Current Undergraduate Cohort

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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


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Yuhao Bi

I am a junior majoring in Education Science. This is my first time to work in a lab. Language is not only a communication tool but also a means of earning a living. In today’s society, people who can speak two or more common languages can often have greater advantages in social competition. As a bilingual student, I am willing to help others better learn a language and enjoy the benefit of talking to various people. It is not only about studying linguistics, but also interpreting countries’ cultures. My dream is to be a language educator and make sure people could learn Chinese easily one day.


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Francis Buenaga

Hello, everyone! My name is Francis Buenagua, and I am a fourth-year Language Science major. I speak English and Tagalog (but mostly English), and I know some German and Spanish. I have a pretty wide-ranging interest in the various subfields of linguistics, be it language evolution or sociolinguistics. I’m excited to be a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab, and also for what this experience has in store for me, including unlocking answers to questions about how language works in the brain, especially those with respect to bilinguals/polyglots and language learning


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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.

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Perry Chen

I am a second year at UC Irvine pursuing a Bachelor’s in International Studies, and interested in Business Administration. I grew up in a bilingual household speaking English and Mandarin. This is my first time working as a research assistant. I am excited to be a part of this lab and learn about research methods, L2 acquisition, and the effects of bilingualism on the brain.


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Yuexin Chen

Hi! I am a first year looking to double major Language Science and Anthropology. I’m currently bilingual in Mandarin and English, however, I’m on the path to learn Japanese, French and even Quenya. Personally being a bilingual, I can’t help noticing the difference in mind set when I’m speaking another language. I’m mostly interested in the field of how multiple languages evolve within the same culture and its social-psychological impact. I wish Bilingual Mind and Brain Lab can make my aspirations a reality by allowing me to understand more about the bilingual human mind.


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Bianca Cho

Hi! I am a second-year undergraduate student pursuing a major in Business Economics with a minor in Psychology. I am interested in learning more about language acquisition and how the brain of a bilingual person works.  Growing up in a Mandarin, Cantonese, and English speaking household, I was always fascinated with how the brain can easily switch between the different languages when thinking or speaking. I look forward to joining the Bilingualism, Brain, and Mind Lab as a Research Assistant!


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Eliya Chong

Hello, I am a senior majoring in Psychology. I have always wondered how language came to be acquired by humans, in a sense where one perceives and understands a language. As a bilingual person, it is really interesting to experience that different languages are stored systematically in one’s brain. I am looking forward as to joining this team as a research assistant.


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Charlotte Conroy

My name is Charlotte Conroy and I am a third year Psychology major at UCI. I am originally from the United Kingdom and have lived in California for the last three years. I have a strong interest in speech language and cognitive processes and I am very excited to be a Research Assistant in the Bilingualism, Brain and Mind Lab!


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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.


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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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Aaliyah Eslava-Deanda

I’m a second year undergraduate majoring in Language Science. I plan on minoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences, as well as Spanish and English Bilingual Education. I am bilingual in Spanish and English. In my household, I speak more Spanish than English to allow myself to grow in that language. I love the idea of ‘learning and growing’ therefore my goal in life is to learn as many languages as I can in order to help individuals pursue another language while understanding how possible it is to accomplish it (in other words, understanding how it works in the brain). In addition, my research interests include bilingual education and the bilingual brain.


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Abimael Hernandez Jimenez

I’m a senior majoring in Psychology and Language Science. My primary interests are semantics/pragmatics, computational linguistics, and psycholinguistics. I am interested in how we assign meaning to words and what cognitive processes are involved in that assignment.


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Yuqi Hu

My name is Yuqi Hu I am a senior majoring in Economics. I am from China, and I can
speak two languages, Mandarin and English, which I am code-stitching in my daily
speak, and which I can switch from one to the other with some suffering I countered in
the transition of meaning taken place in my mind. I found that bilingualism is always an
interesting topic when it comes to the language acquisition of bilingual and multilingual
speakers. This pretty much summed up my major interest in this research project. Other
than that, I am also interested in sign language, and other linguistic studies. I always
find linguistics is something that gives me inspiration in my academic life, and give my
new insights to reconsider my major study.


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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!


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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.


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Thu Huynh

Hello, my name is Thu Huynh. You can call me Ezra. I am currently a 5th-year Software Engineering major at the University of California, Irvine. My interests are mainly UX research/design, UI design and product management with the goal of utilizing human-centered design methodologies to enhance the user experience of all forms. I’m also a second language learner with Vietnamese as my first language and English as my second.


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Ellanie Jin

Hello, there! I’m in my 4th year at UCLA majoring in Linguistics & Philosophy and minoring in Cognitive Science. I am mostly curious about how our brain enables language comprehension and production and how language usage is related to the human mind and cognition! I grew up speaking Korean and I learned English and Japanese as my L2. Currently learning Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as well. It is fascinating how speaking multiple languages has shaped me culturally and intellectually. I’m planning to pursue a research career in academia and hopefully in the future, I could teach!


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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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Noah Khaloo

My name is Noah Khaloo. I am a third year Psychology Student with a minor in Biology. I grew up speaking Farsi with my family and I am extremely excited to be learning about the psychological and neurological implications of being able to speak/learn two languages.


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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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Amy Li

Hello! My name is Amy and I’m currently a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Cognitive Science at UCI. I grow up watching many foreign language animes and TV shows, which provided me a solid foundation for acquiring my third language Japnese. As a trilingual person fluent in both western and Eastern languages, I am very intrigued by how learning different systems of language can affect one’s lifestyle and culture views through a biopsychosocial model.


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Yuhan Li

Hello, I am a fifth-year undergraduate student majoring in biological sciences and psychology. I am bilingual in Mandarin and English. When I am working with patients in the hospital, I always wondering how can I switch talking and translate both languages at the same time. I had some research experiences in biology. But this is the first time that I can participate in psychological and linguistics studies. I hope to learn more experiences and knowledge at the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab.


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Prescilla Luna-Cota

Hello, I am a Senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences. My passion for language began in my American Sign Language 1 and 2 classes at Cerritos Community College; there, my professors shared their experiences as deaf people facing adversity in the hearing world while embracing deaf culture. From Cerritos to UCI, I was inspired to learn more about language, the brain, and how it helps us navigate the world. I am excited to begin my journey in research with the team at the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab.


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Joshua Ma

Greetings! I am a junior double majoring in Chinese Studies (focus on language) and Political Science, with a minor in Civic and Community Engagement at the University of California, Irvine. I was born in the San Gabriel Valley and started learning Mandarin when I was 12 months old. I feel privileged that as a biracial Chinese American and African American male, I have unique personal insights into how a second language learner becomes a bilingual adult when neither of his parents speak the target language; in this case Mandarin.  I am thankful for this research opportunity with the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab because I want to acquire skills in experimental design, testing research participants using a variety of methods, and analyzing data. I also want to learn how to present and write about research so I can fulfill my long term research goals of exploring mental health and stigma analysis in African American and Chinese communities.


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Paula Marquez

Hello everyone my name is Paula Marquez I am a senior studying Language Sciences. I am a bilingual in Spanish and English and currently learning French. I am interested in learning even more languages in the future. I mainly enjoy learning about language acquisition and enjoyed learning about Bilingualism with Professor Kroll. I am excited to begin working in this lab and learn even more about bilingualism!


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Nam Nhat Mai

Hello! My name is Nam and I’m a first-year majoring in chemistry. What sparked my interest for this research was my background as a bilingual. I want to better understand how myself and other bilinguals can switch from one language to the another with ease and how it helps us communicate better. I hope to gain experience and develop the skills needed to be successful at research.


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Sehrish Malik

Hello! I am a junior at UCI, majoring in psychology. I am really excited to be a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Behavior Lab. I grew up speaking Urdu and English at home, and the idea of learning about bilingual individuals from a
cognitive, linguistic, and behavioral perspective really fascinates me. As a psychology student, I look forward to working as a research assistant to help me enhance my problem-solving and communication skills. Likewise, I want to apply my knowledge in psychology into something bigger, such as research. I look forward to working in this lab and learn more about the phenomenon of language acquisition and bilingualism.


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Emalie Mendoza

I am a fourth year undergraduate transfer student majoring in Psychological Sciences at UCI. I have always been interested in expanding my knowledge on bilingual brains and how bilinguals are able to switch their languages with such ease. I grew up in the diverse city of LA, where many people spoke more than one language, so I am very excited to learn how the brain acquires and processes different languages. I am looking forward to being part of the Bilingualism Mind and Behavior Lab!


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Yesenia Munoz

Hello! My name is Yesenia Munoz and I am currently a fourth-year student studying psychological science. Growing up in a single-parent and Spanish-speaking household, I became interested in studying the relationship between language acquisition and attachment theory.  More specifically, I am interested in learning how bilingual children make sense of words and how they manipulate language based on whether they are categorized as insecurely or securely attached to their primary caregiver. I hope to use the knowledge and skills gained in this research lab to someday help bilingual children effectively communicate their needs without allowing context to get lost in translation. I am very grateful for the opportunity and excited to be a part of the Bilingualism, Brain, and Mind Lab!


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Gretta Ozuna

Hi! My name is Gretta Ozuna and I’m a first year student majoring in biological sciences. I am fascinated by the important, and sometimes unnoticed, role of language in the development of the human brain and society as a whole. This, together with the fact that I grew up in a bilingual household, sparked my interest in the cognitive process of speaking two languages.  For a long time, I did not realize the privilege of being raised speaking two languages as it is often difficult to learn a second language as an adult.  I hope the knowledge acquired through this lab helps me facilitate this process to others.


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Rosetta Pendleton

I am a 4th year student at UC Irvine majoring in Computer Science and minoring in linguistics. I am bilingual in English and Japanese. I am interested in technology that aims to understand and process natural language. I applied to be a Research Assistant in the Bilingualism, Mind and Brain Lab because I’ve found that current speech processors such as Siri and Alexa are unable to juggle more than one language at a time. I hope the knowledge and skills I gain here will help me build technology that supports bilinguals like myself!


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Kate Phan

Hi, I am a senior majoring in Psychology! I’m proud to say that I’m fluent in both English and Vietnamese, however, I’m still planning to learn at least 2 more languages. Multilingualism have always been a huge interest of mine, so I’m hoping that by being a part of this lab as a research assistant, I’ll be able to further understand how the human brain acquires and processes different languages. In doing so, I can then apply this knowledge into helping others become bilingual, as well.


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Danny Quan

Hello, everyone! I am a 5th-year student at UC Irvine majoring in Psychology. After obtaining my B.A. in Psychology, I’m planning on pursuing Ph.D. I am interested in this lab because I want to understand how our brain is able to switch between two languages. I am excited to work with out lab members and collaborate with other institutions around the country.


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Christopher Quimpo

I’m a second-year majoring in Psychology. I am interested in learning how the brain develops over time and how language is processed/acquired in a bilingual person compared to a monolingual person. I come from a household that reinforced both English and Tagalog, yet I was the only person in my family who could only speak the former regardless of how much I practiced. I joined the Bilingualism, Brain, and Mind Lab so that I could maybe get a better understanding as to how this happened. I look forward to becoming a member of this team as a Research Assistant and hope to learn and thrive from this experience!


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Cesar Rosales

I am a fourth-year student at UC Irvine pursuing degrees in Language Science and Psychology. I am excited to assist in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and its research on bilingualism. My interest in bilingualism largely developed from my experience growing up as a bilingual speaker. As a research assistant, I hope to expand my research experience and learn about what sets bilinguals and monolinguals apart, what bilingualism entails cognitively, and how two languages are managed in the brain. I am also interested in learning whether bilingualism confers advantages in additional language acquisition.


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Briana Ruiz

Hi I’m Bree! I am a senior double majoring in Psychology and Anthropology. I’ve always been fascinated with language acquisition and second language acquisition, and how children learn and apply meaning to language. I am also interested in learning how cultural context influences the various aspects to human learning and growth.


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Yongjia Song

Hello! My name is Yongjia Song. I’m a senior student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Statistics and Informatics at UCI. As a bilingual, what always interests me is how bilinguals process different languages and switch their languages. I’m also interested in second language acquisition. Through the experience in the lab, I hope to learn more about bilingualism, language and brain, at the same time, get inspiration from other people, and prepare for my future study in this field.


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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!

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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.


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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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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.


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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.


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Ania Zdziarska

I am a first-year looking to major in Language Science. I have been interested in languages for as long as I can remember. The languages that I am learning are Polish, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. I love the concept that a new language can change one’s outlook. I joined this research team in order to further explore how the acquisition of language can impact people’s lives.