Matthew Jackson

Matt Jackson



Matthew Jackson is a postdoctoral researcher at SDSU. He received his PhD. in Social Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and has worked in the UCLA Diversity Research Office and as a fellow in the Center for Policing Equity.  His research explores the performance of social identities; particularly the performances of masculinity and racial identity within educational contexts and professional organizations.  His current work seeks to understand the role of cultural and career purpose orientations in underrepresented minority science student success, and is supported by the National Science Foundation.  His research has previously been supported by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship program, and the UCLA DIGSSS Fellows Program.


Mia Steinberg is a postdoc at CSULB.  Supported by a grant from the Chancellor’s office, she is currently developing a social psychological intervention aimed at increasing student persistence and retention, particularly among underrepresented minority group members.  She also works as a program evaluator for BUILD, an NIH-funded program aimed at increasing diversity in biomedical careers.   She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Miami University of Ohio and her research interests include motivation, gender roles, stereotyping, and psychological interventions.  In her former life, she worked as a web developer in the technology industry.

Mia Steinberg


Jeanette Zambrano


 Lab Manager SDSU


Jeanette graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in Psychology. Her interests are in motivational processes and the social and cultural factors that influence belonging, interest, and success in educational contexts. Though she has many interests, she is currently focusing on examining 1) how students from Latino/Hispanic backgrounds think about (in)compatibility between their cultural and academic identities, 2) how course assignments and materials influence student motivations and interest in foundational science courses, and 3) how other people can shape one’s interests and goals, particularly through conversations, or anticipated conversations.

When she is not working in the lab, she likes to watch movies, try new recipes, and read. Her favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.

Ron comes from a diverse business background and he is particularly interested in the value, acquisition, and plasticity of identity. He is also interested in how motivational differences between people sometimes lead to conflict versus cooperation.
Ron’s hobbies include martial arts and travel. He also enjoys skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain.”

Ron Flores


Garam Lee


Garam graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in Psychology. She is curious as to what drives or motivate people to initiate and maintain interest until they develop specific and achievable goals, and what influences the psychological processes until people actually achieve their goals. Specifically, she is interested in the influence of people’s mindset and identity on social interactions, and how they further affect motivational experiences such as interest and belonging.

In her free time, she loves to draw and sew. She also enjoys singing operas.


Amiryah graduated in 2014 from Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in Psychology, where her interests were focused on holistic treatment options for Schizophrenia and the affective disorders, namely Depression and Anxiety. Before entering the Master’s program, Amiryah worked for over two and a half years at the US Air Force Research Laboratory conducting studies in the fields of Cognitive Neuroscience and Biodynamics. Here, she was involved in investigations of Transcranial Direct Stimulation (tCDS) as an intervention for diminished cognitive performance resulting from fatigue, as well as the examination of physical mechanisms of cervical and spinal injury, which may directly result from structural differences between ejection seats used in various fighter aircraft. Currently, Amiryah is interested in quantifying the degree to which culture and various interpersonal dynamics influence an individual’s behavior and decision-making.

Outside of the lab, Amiryah enjoys drawing, photography, hiking, and cycling.


Amiryah Toves

Amiryah Toves

Madison Haley



Madison is very interested in social psychology and hopes to carry on her experience into the field of counseling with young children. Madison is currently a preschool assistant teacher and hopes to continue a career in education.


During Madison’s free time, she loves to go outside and adventure. Whether it is going to the beach, going on a hike, or riding bikes around Mission Beach, she is always taking advantage of living in beautiful San Diego.



Dylan is interested in social and I-O psychology. After graduating with a degree in Psychology Emphasis: I-O Psychology, with minor in Business Management, Dylan plans to pursue a Master’s degree in I-O Psychology.


His personal interests include going to concerts with his friends, trying new food, and playing soccer.


Dylan Perez Neider


Brandon Tam

Brandon Tam


Brandon is very interested in I-O psychology. After graduating with a minor in statistics and emphasis in I-O he plans to pursue a Master’s degree in I-O psychology.


In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, hiking, biking, running, even relaxing and enjoying the view. Although, when possible, he loves traveling and exploring different places in the world.


Daniel Berkowitz is interested in the intersection of Social and Forensic Psychology. He hopes to find out how identity and motivation lead people into either side of the justice system, and what social factors contribute to both of these sides, in hopes of bettering the criminal justice system.


Daniel loves reading high fantasy, especially Brandon Sanderson, participating in community service, and listening to folk music.



Daniel Berkowitz


Christina Lee



Christina is interested in I-O Psychology and hopes to further her education by going to Graduate School. In the future, she wants to be able to assist organizations and corporations in improving their working environment, thereby making people’s work experience more enjoyable as well as increasing their efficiency. She is currently working on her B.A.


Christina enjoys meeting new people, listening to music, going on road trips, watching anime, reading manga, playing League of Legends, playing board games, and hanging out with friends.


Brooke is an undergraduate at San Diego State with hopes to major in both Psychology and in American Indian Studies. She is interested in Sports and Health Psychology as well as the cultural dynamics of minority and aboriginal peoples. She hopes to attend graduate school and further her education in the field of psychology as well as gain experience in the field and ultimately work alongside a sports team.


Brooke enjoys taking her dog to the dog parks and beaches in San Diego and hanging out in the water or on the sand. She also enjoys listening to and playing music as well as spend time with her friends and family.

Brooke Aiau

Brooke Aiau

Elizabeth Brekke



Liz is interested in how social influence can affect personality, perception, and motivation. She is specifically interested in how media representation can affect identity and goal-orientation. Liz is currently completing her undergraduate education at SDSU, but also plans to pursue a Masters Degree in Psychology after graduation.


In her free time, Liz likes to sing, play the ukulele, and write music.



Ariana is an undergraduate student at SDSU majoring in psychology and minoring in Honors interdisciplinary studies. She is interested in social psychology as well as industrial and organizational psychology. She hopes to make an impact in worker’s lives through the study of one’s identity and motivation. Ariana intends to further her education and achieve her goals by going to graduate school and attaining an M.A or Ph.D in I-O psychology after graduating from SDSU.


In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, watching movies, and exploring coffee shops.


Ariana Hernandez

Ariana H.

Johan Im

Johan Im


Johan is majoring in I-O Psychology and studying Business Marketing for a minor as a 3rd year undergraduate student. He wants to pursue Master’s Degrees in MBA management and I-O Psychology. Also, he is interested in Talent Management, and possibly, wants to become a Talent Management Manager at multinational companies.


In his spare time, he loves learning new languages and various cultures.




Zena is in her final year of undergraduate studies where she will earn a B.A. in Psychology. She is interested in the treatment of mental illnesses, especially anxiety and depression. She plans to attend graduate school for Clinical Psychology, earn a Ph.D., and eventually work as a therapist.


When she’s not in school, she’s working as an AVID tutor at a middle school. In her spare time, Zena enjoys hiking, reading, and spending quality time with her cat.



Zena Donovan


Keelan Tobia



Keelan is an undergraduate psychology student minoring in counseling and social change. He is interested in the reduction of caregiver burden for families with children with cognitive and social deficits. He is also interested in aspects of student motivation and cultural competency in education and mental health professions. Keelan plans to attend graduate school to attain an Ed.S degree in School Psychology, and later work as a school psychologist.


When he is not in school, he works as a high school percussion clinician and performer. In his free time, he enjoys playing drums, basketball, skateboarding, and graphic design.



Rodolfo Orozco is majoring in psychology with an I-O emphasis. He plans on attending graduate school for a masters degree in I-O psychology and intends on pursuing a career in consulting. He is interested in the effect extrinsic and intrinsic factors have on motivation and how it is translated into success within institutions.


Rodolfo is currently working for a mental health organization that specializes in catering to the Latino community. On his spare time, Rodolfo enjoys reading, running, and exploring new foods.


Rodolfo Orozco


Tina Mekany


After Tina (Tareen) obtains her BA in Psychology and a minor in Counseling and Social Change from SDSU, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology or Social Psychology. An alternative degree she is considering may focus on Marriage and Family Therapy since she is interested in helping others talk through their problems and build progress in a therapeutic form. She currently holds a paid internship position with the County of San Diego.


During her free time Tina enjoys volunteering at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, hiking or going to the beach with friends and family, and simply watching Netflix.


Many research assistants in the lab have been  highly successful during their time at CSULB and have continued to be successful in new positions. We highlight a few of these folks, to provide examples of the range of accomplishments and opportunities that students from the lab have pursued.  To learn about current research assistants, please follow the link on the left.

Christina Curti

Graduate Assistant from 2014-2017

Accomplishments include: Scandling Scholar Award, ASI Student Research Award, multiple research presentations

Currently: Doctoral student in the Educational Policy and Theory, Ph.D., University of Rochester

Isidro Landa

Graduate Assistant from 2014-2016

Accomplishments include: Sally Cassanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar, co-author on published paper, 1st place proposed project at Psych Day Research Fair

Currently: Doctoral student in the Social/Personality Psychology program at Washington University in St. Louis

Gregg Muragishi

Graduate Assistant from 2012-2014

Accomplishments include: multiple research presentations, co-author on one published paper.

Currently: enrolled in Social Psychology Ph.D. program at Stanford University

Ramon Flores

Graduate Assistant from 2013-2014

Accomplishments include: Graduate McNair Fellowship, Student Summer Research Award, Sally Cassanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar, multiple research presentations, co-author on published paper

Currently: enrolled in Social Work Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin

Erendira Aldaňa

Undergrad RA  from 2009-2011

Accomplishments include: NIH COR Scholar, California Pre-Doctoral Scholar, multiple research presentations

Currently: enrolled in Community Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

Jessica Arizaga

Undergrad RA from 2009-2010

Accomplishments include: NIH COR Scholar, California Pre-Doctoral Scholar, SPSP Travel Award Recipient; multiple research presentations, co-author on a published paper

Currently: enrolled in Child Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at DePaul University

Cassie Comley

Undergrad RA from 2009-2011

Accomplishments include: McNair Scholar, multiple research presentations

Currently: enrolled in Sociology Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon

J. Katherine Lee

Graduate Assistant from 2009-2012

Accomplishments include: multiple research presentations, co-author on one published paper from the lab, co-author on a published paper

Currently: enrolled in Social Psychology Ph.D. program at Portland State University

Jessica Lopez

Undergrad RA in 2011

Currently: completed a Post-Bac program at the National Institute of Health and currently enrolled in the MPH program at Drexel University

J’Aimee Mission

Undergrad RA from 2009-2011

Accomplishments include: Tomy Jung Memorial Award; research presentation

Currently: enrolled in Industrial/Organizational  Psychology Ph.D. program at Seattle Pacific University

Christina Siu

Undergrad RA from 2000-2012

Accomplishments include: NIH COR Scholar, President of Psi Chi

Currently: enrolled in the Human Factors Ph.D. program at Wichita State University

Gretchen Soncuya

Undergrad RA from 2009-2010

Accomplishments include: research presentation, co-author on a published paper, President of Psi Chi

Currently: working in medical field and applying to medical schools

Lisa Zazworsky

Graduate Assistant from 2010-2013

Accomplishments include: multiple research presentations, co-author on a manuscript currently under review

Currently: Outcomes & Evaluation Manager for the Veterans Village of San Diego

Jason Ziccardi

Undergrad RA from 2009-2010

Accomplishments include: research presentation, President of Psi Chi

Currently: enrolled in the Human Factors MA program at CSULB