Project Coordinators/Senior Researchers:
Minas Michikyan, M. A., is a researcher at the Children's Digital Media Center @ LA, (UCLA/
CSULA) and at the Multicultural Research Center at CSULA. He is also a lecturer in the
Department of Psychology at CSULA. Minas' research interests encompass the role of culture
in social development and the implications for psychosocial well-being of youth. Currently,
he has embarked on several research projects examining the extent to which newer forms of
digital interactive media influence social and cognitive development of children and young
adults. Additionally, Minas has been involved in cross-cultural research projects focusing on
acculturation, gender role, family relations, social and ethnic identity development, and mental
health outcomes among emerging adults. His recent studies have examined the extent to which
identity state and psychosocial well-being predict self-presentational behaviors (i.e., the real
self, the ideal self, and the false self) on Facebook, and have qualitatively analyzed users' self-
presentation of their identity and mood states on social networking sites (SNSs), in general.
Graduate Research Assistants:
Araceli Castellanos, B. A., is a graduate student in Child Development at Cal State, Los Angeles. She is currently involved in two research projects examining language development in second language learners and school readiness in Latino preschool children. Araceli is the project coordinator of the Dual Language Project, a MBRS funded 3-year longitudinal study conducted in our lab. She is interested in bilingual early education, and how cultural contexts and teacher beliefs affect children's and young adults' development. Araceli enjoys spending time with her family, going to baseball games, and volunteering in her community.
Halima Barreto, B. A., earned her B.A in Psychology from Cal State, Los Angeles. In the Fall of 2012, Halima will be joining the master's program in Forensic Psychology at CSULA. She is interested in working in court settings in matters of eyewitness testimony as well as jury selection. Halima is also interested in studying the criminal mind and working with the criminal population. She is currently involved in the Dual Language Project. She enjoys hiking, running, and reading. Following graduate school, Halima plans on pursuing a Ph.D.
Rogelio Carrillo, B. A., earned his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Cal State, Los Angeles. He is currently involved in studies investigating the role of media in social interactions and reading comprehension among youth. In the Fall of 2012, Rogelio will be joining the master's program in General Psychology at CSULA. His research interests include the role of media in multitasking while studying, and the implications of such multitasking for memory and learning.
Undergraduate Research Assistants:
Adriana Parrales, is an undergraduate student at Cal State, Los Angeles. She is interested in clinical psychology, especially in working within the correctional system. Adriana's research interests include the acculturation experiences of people of color. She is currently working on transcribing speech samples in the Dual Language Project. In her free time, Adriana enjoys attending many concerts (a minimum of 3 per year), and traveling, in and out of the U.S.
Marissa Garay, is an undergraduate student at Cal State, Los Angeles, and is majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She is currently involved in the Dual Language Project as well as study on the role of digital interactive media in social interactions among youth. Aside from research, Marissa enjoys running, hiking, kayaking, volunteering, and reading.
Tyler Hatchel, is an undergraduate student at Cal State, Los Angeles. Currently, he is involved in two studies investigating the extent to which digital interactive media influence social interactions among youth, and the effects of the medium on reading comprehension and memory. Tyler's research interests include the role of media in bullying (cyber-bullying), and the implications for such online peer-victimization on mental health. Additionally, he is interested in gender and sexuality related issues as they relate to mental health. His interest in such issues has largely been influenced by his volunteer experiences at The Trevor Project, where he is a LGBTQ youth counselor. Tyler plans to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in academia and research.
Wendy Ochoa, is an undergraduate student at Cal State, Los Angeles. She is involved in the Dual language project, which is examining Spanish and English language development among second language learners. Wendy plans to continue to work in this line of research with a focus on code switching and language mixing. During her free time, Wendy enjoys reading, hiking, and going to the gym.
Denise De Anda, B. A., earned her B.A in Psychology from Cal State, Long Beach. She is interested in the phonological skills of both bilingual children and adults. She is currently involved in the Dual Language Project. Denise enjoys exercising, reading, hiking, going to the movies, and spending time with her family.
Phuoc Jimmy Tran, M. A., earned his B. A. in Psychology with a minor in Education from UCLA in 2009 and his M. A. in Psychology at CSULA. As of Fall 2012, Jimmy will be joining the doctoral program in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. His research has focused on the effects of multitasking on learning, specifically, how concurrent engagement in online social communication and reading affects learning. Jimmy's research interests are in studying how students' learn and the strategies that can be utilized to enhance academic learning.
Thomas Staunton, M. A., earned his Master's degree in Philosophy from Cal State, Los Angeles. In the Fall of 2012, he will be joining the doctoral program in Social Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. His research interests are in the areas of persuasion and both every day and legal decision-making. Thomas received his B.A. in Behavioral Sciences from Cal Poly Pomona. Currently, Thomas is involved in a research project focusing on digital communication, namely the development of an instrument that will allow for the efficient and accurate recordings of social interactions via various interactive digital mediums. Outside of school and the lab, he enjoys coaching and playing basketball as well as a number of other sports. He is also an avid supporter of Chelsea FC (Champions of Europe 2012!).