Applied Psychology OPUS

Author Biographies

Kaya Mendelsohn - Senior Staff Writer

Kaya Mendelsohn is a junior in the NYU Applied Psychology program, minoring in
Creative Writing. She runs a blog that facilitates discussion and exploration around
internet fandom and its interaction with feminism. Her blog has reached out to and
surveyed over 1000 people on personal experience within fandom communities.
She has also worked with Alcanse, an organization in her hometown of Santa Cruz,
California, that helps at-risk youth find employment, enjoying the experience of
working one-on-one with clients. She hopes to combine her passions for internet
communities, feminism, and the adolescent experience in her future work with
applied psychology.

Hope White - Senior Staff Writer

Hope White is a junior in the Applied Psychology program. She is currently a research assistant on Dr. Shabnam Javdani’s Community Oppression Research and Engagement (C.O.R.E.) team and previously worked as an Extern at NYU’s Family Translational Research Group. This past summer, she worked as a counselor at the NYU Child Study Center’s Summer Program for Kids, a therapeutic camp for children with ADHD and related disorders. She has also worked on the Child Study Center’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Team as a Team Coordinator. In the future, she intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Ahmed Alif - Contributing Writer

Ahmed Alif is a senior in the Applied Psychology program, graduating in May. After graduation, he intends to pursue a graduate degree in social work or public health. He is a member of Dr. Sumie Okazaki’s research team, the Asian American Careers and Education (ACE) project. He is also working on 3 independent research project under mentorship from Dr. Sumie Okazaki and Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa involving undocumented immigrant population in the United States. The projects are funded by Steinhardt Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects Award and Dean’s Undergraduate Research fund from the College of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, next semester he intends to further his research skills by looking into psychological distress facing Rohingya population in Burma, who are victims of ethnic cleansing and living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Adam Cortez - Contributing Writer

Adam is a senior in the Applied Psychology program with a minor in Sociology, as well as an external transfer from Fullerton College in California. He is currently an inside scoop mentor and the community service chair of the APUG club. He works as a research assistant on Dr. Melzi’s research team, which focuses on Latino preschool language development and family involvement. In accordance with his work on the research team, Adam volunteers as a teacher’s assistant at a Head Start preschool. He also spends his Saturdays interning at 1199 Workforce Upward Bound – a college preparatory program that helps students succeed in applying to and surviving college. His interests in psychology range from children’s socio-emotional development to gender studies. Although nothing is set in stone, upon completing his degree, Adam plans on travelling, teaching, and eventually graduate work in either school psychology, mental health counseling, and/or education."

Erin Kim Hazen - Contributing Writer

Erin Kim Hazen is a senior in the Applied Psychology department with a minor in Spanish. She is currently interning as an intake counselor at The Door where she conducts psychosocial assessments on at-risk English-speaking and Spanish-speaking youth ages 12-21 and connects them to free and confidential services. She is also working as a research assistant on Dr. Javdani’s Skills 4 Life Project and Healthy Relationships Project which focus on the implementing interventions on incarcerated youth population. As both a Spanish-speaking student and a Korean adoptee, she is interested in bilingual clinical work among Latino adolescents as well as researching psychopathology among at-risk youth within the adopted and foster care systems.

Eunice Lau - Contributing Writer

Eunice is a senior in the Applied Psychology program minoring in Social and Public Policy at Wagner. She is currently on Dr. Elise Cappella's research team where she attends group discussions concerning various aspects of education including classroom environments, effectiveness of school interventions, and student academic and social outcomes. In previous semesters on the team, she was on the F.R.I.E.N.D.S (Friendship in Racially Integrated and Ethnically Diverse Schools) project, where she analyzed data on reciprocated friendships and helped construct templates for data collection on research concerning socioemotional levels of students in schools across the city. She was previously a part of Dr. Lawrence Aber’s Opportunities for Equitable Access to Quality Basic Education (OPEQ) in the Democratic Republic of Congo project. During her time on OPEQ, she examined the effectiveness of an initiative to improve education practices by using Teleform to verify data on academic and socioemotional outcomes of children and classroom evaluations of teachers. Her research interests include education policies, academic and socioemotional outcomes of preschoolers, cross-gender and cross-race friendships, and childhood and adolescent mental illnesses.

Bryan Nelson - Contributing Writer

Bryan Nelson is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying psychology and mathematics. He has worked with data from the Framingham Heart Study at Boston University and currently works as a clinical research intern in the Eating and Weight Disorders Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is working on several projects about appearance and performance- enhancing drug (APED) users. At NYU, Bryan is conducting several studies with Ahmed Alif, Professor Sumie Okazaki, and Professor Hirokazu Yoshikawa, examining stress levels in the undocumented immigrant population. He recently won the behavioral science division at the 2014 Sigma Xi International Research Conference and has had his work supported by the NYU Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund.

Jazmine Russell - Contributing Writer

Jazmine Russell is an Applied Psychology senior. She is project coordinator of the Social-Ecological and Social-Cognitive Underpinnings of Math Difficulties Diversity Lab, researching children's lay beliefs about intelligence and how these mindsets may affect their academic achievement. Additionally, Jazmine works on interdisciplinary social art projects which incorporate psychological theory and methods and utilize photography as an ethnographic tool. Her goal is to create art that opens up bridges of understanding across people and cultures, inspires discussion between different epistemological standpoints, and explores the many ways people shape their intentional realities and identities.