Undergraduate Alumnae

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Ketevan Abesadze

I am a second year student looking to major in Psychology and minor in Italian Studies. Ever since I can remember, I have had a fascination with languages. I am fluent in my native tongue, Georgian and I am currently studying Russian and Italian. I am so excited to be a part of this lab and learn about the capabilities of the brain when it comes to languages. I find it extremely interesting how individuals can speak multiple languages and comprehend specific things from various perspectives. I look forward to expanding my knowledge about Bilingualism and about myself as a bilingual speaker.


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Tahani Ali

I am a second year, Microbiology major and I am interested in pursuing a career in the health field. This is my first time being a research assistant and I am super excited to be working here. The experience of growing up in a multilingual home gives me a different perspective on this research that I hope will allow me to contribute greatly to this lab.


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Michelle Alva

I am a third year Linguistics Major and this is my first year as a research assistant for this lab. I grew up as a bilingual, and it was during my time at high school that I discovered I had a love for learning new languages. I am really happy that I am able to be a part of this lab, because I will have the opportunity to understand the effects of L2 acquisition as well as see the complexity of language in action.


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Maria Beshay

Hey! I’m a fourth-year sociology major pursuing a career in the dental field, and I have an associate degree in biology. This particular research interest me because I will start three languages before the age of 12 and a fourth one at the age of 14. I’d like to explore and gain a better understanding of how that affects the brain development and cognitive behavior. I look forward to working with a group that shares the same interest.


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Karla Bonilla

I am a sophomore studying political science with a concentration in international affairs. This is my first year working in the lab and I am most excited to test hypotheses and learn more about bilingualism and cognitive processes. My own background as a bilingual inspired my interest in becoming a part of the lab and learning all I can about this study.


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Alexander Carrillo-Kashani

I am junior studying Biology. I grew up in a household where three languages were spoken, so I was naturally very interested in doing research in this study. I hope to gain a lot of experience from working in the lab, as well as help find data to prove or disprove certain hypotheses about monolinguals, bilinguals, etc.


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Jacqueline Cervantes-Mendoza

I am a fourth year Applied Math and Statistics student. This is my first year working in a research lab and am very excited to apply statistical tools for bilingualism research. As a bilingual myself I am interested in how it is possible to juggle two different languages without even realizing it and hope to gain a better understanding of this process.


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Marissa Fernandez

I am a 4th year psychology student at UCR and this is my first year in the lab as an RA. Although I am monolingual, I know a lot of individuals who are bilingual and I am interested in this lab to discover ways in which these individuals are very unique as compared to monolinguals. I am also excited to gain research experience on campus and see what it’s all about. After I graduate, I hope to have acquired a new skill in conducting psychological research in hopes of attending grad school in the future.


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Evelyn Gamez

I am a fourth year Spanish and Linguistics major interested in Spanish language attitudes and identities inside and outside of the US as well as bilingualism and code-switching. As a member of the lab I look forward to learning more in the field of psycholinguistics to see if that is a possibility of study later in my career.


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Brianna Hernandez

I’m a third year undergraduate student majoring in psychology, with a set goal to work with and help those who are mentally disabled or ill, whether that would be in education or in the health field. I am interested in being an RA for this study because I believe bilingualism is an interesting topic to focus on, as seeing the differences or similarities between monolinguals and bilinguals can help to explain how the brain structure differs between them and how cognitive ability comes into play.


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Cyrus Lai

I am a 2nd year student at UCR studying Linguistics. I am interested in the cognitive processes required to manage two languages, as I am a bilingual myself. I hope to gain research experience from this position that I can extend to my possible career in the field of Linguistics/Psycholinguistics.


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Alba Larraburu

I am a senior pursuing a Neuroscience major. This is my first year working in a lab as a research assistant. I am excited to be working in this lab particularly because as a bilingual and as a neuroscience major it is interesting to me to see how our brain works differently from those of monolinguals. As a part of this lab I hope to learn more about hands on research and the wide variety of techniques used to collect and analyze data.


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Angela Limeta-Ongkingco

I’m a second year majoring in biology and going through the pre-med route. As someone who was brought up in a bilingual household, I’ve always been interested in how they proficiently switch between two languages. I’m looking forward to working in the lab in order to explore the relationship between cognitive function and linguistics in bilinguals.


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Angelica Magaña

My name is Angelica Magaña and I am a 4th year. I am a linguistics and Spanish major. I am super excited to be a part of this research because I know that I will gain an immense amount of knowledge on language and bilingualism. I am very interested in learning more about a child’s development through language, specifically what occurs in the brain when people are learning an L2  at different ages in their lives. I feel that this research lab will give me experience to help be prepared for my future endeavor of becoming a Speech Language Pathologist.


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Miguel Miramontes

I am a third year undergraduate student majoring in general linguistics, anthropological linguistics, and Spanish linguistics. I was raised in a household where multiple languages were spoken as well as variations of Spanish. Having been exposed to a family that collectively could be called a polyglot household, I have seen how an L1 language can affect an L2 language. These effects can be seen when the user of two languages begins to codeswitch for various functions such as referential, directive, expressive, phatic, and lastly metalinguistic functions. Though, I may have formal training in different branches of linguistics, psycholinguistics is not one of them which is why I am excited to participate in this lab to learn more about the cognitive effects of bilingualism.


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Zoya Mirza

I am currently a fourth year studying Neuroscience at UCR. This major has made me increasingly more aware and in awe of the wide range of cognitive abilities our brains posses- and how much more there is to learn about this spectacular organ and its workings. Furthermore, I grew up in a bilingual household, and learned to speak English as my second language at a very young age. I am currently working on my fluency in a new language, Spanish, and it peaked my interest to see the differences between how the brain picks up different languages at different ages. This is my first quarter being part of this lab and I am very excited to learn more about the effects bilingualism has on the brain.


Amir Emadian Naeini

My name is Amir Emadian Naeini. I am a 4th year Psychology major student. After graduation I am planing on pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology. As a bilingual, I am interested in gaining some valuable experience in the field of bilingualism through different experiments that are conducted in this lab. I am looking forward to learning new research findings about the biological and psychological effects of bilingualism.


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Edgar Ortuno

My name is Edgar Ortuño a third-year pursuing a double-major in Media and Cultural Studies, and Sustainability Studies. I am interested in learning how bilingual minds are wired, and where and how the two or more languages intersect in the brain. As a research assistant in this lab, I will be able to develop even further my research skills and apply them to pursue a PhD in Ethnic Studies.


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Aztli Ramirez

I am a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. This will be my first year in the lab. I myself am bilingual and enjoy seeing how this ability affects people’s everyday lives, and now I am interested to delve deeper as to what goes on in the brain when it comes to bilingualism. I love to see the many features and effects that languages have and I hope that by being a part of this lab I can further narrow what my particular interests are in the field of psychology and what direction I may want to go in later on.


 

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Bilal Rana

Hello everyone, my name is Bilal Rana and I am a first year biochemistry major with a medical sciences emphasis. I plan on combining my interests in science along with my passion for humanitarian services to become a successful neurosurgeon. Through this laboratory, I wish to apply and understand science in a more hands-on method as well as learn about the differences between a multilingual mind as compared to a monolingual mind. Since I also have interest in linguistics, I am even more enthusiastic about participating in this particular lab.


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Pilar Raygoza

I am a 4th year majoring in Psychology. I am a bilingual speaker myself, and I have always found it fascinating how we are able to switch languages automatically. I am mostly interested in learning about the benefits that bilinguals have in cognitive aging; and the undergoing changes of brain plasticity. I am excited, and hoping to gain a lot of experience working as an RA. In the future, I plan to pursue a career in the health field or in education.


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Andrea Rios

I am a 4th year Biology student at UCR who plans to go to grad school after graduation for a masters in pharmacology. This is my 1st time doing research and I am monolingual even though most of my family is bilingual in Spanish because no matter how long I study Spanish I’m unable to speak it fluently. I joined to better understand the difference in our brain between bilinguals and monolinguals hoping some day I could finally unlock the secret to learning and speaking Spanish to become bilingual.


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Matthew Rios

I am a fourth year neuroscience major. When I took my first class with Dr. Kroll, I was not interested in language at all. Dr. Kroll made me excited about how language affects the brain, especially the effects of L2 acquisition. I look forward to working in the lab to further see how a L2 affects the brain.


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Esperanza Rodriguez

Hi everyone! My name is Esperanza Rodriguez I am currently a third-year pursuing a degree in Psychology. I am really looking forward to researching the interrelationship of bilingual speakers and the cognitive process. This will be my first year in a lab and I look forward to contributing as a research assistant. In the near future, I plan to further pursue my education after completing my degree at the University of California of Riverside. I hope that working in this lab will provide me with opportunity to develop my research skills as well as expose me to other research opportunities in the future.


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John Rodriguez

Hi. I am a third year linguistics major. I read some articles about how bilingualism affects an individual’s language processing and cognitive control and became curious about the possible outcomes for my future children (I do hope they will exist (this is a joke by the way (laugh))). Through this lab, I will be able to understand more about an aspect of the world that affects many in the field for which I hold in high regards and have an unwavering love. It is my duty to understand things that I do not understand in order to pass on the information to the future generations that succeed mine.


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Melissa Saidak

My name is Melissa Saidak and I’m a third year here at UCR. My major is Psychology with a minor in Russian Studies. I have been studying Russian for three years and even studied abroad there over the summer. Though I am still hesitant to call myself a Russian-English bilingual, I find the literature on interference interesting as I have found my own languages changing since learning Russian. It was this language learning journey that drew me to explore the relationship between Psychology and Language. I am very interested in studying how L2 and L1 effect each other, and the relationship between clinical psychology and bilingualism.


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Julianna Salama

Hello! I am a first-year undergraduate psychology student here at UCR. This is my first year experiencing and working in a research lab. I chose to work specifically in a Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab because I myself am bilingual, learning more about bilinguals and why learning/knowing a second language is so unique and important is what interests me the most. I am looking forward to acquiring new outlooks from this lab.


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Samah Shaikh

I am a junior studying Neuroscience. This is my first year as a research assistant in the lab. After taking particular courses related to the brain, I have gained an interest in expanding my knowledge about how factors such as language affect cognitive development. I look forward to acquiring experience in this field with my fellow research assistants.


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Yasmeen Sheikh

I am a fourth year psychology student. My interest in language stems from my upbringing. I grew up in a household with the constant trill of three languages spoken around me, my two bilingual parents found their common language in English. Yet I have zero affinity for languages! I am an overhearer. I am enthusiastic about the research we will be doing and I look forward to working as an RA.


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Adnan Syed

Hey! I’m a 3rd year Neuroscience major pursuing a career in the health field. This is my first year as an RA in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab. Being a bilingual myself, I am hoping to gain more knowledge about what kind of an effect language has on the human brain and how we process and comprehend different languages. I’m hoping to gain more research experience and hone essential skills for future endeavors in the field of healthcare!


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Tida Thaipejr

I am a recent UC San Diego graduate with a double major in General Biology and Literatures of the World. My interests include studying receptive bilingualism in children and identifying how neural connections are formed during acquisition of a new language. In addition to this, I would be interested in further studies on identifying if foreign languages foster greater empathy in bilingual students.


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Toby Tsai

I am a fourth year Psychology student and interested in language because I grew up in a bilingual home but can only speak one language. I am curious as to why some people are able to develop a language easier than others. I look forward to working in this lab and hope to learn more about language and cognitive function.


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Mayur Upparapalli

Hello! I’m a second year Biology Major and this is my first year being an research assistant in this lab. After taking multiple psych courses, I developed an interest in cognitive function and how it affects various areas such as bilingualism. Having learned multiple languages growing up, I am interested in how knowing different languages can affect each other and learning a new language. I am looking forward to learning new skills as well as information which I can apply to a career in the health sciences or related field.


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Erik Villalpando

I am a senior studying sociology and I plan to start my Master of Social Work degree next fall. Learning about bilingualism in a research setting is interesting to me because I am bilingual, myself, and I am eager to learn about the different effects it has on the bilingual’s cognition. I’m also excited to be a research assistant for the time.


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Gabriela Young

My name is Gabriela Young and I am an undergraduate research assistant. My field of study is Neuroscience and I am interested in studying the effects of brain structures on multiple facets of cognitive function.



Undergraduate Alumnae at Penn State

Olivia Cielser

Olivia Cieslar

I am a junior studying Biobehavioral Health with an interest in the Psychology field. I am Polish bilingual student which led me to gain an interest in this particular field of research. This is my first year as a research assistant and I am excited to learn about language processing in bilinguals and monolinguals and comparing data. I have an interest in working with participants, analyzing collected data in order to see how both monolingual and bilinguals differ, and using fMRI.


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Sam Cummins

Sam Cummins is a sophomore studying French Literature and Economics. This is his first year in the lab as a research assistant. He is particularly interested in semantics and syntax in the French language, as well as in other Romance and Germanic languages. As a member of the lab, Sam hopes to gain a better understanding of bilingualism and its impacts on the brain.


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Heather Gardner

I am a sophomore pursuing Chinese and International Politics majors. I have always had an interest in language and am so excited to be working and learning with this research team.


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Rebecca Gilligan

I am a senior studying Communication Sciences and Disorders. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. I am very interested in language processing and working more with ERPs. Research on bilingualism is something I hope to continue during my graduate studies.


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Steven Hopkins

Steve is a senior pursuing a History major with minors in Biology, Jewish Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. This is his first year working in the lab as a research assistant. Steve is particularly interested in the development of inhibitory feedback in the language center of the brain during the acquisition of a second language, as well as the overall effect of bilingualism on brain function.


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Amy Kinsey, PIRE Fellow

I’m a junior majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. Some of my interests include bilingual cognitive control, language acquisition, and how second language learning affects the native language in bilinguals. I’m excited to learn more about ERPs and eye-tracking throughout the year as well!


YeoJin Lee

YeoJin Lee

I am a Junior majoring in Psychology. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. I am very interested in language processing and how bilinguals differ from monolinguals since I am a bilingual. I am hoping to continue to be a research assistant throughout the year or two, and continue being interested in language and cognition lab afterward leading to Graduate School.


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Akeena Lofters, PIRE Fellow

I am a senior majoring in Asian Studies with minors in Korean and Linguistics. This is my second year working in the lab as a research assistant. I am interested in whether or not the usage of identical cognates interferes with or aids in language learning.


Nick Pollio

Nick Pollio

I am a senior dual majoring in psychology and communication science disorders, and my focus of study is the psycho and neuro-linguistics of language processing. My expertise lies in data analysis and neuro-imaging procedures such as ERP, and behavioral measures of working memory. I hope to use my background in psychology as a clinician by using effective psycholinguistic techniques when working as a speech and language pathologist.


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Min Sung Seo

I am a sophomore pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Economics. This is my first semester in the lab as a research assistant. As a bilingual I am interested in how bilingualism affects the brain’s cognitive abilities. I am excited to be a part of the lab and hope to gain experience in and learn more about the research setting.


Katherine Sims

Katherine Sims

Katherine Sims is a sophomore studying Economics and International Politics. This is her first year in the lab as a Research Assistant. Her research interests include cognitive development and language processing (especially the role of working memory in sentence comprehension and production).


Ashley Wagner

Ashley Wagner

I am a senior studying Psychology and Labor and Employment Relations. This is my first year as a research assistant in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab.  As a member of the lab, I hope to explore the ins and outs of conducting research while learning how language processing impacts the brain.


Jennie Walter

Jennie Walter

I am a sophomore studying Psychology and Spanish here at Penn State. This is my first year in the lab as a research assistant. I am very interested in language and hope to someday be fluent in five or more languages. From being a part of this lab I hope to learn more not just about language, but also about research and participant testing in general.


Zhiyue Wang

Zhiyue (Joanna) Wang

I am a junior studying Psychology. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. I’m particularly interested in how experiences with a second language interact with the native language and how the brain functions during the language switching process. By joining the lab, I wish to gain more experience with ERPs and learn how to conduct research.


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Ryan Winthrop

I am a sophomore majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish and Business. This is my first year working in the lab as a research assistant. I am interested in the usage of language and how people process this information in their brains. I hope to continue with research for the rest of my undergraduate years. I also believe that my background in Psychology and Spanish helps me in my research.


Yixiao Xu

I am a junior who major in Economics and minor in Business. As a Chinese bilingual student, I am curious about how learning English makes me different to monolinguals. I really enjoy the time with everyone in the lab and I am really grateful for having this chance to learn something beyond my major and some research skills.