Yay, science!


SPAH Laboratory members come from a variety of academic backgrounds. They include undergraduates and post-baccalaureates. All share deep curiosity about psychological science, attention to detail, and the ability to work both independently and as part of a strong team. And did we mention enthusiasm?!


Benita Jackson, PhD MPH

Research Assistants

Anna Peel '22, Lab Coordinator
Major(s): Psychology and Studio Art

Anna is interested in contributing to psychological research examining the intersection between societal conditions and individuals’ health behaviors as well as psychological well-being. She was an active member of the Student Government Association as an undergraduate and thoroughly enjoys painting commissioned portraits.

Leyla Akin ’23, Project Manager
Major(s): Psychology and Spanish

Leyla is interested in studying how the natural environment affects people’s health and psychological well-being. She also has a passion for languages and learning about different cultures. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and taking outdoor walks.

Lana Sabbah ’23
Major(s): Biology and Psychology

Lana is deeply committed to better understanding and addressing the mental health consequences of war-related trauma and its integral role in promoting public health. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, and embroidery.

Maya Kiernan ‘22
Major(s): Psychology
Minor: Environmental Science and Policy

Maya is interested in researching how the environments individuals live and work in affect their mental and physical well-being and how socioeconomic status can often determine people's environmental surroundings. She is also passionate about design and sustainability and, in her free time, enjoys small-scale farming and pottery.

Doris Chi '24
Major: Psychology
Minor: Applied Statistics
Doris is interested in the intersection of both health and social psychology, with a focus on gender. She is also deeply committed to the mental well-being of minoritized groups. She enjoys exploring new things in her life, including visiting museums and restaurants, traveling, and playing with her outfits.

Yoselin Rios-Saldivar '24
Major: Psychology, Five College Certificate: Culture, Health, & Science

Yoselin is committed to conducting research informing how social connections, education, and economic status affect the mental and physical health of individuals. She is also dedicated to improving health literacy, specifically in Latin American communities. In her free time, she enjoys walking outdoors, crocheting, and painting. 

Ruoyu Zhang ’23
Majors: Psychology and Study of Women & Gender

Ruoyu is interested in researching how psychosocial factors and personality factors - such as subjective social status, affective states and identities - influence people’s health and mental well-being. She is also dedicated to improving the well-being of minoritized groups, especially for LGBTQ group. In her free time, Ruoyu enjoys baking, dancing, K-pop music, and spending time with friends.

Zhirou Liu ‘25
Majors: Psychology and Statistics & Data Science

Zhirou is interested in how society and physical environments affect mental and physical well being. She is also passionate about using big data analytics and artificial intelligence to promote public mental health. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, watching movies, and reading.