Dynamic Learning Lab Members


Jennifer Mangels joined the Baruch College Psychology Department as an Associate Professor in 2007 after nine years at Columbia University, where she remains as an Adjunct Research Associate. She was promoted to Full Professor at Baruch College in 2011. She enjoys mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students in Cognitive Neuroscience and its associated Social and Affective subdomains, and is currently a member of the Doctoral Faculty in Psychology at CUNY, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Training Area.


Karen Rodriguez is a PhD student at The CUNY Graduate Center in the Cognitive and Comparative PhD Program. Her research interests are in collaborative memory, group conformity, and the influence of race and gender in group dynamics. Her interests in memory began in undergrad when she studied the effects of brain stimulation on metacognition. Her aspiration is to bridge the gap between academia and general public knowledge through her advocacy, and the manner in which she presents her research. Outside of grad school and research, Karen enjoys exercising, doing her own nails, and being a mother to her two guinea pigs, Panda and Mocha. 

Ella Gregorio joined the Dynamic Learning Lab in 2021. She received her B.S. from Iona College, where she majored in Biology, conc. Cellular and Molecular Biology. She is currently pursuing a M.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience at the CUNY Graduate Center, and is interested in using psychophysiological methods to characterize how stress responses can impact our ability to encode and recall information. Outside of the lab, Ella is a passionate teacher (having taught in classrooms ranging from kindergarten to the graduate level), an avid concert goer, and an amateur Star Wars historian.

Rebecca McCune joined the Dynamic Learning Lab as a graduate student in 2021. She is currently pursuing a M.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience at the CUNY Graduate Center. Rebecca earned a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior with a minor in Performing Arts, Dance Concentration at Simmons College in Boston, MA. Her experience includes working as a clinical research coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her primary interests are using eye tracking to research memory, specifically unconscious encoding and retrieval. Rebecca is a former diver who enjoys ballet and yoga!

Maia Kinney-Petrucha is pursuing a M.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience at the CUNY Graduate Center. As an undergrad at Hampshire College, she studied the neuroscientific basis of empathy and how live theater serves as a reliable means of exercising it. Her current research focuses on identifying neurobiological and physiological responses to different types of stress and their distinct impacts on cognition, particularly memory and emotion. She enjoys storytelling and napping. 

Viktoriya Andreevskaya is pursuing MA in General Psychology at Hunter College. She has a previous background in mathematical linguistics, translation and teaching ESL. Her aspiration is to work in the field of clinical psychology, and her current research interests include the effects of mindfulness on fear extinction in the context of anxiety related disorders. She has a deep interest in yoga, mindfulness practices and eastern philosophy. For fun, she does downhill skiing and (mountain) biking.

Lauren Barack is pursuing her M.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and joined the Dynamic Learning Lab in 2022. Her research interests include the effect of digital and virtual environments on learning and memory, with a particular focus on virtual and augmented reality. Lauren has an MJ from the University of California at Berkeley, a BFA from New York University, and is an award-winning journalist who writes about the impact of technology on business, education and society. When not working or in the lab, she leads a park conservancy in lower Manhattan, tests gluten-free recipes, and tries to teach her 10-year-old Labrador to retrieve.

Victor Guindi joined the Dynamic Learning Lab as a research assistant in 2021. He combined psychology, statistics, and mathematics to create his very own Quantitative Behavioral Analysis major at Baruch. He enjoys the behavioral analysis and interpersonal skills involved in psychology, as well as the problem solving and logical thinking involved in mathematics. Victor’s research interests include productivity and decision-making. He is also an Emergency Medical Technician, a runner, and loves pie and pi— both the dessert and the number!

Kendra Stephens-Jones is a research assistant for the Dynamic Learning Lab. She graduated from Baruch with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Biological Sciences. In the lab, her interests are learning about EEG, decision making, and cognitive neuroscience. Her interests outside of the lab include ice-skating, playing the piano, and traveling. 


Anthony Albanese joined the Mangels Dynamic Learning Lab in 2022 as a research assistant. He graduated from SUNY Purchase with a B.A. in Psychology and is broadly interested in social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy. Anthony can always be found carrying some from of reading material with him whether it be a work of fiction, a psychology text, or a philosophical novel.  

Ziyan Lin is currently an undergraduate student at Baruch College who is majoring in Statistics and Psychology. She is interested in cognitive psychology and I/O psychology, as well as data science. Her research interests include cognitive neuroscience and productivity. Ziyan also enjoys swimming, dancing and jogging.


Didayinta Adi is an undergraduate student at Baruch College who joined the Dynamic Learning Lab in 2022 as a research assistant. She’s majored in Psychology, minored in Communication Studies and is interested in social psychology, cultural psychology, and developmental psychology. These interests stem from her experience growing up in five different countries. She mainly wishes to understand how social and cultural factors affect learning and behavior. Didayinta is also a proud cat parent to two cheeky fluffballs, and her hobbies include cooking, drawing, and writing haikus! 

Adelina Simpson is currently an undergraduate at NYU majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Data Science. She’s mainly interested in social and developmental psychology and how children learn and change from their environment. Someday she’s hoping to be a child psychologist, but for now, she loves to spend her free time baking and reading comic books. 

Dani Martineck was a research assistant and lab manager for the Dynamic Learning Lab from 2013 to 2018, coordinating studies funded by Army Research Labs. They hold a BA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where they worked in labs focusing on BPD and PTSD and intimate partner violence. They’re now an actor, writer, and award-winning audiobook narrator.

Yuliya Ochakovskaya was a graduate student whose dissertation focused on investigating the influence of achievement goals on learning using ERPs/EEG and HD-tDCS. She also taught Cognitive Psychology and worked for the Center for Teaching and Learning Office as well as the Assessment Office at Baruch College. After receiving her PhD, she went on to work at New Visions for Public Schools as a data specialist. 

Shannon Pinegar is currently a visiting Assistant Professor at Miami University of Ohio. She teaches various undergraduate and graduate courses and is the faculty adviser for the Miami University chapter of the Ohio Innocence Project. Shannon earned her PhD in Experimental Psychology from Ohio University with an emphasis on social cognitive psychology and quantitative methods. Her three areas of research include metacognition and intuition, false confessions in interrogation settings, and narrative identification.

Ron Whiteman joined the Mangels Dynamic Learning Lab in 2007 as a doctoral student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the City University of New York. He was involved in both the Social Cognitive Neuroscience of Achievement and IES research projects. His primary interests are in understanding more about how cognition and emotion interact to influence problem solving behavior in various academic domains and settings. Aside from working in the lab, he enjoys playing soccer, spending time with his family, and being exposed to most anything TRON.

Damon Abraham was a graduate student in the Dynamic Learning lab who worked on projects involving the Social Cognitive Neuroscience of Achievement. He holds a M.A. from the CUNY Graduate Center in Psychology and a PhD in Psychology, conc. in Affective, Social, & Cognitive (ASC) Psychology from the University of Denver.  He is broadly interested in how top-down cognitive and affective control processes interact with bottom-up physiological and emotional processes to influence behavior. His hobbies are Filipino martial arts and film making.

Laura Deering is a former lab manager of the Dynamic Learning Lab and program manager for Dr. Good and Mangels’s NSF grant. She is currently pursuing her interest in the brain and behavior by working toward her medical degree at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Belen Guerra is a former lab manager in the Dynamic Learning Lab, who generated some of the early ideas for the Social Decision Making research. She is a 2012 NSF Predoctoral Fellow and currently in the Psychology PhD program at UC Berkeley working with Dr. Silvia Bunge.

Geoff Holtzman was a graduate student in the lab from 2012-2014, during which time he completed his PhD in Philosophy at CUNY Graduate Center. He is interested in the philosophical and conceptual foundations of psychology and neuroscience, and in the psychology and neuroscience of philosophical and moral thought. Now that he’s gotten his hands dirty in the lab, Geoff is retreating to the theoretic armchair for a few years, taking up a position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Neuoethics at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Olta Hoxha is a former lab manager of the Dynamic Learning Lab. She worked on social cognitive neuroscience studies of achievement and a study of social decision making.  She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and received her Masters degree from Baruch College. She helps keep the community safe by providing psychotherapy to individuals primarily struggling with intimate partner aggression. She has many other interests including writing poetry and gardening.

Dan Lurie is a former RA and graduated from CUNY in 2012. He then completed 2 years as a Research Assistant in the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute, where he worked on cognitive neuroscience studies of psychiatric illness, neuroimaging methods, and open-source science initiatives. In 2014, he was awarded an NSF Pre-doctoral Fellowship to study Cognitive Neuroscience at UC Berkeley in the lab of Dr. Mark D’Esposito.

Christopher Summerfield (PhD, 2006), now faculty at Oxford University and recipient of CNS’ 2015 Young Investigator Award

Emily Stern (PhD, 2006), now faculty at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York City

Anja Soldan (PhD, 2006), now faculty at University of Massachusetts, Darmouth