Research Assistants | Overview
Devon is currently a clinical psychology doctoral student working with Dr. Alice Carter at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She conducts developmental evaluations with very young children at risk for autism spectrum disorders and provides motivational interviewing sessions for parents of young children diagnosed with ASD. Devon completed her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2012. At Michigan, she worked in the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center under Dr. Catherine Lord. After graduating, Devon completed a two-year clinical research fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center, with a focus on providing behavioral treatment for preschool children with ASD and examining the neural correlates of treatment response via fMRI and EEG. In her albeit limited free time, Devon enjoys painting, being by the ocean, and playing Guitar Hero.
Erin is a doctoral student in clinical psychology, working with Dr. David Pantalone at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Erin obtained their bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Bakersfield, and their master’s degree in psychology, with a concentration in research and experimental methods from San José State University. Erin has worked as a research assistant in multiple research labs. They have conducted social psychology research that looked at the impact of cultural norms and personality type on discriminatory attitudes towards racial and sexual minority individuals. Currently, they work in a lab that explores the behavioral aspects of HIV in the U.S. and mental health disparities more broadly in the sexual and gender minority community. Though eclectic, Erin’s current research interests explore the experiences of individuals with intersecting marginalized identities (i.e., holding diverse sexual, gender, racial/ethnic, and ability status). Additionally, they have interest in understanding how marginalization impacts mental health outcomes, and how identity can be a source of strength and resilience. Erin has clinical interests in minority stress, identity development, trauma, psychosis, autism spectrum disorder, and anxiety disorders. Outside of research and clinical work, Erin enjoys running, yoga, listening to music, and going to the beach.
Ingrid was born and raised in Guatemala. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Boston College in 2014. After graduating, she worked at Tufts Medical Center with Dr. Ellen Perrin and Dr. Chris Sheldrick on a project that examined the effectiveness of pediatric screening instruments for behavioral and emotional concerns in infants and toddlers. She is currently a fourth-year clinical psychology doctoral student working with Dr. Abbey Eisenhower at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research focuses on health disparities in mental health, including autism spectrum disorders. Her master’s thesis explored the language and social communication abilities of bilingual children with ASD. Her current research focuses on the experiences of bilingual therapists in the U.S. and the processes of bilingual therapy. Ingrid has several years of experience conducting developmental assessments with very young children at risk for ASD, as well as experience providing therapy for children and adolescents with a variety of mental health concerns. Outside the lab, Ingrid enjoys baking, being outside, and dancing.
Melody is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science doctoral program at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development and Department of Psychology. She is interested in the developmental etiology and structure of psychopathology, with a particular focus on autism and internalizing/externalizing symptoms. She also focuses on understanding the processes involved in social cognition and self-regulation. Under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Faja and Dr. Robert Krueger, Melody's research incorporates quantitative, developmental, clinical, and neuroscience methods. By integrating a developmental psychopathology framework with an individual differences approach that considers intersections between normal-range personality, pathological personality, and mental disorders, she aims to delineate the empirically-based structure and mechanisms of psychopathological tendencies. Through her program of research, she aims to inform efforts that promote adaptive functioning across the lifespan. Prior to graduate school, Melody received her B.A. in psychology from Bates College. She then spent two years at the Yale Child Study Center as a Sara S. Sparrow Fellow in Clinical Neuroscience. In her free time, Melody enjoys running, reading, and drinking mint tea.
Paige is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Psychology Department at Tufts University. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience from Furman University in 2015. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant for the Human Neurobehavioral Core at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she worked with children with autism spectrum disorders and a variety of other rare genetic disorders. Currently at Tufts, she is studying how EEG signals can be modulated by external stimuli, such as music. Additionally, she is interested in how modulations in EEG relate to fluctuations in attention and subsequent memory performance. Outside the lab, Paige enjoys exploring Boston and spending time with her dog.
Aiko graduated from the University of Southern California (fight on!) in 2020 with two Bachelors of Arts degrees, one in psychology and the other in East Asian languages and cultures. She is currently a master’s student in the Mind, Brain, and Education (also known as educational neuroscience) program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her time as an undergraduate, Aiko had many experiences involving the intersection of language, education, and psychology. While studying abroad in Japan, she designed and taught English language learning activities for children with developmental disabilities. She is interested in further exploring the intersection of language, education, and the brain sciences and is excited to be able do this in the Faja Lab. She hopes to one day inform educational practice with robust research and help bridge the gap between researchers and educators. In her spare time, Aiko enjoys doing yoga with her partner, studying languages, drinking tea, and watching videos of her favorite YouTuber saving kittens.
Madison graduated from Johns Hopkins University in the spring of 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Madison spent 2.5 years at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), where she worked primarily on a study that observed the phenomenology of anxiety in preschool children with ASD through clinical and behavioral assessments. She completed her senior honors project in the characterization of intolerance of uncertainty in ASD through completing item-level factor analyses of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale for Children (IUS-C) alongside her research team. On campus, Madison participated in the Best Buddies program, provided academic guidance through peer mentoring, and served as an internal trainer for JHU’s mental health organization, A Place to Talk. Madison is excited to be a part of the Faja Lab and continue to grow in a clinical research context in hopes of one day pursuing her PhD in Clinical or Developmental Psychology. In her free time, Madison enjoys spending time outdoors, trying new restaurants, and watching documentaries.
Paige graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Sciences. As an undergraduate at UConn, Paige worked in the Early Detection Lab, which looks at improving early identification of autism spectrum disorders in children, as well as improving intervention services provided to children and families. Her honors thesis through the lab focused on the accuracy of pediatrician reported concern for ASD across racial and socioeconomic minorities. At UConn Paige also led the local chapter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and served on the university’s board for the Special Olympics. During the summer, she has worked as a teaching intern at the New England Center for Children, where she administered coursework modeled through applied behavior analysis to adolescents with ASD; and at the Psychological Associates of Southeastern Massachusetts, where she co-facilitated a social skills playgroup with a LICSW. Paige hopes to someday pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is excited to continue to expand her research knowledge here in the Faja Lab. Outside of work Paige enjoys weightlifting, spending time at the beach, and catching up on TV shows.
Sebastian graduated from Florida International University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, as well as a minor in Biology. As an undergraduate research assistant, Sebastian worked in the School READY Lab which focuses on the development, assessment, and dissemination of early behavioral and academic interventions across multiple contexts. Independently, he designed and conducted a research study investigating the impacts of student-teacher relationship quality on academic achievement in preschoolers with disruptive behavior problems. Sebastian also worked as a counselor in evidence-based cognitive behavioral interventions for preschool and elementary-aged children. In these interventions, he administered daily, intensive behavioral intervention in addition to designing and implementing an art-based enrichment curriculum for preschoolers. Sebastian aspires to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and he is excited to enhance his knowledge of neurological development in the Faja Lab. In his free time, Sebastian enjoys kayaking, sunbathing at the beach, and listening to alternative rock music.
Yael graduated from Brown University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience. At Brown, Yael worked in the Badre Lab, which investigates the neural systems that support cognitive control of memory and action. She completed her honors thesis there, focusing on the characterization of several measures of reliability of Multi-Voxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA), a commonly used analysis method in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. Over the summers, Yael also pursued her interest in child development research at Yale University and Boston College, where she worked as a research assistant on projects involving the development of infant memory and the development of emotion as it relates to music perception. Yael is excited to continue working with children and expand her clinical research knowledge in the Faja Lab. She hopes to someday pursue a PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience or Clinical Psychology. Outside of the lab, Yael enjoys aerial arts and acrobatics, running along the Charles, and catching up with friends.