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Student Interns | Overview


Allison Pellegrino Allison Pellegrino

Allison is currently a first-year student at Boston College and intends to double major in neuroscience and mathematics. She is interested in psychiatry and hopes to eventually conduct research on developmental and psychiatric disorders. In high school, Allison dedicated a large portion of her time to tutoring students who struggle with executive function and face challenges in the classroom, so she is excited to participate in research at the Faja Lab. Allison also pursued ballet pre-professionally in high school and still loves to dance as a hobby. Outside of school, Allison is trying to learn to play the piano and loves to play with her family’s dog, Pablo!


A black and white photo of Emma Roberts, a woman with curled hair who has a huge smile as she looks at the camera. Emma Roberts

Emma is a junior at Wellesley College majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Education. Her previous research experience includes working in the Wiest Lab at Wellesley College where she studied how event-related potentials relate to conscious perception. Emma also comes to the Faja Lab with experience as a sleepaway camp counselor, math tutor, and as the youth coordinator of a small nonprofit organization where she developed and led after school programs for youth in grades K-12. Emma enjoys interning at the Faja Lab because it allows her to combine her interests in science and child development as well as work with a wonderful group of people. She plans to pursue a career that involves working directly with youth, likely pediatrics, speech and language pathology, or teaching. Outside of academics, Emma is the Wellesley Representative of empoWer, a creative writing group for Babson, Olin, and Wellesley students. She is also part of the chess club at Wellesley College. In her free time, she can be found exercising and doing art.


Faith Ye Faith Ye

Faith is currently a sophomore at Tufts University where she’s majoring in biopsychology. Before coming to the Faja lab, she worked as a homework tutor to elementary school students and a violin tutor to middle school students. She’s excited to be a part of the Faja lab where she can continue to work with children and pursue her interest in studying neuroscience. Outside of the lab, Faith works as an EMT and she enjoys hiking and hanging out with friends.


Sam Dvorak Sam Dvorak

Sam is a rising junior at Harvard College studying neurobiology. He loves working with children, and hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics. Sam is thrilled to be working with the Faja Lab, and is eager to gain research skills while learning more about the developing brain and behavior. His previous research experience includes processing electron microscopy (EM) images for a connectomics project with the Engert Lab at Harvard University. Outside of the sciences, Sam is very involved with music and theatre. He enjoys playing the piano, performing magic, and working on musicals.


Black and white photo of a woman, Yohana Otto Yohana Otto

Yohana is a current freshman at Brandeis University and is interested in pursuing a major in Biology and a minor in both Public Health and Psychology. At Brandeis, Yohana is a Rich Collins Fellow which granted her the opportunity to fully fund and design a program of her choice with a local community partner. Her current project is the Autism Technology Initiative (ATI) which is in collaboration with Opportunities for Inclusion and is centered around teaching the basic technological skills needed for the job field to people with autism. She is also a volunteer program coordinator for Kids Connection who partner with local non-profit organizations to create safe and fun environments for the community’s youth. Growing up as an older sister to two brothers with ASD motivated Yohana to further explore developmental pediatrics and related fields. Yohana is extremely excited to work at the Faja Lab where she will be able to learn more about ASD while fulfilling her passion of working with children. Outside of the lab, Yohana enjoys reading, hiking, and trying new restaurants.


Black and white photo of a woman Isabella Rando

Isabella is currently a sophomore at Northeastern University studying Behavioral Neuroscience on a pre-medical track. In high school, Isabella participated in a three-year Science Research program where she designed and conducted her own neuroscience study on fruit flies. She now volunteers as a research assistant in the Center for Cognitive and Brain Health at Northeastern to study how physical activity and lifestyle choices affect cognitive development in children. During the spring 2023 semester, Isabella will be working as a medical practice assistant in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Isabella has observed her mother interact with children with ASD and developmental delays as a school psychologist. Bella is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work in the Faja Lab and contribute to research that will support children with ASD. She is hopeful that the Faja Lab will enhance her passion for neuroscience and child development. Outside of the lab, Isabella enjoys running, cooking, baking, and spending time with her 3 siblings.


Black and white photo of a woman Nasim Sheikhi

Nasim is a junior at Northeastern University majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Data Science. At Northeastern, she volunteered at the Affective and Brain Sciences Lab, where she studied the neural basis of subjective affective experiences. Before coming to the Faja Lab, she worked with children and teens as a camp counselor, math tutor, peer advisor, and youth recreation coach. Nasim is excited to work at the Faja Lab to continue learning how research can inform clinical practice. After graduating, she plans to pursue doctoral study in clinical psychology. Outside of lab, Nasim enjoys crocheting, taking long walks, and spending time with her cat.


Molloy-Katie Katherine (Katie) Molloy

Katie is currently a second-year student at Northeastern University majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and minoring in art. She previously worked as a research assistant at Northeastern’s Affective and Brain Sciences Lab and is currently on co-op as a Newborn Hearing Screening Technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Additionally, Katie has worked with kids through babysitting for 6+ years, participating in Athletes Helping Athletes in high school, and volunteering in her aunt’s kindergarten classroom. She loves working with babies and children of all ages and hopes to pursue a career in pediatric medicine. Outside of the lab, Katie loves painting, reading, listening to music, and spending time with her friends and family. 


Sehgal-Aanya Aanya Sehgal

Aanya is currently a third-year Behavioral Neuroscience major with a minor in Criminal Justice at Northeastern University. Prior to coming to the Faja Lab, Aanya worked at an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Center providing early intervention services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In addition to joining the lab, Aanya also works at the Northeastern Vision Lab wherein she identified a relationship between myopia and sensitivity to contrast using psychophysics. She is currently working on a project that is looking at thresholds versus intensity curves. She intends to pursue a master’s degree in ABA in the near future and attain a doctoral degree in neuropsychology further down the line. Aanya is extremely delighted to be a member of the Faja Lab and develop a greater understanding of ASD through clinical research with children! In her free time, Aanya enjoys baking, reading, discovering new places to eat, and participating in community service events.


Diamante Balcazar Diamante Balcazar 

Diamante is currently a sophomore at Harvard College majoring in neuroscience on the mind, brain, behavior track with a secondary concentration in psychology. He is very eager to learn more about the research being done in the Faja Lab that is helping children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), such as his younger brother, Diego. He is even more excited to have a hands-on role with the team! At the college, he is a violinist and singer for Mariachi Veritas de Harvard. In his free time, Diamante enjoys listening to music, watching movies, spending time with friends and family, playing basketball, and all things art related. 


Oumou Juwara Oumou Juwara

Oumou is a student at Tufts University double-majoring in Clinical Psychology and Child Study and Human Development. Before coming into the lab, Oumou worked for a non-profit organization serving high school students in the South Bronx area of New York. The goal of the non-profit is to empower South Bronx youth to achieve their career goals through career exposure, skill-building, and networking. Over the years, Oumou found an interest in child development and hopes to pursue that interest at the Faja Lab. After the passing of her older brother, who was on the autism spectrum, she knew that she wanted to educate herself and others about autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Working at the lab will allow her to learn more about ASD and the connection between research and clinical practice. After she graduates, she plans to go to graduate school for psychology. Outside of the lab, Oumou enjoys reading, cooking, and working at CVS pharmacy.


Shruthi Sundar Shruthi Sundar

Shruthi is a senior at Wellesley College majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Education Studies. After college, she would love to pursue a career in pediatric research and medicine. Shruthi is excited to work at the Faja Lab, expand her knowledge on ASD, and learn about how children think and behave. Outside of lab, Shruthi serves as the co-president of Hear Your Song Wellesley, a chapter of a national non-profit organization that empowers children and teens with serious illnesses and complex health needs to make their voices heard through collaborative songwriting. She is also vice president of a student organization at Wellesley that coordinates fundraisers and on-campus volunteer events such as making holiday cards, goodie bags, and blankets to donate to pediatric patients in the Boston area. During her free time, Shruthi enjoys playing the piano, exploring the city with friends, and going on nature walks with her dog.