Melissa Paquette-Smith – Principal Investigator

Melissa Paquette-Smith

Melissa is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Psychology at UCLA. Prior to teaching at UCLA, she completed her doctorate in Psychology at the University of Toronto. Melissa’s doctorate research looked at how infants process social information in their environment, and how this processing relates to the development of linguistic and social competencies. Before beginning her doctorate work, Melissa received her MA in Psychology as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from the University of Toronto.




Courtney Clark – Teaching and Research Collaborator

Courtney is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at UCLA, where she also earned her PhD in Cognitive Psychology. Her research interests span topics in the science of learning and include work on the role of tests as learning events and examining how students learn from their mistakes. She currently teaches courses related to general and cognitive psychology and strives to implement evidence-based practices into each class.





Megan Imundo – Graduate Student Collaborator

Megan is a second-year graduate student in the Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab.  Her research focuses on investigating the conditions that enhance long-term learning of accurate information and those that increase identification and rejection of inaccurate information.  When she isn’t doing research, Megan is trying out her latest cookie recipes.





Katie Silaj – Graduate Student Collaborator

Katie is a first-year graduate student in the Castel Memory and Lifespan Cognition Lab.  Her research focuses on the application of the value-directed remembering paradigm to real-life settings, and investigating ways to improve classroom instruction. More broadly, she is interested in how we learn and remember information. Outside of the lab, she spends most of her time with her nine-year old pitbull, Cash, and enjoys collecting old records.





Mary Keushkerian – Undergraduate Research Student

Mary is a third-year undergraduate student with a major in Psychobiology.  With the hopes of attending medical school, she aspires to become either an orthopedic surgeon or a primary care physician. She believes that understanding human psychology is extremely important in becoming a compassionate physician, as the body and mind go hand-in-hand. In her free time, Mary loves to be with her loved ones and play with her 3-year-old Maltese, Max.




Leah Sarokin – Undergraduate Research Student

Leah is a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. She is interested in how cognition and behavior are impacted by different aspects of one’s learning environment, particularly in adolescence. Outside of the lab, Leah spends her free time tutoring students in the LA area, hanging out with friends, and listening to music.





Esther Sosa-Herrera – Undergraduate Research Student

Esther is a third-year UCLA student majoring in Psychology with a minor in Education. After graduation, she hopes to go to graduate school for School Psychology or Clinical Psychology. Esther is passionate about mental health, especially when it comes to children and adolescents. During her leisure time, she enjoys roller skating, painting, and watching horror movies






Carina Husain – Undergraduate Research Student

Carina is a second year pre-psychobiology major and hopes to learn more about speech perception in the lab. She has a passion for working with children and hopes to become a future nurse practitioner. She is also a part of Her Campus at UCLA and loves to spend her free time with friends and family, outdoors, and trying new foods and recipes.





Tae Hwan Son – Research Assistant

Tae is a crisis counselor at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, with a bachelor’s degree from New York University (NYU). His thesis was on stigma around mental illness, and his current interest in both research and clinical work is focused on adolescent mental health and primary prevention. Outside of research and clinical work, Tae enjoys spending time in nature, playing sports, attending concerts, visiting art museums, and is an animal lover.





Ashley Kang – Undergraduate Research Student

Ashley is a second year undergraduate student studying Psychology as well as Sociology. After graduation, Ashley wants to further study Criminology and become a criminal psychologist in the future. She is passionate for mental health and the advocation for it, especially in marginalized populations. In her free time, Ashley enjoys hanging out with her friends or going to the gym.





Maddie Deasy – Undergraduate Research Student

Maddie is a third year psychology major and education minor. Maddie has a passion for working with children and hopes to continue this work in the future. She is interested in exploring how different delivery and teaching styles translate to students’ overall understanding of classroom content. When she is not studying or working Maddie enjoys swimming, listening to music, and spending time with her friends and family.





Hannah Elery – Undergraduate Research Student

Hannah is a third-year UCLA student majoring in Psychology. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school for Clinical Psychology. She also loves spending her free time outdoors and trying new food places with friends.






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