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 is in the process of completing her senior Honors thesis, which seeks to understand the mechanisms through which acculturative stress negatively impacts the mental health of immigrant adolescents. Her general research interests include the development of multiple identities as well as the impact of traumatic experiences on mental health. She is also the former President of the Applied Psychology Undergraduate Club. Upon graduation, she plans to attend a doctoral program in Counseling Psychology to pursue her research interests and expand her clinical experience.

Caila Gordon-Koster - Editor

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 recently presented research at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference and at the National Multicultural Conference and Summit. She is interested in applying her psychology to political advertising post-graduation. In her free time, Caila is also a member of the New York University cross examination debate team.

Coralie Nehme - Editor

Coralie Nehme is a graduate of the Applied Psychology Program and is co-editor of OPUS. Her main research interests include trauma, anxiety and the effect of immigration on culture. She is currently exploring these interests on Dr. Erin Godfrey’s research team, looking at the American customs that immigrant mothers want their children to adopt. She spent her summer interning at the NYU Langone/Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture working with refugees and would like to continue working with this population.

David Freedman - Staff Writer

David Freedman is a Junior in Applied Psychology. David is interested in Clinical Psychology, Addiction Psychology, Child and Adolescent Psychology, and Psychoanalysis. After graduating he hopes to work in social services as a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor before pursuing further education in psychology.

Alfredo Novoa - Staff Writer

Freddy Novoa is a senior in Applied Psychology who transferred from Utah State University in 2011. While at Utah State, he gained 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. Freddy’s attraction to education is showcased not only through his academic pursuits but also his professional endevors. He currently works as a preschool teacher and camp counselor at multiple sites in New York’s Lower East Side. Additionally, Freddy is part of the Morris Justice Project which uses participatory action research to portray adverse or less-effective policing practices in low income neighborhoods. Combining his love of education with justice, he is interested in pursuing a PhD in Educational Policy or Urban Education to study the application of participatory action research with underrepresented adolescent populations.

Mercedes Okosi - Staff Writer

Mercedes J. Okosi is a senior in the Applied Psychology program with a minor in Spanish. She is a Clinical Research Coordinator in training at Fieve Clinical Research Inc., currently working on clinical trials for depression and anxiety. She also works as an Intake Counselor at The Door. Mercedes’ research interests revolve around mental illness and identity development of adolescents of marginalized populations including young women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Mercedes plans to pursue a Psy.D in Clinical Psychology upon graduation.

Nina Schneider - Staff Writer

Nina Schneider is a senior in the Applied Psychology department with a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. She is a member of Dr. Joshua Aronson’s research team exploring the long-term effects of identity threat on at-risk populations and effective prevention techniques. Her research interests include minimizing the intellectual/social performance gap within low-SES communities, social policy for poverty reduction, and rehabilitating children with a history of severe emotional & mental trauma. Her professional philosophy focuses on gradual, sustainable economic developments with a social and spiritual emphasis. After graduating, she plans on furthering her research in southern China.

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. She is interested in Social Psychology and Child Psychology. In her free time, Amelia is on the design team of ISO, the Tisch Photography Magazine.