard to do: Comparisons of Online vs. Face to Face Breakups among Heavy and Light Technology Users, which investigates how a breakup of a partnership can affect high and low technology users and whether there is a difference between breaking up online vs. offline. She was also the 2012 Chair of the Student Committee for the campus’ annual Student Research Day.

While conducting research, Leslie is also gaining clinical experience while working as a research assistant at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute located at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. At LA BioMed she is part of Dr. Berk’s Collaborative Adolescent Research on Emotions and Suicide (CARES) study, which is investigating the efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for adolescents with features of borderline personality disorder. Leslie is also fluent in Spanish and knows how to read and speak essential French. In her spare time she likes to read mystery novels and biographies. She also enjoys cooking, watching movies, hanging out with friends, and working on arts and crafts. Her favorite bands are The Killers and Coldplay and loves collecting snow globes.

Contact: vasquezleslie1@gmail.com
Curriculum Vitae: [PDF]


Ludivina Vasquez

Ludivina earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from CSUDH in 2012. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.


Kelly Whaling

Kelly Whaling graduated with honors from California State University Dominguez Hills with her BA in Psychology and minor in biology in May of 2013. In August she is starting at California State University Northridge pursuing her MA.

Contact: kwhaling1@toromail.csudh.edu
Curriculum Vitae: [PDF]

 


 

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