Meet the LearnLabbies


Dr. Ji Son, Lab Director

Ji Son


Dr. Son is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. Her research focuses on how people learn and generalize their learning to new situations. The central idea behind her work is that learning changes the way we SEE the world! Many of the studies in the Learning Lab examine the role of perception in how students and young children learn abstract ideas, such as math and science. Area: Cognitive development, category learning, perceptual learning, learning and transfer.

Caylor Davis, Lab Manager

Young woman taking a selfie with the Boston harbor behind her.


I am a graduate of the CSULA Psychology MA program, and received my BA in Linguistics and Psychology from UCLA. I am also a previous lecturer here at CSULA, and particularly enjoyed teaching statistics (Psych 3020). My main research interests involve investigating instructional methods that can improve student learning outcomes in statistics and data science. Some recent projects have included gauging the effectiveness of pairing instruction with guided notes, emphasizing concepts over calculations in instruction, and how to help students read for math. I approach questions related to these ideas through the framework of the Practicing Connections hypothesis, in hopes of helping students gain robust, transferable knowledge, and develop meaningful learning experiences.

Asia Mullins, Graduate Student



I’m a second year graduate student in the Masters of Arts in psychology program at Cal State LA. I earned my BA in psychology from Humboldt State University in 2022. I’m interested in context-dependent learning, specifically how teaching strategies and teacher qualities affect students in the classroom. My research focuses on data visualizations, and improving students’ graph comprehension skills. I want to focus on schools in low-income communities, and how the classroom environment influences the learning of difficult subjects. My goal is to provide more resources to support students who come from low income backgrounds. 

Nataly Castro, Graduate Student

I am in my second year pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Psychology at Cal State LA. I acquired my BA in Psychology from UCLA in 2018. I am interested in studying how people learn. I am currently focusing my research on examining the effects of note-taking and anxiety on academic performance.

Mildred Bernabe, Research Assistant



I am currently in my senior year at Cal State LA. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Management. I acquired my associate degree in Psychology from LACC. I am interested in pursuing a career in I/O (Industrial/Organizational) psychology. I hope to gain skills and experience that I can utilize in my career. 

Lou Rabahi Seaton, Research Assistant



I hold an Associate of Arts Degree in Psychology and in Social and Behavioral Sciences from LACC, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from CSULA. My interests lie in utility value, motivation, anxiety, and learning. Currently, my research centers on exploring how college students perceive various types of utility value in relation to learning statistics, as well as examining changes in their utility value perceptions over time.



Students who have worked with Dr. Ji in the past:

Jose Salas M.A., Graduate student @ CSULA, class of 2022

Ana Leandro-Ramos M.A., Graduate student @ CSULA, class of 2022

Arineh Mirinjian M.A., Graduate student @ CSULA, class of 2020

Kolya Ludwig M.A., Graduate student @ CSULA, class of 2019

Alyssa Lawson Ph.D., Graduate student @ UC Santa Barbara, class of 2023

Mariela Rivas Ph.D., Graduate student @ UCI, class of 2020

Cynthia Alarcon Ph.D., Graduate student @ University of Texas, Austin, class of 2020

Donna Chen Ph.D., Graduate student @ University of Nebraska, class of 2020

Yu Zhang Ph.D., Graduate student @ UC Santa Cruz, class of 2019

Craig Terasawa M.S.W., Graduate student @ Azusa Pacific University, class of 2014

Phoutdavone "Noy" Phimphasone Ph.D., Graduate student @ UNC, Charlotte, class of 2016

Katerina Schenke Ph.D., Graduate student @ UCI, class of 2015

K.P. Thai Ph.D., Age of Learning

Stacy Einikis M.A., Graduate student @ Adler School of Professional Psychology, class of 2010

Michelle Leslie Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist

Megan Haselschwerdt Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Human Development, Auburn University