Lab Members

Lab Director
Nairán Ramírez-Esparza, Ph.D.
NairanRamirez_uconnBackground With Mayan CalendarI was born in Mexico and I lived in Puebla, Mexico until my mid-twenties. I moved to the United States to do my Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin. Then I did postdoctoral work at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences in the University of Washington in Seattle. I joined the social psychology faculty of the University of Connecticut in 2012. Moving around between two countries and spending time living in different areas of the United States have inspired many of my research questions. For example, while living in Austin Texas and interacting with fluent bilinguals I did a study looking at how bilinguals change their personality when they change languages. Now I am the director of the LAB-C-Lab where we continue answering questions about the influence of culture and language on different areas.
Graduate student
Shu Jiang

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I was born in Huzhou, China and graduated from Xi’an Physical Education University with a degree in Sport Psychology (minor in Literature). I went to Springfield College, USA where I did my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. I spent two years working closely with collegiate student athletes on performance enhancement, academic and personal issues, organizing and facilitating workshops for sports teams covering mental skills. Meanwhile, my growing fascination with language and cognition also inspired me to expand my academic scope. My research interests are behavioral change, psycholinguistics, and self-talk. I love classical music, painting, and writing. Looking forward to learn more and contribute to the field at UConn.

Undergraduate Research Assistants
Livingston Cortez
img_0553-1Beautiful photo of a map of Republic of Ecuador and the capital Quito .

Hey there! My name is Livingston and I am an undergraduate student double majoring in Psychology and Spanish. I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and came to the United States when I was 4 months old. I enjoy the outdoors and animals, as well as learning about different cultures. I am interested in child and developmental psychology, and intend to be a child psychologist working in my private practice. My research interests focus on how culture plays a role in the interactions and behaviors of people. I plan to go to graduate school to expand my knowledge and interests. I am very delighted to have the opportunity to be conducting research at the University of Connecticut.

Natalia Lebrija

My name is Natalia Lebrija. I was born in Mexico and moved to the U.S. when I was two years old. Even though I’ve lived in Connecticut for the majority of my life, my Mexican roots have always been very important to me. Both of my parents are Mexican and the majority of my family still lives there. I strongly believe that being raised with this multicultural background played a huge role in my self development and I largely attribute my interest to social psychology to this. At UConn, I’ve loved getting involved in a lot of different clubs, including NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) and Big Brother Big Sister, which are the two I am the most heavily involved in. I am really looking forward to being a research assistant, and seeing where my Psychology career takes me.

Kevin Rodriguez

Hi! My name is Kevin. I was born in Hartford, CT however my parents are Cuban immigrants. I am a senior Psychology major with a minor in Latino Studies. I am interested in studying prejudice and its effects on intergroup relations. I am mainly interested in working with the Latino community but plan on applying my research to a broader scope of marginalized groups. I am currently applying to graduate school for community psychology here in CT. I love music, playing the guitar, being exposed to different cultures, and enjoying time outside.

Maria Sol Anyosa

Hello! My name is Maria Sol Anyosa and I am a Psychology major with a dream to be a child psychologist in a school where I am most needed. I grew up in Lima, Peru until I was 7 years old and moved to the United States with my family. I have always been surrounded by children intrigued by the way their minds develop. I hope to gain a greater understanding of development in my time at UCONN as I work towards achieving my bachelor’s degree in psychology. On my free time, I like to enjoy the company of friends and family. In the future, I hope to obtain a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and pursue research that will lead to new findings. 





Gloriana Rodríguez-Araúz
Professor at the Psychology Department of University of Costa Rica
Elif Gozde Ikizer

Currently doing a postdoctoral associate at Yale University, Department of Psychology, with Dr. John Dovidio

Selin Ozlem Goktas
Selin works as a research associate at the National Center for PTSD and Yale University
Former Research Assistants
 Maria Fernandez Gomez

Currently doing her Psy.D. at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania







Carlos Rosario
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Carlos works as the outreach coordinator for a federally qualified health center, providing access to healthcare to the under-served population as well as migrant and seasonal farm workers.


Meghan Gwara
Meghan works for  a nonprofit organization called iCAN (International Children’s Advisory Network), which works with kids and research/medical professionals to improve pediatric healthcare and clinical research.
Ashlyn Liu
Ashlyn works in China, teaching AP psychology and SAT preparation classes for her gap year before she goes on to pursue a master’s degree.
Angela Jaramillo
Angela is working at the American Group Psychotherapy Association in Manhattan as an executive assistant