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, M.S.

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I was born in Huzhou, China and graduated from Xi’an Physical Education University with a degree in Sport Psychology. 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 learning more and contribute to the field at UConn.

Bonita Lee
I was born and mostly raised in Bandung, Indonesia. I graduated with Bachelor in Psychology in 2013 focusing on psychodiagnostic and social-psychology. Since then, I mostly worked in management consulting and then switched to HR-related research in 2016 where I would have more time to focus on my own research interest. I’ve always been interested in grounded research and theory building, especially in the context of culture, language expression, and individual wholesomeness. At the moment, given the significance of cyber-technology in our life, I’ve been focusing my research in the context of cyberspace, such real- and cyber-self coherency, influence and actions, as well as cultural expression. 
Undergraduate Research Assistants
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. 


Juandiego Carmona
My name is Juandiego Carmona I am a first-generation graduate with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in women’s studies from the University of New Hampshire. My parents immigrated from Medellin, Colombia in 2001 and have made Guilford, Connecticut our home ever since. I continue to have strong ties to my culture that for my undergraduate research project I examined narrative discourse style between U.S. and Colombian children; to see how a country’s social/value orientations can predict the social outcome of children’s narratives. My research interests include cross-cultural studies and language development. In the future, I hope to continue doing research with marginalized and/or underrepresented populations. In my free time I enjoy the beach, oil painting, spending time with family, and traveling.
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
Livingston Cotez
Natalia Lebrija