Applied Psychology OPUS

Staff Biographies

Julia Acker | Editor-in- Chief

Julia Acker is a senior in the Applied Psychology program with a combined major in Global Public Health and a minor in Sociology. She is a member of the Latino Family Engagement and Language Development (NYU L-FELD) research team led by Dr. Gigliana Melzi and Dr. Adina Schick. Under the mentorship of Dr. Schick, Julia is completing an honors thesis on how school and classroom context predicts teacher self-efficacy for teachers of low-income bilingual preschoolers. For this project, she won the 2016 Steinhardt Student Challenge Grant for Undergraduate Research. She also conducts research on social inequalities in health under the mentorship of Dr. Sean Clouston at Stony Brook University. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in health and education research, specifically addressing social inequality and cultural difference.

Ashlie Pankonin | Editor-in-Chief

Ashlie Pankonin is a senior in NYU Steinhardt’s Applied Psychology program with a minor in Linguistics. She is a research assistant for the NYU L-FELD team led by Drs. Gigliana Melzi and Adina Schick. Her passion to conduct research has led her to pursue the Honors Program in the department and she is currently completing creating her honors thesis investigating perspective-taking in children’s narratives and how this changes across the preschool years under the mentorship of Dr. Melzi. Ashlie is also a member of the NYU Diving team. After graduating from NYU, she hopes to pursue a PhD in cognitive psychology, as she is interested in exploring the roles language plays in psychological processes. Ashlie ultimately aspires to personally head psychological research, ensuring that her investigations not only have a real-world impact, but that they also give back to the community that she studies and beyond.

Shirley Wu | Layout & Design Director

Shirley Wu is a senior studying Applied Psychology/Global Public Health, with a minor in Anthropology. She is a research assistant on the NYU L-FELD team led by Dr. Melzi and Dr. Schick, and a research assistant at the SeedProgram led by Dr. Bragg. Previously, she has interned on the Product Management team at Healthfirst, a health insurance company that serves 1.2 million New Yorkers, and worked at UNICEF in the Corporate Partnerships department. Passionate about social good and addressing inequalities embedded in public health, Shirley hopes to pursue opportunities in the field of healthcare, specifically health policy and health management.

Julia Imperatore | Programming & Communications Director

Julia Imperatore is a senior in the Applied Psychology program, minoring in Law & Society. She is currently woking as an Advocate Intern for Dr. Javdani's ROSES (Resilience, Opportunity, Safety, Education, Strength) Study, where advocates work on behalf of adolescent girls involved in the juvenile justice system help girls meet their goals and increase self-esteem and self-reliance. She will soon work as a research assistant on Dr. Javdani's CORE (Community & Oppression Research & Engagement) team evaluating the interventions for the juvenile justice-involved youth. Before transferring to NYU, she interned for a nonprofit in Los Angeles, Living Advantage, that helps connect foster youth with educational and career resources. Julia hopes to continue her studies in psychology with a concentration in children and adolescents in relation to policy and law.