Applied Psychology OPUS

Staff Biographies

Vera Stiefler Johnson - Editor

Vera Stiefler Johnson is a senior in the NYU Applied Psychology program. She currently works as the Assistant Data Coordinator in Dr. Shabnam Javdani’s Community Oppression Research and Engagement (C.O.R.E.) Team, which advances research and knowledge to improve the lives of traditionally marginalized populations, focusing on urban poverty, court-involved women and youth, and those at high risk for court involvement, through the rigorous application of translational, interdisciplinary research paradigms. Her Honors thesis, which stemmed from her work with the C.O.R.E. Team, seeks to evaluate the reliability, exploratory factor structure, and construct validity of the Silencing the Self Scale in juvenile justice-involved adolescent girls. Having grown up in diverse countries such as Vietnam, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Denmark, and China, she has developed a strong interest in the issues facing women across cultures and hopes to ultimately use an applied psychology foundation to address gender stratification and oppression.

Samantha Pratt - Editor

Samantha Pratt is a senior in the Applied Psychology department, with a minor in Creative Writing and a minor in Global and Urban Education Studies. She is a Teach For America Equity Fellow and, upon graduation, will be serving as a 2015 Corps Member for the Miami-Dade Region. Additionally, she is a peer supervisor on Dr. Shabnam Javdani’s research team where she is involved in the R. O. S. E. S project. Previously, she served as an interventionist for the project for which she received training to implement a studied intervention strategy with at risk adolescent girls who had involvement with the juvenile justice system. In the past she was also a volunteer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as well as a part of Dr. Niobe Way’s research team where she worked with qualitative data regarding female adolescents and the impact of various gender norms influenced by parent and peer interactions. Her research interests in child development and adolescent risk factors were inspired by various internships at the Children’s Aid Society, the Gesell Institute of Human Development, Education Pioneers, and Jumpstart.

Kaya Mendelsohn - Editor-in-Training

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 - Editor-in-Training & 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 the President of the Applied Psychology Undergraduate Club. Previously, Hope worked as an Extern at NYU’s Family Translational Research Group and was 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.

Devonae Robinson - Editor-in-Training & Junior Staff Writer

Devonae Robinson is a junior in the Applied Psychology program at Steinhardt. She is currently a member of Dr. Shabnam Javdani’s research team, R.O.S.E.S., and also serves on the e-board of the Minority Pre-Law Association. Prior to her work with R.O.S.E.S. she held an internship with Brooklyn’s District Attorney Office, worked with America Reads, and volunteered with Publicolor to explore her interest in both children as well as the legal system. Other interests include domestic violence, cognitive distortions following sexual abuse, and alternative sentencing within the juvenile justice.

Amelia Chu - Layout Director

Amelia is a first semester senior in the Applied Psychology Program with a minor in Anthropology and Business Studies. She currently holds an internship at the Michael Cohen Group where she has contributed to projects including the ABCD Total Learning Initiative and Project UMIGO, a U.S. Department of Education’s Ready to Learn program. Her research interests include Human-Computer Interactions, User Experience methods and childhood education strategies, particularly those that involve interactive technologies. Amelia is also currently the Vice President of Communications of the NYU Inter-Residence Hall Council.

Christie Kim - Layout Director & Contributing Writer

Christie Kim is a junior in the Applied Psychology program, with a minor in Web Programming and Applications. She is currently an Intake Counselor at The Door, a comprehensive social service agency committed to empowering young people in New York City. She is also a research assistant for Dr. Selcuk Sirin’s Meta-Analysis of the Immigrant Paradox (MAP) project, and will soon begin on a second project on mental health and help-seeking in Turkey. She previously served on the Helpline for the National Eating Disorders Association, providing information, referrals, and support to sufferers and their loved ones. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in counseling psychology.

Minhee Lee - Treasurer

Minhee Lee is a freshman in the Applied Psychology program at Steinhardt. From a young age, human interactions and the way humans perceive experiences have captivated her. In high school, she was captain of the track and cross country team and served as the events coordinator of the Gay Straight Alliance. Her interests are childhood development, sociology, and trauma studies. Along with holding the treasurer position in OPUS, she is a part of the University Hall Student Council as the Floor Representative. She is pursuing a minor in American Sign Language and hopes to become a child psychologist whose work is inclusive of deaf children.

Regina Yu - Events Coordinator & Publicity Chair

Regina Yu is a junior in the Applied Psychology program at NYU with a minor in politics. She is currently working as an intake counselor at The Door, a Manhattan-based organization that provides young people with an expansive array of services, resources, and support. Regina has always been fascinated by psychology and plans to use her undergraduate studies in pursuit of a career in law. She hopes to work in international law with a special interest regarding human rights and social justice. Regina’s research passions include social welfare, education, and child development.