Research Assistants

Ali Chak

Currently a third year English major looking to branch out into Criminology, Law and Society and seeking a minor in Creative Writing. I’ve taken an interest in this lab as my background makes me very curious about language, bilingualism, and how it affects us. As a child, I was surrounded by Cantonese speakers, my parents included. It was always interesting to see the shift as some of them swapped between the two fluidly. I hope that, through the lab, I can learn about such topics and explore bilingualism and how it affects the mind, as it hits so close to home!

Ashley Yu

Hi! I am a second year undergraduate student majoring in Language Science. I took a class called Acquisition of Language here at UCI, which started my interest in this field. I am excited to learn more about language acquisition and the cognitive differences between monolingual and bilingual brains.

Nicole Wu

Hi! I am a second-year undergraduate student majoring in cognitive science. I am fluent in languages including English, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese. As a multilingual, it is fascinating to see that people from different age groups will have different experiences when learning a new language. Through this lab, I am curious to see how brains will relate to our learning in language at different age groups. Also, this research experience will allow me to understand more aspects of multilingual speakers that find it easier to acquire new languages than others.

Kailey Suda

Hi everyone! I am a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Language Science and looking to minor in Japanese Language and Literature. I’m really interested in language acquisition and how multilingualism affects cognitive processes and hope to learn more about these as a research assistant. I look forward to being a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!

Hannah Chu

I’m a third-year at UCLA studying linguistics and minoring in professional writing. I grew up speaking English, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and have been wanting to study code-switching since I discovered linguistics! I also enjoy learning about syntax and sociolinguistics, and I’m a big fan of cherry tomatoes.

Michelle Chao

Hello! I’m a third-year double majoring in Cognitive Sciences and Language Science, minoring in Spanish. I’m fluent in English and Spanish, and grew up speaking Cantonese. As a native speaker of Cantonese who is more proficient in other languages, I am primarily interested in second language acquisition as well as bilingual education and I look forward to working on research related to these areas in the BMB lab!

Sandy Matsuda

Hello! My name is Sandy Matsuda and I’m a third-year Cognitive Sciences major, minoring in Linguistics. I am bilingual in Japanese and English which piqued my interest in joining the BMB lab. I am excited to learn about how bilingual brains’ cognition differs from monolinguals.

Jian Meng

I’m a second year master’s student at Human Development program, University of Pennsylvania. I’ve joined BMB lab for one year! My research interests include psycholinguistics, bilingualism and experimental phonetics. The past one year experience at BMB has been amazing. I learned so much from peers and faculty. Already looking forward to this year!

Joey Ye

Hello everyone! My name is Joey and I am a 3rd year Business Administration and International Studies double major. I love learning languages and because of that, I am very interested in bilingualism and language acquisition. I grew up speaking Cantonese at home and it is so interesting to me how being bilingual can affect the way I think and how I perceive things. Aside from English and Cantonese, I have also dabbled in other languages such as Mandarin, Spanish, Korean, French, and Italian. I am very excited to be part of this lab and I hope to learn more about bilingualism and language acquisition!

Faye Lin

Hi! I am a senior pursuing a degree in Psychological Sciences and a minor in Hearing and Speech Sciences. As a bilingual student who is native in Mandarin and Cantonese, fluent in English, I would love to learn more about cognitive neuroscience in bilingualism to further my understanding in the field. The interplay between bilingual language development and cognitive processing in the human brain is fascinating yet still has a lot to be explored. I am so excited to gain amazing insights and experiences with the team in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!

Bonnie Tang

Hello! My name is Bonnie Tang and I’m a third year double majoring in psychological and education sciences. This is my second quarter in the BMB Lab, and so far I’ve been enjoying this experience this far. I am excited to learn more about bilingualism as a Cantonese-English bilingual!

Remie Lou

Hello! My name is Remie Lou, I am a Language Science graduate. What sparked my interest in this field is my little brother who was born deaf. Living in a multilingual household that includes Arabic, English, French, and ASL, I was able to observe as well as participate in code switching. I am fascinated by different languages and want to learn as many as I can; challenging the critical period. I am looking forward to learning more while being a part of this team!

Shannon Syracuse

Hi! I’m a fourth year majoring in Language Science with a minor in Medical Anthropology. I have always been interested in language acquisition and how the brain registers sound. I grew up speaking English and have experience with American Sign Language. My career goal of becoming an audiologist paired with my interest in sign language led me to pursue this lab. I love researching how bilingual speakers interact with the world and I could not be happier to participate!

Valerie Chu

I’m Valerie and I was born and raised in Hong Kong and came here for college. I am currently a second-year Psychology and Education Science major at UCI. I’m very excited to learn more in this research lab!

Casey Chan

Hi everyone, I am Casey and I’m an Education Sciences major with a minor in Biological Sciences. I am so excited to participate in research on bilingualism and its impact on brain activity alongside a team of students like myself and other researchers and am looking forward to learning from everyone! 

Makeda Telahun

Hello, I’m Makeda Telahun! I am a junior majoring in Language Science. Growing up, I spoke Amharic and English with my family. Coming from a bilingual environment piqued my interest in speech production and language processing. I have gained some proficiency in Spanish and Swedish, which has also interested me in bilingual acquisition at all ages.  I very excited to be joining the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab.

Tracy Luo

Hello! My name is Tracy Jialei Luo and I am a third year student majoring in Educational Sciences. I am from the south of China and have grown up with a bilingual environment of Mandarin and Cantonese, so I am interested in things like how being bilingual affects the human brain and development. In this lab I hope to learn more about bilingual content and in the process I hope I can contribute to my team.

Paola Canseco Ruiz

Hi! I’m a first-year Education Sciences major at UC Irvine. I’m looking to minor either in public health, or psychology. I don’t have much experience in research but I’ve always been interested in bilingualism, as a Spanish and English speaker myself I’ve wondered how both languages have affected my learning and skills. I’m excited to gain a greater understanding of how knowing more than one language can benefit cognition.

Mandolin Cai

I am a sophomore in education major. Really interested in learning bilingualism because I am a bilingual. I am still loving boxing and yoga, watching TV shows, and a shopping lover.

Airong Li

Hi! I am a junior majoring in Education Science. I am bilingual in English and Chinese. I have interest in bilingual education and literacy development, which is also the reason I applied for a research assistant position in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab. I am looking forward to learning more about bilingualism in the BMB lab!

Yuto Aki

Hi there! I’m a junior majoring in language science. As a Japanese-English bilingual, I have always been infatuated with the world of language, especially second language acquisition and bilingualism. My current research interests are emotional expression in second language learning and affective neuroscience of language! I am super excited to be a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and to grow up both intellectually and mentally! I love learning languages, watching the NBA (huge Warriors fan), and traveling around the world!

Elizabeth Avila 

I am a second-year Education Science Major and my pronouns are she/her. I look forward to being immersed in a research environment and learning new skills. Hopefully, I’ll find another passion to minor or major in. 

Elina Dern

Hello! My name is Elina, and I am a second year International Studies student minoring in Spanish/English Bilingual Education at UCI. I am fluent in English and highly proficient in Spanish though it is my goal to become completely fluent in Spanish as well. Bilingualism has always been important to me because I come from a multilingual multicultural family with various language learning backgrounds while my mom is a teacher who has spent most of her career teaching English and Spanish as second languages. For these reasons, it has been exciting for me to be able to take classes on bilingualism in college and to start participating in research on bilingualism myself. My research group within the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab is currently focusing on the interactions between language and gender perception which has been really fascinating. Other areas of research on bilingualism that I am especially interested in include research on second language acquisition among late bilinguals and research on bilingual education.

Tina Chea

I’m a Language Science major. My pronouns are she/her and I look forward to participating in this lab! 

Rayleen Fontelera

My name is Rayleen (she/her), and I’m a 4th year psychology major and education minor. I plan on pursuing a master’s degree in school psychology, with the end goal of providing kids and teens with a safe, inclusive, and culturally aware environment that I didn’t always have at school from a young age. Another place where you might find me on campus is at the Cross-Cultural Center, where I intern as the Affiliate Org Liaison

Ashley Sunwoo

Hi! I am currently a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Cognitive Sciences and minoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences. My interests in developmental psychology, bilingualism and the brain’s mechanisms of language processing have led me to pursue a career path focused towards becoming a pediatric speech and language pathologist! I look forward to working in the Bilingualism Mind and Brain Lab to successfully pursue research and data coding as well as grow my knowledge and experiences in the psychological, cognitive, and language science fields!

Kharis Tran

Hi, I’m a 4th year language science major at UCI and I’ve always been interested in how different languages operate in the mind. I was born in Vietnam but I am not fluent in Vietnamese at all. I love learning languages despite being bad at retaining them.  So far I’ve taken French, Korean, Vietnamese, and now Spanish during my last year as an undergraduate.

Ahva Salari 

Hello! My name is Ahva and I am a recent graduate from UCSD who majored in Global Health with a minor in General Biology. I am bilingual, with my two major languages being Farsi and English, so the BMB lab hits close to home. I am interested in how language development is displayed in regard to brain activity and I look forward to exploring language learning not only on a scientific scale but on a personal one while conducting research in the lab.

Patricia Sabordo

Hi everyone! My name is Patricia Sabordo and I am a 4th year Language Science major. I am fluent in English and Tagalog. As a bilingual myself, I’ve always been interested in exploring how the acquisition of multiple languages affects the brain. In the future, I would like to pursue a career in Speech Pathology and so joining this lab will be a good opportunity for me to learn more about language acquisition, as well as the bilingual mind, which can help me relate it to communication disorders among bilinguals. I am looking forward to joining this lab and I can’t wait to work with an amazing group of people who share the same interests as me!

Claire O’Connell

Hello! I’m a third year Language Science major. I grew up speaking English, but since coming to UCI and starting my major I’ve become interested in language acquisition and bilingualism. My interest in pursuing a career in speech pathology in combination with mirroring a lot of the topics I’ve been studying led to my interest in this lab. Understanding bilingualism and language in the mind are things I find very interesting so I’m excited to be a part of the BMB lab! 

Alejandra Jimenez

Hello! I’m Alejandra Jimenez, a third year Education Sciences major. I grew up speaking Spanish in a Latinx household in Mexico, but began my education in the US at the age of 5 where I learned English. As a bilingual Spanish heritage speaker, I’m very excited to be a new RA at the BMB Lab this year. It’ll be a great opportunity to not only gain research experience, but learn more about something that is part of my everyday life, and also connect with people with similar interests. I’m looking forward to a great quarter with everyone!

Hanah Kitamoto

Hello! I am a first-year undergraduate student at UCI majoring in Psychological Science and minoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences. I am bilingual in English and Japanese and interested in language acquisition and bilingualism. I am working towards becoming a speech-language pathologist and looking forward to gaining more knowledge about language acquisition through the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!

Bin Zhang

Leah Patzkowsky

Hi! I’m a fourth year student at Mount Holyoke College double majoring in French and Film Studies. I spent my junior year abroad in the south of France studying at Université Paul-Valéry. During my time abroad I spoke a mix of French and English with friends. Because of these interactions, it made me interested in bilingualism and how people can switch between different languages multiple times in a conversation. I’m really excited to be a part of this lab and learn more about bilingualism!

Karina Garcia

My name is Karina and I am a fourth year Language Science major minoring in Psychology. I aspire to be a Speech Pathologist working with bilingual children upon completion of my Master’s program.

Serena Guo

My name is Serena and I am a third year psychology major and biological sciences minor here at UCI. I am bilingual in English and Chinese-Cantonese/Mandarin and I also enjoying learning new languages. I joined the BMB lab because I am interested in language learning and code switching and this is my fourth quarter working with the team on Dutch learning and the Rosetta Stone Project. 

Shelly Li

Hello my name is Shelly! I’m a third-year double majoring in Psychological Science and Criminology, Law and Society. I speak both Mandarin and English so personally I’m really interested in learning bilingualism to understand this population and myself!

Jiwoo Kim

I am a first-year Language Science major at UCI. I am interested in bilingualism and human language processing, especially regarding cultural aspects.

Vanessa Quiroz

Hi! My name is  Vanessa Quiroz. I am a Language Science Major and moving forward I hope to become a Speech Language Pathologist. I grew up in a Spanish-English household and have always been fascinated with the way my family was able to code switch. I’m looking forward to be able to grow and learn more by being a research assistant, and very excited to have this opportunity 

Ashley Cortez Rangel

My name is Ashley. I am a first generation Latina college student. I am a fourth year at UCI double majoring in Psychological Science and Education Sciences. Since the Winter quarter, I’ve had the opportunity to observe a participant and learn how to clean the data collected. This is my first time getting involved in a Research Lab at UCI and I’m glad I am getting to experience this before graduating in Spring 2023.

Jing Zhang

 Hello! My name is Jing Zhang and I’m a third year student at UCI majoring in psychology and Education Sciences. As a bilingual speaker, I’m very interested in the relationship between people’s cognitive abilities and their language competence. My current research interest focuses on the effects of different language programs on bilingual students. 

Yiheng Chen

Hello everyone, my name is Yiheng, and I’m from China. I am currently in my third year, majoring in Education Sciences and Sociology. I grew up in a bilingual environment, where Mandarin and Cantonese are spoken. This has sparked my interest in the conversion between languages. I’m very happy to be able to work with everyone, and I’m also eager to understand how bilingualism affects people’s brains.