Undergraduate Research Assistants

Anna Idichandy

Anna Idichandy is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is double majoring in Psychology (B.A.) and Human Development and Family Science. She has always had an interest in working with children and is excited to further her passions through working with the Circle Lab. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school where she can further her education and hopefully become a school psychologist. In her free time, Anna enjoys cooking, listening to music, and spending time with her friends and family. (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)

Diana Montoya Alvarado

Diana Montoya Alvarado is a Junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is majoring in Psychology (B.S.). She is excited to work with the CIRCLE Lab team, for the great opportunity to learn, and see the influence of adversity and early life experiences. She plans to attend graduate school and is still open about a specialty. In her free time, she loves to watch movies, read, and spend time with family and friends! (Pronouns: she/her)

Diana Zamora

Diana is a Senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Psychology with a minor in Spanish for the Medical Professions. She is passionate about advocating for the importance of mental health and learning how early life adversities take effect on the adolescent brain. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school to further her education in hopes of becoming a mental health therapist. She is excited to use the experience and knowledge she obtains from the CIRCLE Lab in her future career. (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers).

Ellora Srabani

Ellora Srabani is a junior in the Honors Carolina program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is majoring in Psychology (B.S.) and Neuroscience, with an interest to continue her education at medical school, where she can explore clinical approaches to mental health. Ellora is interested in analyzing both brain imaging and brain development in children raised in different environments. She looks forward to gaining new experiences in psychological research at the CIRCLE Lab! (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Iman Mukhtar

Iman Mukhtar is a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Morehead-Cain Scholar majoring in Neuroscience (B.S.). Iman has always been interested in working with children and learning about their cognitive development and is excited to purse this passion with the CIRCLE Lab. She is going to be editing children’s structural brain MRI images in FreeSurfer.  After graduation, Iman plans to attend graduate school. In her free time, she loves to swim, read, and spend time with family and friends!

Jade Tsai

My name is Jade Tsai and I am a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am majoring in Psychology (B.A.) and Economics (B.S.) with an interest in psychopathology and brain imaging. I am so excited to learn more about cognitions during the early stages of development and to meet peers with similar aspirations!! (Pronouns: she/her/hers).

Jasper (Yuetong) Liu

Yutong is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, double majoring in Psychology and Statistics. She is excited to work with the CIRCLE lab team in understanding how adolescents are influenced and shaped by their early life experiences. Specifically, she is eager to learn more about coding qualitative findings in CIRCLE and looks forward to using her experiences to help better understand adolescents. She also loves drawing illustrations depicting a fantasy world in her free time. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Jordan Roberts

My name is Jordan Roberts, and I’m a senior majoring in Psychology. As an aspiring Clinical Psychologist, I am elated about the opportunity to connect my interest in early adversity and the onset of psychopathology in this lab to my work with Black youth and adolescents in the StAR Lab. In the future, I seek to open a therapy institute for Black adolescents and adults, where I would study the effect of race-based identity development and personality on Black mental health — in addition to providing client therapy. In my free time, I love to read, watch sports (Go Thunder!), play with my dog (shoutout to Charles), and spend time with my girlfriend.

Katelyn Lien

Katelyn Lien is a sophomore in the Honors Carolina program at UNC Chapel Hill studying Quantitative Biology and Spanish. She is interested in studying the effects of early childhood experiences on brain development and is excited to gain experience in psychological research. In her free time, she enjoys figure skating, reading, and hiking.

Kayla Simone Brown

Kayla Brown is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill dedicating her studies to Psychology. Kayla is enthusiastic to learn and have a hands on experience while working in a research environment as a member of The Circle Lab. She has the passion to expand her understanding of the adolescent cognition and the development of behavior and emotion. She plans to pursue graduate school in hopes of earning a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology and expand the idea of researching. Outside of studying, Kayla enjoys singing in UNC Gospel Choir, engaging in community service and organizations such as the Black Student Movement.  She also loves spending time with her family and peers on her free time.  (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Kelly Fan

My name is Kelly Fan, and I’m a junior majoring in Psychology and Computer Science with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. I’ve always been interested in learning about all aspects of child and adolescent development, and I’m excited to explore more of that at the CIRCLE Lab! I don’t have any solid plans after graduation, but I know one way or another I’ll end up coming back to school to get my master’s or PhD in clinical psychology then going into practice and/or research. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends, reading books, and cooking. (Pronouns: she/they)

Kolin Lewis

My name is Kolin Lewis, my pronouns are he/him/his, and I am a senior here at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in psychology with a minor in education. I love exploring new perspectives and learning how to bring people together. I am most excited about the opportunity to gain research experience involving children and better understand the impact of parental interactions on behavior. After graduation, I plan to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology and focus on children and child trauma.

Mariana Chavez

Mariana Chavez is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in Psychology (B.S.) and Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Education. She is passionate in social and cognitive changes in child development and how they influence school performance and educational equity as a whole. Mariana hopes to continue studying this in graduate school with the goal of becoming a professor. In her free time, Mariana loves playing piano, watching movies, and building escape rooms through UNC’s Chapel Thrill Escapes. (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)

Natasha Ray

Natasha Ray is a sophomore from Philadelphia, PA. She is majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is interested in learning about how early experiences affect brain development, with a specific interests in neurological disorders, their outward symptoms, neural circuitries, and treatments. Natasha also works as a research assistant at NYU, exploring how epilepsy affects memory performance through quantifiable factors. After graduation, Natasha plans to attend medical school to become either a psychiatrist or a neurologist. Outside of professional endeavors, Natasha enjoys figure skating, playing the piano, and baking.

Noor Zofal

Noor is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying neuroscience and medical anthropology. She is excited to work with the CIRCLE lab team in understanding the complexity of adolescent cognition during development. She is also very interested in investigating the effects of early life experiences on adolescent brain development and mental health. After graduation, she plans on attending medical school to become an OBGYN. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Nyjah King

Nyjah (she/her/hers) is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in education. She is excited to work in the CIRCLE lab learning and doing hands-on research for the WHALE study. Nyjah is interested in the effects of early adversity on adolescent development. After graduation, Nyjah is interested in pursuing a master’s in Mental Health Counseling and a Ph.D. in early childhood development. In her free time, Nyjah enjoys writing, spending time with friends, and participating in various student organizations such as Every Nation Campus, One Africa, and the Black Student Movement.

Masita Wicaksana

Masita is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with intentions of majoring in/applying to the nursing program. She is excited to examine the effects of life experiences on child and adolescent development and looking forward to utilizing the experience she gains with the CIRCLE Lab throughout the rest of her time at Carolina. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Ria Patel

Ria Patel is a first-year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursuing majors in Neuroscience and Biology along with a minor in Medical Anthropology. Ria has a strong passion for working with children, especially with those who have neuropsychological disorders. Ria is enthusiastic and excited to join CIRCLE Lab, where she hopes to gain insight into the world of research, collaborate with motivated peers, mentors and doctors as well as first-handedly get to understand the complexities of child cognitive development. Ria hopes to attend medical school where she can explore clinical approaches to treating and alleviating the effects of neuropsychological disorders in children to improve educational experiences.

Ruby Atkinson

Ruby is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is majoring in Psychology (B.S.) with minors in Conflict Management and Hispanic Studies. Ruby is interested in emotion socialization and adverse childhood experiences, particularly in terms of the effects they have on children. She is passionate about working with children and is excited for the opportunity to do so with CIRCLE Lab. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PsyD and work as a child psychologist. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Samantha Norris

Samantha Norris is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in Psychology and Human Development & Family Science with a concentration in Child and Family Health and a minor in Studio Art. She has a passion for working with mental health across all ages but specifically child and adolescent. At the CIRCLE Lab, she is excited to be immersed in the process of analyzing psychological research that will be on the forefront of improving our society. After undergrad, she hopes to pursue graduate school with a focus in mental health therapies and potentially gain experience in mental health internationally.

Tianyi Li

Tianyi is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in Psychology and Statistics. She has a great passion for any topics related to children and adolescents. At the CIRCLE lab, she is enthusiastic to learn about the effects of parents and family relationships on children’s brain development. After graduation, she aims to apply for graduate program in child and adolescent clinical psychology or family therapy. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Vanessa Lopez

Vanessa Lopez is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursuing majors in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. She is passionate about working with children and learning about topics related to mental health and environment factors that affect development. She is excited to work with CIRCLE Lab and gain experience with research to use in the future. After undergrad, Vanessa plans on attending graduate school with a focus in child and adolescent psychology. (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)

Yash Patel

Yash is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in Neuroscience and Exercise and Sports Science with a minor in Chemistry. Yash is interested in learning about the adolescent brain development through neuroimaging. Yash is also involved with neurological research with Wake Forest School of Medicine, where he is working on a clinical trial on using cranial ultrasound to detect intracranial hemorrhage, and will soon begin work on the VENTIBRAIN study which examines how brain injuries can cause secondary lung injury. After graduating from UNC, he hopes to attend medical school to specialize in neurology.

Zakia Ishaque

Zakia is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology and minoring in Data Science. She is passionate about utilizing analytical methods to bridge the gap between collecting research data on human behaviors and giving meaning to the vast array of numbers collected. At CIRCLE Lab, she is excited to learn how the physical scans of the brain can be connected with cognitive functions to analyze patterns between brain structure and emotions. She is also interested in learning how exposure to early adversity affects risk for psychopathology. Zakia hopes that her experience at CIRCLE lab will equip her with knowledge and resources about psychological research and analytical methods and general knowledge about how to pursue a graduate career in neuroscience and psychology.