Current Undergraduate Cohort



Dayra Bernal

I’m a third-year undergraduate transfer student majoring in Psychology. I plan on minoring in linguistics or speech and hearing sciences.  I am bilingual in Spanish and English, I can also understand a bit of French. I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household which reinforced both languages at a very young age. I enjoy watching educational youtube videos on how languages have developed over time and movies/tv-shows from foreign countries. Some of my research interests include language acquisition, bilingual education, and phonetics


María Teresa Borneo

I’m in my last year of my Linguistics undergraduate degree at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. I’m bilingual in Spanish and English and can read a little bit of Latin. I’m part of a research group that studies Spanish as a second language. My research interests also include the cognitive and psychological aspects of language and the intersection between linguistics and other disciplines.

I am really excited to start this new path at the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and learn from everyone here.

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Kathlyn Canales

I am a junior majoring in Language Science with a minor in Hearing and Speech. I am Bilingual in English and Spanish. I’ve been very interested in Bilingualism and want to continue to learn more. I want to learn more about language acquisition and how it is affected when learning two languages at once.


Joseph Cheung

Hi Everyone! I’m Joseph Cheung, a third year English Major with minors in Chinese Language & Literature and Management. Growing up, I spoke Cantonese in my family circles and English at school. I was intrigued by the way certain people seemed to shift the way they speak, their accents, and even their identities when they moved between languages. As such, through this lab, I hope to learn more about the way language and bilingualism both forms and informs our identities.


Jasmine Cortez

Hi! I am a fourth year majoring in Psychology and Sociology. I am interested in learning about the cognitive process that occurs when people are switching back and forth when speaking two languages. I grew up learning Spanish as my first language and saw greatly how much I benefited from being Bilingual. I am also fascinated to know how our brain is capable of storing all the information needed to code switch and how it responds when trying to learn a new language from an early age and at a later age. I’m really excited to be joining the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab! 


Geoffrey Cui

Hi there, thanks for taking a break on Netflix and deciding to read my description. My name is Geoffrey Cui, and I am a junior undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. I can speak two languages and alter them with ease. The association between the brain mechanisms and language abilities always fascinates me — we, as humans, possess the ability to communicate with complex verbal expressions, which is virtually nonexistence in any other species on planet earth. Digging deeper, some of us are able to express fluently in more than two languages, while some of us can only speak about 0.8 of a language since they are still struggling with the metric system. As a Psych major, it is my instinct to discover the linguistic uniqueness among individuals and the contributing factors. I believe that Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab is just the right place for me.


Gwendolyn Donley

Hello! My name is Gwen Donley, and I am a fourth-year Public Health Policy major. Since I transferred to UCI as a junior, I have always wanted to be a part of a research lab that I was interested in, so I knew I had to apply to the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab. Coming from a bilingual family, I am always amazed at how my mother could switch languages instantly and carry on a conversation in both languages. I believe that understanding how bilingualism can affect a population’s health and well-being is vital so that future health policies can be passed that bring awareness and funding to language learning in schools.

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Yuting Gu

Hello, my name is Yuting Gu! I am from Shanghai, China. I majored in Germanistik (Germanic linguistics and literature) when I was an undergrad. As a multilingual, I am deeply interested in how bilinguals and multilinguals process their L1 and L2, and if possible, what the language processing of multilinguals looks like. My research interests are speech perception and psycholinguistics. I am native in Mandarin and Shanghainese, and fluent in English and German. I also had some experience with French, Spanish, and Russian. I am really excited to work with you in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!

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Maggie Huang

Nǐn hǎo! (Hello!) I am a senior at UC Irvine double majoring in Psychological Science and Criminology, Law, & Society. I grew up learning various languages at once, so I am interested in learning more about how bilingualism affects human cognition as well as how certain environmental factors and cultural values influence our neurons. I am fluent in English and Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, and Taishanese), and I’m excited to be a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab where I can enhance my research skills and explore more about bilingualism!


Andy Huynh

I am a second year undergraduate student majoring in Language Science at UCI. I grew up in a very diverse setting in which me and a majority of my peers are proficient enough in a language other than English to hold a conversation in that language. I am interested in language acquisition as well as language processing. Through this opportunity, I hope to gain research experience, research skills, and additional knowledge about bilingualism. I look forward to being a part of this research team and learning throughout my stay here.


Jiachen Jin

Hi! I’m a sophomore majoring in psychology, and recently I plan on minoring in fields like linguistics. Personally, I found it interesting to experience different languages and see the difference between cultures, which is also the main reason why I started self-studying Japanese this summer. One of my research interests is how our brain functions during code switching. Though there’s a saying that our brain is like a computer, I suggest our brain is far more flexible. As someone that is fluent in two languages, I sometimes notice how effortless code switching could be. Hopefully, we will all have a meaningful time here!

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Clydene Kho

Kumusta! My name is Clydene and I am a junior, majoring in Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Being raised in a Chinese household but living in the Philippines all my life, I grew up to be a multilingual speaker of English, Tagalog, and a little of Mandarin. My parents enrolled me in a school, which primarily taught in English, but I still took equal numbers of Filipino and Chinese classes. In the end, I only became fluent in two languages; Mandarin was left out. It always made me curious if being eloquent in more languages would make a difference in how I interacted with others and with myself. Through UCI’s International Student Excellence Program (ISEP), I am able to venture on the research topic whether memory retention is different between monolingual and bilingual speakers and discovering Dr. Kroll’s Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab from my ISEP mentor, I knew I could learn how to create or employ various experimental designs, research methodology, research writing, and data collection & analysis that could help in my research paper. I’m thankful for this opportunity and very much looking forward to meeting my lab group and what’s in store for us this year.


Esther Kim

Hi! I’m a second- year undergraduate student pursuing a major in Psychological Sciences with a minor in Hearing and Speech Sciences. In the future, I hope to become a Speech Language Pathologist, specifically working with and helping children. As someone who wishes to pursue a career in the speech field, and is bilingual myself, I am interested in working in this lab and learning more about the process of our minds and brains in relation to it. I am especially curious and excited to learn more about the effects that growing up in a bilingual household has on children’s speech and the way their minds process the languages. I look forward to joining and contributing to the Bilingualism, Brain, and Mind Lab!

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Andrew Lei

Hi! I am a second-year majoring in Cognitive Sciences. I am interested in how a human’s brain works and how each individual neurotransmitter collaborates with other neurotransmitters to carry out different actions. Growing up in a Cantonese-speaking household, I always wondered how I acquired Cantonese effortlessly but when I learned a second language, it was much harder. I am so excited to be part of the Bilingualism, Brain, and Mind Lab. 


Matthew Lin

Hello! My name is Matthew Lin and I am a 2nd year student majoring in Psychological Science at UCI. I am bilingual in English and Japanese and I am currently learning Mandarin Chinese.
I took interest in this lab because I am interested in learning about how
people acquire new languages and the factors that facilitate such processes. 


Mekdara “Mara” Morgan

Hello! My name is Mekdara but I go by Mara. I just graduated in Fall 2020 with my BA from Cal State San Marcos where I double-majored in Child and Adolescent Development and Psychological Science with a minor in Spanish. I was also the Spanish tutor on campus and I just recently earned my TEFL/TESL certificate from the university during the Summer 2020 session. I comprehend, speak, read, and write in English and Spanish proficiently and I am currently a beginner in German but learning more everyday. I also grew up listening to and speaking some Laotian in the home. With that being said, I genuinely enjoy studying foreign languages and I am also fascinated by the scientific study of language, especially investigating the cognitive effects bilingualism and multilingualism have on the brain. I hope to pursue higher education studying Language Science in more depth and I’m looking forward to working as a research assistant in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab at UC Irvine.

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Michelle Nguyen

Hey there! I am a second year psychology B.S. major. My research interests are in brain plasticity and cognitive function. I am interested in how multilingualism affects cognitive behavior, and how the brain molds as we grow older and how learning is affected. Multilingualism is a very useful skill that most people recognize, but don’t understand. I speak Vietnamese at home and I took four years of Spanish in high school, but I am most fluent and comfortable in English. This past summer, I started self-teaching myself some sign language. It was through sign language that I got more interested in the cognitive effects of languages, I’m excited to learn and hopefully contribute lots to this lab!


Kevin Francisco Ramirez

Hello everyone! My name is Kevin Francisco Ramirez, and I just transferred to UCI this year with my associate’s degree in anthropology. Right now I am majoring in psychology and anthropology, with a minor in queer studies. I am fluent in both English and Spanish, and proficient in American Sign Language and French.

One of the reasons that I’m so interested in this lab is because I was raised bilingual, and this is something that has benefited me in many ways. Learning different languages has also provided me the opportunity to speak with people from different cultures. I am especially interested in the neural underpinnings of second language acquisition, as well as the associated cognitive and social benefits. I’m very excited to participate in this lab, and I hope to further increase my knowledge about bilingualism and its influence on cognitive functioning.


Hana Rios

Hello! My name is Hana Rios and I am a 4th year Psychological Sciences major. I grew up surrounded by many languages and I speak both English and Japanese. My research interests include the psychological and cognitive processes that underlie language acquisition and development throughout the lifespan. I really look forward to joining this team as a Research Assistant!


Susana Rodriguez

Hi, everyone. I will be graduating UCI in the Spring 2021 as a Psychologist. I am also getting another degree in Deaf Studies and learning both ASL and LSM in LA. I am also doing a one year program at Saddleback Church to become a christian counselor and my hopes are to start my PhD next year at UCI for either clinical psychology or linguistics. My hope for the future is to teach psychology and ASL classes at UCI and become a therapist for the hard of hearing and deaf community in Southern California.


Annalin Roepken

Hi everyone! I’m a second year at UC Irvine majoring in Psychology. I’m also planning on minoring in language science. My curiosity for bilingualism came from constantly being surrounded by different types of bilingual people in every aspect of life. Some of my research interests include second language acquisition, and the cognitive aspect of bilingualism. I’m so excited to be a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab! 


Jessica Rojas

Hello! I’m a fourth-year student majoring in Psychological Science with a minor in Spanish. As someone who grew up bilingual in English and Spanish, code-switching is something that I often utilize in my daily life. I have always been intrigued by how code-switching and learning more than one language can affect a person’s cognitive development and learning skills from a young age. I look forward to becoming more knowledgeable about these topics being involved in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab! 


Kailey Suda

Hi everyone! I am a second-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!


Audrey Sugimoto

Hi! I am a fourth year majoring in Language Science and minoring in Psychology. I am very interested in language acquisition and cognitive processes. After college, I plan on becoming a Speech Language Pathologist and hope to apply what I learned from this lab to my future bilingual patients. I am so excited to be a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!


Catherine Tran

Hi, everyone! I’m a fifth year undergraduate student double-majoring in Asian American Studies and Language Science with a minor in African American Studies. I like to think I’m trilingual in English, Vietnamese, and Korean, but I’m far from fluent in the last two of the three languages. Through this lab, I hope to explore how our brains access language, and furthermore, apply our research to implement more efficient and accessible ways for multilingual speakers to acquire language.


Rachel Vu

Hello, my name is Rachel Vu and I’m a third year Psychological Science and Literary Journalism major. I have an interest in the topics of language and language acquisition and am motivated to contribute to future strategies for second language acquisition. On a personal note, I am an individual with a passion for the power of language within reading and writing. I speak English and conversational Vietnamese. I also recently began learning Korean at UCI and have studied Spanish in high school before. I’m excited to engage in the team environment here at the BMB Lab!

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Kellie Weast

I am a fourth year double majoring in Language Science and French at UCI. I am bilingual and speak both English and French. I love learning languages and have a fascination with topics surrounding Linguistic Relativity. The idea that our mental framework and how we interpret the world around use changes depending on our native language proves just how ingenious the human brain actually is. I look forward to being able to study this phenomenon and others through the research being done at UCI!

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Christine Wong

I’m a third year Psychology major with a minor in Chinese studies. I speak English, Cantonese (and Toishanese), and am currently brushing up on my Mandarin. I joined this lab because I’ve always been interested in language acquisition and how bilinguals and multilinguals navigate switching between different languages and if there’s a difference between their cognitive processes when using different languages. I’m very excited to join this lab and learn more!


Nicole Wu

Hi! I am a first-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.


Calvin Yam

Hey guys! I’m currently a 3rd year Linguistics and Asian Languages and Cultures major at UCLA. As a heritage speaker of Cantonese, I’ve always been curious about bilingualism and language acquisition. I’m excited to be part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and look forward to learning more about how we are able to acquire language and code-switch.


Claire Yim

Hello! I am Claire Yim, a second-year student at UC Irvine. I am majoring in Psychological Science. As a Korean-American, I grew up in a bilingual household speaking both Korean and English. I have taken multiple courses in linguistic sciences and gained a keen interest and fascination for language acquisition. I am excited to work for the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and gain a greater understanding of how the mind processes language.


Kelly Yu

Hi! My name is Qianbei Yu, but I usually go by Kelly. I’m a third year undergraduate student majoring in Biological Sciences. I wasn’t born in the US so I grew up speaking Taishanese/Cantonese at home but over the years I’ve come to pick up on a few other languages: English, Mandarin, Korean, and French. In every language, thoughts and emotions are expressed differently so I’ve always been fascinated by how the brain functions to remember and convey a specific set of feelings in a certain language in bilingual (or multilingual) individuals. I’ve also wondered if the brain unconsciously favors the use of one language over another.

Kehan Zhou

Hi everyone, my name is Kehan Zhou, I am a second-year student double majoring in Psychological Science and Criminology, Law & Society. I am bilingual in English and Chinese (Madarin and Shanghainese), which makes me interested in how bilingualism affects our brain. I hope to learn more about this topic through this research experience!