2013 Summer Research Initiative Scholars and Mentors

Sean Anderson is a junior at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, pursuing a double major in neuroscience and psychology, with minors in music and statistics. Sean will pursue a doctoral degree in cognitive neuroscience and seeks research opportunities in auditory perception and cognition. In the fall, he will conduct a thesis in psychology, investigating the electrophysiological correlates to chills experienced in response to music. Sean also works in the Neuroscience Lab at Baldwin Wallace, where he assists in research investigating the pharmacological effects of the anesthetic agent ketamine in developing cortical neurons.  

Sean is an undergraduate member of the Society for Neuroscience, and has presented at its general meeting and at the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience satellite meeting. He is the vice president of Baldwin Wallace’s Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Society, is a STEM scholar and also is a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society.

During the Summer Research Initiative (SRI), Sean will work with Dr. Yi Ting Huang, an assistant professor in the Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences.

Cristina Arboleda is a junior majoring in international relations and minoring in French at the State University of New York College at Oneonta in Oneonta, New York. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in comparative politics, and thus hopes to expand her social science research skills during the SRI to better prepare her for graduate school. Christina also plans to incorporate diverse scientists into her research initiatives and to research topics relevant to diverse communities. 

Cristina is interested in comparative politics and social and political thought and is interested in pursuing Europe-focused research such as a studying the European Union. When she returns to Oneonta this fall, she will use the knowledge and skills acquired through the SRI in a project focusing on the effects of French immigration on African countries. This project will be a joint research collaboration with a professor at the College of Oneonta. 

During the SRI, Christina will be mentored by Dr. Irwin Morris, chair of the Department of Government & Politics. 

Temitope Ariyo is a senior majoring in psychology at Morgan State University. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up in Howard County, MD. She is an honor student and a member of Psi Chi Honor Society. Temi’s interests include providing affordable mental health services for low-income families and encouraging the development of more productive members of society through research in clinical psychology.

As an African American female pursuing a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, she intends to diversify the field of psychology and make it more inviting for other African American women who are interested in seeking a higher degree in the behavioral sciences through her own success. Her current research interests include finding non-medicinal remedies for stress-related mental illnesses, as well as exploring the cognitive processes of decision making.

Temi will work with Dr. Jack Blanchard, chair of the Department of Psychology, during the SRI.

Shonise D. Flowers is a senior majoring in psychology with a minor in sociology and hails from Milwaukee, WI. After graduating from Howard University in the fall, she hopes to pursue graduate studies in the field of clinical psychology, a doctoral degree and a career as a behavioral analyst. Shonise’s research interests include analyzing behavioral patterns associated with criminal offenders and the cognitive processes, normal or abnormal, related to those offenses.

Shonise is on the Dean’s List of Howard University’s College of Arts & Sciences and is a McNair Scholar. She also is a recipient of the Trustee Scholarship and a member of numerous honor societies, including Psi Chi International Honor Society and Golden Key International Society.

During the SRI, Shonise will work with Dr. Jonathan Beier, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.

Jahnieka Griffin is a geography major with a minor in Geographic Information Systems at the University of Maryland. Her goal for the SRI is to strengthen her research and analytical skills. She is interested in researching social trends from a geographical perspective; specifically, she is interested in how culture plays a role in community development.

Upon graduation, Jahnieka hopes to attend Georgia Institute of Technology and pursue a master’s degree in city and regional planning with specialization in environmental planning and management. Her career aspirations include facilitating sustainable development in rural China and implementing Smart Growth strategies in various countries around the world.   

Jahnieka will work with Dr. Ronald Luna, an alumnus of the SRI Program and a member of the faculty of the Department of Geographical Sciences, during the SRI.

Curtis Hooks is a senior majoring in psychology at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Curtis also is a research assistant in the Family Emotions Experimental Lab: Intergenerational Nurture & Gene Studies in the department of  Psychology at Georgia State University. This lab investigates mediators of—or potential explanations for—the associations between parental depression and young adult depression, anxiety, alcohol use and dependence, and interpersonal impairment. His research interests include understanding mechanisms that lead to depression and other mood disorders and developing and/or improving related treatments and interventions. 

Curtis is a NIMH Career Opportunities in Research Scholar and is a member of Psi Chi National Honor Society. He hopes his participation in the SRI will provide him with additional research experience and professional development that will help him attain a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.  

During the SRI, Curtis will work with Dr. Carl Lejuez, a professor in the Department of Psychology and the director of UMD’s Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research.

Paul Martinez is a senior majoring in sociology at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, CA. He was born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego. Paul’s research interests include race/ethnicity, gender, immigration and class issues and their impact on social inequality. His goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in order to conduct research promoting social equality and to become a sociology professor.  

As a participant in the McNair Scholars Program, Paul has conducted research on a multicultural awareness-training program. His research focuses on helping students increase their awareness by learning about inequalities in society and motivating them to become agents of change. With the help of SRI, Paul hopes to gain the training and experience he needs to succeed in graduate school.

Paul will work with Rashawn Ray, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, during the SRI.

Eduardo Mejia is a recent graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, WA. He earned a B.A. in criminal justice with minors in sociology and political science. He now attends the University of Central Florida, pursuing an M.S. in criminology. He ultimately hopes to secure a career in the federal branch of government in an agency such as the FBI, and to to evaluate programs and policies and improve them to limit wrongful convictions or unanticipated consequences.

Eduardo’s research interests are in program and public policy evaluation in the criminal justice system. His research on Drug Recognition Experts (DRE): Impaired Driving and the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic Challenge is a part of an ongoing partnership between the Washington State University Division of Governmental Studies and Services and Washington State’s DRE program. He received the Student of the Year Award from the College Assistant Migrant Program.

During the SRI, Eduardo will work with Dr. Jean McGloin, an associate professor in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice who is affiliated with the Maryland Population Research Center.

Mariah Prensa is a New Yorker and a senior at New York University at Buffalo. She credits her analytical, philosophical and critical thinking skills to her studies in political science. Mariah’s research interests include civic engagement, political competence of young Americans, globalization, U.S. foreign policy and the politics of developing countries. 

Mariah plans to pursue a Ph.D. in political science in order to reach her full academic potential.  Her ultimate goals are to become a diplomat, philanthropist and educator.

During the SRI, Mariah will work with Dr. Virginia Haufler, an associate professor and director of graduate placement with the Department of Government & Politics and the director of UMD’s Global Communities Living-Learning Community.

Elena Ramirez is from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and is a senior at Salisbury University on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She is majoring in economics with minors in mathematics and business administration. Elena’s research interests are defined by the field of international economics. Specifically, she is interested in economic development in developing regions, foreign investments and their effects on host nations, and multinational trade agreements. She also is interested in international issues such as poverty and the effects different international economic policies have on those who are impoverished.

Elena has presented at the Salisbury University Student Research Conference and is a Franklin P. Perdue School of Business Scholar. She also is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma, Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies, and of the Delta Gamma Fraternity. Elena intends to pursue a doctoral education in economics, and aspires to work with international economic policies in the future.

Elena will work with Dr. Jessica Goldberg, an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, during the SRI.

Karrie Emma Woodlon attends Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. She is a junior majoring in psychology and hails from Pikesville, MD. Karrie is active in the Psychological Society at Morgan State University, serving as treasurer. Her research interests include the impact of a child’s environment on his or her social, emotional, behavioral and academic success.

After graduating from Morgan State, Karrie plans to earn an M.A. in school counseling and a Ph.D. in counseling. As a school counselor, Karrie would be interested in working with elementary school children and their families in order to successfully contribute to each child’s social and academic success.

During the SRI, Karrie will work with Dr. Andrea Chronis-Tuscano, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology.