Research Staff

Lab Coordinators

Elisa de la Fuente (FLIGHT 2.0)
Elisa graduated from Nazareth College in 2021 with a degree in Psychology with Minors in Cognitive Neuropsychology and Communications and Media. She is currently a student at the University of Rochester Warner School of Education and Human Development, pursuing a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling and has experience as an undergraduate intern for Project PROMISE, a Research Assistant for Project FLIGHT, and a Project Coordinator for Project FLIGHT. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, baking, and spending time with her family and friends. 


Full-time Research Assistants

Owen Goettler (FLIGHT 2.0)
Owen graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Computer Science. He hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a specific interest in the effects of executive functions on parenting. While he isn’t the parent of any actual human children, he is the proud father of a beautiful tuxedo cat named Magnus. When he isn’t working or worshipping the ground on which Magnus walks, you can find Owen bouldering, running, or listening to albums suggested to him by his friends.


Jessica Perrone (FLIGHT 2.0)
Jess received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Geneseo in which she dual-majored in Psychology and Spanish language. She is now working toward her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Rochester with the goal to receive her LMHC post-graduation. Before Project FLIGHT, she was an afterschool and summer counselor for the PATHS program at Mt. Hope Family Center working with children 4-11 years old. She really enjoys using her creativity for various art and crafts, and she spends her time-off frolicking around Rochester with her wiener dog named Cannoli!


Lucy Wagner (FLIGHT 2.0)
Lucy graduated from Syracuse University in 2021 where she majored in Psychology and Communications & Rhetorical Studies, and had a minor in Business. She also works as a Care Navigator at St. Mary’s Inpatient Psychiatry and aims to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on the roles of social and familial factors in personality development and disorders. In her free time, she loves to thrift, read, and do yoga.


Undergraduate RAs and Post Bac Interns

Maria Aversano, UR
Maria is a senior majoring in Psychology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the UofR. She is planning to go to graduate school to pursue a career in relationship psychology and sexology. A few of her research interests include the socio-cultural implications of differences in sex development, the relationships between neurodivergence and identifying as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and the impact of religious background on interpersonal relationships. Outside of research and work she loves to knit, hike with my dogs, garden, and bake.

Albenys Diaz Hernandes, UR (FLIGHT 2.0)
Albenys is a dedicated psychology and Spanish 3rd-year student. She started on project Flight in Springs 2023 hoping to get research experience. She is interested in mental health and child and adolescent behavior. In the future, Albenys would like to become a mental health psychologist that serves underrepresented communities focusing on adolescents and young adults. In her free time, she loves to hang out with friends and explore different environments, as well as reading and spending time alone.


Aaliyah Dorsey, UR (McNair Scholar).
Aaliyah’s research interests encompass studying romantic and close personal relationships, with a particular emphasis on exploring the impact of environmental circumstances on dyadic involvement. Currently, she is collaborating with Dr. Melissa Sturge-Apple to investigate how neighborhood factors moderate the relationship between parents’ individual attachment styles and interparental conflict within black families. Outside of academics, her hobbies include roller skating, reading, hanging out with friends, and propagating and cultivating plants.


Elaina Flynn, UR
Elaina is a third-year student at the University of Rochester studying developmental psychology. She currently works on community-based intervention programs for youth substance use and suicide as well as Project THRIVE. Her main research focus involves the trajectories of traumatic childhood experiences, with an emphasis on maladaptive reinforcement learning. Elaina aspires to attend graduate school as well as conduct further research into biopsychosocial pathways and psychological adjustment. Outside of academics and research, Elaina enjoys playing piano, drawing, reading novels, gardening, and camping.

Emma Goettler, UR

David Graff, UR (THRIVE)

Kendal Jordan, UR (FLIGHT 2.0)
Kendal is a junior at the University of Rochester majoring in Psychology and Brain and Cognitive Science. Her research interest revolves around how people with psychopathologies and different marginalized identities create spatial and social maps of their environment. After undergrad, she plans on going to graduate school to study neuroscience and hopes to pursue a career as a professor. Outside of research, she likes to dance and play with her cat- Figaro.


Jordyn Kowalkowski, UR (THRIVE)
Jordyn is a junior at the U of R majoring in Psychology and minoring in Brain and Cognitive Science and Business. She is interested in adolescent psychology, particularly how social and familial factors affect the development of different personalities and conditions. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in clinical psychology. Outside of academics and research, she is a member of the Varsity Women’s Soccer Team and enjoys volunteering with youth, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.

Maryn Morgan, UR (THRIVE)
Maryn is a sophomore double majoring in psychology and public health. She is looking to pursue a PsyD in clinical psychology after undergrad. In her free time she really enjoys reading, hiking, and biking.



Kaidence Pacheco, UR (FLIGHT 2.0)
Kaidence is an undergrad at the University of Rochester majoring in psychology and minoring in dance. She is currently an Undergraduate Research Intern on Project FLIGHT 2.0. She really enjoys research in psychopathology and the brain, and hopes to pursue a career in clinical psychology after school. Outside of working and research, she loves to dance.



Maxwell Riseman, UR (FLIGHT 2.0)
Maxwell is a rising senior at U of R majoring in BCS and Psychology. He is very interested in studying our physiological stress response as a whole, but specifically looking at how adolescents respond to stressors and how different psychological pathologies may develop. Maxwellinterested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology. Outside of working and research, he enjoys playing spikeball and basketball with friends.


Maggie Sulce, UR (FLIGHT 2.0)

Sumya Sultana, UR (FLIGHT 2.0)
Sumya is a junior majoring in psychology and brain and cognitive science and minoring in ASL. She is also a research assistant in the social stress lab with Professor Jamieson. She enjoys studying psychopathology and children’s development the most. In the future, she is interested in attaining a PsyD in clinical or behavioral psychology. During her free time, she is most likely working part-time, hanging out with loved ones, trying new restaurants, watching anime, and selling items!


Coco (Yike) Sun, UR (FLIGHT 2.0 & THRIVE)

Yuhan Wang, UR (FLIGHT 2.0)

Alexus Wilson, UR (THRIVE)
Alexus is a rising sophomore majoring in psychology. She is specifically interested in adolescent psychology and how societal pressures and interpersonal relationships impact a child’s personality and development. Post graduation she hopes to become an adolescent therapist. Outside of research, she enjoys listening to Taylor Swift, reading a good book, crafting, and snuggling with her cat, Bammbamm.


Christina Zhang, UR (THRIVE)
Christina is a Senior at the University of Rochester majoring in Health, Behavior, and Society on the Pre-Med track and minoring in Clinical Psychology. Her goal is to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology or Psychiatry after her undergraduate studies. She is particularly interested in adolescent psychology and how familial interpersonal relationships may affect development within certain minority groups, specifically within the Asian-American population. Outside of academics and research, Christina spends her free time playing music, crocheting, drawing, and spending time with her cat, Blue, and her loved ones.