Applied Psychology OPUS

Staff Bios

Kara Duca - Editor

Kara Duca is a senior in the Applied Psychology department, with a minor in Italian. She is currently a member of Dr. Selcuk Sirin’s research team, where she is involved in an array of projects, both quantitative and qualitative, surrounding the acculturation experiences of immigrant-origin adolescents. She has just completed her senior Honors thesis, which seeks to understand gender differences in the negative relation between acculturative stress and internalizing symptoms. She is excited to be presenting her thesis at the upcoming American Psychological Association conference in Hawaii. Her general research interests include the interaction of multiple identities as well as the impact of risk environments, unhealthy relationships, and traumatic experiences on mental health. Kara is also the former President of the Applied Psychology Undergraduate Club. In the near future, she plans to attend a doctoral program in Counseling Psychology to pursue her research interests and expand her clinical experience.

Caila Gordon-Koster

Caila Gordon-Koster is a senior in the Applied Psychology department with a minor in Religious Studies. She also holds a certificate in Political Psychology from Stanford University. Her research fuses the two subjects of religion and politics by studying religiosity and justice as psychological constructs. During her time at New York University she has worked on the research teams of Dr. Niobe Way and Taveeshi Gupta, Dr. Jacqueline Mattis, and at the Stern School of Business as a consultant to Dr. Durairaj Maheswaran. She has presented research at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference and at the National Mul- ticultural Conference and Summit. Caila will work as a Political Strategist at an advertising agency in Washington, DC post graduation. Caila was also a member of the New York University cross examination debate team.

David Freedman - Editor-in-Training

David Freedman is a Junior in Applied Psychology who transferred from Carleton College in 2012. In 2011, while taking a gap year between schools, David volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician. His experience reassuring patients and tending to their physical wounds solidified his desire to pursue a career in mental health. David is particularly interested in issues of culture, trauma and resilience, substance misuse, and development. This summer, he will be participating in a case management internship in a residential treatment facility, and in the fall will be functioning as an editor for OPUS. Upon graduation, David hopes to work in social services before pursuing further education in the field of psychology.

Alfredo Novoa - Staff Writer

Alfredo Novoa is a graduating senior in Applied Psychology who transferred from Utah State University in 2011. After gaining a solid background in social justice through engagement in advocacy for reproductive justice as an education intern and campus representative for Planned Parenthood. Sex education sparked his interest in policy and education. His current research focuses on immigrant and minority experiences and how they influence educational outcomes. Alfredo’s attraction to education is showcased not only through his academic pursuits but also his professional endevors. Combining his love of education with justice, he is interested in pursuing a PhD in Developmental science to study the application of action research with underrepresented groups in school environments.

Scarlett Wang - Staff Writer

Scarlett Wang is a senior in the applied psychology program. Her research interests are cultural differences in children’s early development, and how to apply the cultural aspects to counseling of school-aged children. She’s currently an active RA in Center for Research on Culture, Development and Education, working closely with Dr. Catherine Tamis-Lemonda exploring the cross cultural similarities and differences of mother-child shared narratives.

Esther Song - Secretary/Treasurer

Esther is currently a sophomore in the Applied Psychology program also pursing a minor in Music. Her research interests include how extracurricular musical involvement throughout the lifespan is related to career development and English as a second language. She aspires to use social science professionally in Market Research or Human Resources upon graduation.

Amelia Chu - Layout Director

Amelia is a freshman in the Applied Psychology Program and is pursuing a minor in Anthropology and Business Studies. She is interested in Social Psychology and Child Psychology. She currently works at PS 130 in the America Reads program. Amelia is also the Layout Editor of Generasian, a student-run Asian-American interest magazine.