LAB MEMBERS

Doctoral Students

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Simone Boyd
First-year Clinical PhD Student

Simone is a first year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at Rutgers University. She graduated with a BA in Psychology and Sociology and an MA in Psychology from Stony Brook University. As a graduate research assistant at SBU, she worked with Dr. Daniel Klein in the Klein Developmental Psychopathology Lab and examined the effect of temperament and peer victimization on adolescent psychopathology. Afterward, she worked as a clinical research assistant at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University Psychiatry with Dr. Mark Zimmerman, investigating treatment outcomes in a partial hospital program. Simone is interested in understanding how self/identity development and social factors are implicated in the generation of self-injurious thoughts/behaviors and aggression. She is also interested in identifying shared causal mechanisms that underlie self-injury and aggression. Simone also enjoys yoga, trying out new recipes, watching Oscar-nominated films, playing video games, and going out to trivia.

Melissa Dreier
First-year Clinical PhD Student

Missy is a 1st year Ph.D. student in the Hamilton Lab at Rutgers. She graduated from Harvard University in 2019 and then worked as a research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. Missy is interested in how adolescents process rewards and the relationship between reward processing and self-injurious behaviors. She is also passionate about maximizing the impact of scientific research and narrowing the research/implementation gap. Outside of lab, Missy enjoys yoga, running, and eating ice cream. Her cat, Fiyero, is thrilled his mom is in a musical-themed lab.

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Post-Baccalaureate Research Coordinator

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Saskia Jorgensen
Post- Baccalaureate Research Coordinator

Saskia recently graduated from the University of Denver with a BA in Psychology and minors in Political Science and Business Administration. During her time at DU, Saskia worked with Dr. Kathryn Fox examining self-injurious thoughts and behaviors, particularly in LGBTQ+ and BIPOC adolescent populations. She is generally interested in how social, cultural, and environmental factors impact mental health outcomes, specifically in sexual and gender minority adolescent populations. She is also interested in how media and policy influence these dynamics. Outside of research, Saskia's interests include music, travel, theatre, skiing, animals, cooking, and more. 

Affiliated Graduate Students

Zion Crichlow
Affiliated Graduate Student

Zion Crichlow is currently a student in the Rutgers-Newark psychology M.A. program under the guidance of Dr. Paul Boxer. His research interests center on the stress response experienced by perpetrators of serious violence by examining Moral Injury and Perpetration Induced Stress. Zion plans to apply to clinical psychology Ph.D. programs and work to become a clinical psychologist applying a developmentally-informed approach.

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David Siegel
Affiliated Graduate Student

David Siegel is a 4th year student in the PsyD program at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology within Rutgers University. His research interests include the prevention of non-suicidal self-injury and suicidal behaviors. He also has an interest in the reduction of mental health stigma, particularly related to severe mental illness. His clinical interests include the integration of different psychotherapeutic modalities. Currently, David provides psychotherapy to individuals across the lifespan with a broad range of internalizing, externalizing, and personality pathology.

Jasmine Swanson
Affiliated Graduate Student

Jasmine is a 2nd-year student in the Master of Applied Psychology program at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology within Rutgers University. Her research interests include the prevention of suicidal self-injury and suicidal behaviors in children and adolescents. She also has an interest in increasing access to evidence-based treatments amongst youth from BIPOC communities. Other interests include reading, cooking and watching new shows on Netflix.

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Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Sarah Bregna
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sarah is a senior at Rutgers University who is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Latino & Caribbean Studies. She hopes to one day become a clinical psychologist and provide accessible therapeutic services to all demographics. Outside of the classroom, Sarah is the current Vice President of the Women's Club Soccer Team. She also enjoys reading various books and binging TV shows.

Chris Damerau 
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Christopher Damerau is a current Junior at Rutgers University studying Cell Biology and Neuroscience. His interests are in the adolescent development of identity through the use of social media. In the future, he hopes to offer mental health services to underserved communities. In his free time, Chris enjoys playing board games and volunteering with the Red Cross.

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Ella Diab
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ella is a senior at the University of Notre Dame. She is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Digital Marketing. Ella is interested in the connection between psychology and marketing, especially relating to the prominent role that social media plays in our society. She has also always been passionate about mental health and has been a part of Notre Dame's Active Minds club since her freshman year, serving on the executive board for 3 years. Ella enjoys listening to music, reading, drinking boba, and learning how to skateboard.

Sam Gerry
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sam is a sophomore at Bates College studying Psychology with a minor in Digital & Computational Studies. His research interests include the epidemiology of suicidal/self-injurious behaviors and the importance of science communication to suicide prevention initiatives and campaigns. In the future, Sam looks forward to pursuing a career in suicidology. In his free time, he enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time with his younger siblings.

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Emma Knutson 
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Emma is a senior at Rutgers University-New Brunswick majoring in Psychology and double minoring in Biological Sciences and Theater Arts. Her research interests include the epidemiology of depression and other mood disorders, as well as identifying risk factors for suicidality, particularly in adolescents. She hopes to go on to become either a clinical or school psychologist, as she aspires to work with and advocate for children and adolescents in a therapy setting. Outside of the classroom, Emma enjoys singing with the University Choir, going for walks, listening to music, and watching lots of movies.

Randy Luna
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Randy is a sophomore at Rutgers University-New Brunswick who is majoring in Biology. He finds passion in the biochemical field, and also has deep interest and curiosity in topics related to mental health. He hopes to one day become a physician and provide aid and his services to those who need it the most. In his free time, Randy likes to listen to music, play tennis, read manga, watch TV shows, and most importantly annoy his dog.

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Priya Mehta
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Priya is a sophomore at Rutgers University, double majoring in Cognitive Science on a neuroscience track, as well as Psychology. She has always been passionate about psychology and how the developmental stages of an adolescent shape their mental health. She hopes to become a clinical psychologist to advocate for adolescent mental health. At Rutgers, she gets to fulfill her goal of working with kids as she serves on the executive board of Pilot Me. In her free time, Priya enjoys music, binging Netflix, and journaling.

Ritika Merai
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ritika is a senior at Rutgers University. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology and Cognitive Science. She is interested in adolescent mental health, specifically social media and self-injury, as well as destigmatizing mental health in minority communities. Along with academics, she is a Peer Mental Health Educator with Rutgers Student Health and was a Peer Mentor for the Psychology Living-Learning Community on campus. In her free time, she loves drawing and painting, hanging out with her friends, and watching TV shows.

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Serena Moghaddas 
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Serena is a senior at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research interests include adolescent mental health, specifically for marginalized communities and intersectional identities, and the psychology of eating disorders. She aspires to receive her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and eventually open her own therapy practice. In her free time, Serena volunteers at The Trevor Project, where she helps to support LGBTQ+ youth. Outside of school, she loves making music, painting, and reading.

Adia Moore
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Adia has been interested in social justice and psychology ever since her involvement in a social justice program in high school. As a senior majoring in Psychology, she aspires to work with underrepresented minority communities, either as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist to advocate and administer mental health resources and services. In her free time, she enjoys acting, reading, listening to music, and watching new TV shows.

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Meher Muzaffar
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Meher is a sophomore at Rutgers University majoring in Psychology and Information Technology as well as minoring in Biological Sciences. She is passionate about raising awareness about mental health and mental illness, especially amongst BIPOC communities. Along with this, she is also interested in learning about neuroscience, specifically the relationship between human behavior and biology. Outside of academics, she enjoys singing, painting, and journaling for fun!

Nithin Ravikumar
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nithin is a sophomore at Rutgers University-New Brunswick studying Cell Biology and Neuroscience. His goal is to become a doctor in the US military and help veterans and active duty service members who are struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. In his free time, Nithin also likes to work out, listen to music, and volunteer.

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Jas Sarna
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jas is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology. In addition to being a research assistant, Jas is a Peer Mental Health Educator through Rutgers Student Health. Her research interests include the relationships between social media use and mental health and suicide, specifically examining sex/gender differences. She is also passionate about the ways we can better communicate research findings and information on mental health. In her free time, Jas likes to bake, paint, read, listen to music, and play with animals.

Alea Watson
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alea is a senior at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, double majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice while also double minoring in Africana Studies and Health & Society. In addition to her academics, she is also the current Community Outreach chair, and soon to be Co-President, of Active Minds, one of the four mental health organizations on campus. She is interested in adolescent mental health within minority communities, with a focus on disorders like Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. 

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RISE Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Emely Arizaga
RISE Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant

Emely is a junior at Farmingdale State College in New York. She is majoring in Applied Psychology and minoring in Sociology. Along with her studies, she is the Vice President of the Psychology Club, Secretary of the Student Government Association, and soon to be President of the Psi Chi Honor Society at Farmingdale State College. She aspires to become a clinical psychologist and open her own practice. She is passionate about destigmatizing mental health in the Latinx community and advocating for adolescent mental health. During her free time, Emely enjoys kayaking, hiking, and hanging out with her friends.  

Ben Mendoza
RISE Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ben is a senior at California State University-Fullerton, double majoring in Psychology and Human Services with an emphasis in Mental Health. He plans on pursuing his dream of becoming a clinical psychologist with the hopes of continuing to help his community. Later, Ben plans on becoming a professor at a minority-serving institution. In his free time, Ben works as a Senior Resident Advisor at his campus and is on the Equity and Inclusion Board for the Housing and Residential Engagement Department at his institution. He also plays on multiple intramural sports teams and loves to exercise.

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Meher Muzaffar
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Meher is a sophomore at Rutgers University-New Brunswick majoring in Psychology and Information Technology and minoring in Biological Sciences. She

Lab Alumni

Woanjun Lee, BA
Former Post- Baccaluareate Research Assistant