Karen L. Siedlecki, PhD
Dr. Siedlecki is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Fordham, and is the director of the Fordham Memory and Aging Lab. Her research focuses on age-related differences in cognition and memory. More recently, she has focused on investigating individual differences in autobiographical memory and examining whether age is associated with the retrieval of more positive memories. Dr. Siedlecki is also interested in the seemingly paradoxical relationship between age and subjective well-being, and the relationship between autobiographical memory valence and well-being across age.
Rachel Bloom, MS
Rachel Bloom is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program concentrating in Health, Illness, and Well-Being Across the Lifespan. Her Master’s thesis examined facilitators and barriers to advance care planning among children of people showing signs of early- to mid-stage dementia, focusing in particular on the role of parent-child relationship quality. Other major research interests include enhancing well-being for people with dementia and their families and advance care planning interventions. Rachel earned her MS in Bioethics from Columbia University in 2016 and her ScB from Brown University in 2013.
Veronika Kobrinsky, BS
Veronika is a first-year MA student in the Clinical Psychology program at Columbia University and works as a lab manager at Memory and Aging Lab. Drawing on her clinical experiences as a medical assistant and crisis counselor, her research focuses on the factors influencing the relationship between traumatic experiences, psychopathology, and health-risk behaviors. Additionally, she is interested in utilizing longitudinal research methodology to examine how cognitive factors, such as autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking, influence depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors across the lifespan following traumatic experiences. Veronika earned her BS in Psychology from Fordham University in 2022.
Emily is a first-year student in the Clinical Research Methods Master’s Program at Fordham University. She is interested in examining behavioral interventions for degenerative cognitive diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Other areas of interest include the role of epigenetics underlying these conditions and examining how early-life experiences influence declines in cognition. Emily graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2021.
Neshat Yazdani, MA
Jordan Sergio, MA
Jordan graduated with his Master's in Clinical Research Methods in 2022 and is currently a Research Technician I in the Molecular Neurobiology lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical Center.
Jillian Minahan Zucchetto, PhD
Jillian graduated with her PhD in 2021 and is the Assistant Dean for Juniors at Fordham College Rose Hill.
Francesca Falzarano, PhD
Francesca graduated in 2019 and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Medicine at in the department of Geriatrics and Palliative Care at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY.
Amanda Leeder, PhD
Amanda is the President of the non-profit organization Farm to Able (coming early 2022).
Stephanie Hicks, PhD
Stephanie is currently the Research Project Manager at MJHS in New York.
Seojung Jung, PhD
Seojung is currently an Assistant Professor at SUNY Old Westbury in Old Westbury, NY.
Zachary Kornhauser, PhD
Zach is currently the Senior Director of Faculty Assessment and Development at the Columbia School of Professional Studies in New York, NY.
Undergraduate Lab Members
Arika is a junior neuroscience major at Fordham University following the pre-med track. She began research with the Memory and Aging Lab during the summer of 2022. Some of her interests include learning how childhood trauma influences child development and the role it plays in one’s adulthood. After graduating from Fordham, she intends to attend medical school to become a pediatrician.
Maggie is an Integrative Neuroscience major in her senior year at FCLC. She began at the Memory & Aging Lab in the summer of 2021 and is currently working on the Covid Cognition Project, or CCP. She is also currently working as a research assistant in the Joyner Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering. As a STEM educator at Brooklyn Lab Charter School and a Clare Boothe Luce Scholar, Maggie is passionate about encouraging women to pursue an education in science. Furthermore, she intends to get her PhD in neuroscience and head her own research in the future as a professor at an academic institution.
Alexa is a fourth year Fordham University student, double majoring in psychology and philosophy and minoring in marketing. Her research interests encompass a variety of topics, such as psychology in the workplace, the effects of aging on human cognition, and the destigmatization of depression and other mental disorders. After graduating from Fordham, Alexa aspires to work at a marketing healthcare agency and focus on the intersection between marketing and psychology. In pursuit of this goal, she is currently interning at Greater Than One, a marketing agency based in Manhattan. At Greater Than One, she uses her psychology knowledge to weed out and analyze consumer insights within the healthcare industry.
Hannah is a senior at Fordham University, majoring in Biology and Psychology. She joined the Memory and Aging Lab in the Spring of 2022 and is interested in neurodegenerative disease. She intends to pursue research on Alzheimer’s while obtaining her PhD at graduate school. On campus, she is an athlete on the Women’s Rowing team and a member of the Women in STEM club
Ahang is a junior neuroscience major on the pre-health track at Fordham College Lincoln Center. He joined the lab in the summer of 2021. Through his work as CEO and co-founder of the non-profit, SB Mkhize Foundation, he developed interests in the roles of stress and environment on cognition, development and well-being in children. In addition, his interests also heavily lie in neuropathology and clinical care. After graduating, he intends to pursue a career as a medical doctor, with aspirations of becoming a neurosurgeon.
Giovanna is a senior at Fordham University. She is majoring in Psychology and began research with the Memory and Aging Lab in the Fall of 2019. She is interested in Developmental Psychology, specifically identity development in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. She intends to continue research in graduate school and obtain her PhD.
Esha is a senior Psychology major on the Pre-Health track at FCLC. She currently works for Fordham University in both the IT department and the Covid/Vaccination clinic, and is an Urdu and Hindi Interpreter for medical patients in need. Esha aspires to help make the healthcare system as accessible and efficient as possible for all. She also seeks to raise psychological diagnoses to a higher pedestal when assessing different diseases to ensure that the most appropriate and effective treatment options are provided to patients around the world. Esha is passionate about the physical and psychological aspects of the human body and hopes to one day decrease the gender gap in the Orthopedic specialty. She intends to get into medical school and pursue her dream of becoming an Orthopedic surgeon.
Alex is a senior Integrative Neuroscience major/Psychology minor at FCRH. He started at the Memory & Aging Lab in Summer 2022. His research interests include cognition, development of the brain, and the relationship between anxiety and sleep. He works for IT on campus, is the training coordinator for Lean On Me Fordham, and is passionate about making new friends! Postgrad, he is looking to pursue an MA in Mental Health Counseling and ideally make positive change in others' lives as a counselor.
Natalie is a senior integrative neuroscience major at FCLC. With a wide variety of research interests, from forensic psychology to traumatic brain injuries and neurodegenerative disorders, she joined the Memory & Aging Lab in Summer 2022. Determined to increase the amount of underrepresented students within STEM fields, Natalie currently works for the Fordham CSTEP program on-campus, which encourages and provides resources to middle school and high school students interested in science and technology. Upon graduation from Fordham, Natalie intends to pursue a PhD in neuroscience.
Emmeline is finishing her final year of her undergraduate degree at Fordham College at Lincoln Center, studying Psychology and Spanish with a concentration in American Catholic Studies. She joined the lab in the Fall 2022 semester. Emmeline’s interest is in forensic psychology, and she will be researching eyewitness testimony as it relates to memory for her senior thesis project. After graduation, Emmeline will continue her education in graduate school, pursuing an advanced degree in forensic psychology or attending law school.
Students currently completing a Psychology Honors Thesis or a Neuroscience Capstone Project
Past Undergraduate Lab Members
Ara del Pino Mollina
Past undergraduate students who have completed Psychology Honors Theses or Neuroscience Capstone Projects
Radha Jadoo, "The Temporal Relationship between Need for Cognition and Cognitive Functioning"
Veronika Kobrinsky, "COVID-19 Illness and Cognition: Exploring the Effects of Moderating Factors"
Julianna Scofield, "Examining whether Concussion History Moderates the Relationship Between COVID-19 and Neurocognitive Functioning"
Zuzanna Smurzynska, "Examining Autobiographical Memory Retrieval as an Intervention to Increase Physical Activity in Adults Over the Age of 55"
Alexandra Trant (co-mentored with Dr. Falzarano), "The Relationship between Self-Perceptions, Dating Anxiety, and Satisfaction in Romantic
Relationships in a Sample of Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder"
Loli Alvarez, "The Relationship between Feelings of Support from Religious Affiliations and Well-Being"
Madeline Becker, "Social Perceptions of Rape and Sexual Assault Across Age"
Samantha Dargie, "Examining the Relationship Between General Anesthesia Exposure and Cognitive Performance"
Kristen Jefairjian, "Autobiographical Memory Recall as an Intervention to Increase Academic Effort Among College Students"
Alissa Kerr, "The Effect of Music Training on Short-Term Musical Memory"
Findings published in the Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal
Arbi Kumi, "Exploring the Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Virtual Summer Treatment Program for Children with Behavioral and Social Problems: A Pilot Study"
Bel Amaral, "Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Dimensions of Personality"
Devin D'Agostino, "The Influence of Language on Time Perspective and the Selection of Socially Oriented Goals"
Adina Fradkov, "Autobiographical Memory Recall as an Intervention to Increase Feelings of Belongingness among College Students"
Kristi Lise (co-mentored with Jillian Minahan), "The Social Effects of an Intergenerational Email Pal Program"
Findings to be presented at the 2021 Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting
Annalee Mueller (co-mentored with Jillian Minahan), "The Impact of Social Support and Environmental Demands on Subjective Cognition across Adulthood"
Findings presented at the 2020 Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting
Published in a peer-reviewed journal: Mueller, A., Minahan Zucchetto, J., & Siedlecki, K.L. (2021). The relationship between social support and subjective cognitive functioning across adulthood. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development. https://doi.org/10.1177/00914150211066565 [epub ahead of print]
Tasmin Neha, "The Relationship Between Dimensions of Colorism and Body Image"
Lis Ortiz, "The Influence of Language Concordance on Visual Perspective in Autobiographical Memories"
Rebecca Thompson, "Individual Differences that Influence Mental and Sexual Health in College Students"
Emma Spoldi (co-mentored with Francesca Falzarano), “The Effects of Using Smartphone Technology before Bed on Sleep”
Isabella Oliveira, “Do Individual Difference Characteristics Influence False Memory?”
Katrine Jensen, “Examining Situational Motivations for Extrinsic and Intrinsic Aspirations in Young Adults”
Katherine Greenberg, “Examining Cognitive Dissonance-induced Memory Distortion”
Eunice Jung, "Does Time Salience Influence Working Memory Performance in College Students?"
Published in the Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal
Cassandra Cooney (co-mentored with Jillian Minahan), “Do Feelings and Knowledge about Aging Predict Ageism?”
Published in a peer-reviewed journal: Cooney, C., Minahan, J., & Siedlecki, K.L. (2020). Do feelings and knowledge about aging predict ageism? Journal of Applied Gerontology, 0, 1-10.
Emily McFadden, “Relationships among Autobiographical Memory Qualities and Non-Clinical Mood Characteristics”
Findings presented at the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition Annual Meeting, Cape Cod, MA (June 2019)
Published in a peer-reviewed journal: McFadden, E., & Siedlecki, K.L. (2020). Do depressive symptoms and subjective well-being influence the valence or visual perspective of autobiographical memories in young adults? Memory, 28, 506-515.
Claudia Rodriguez, “Examining Dance and Interactional Movement as a Catalyst for State Empathy Facilitation”
Yetkaterina Shultberg, “Effects of Language Concordance on Visual Perspective in Autobiographical Memory”
Erin Hunt, “Effects of menstrual cycle on cognition and autobiographical memory”
Findings presented at the New England Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Worcester, MA (November 2018)
Olivia Cortellini, “Do Internships Better Prepare Students for Success in Graduate School and the Workplace?”
Findings presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting in New York, NY (March 2016)
Neshat Yazdani, “Optimism is Weakly and Not Significantly Related to Decision Making”
Findings presented at the APS annual convention in New York, NY (May 2015).
Published in a peer-reviewed journal: Yazdani, N. & Siedlecki, K.L. (2019). Is the glass always half full? Examining the relationship between dispositional optimism and risky decision making. The New School Psychology Bulletin, 16(1), 55–65.
Marguerite Pintauro, “Investigating the Relationship and Nature of Multiple Types of Spatial Memory”
Kathleen Buehler, “The Relationship between Fluidity of Sexuality and Well-being”
Findings presented at New England Psychological Association’s Annual Meeting in New York, NY (October 2013
Jillian Minahan, “Individual Differences in Need for Cognition Influence the Evaluation of Scientific Explanations”
Findings presented at the APS annual convention in New York, NY (May 2013).
Published in a peer-reviewed journal: Minahan, J. & Siedlecki, K.L. (2016). Individual differences in Need for Cognition influence the evaluation of circular scientific explanations. Personality and Individual Differences, 99, 113–117.
Bethany Boyle, “The Relationship between Executive Functioning and Physical Activity in Young and Older Adults”
Kristina D’Antonio, “The Relationship between Hippocampal Volume and Memory Performance across Age Groups”
Findings presented at the N.E.U.R.O.N annual meeting in New York, NY (May 2012)
Sarah Tazghini, “Facebook Use and Its Relationship to Self-esteem and Personality”
Published in a peer-reviewed journal: Tazghini, S., & Siedlecki, K.L. (2013). A mixed method approach to examining Facebook use and its relationship to self-esteem. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, 827-832.
Jennifer Ferrar, “Do We Dream to Cope with Stress?”
Andrea Paul, “The Relationship between In-class Technology Use and Academic Achievement”
Published in a peer-reviewed journal: Kornhauser, Z.G.C., Paul, A., & Siedlecki, K.L. (2016). An examination of students' use of technology in the classroom. Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, 5, 1-15.
Stephanie Diebert (co-mentored with Dr. Rachel Annunziato), “Distress and Self-reported Memory Change during the Transition to College”
Findings presented at the APA annual convention in Washington, DC (August 2011)
Joanna Wong, “Sheep or Cotton Ball? How Degraded Stimuli Help Explain the Extent of the Picture Superiority Effect”
Neshat is currently an advanced graduate student in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at Fordham University. Her research focuses on the relationships between stress/adversity, cognitive functioning, and well-being in early adulthood, particularly during the transition to college. She is also interested in how this research can be used to inform education policy and intervention programs. Neshat graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy from Fordham University in 2015.