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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. 

Graduate Students

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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. 

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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 the Memory and Aging Lab. Drawing on her clinical experiences as a medical assistant and crisis counselor, her research focuses on how cognitive and affective factors, such as autobiographical memory, episodic future thinking, and emotion regulation, influence the relationships between traumatic experiences, psychopathology, self-injurious thoughts and behaviors, and health-risk behaviors. Additionally, she is interested in utilizing multi-disciplinary methods to improve self-injury and suicide risk assessment, prediction, and prevention approaches. Veronika earned her BS in Psychology from Fordham University in 2022.

Neshat Yazdani, MA


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.

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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.  

Emily LeRolland, BS

Recently Graduated

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 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

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Arika Ahamed

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. 


Yu Jin In 

Jin is a junior at Fordham University, majoring in neuroscience and minoring in psychology. She joined the Memory & Aging Lab in Spring 2023. Her research interests vary from neurodegenerative diseases to the effects of mindfulness on brain development across all ages. Jin aims to continue her education and research experience in graduate school, pursuing either a PhD in neuroscience or focusing on child and family psychology. She currently works for health services on campus, and her hobbies include rock climbing and content creation.


Inara Jamil

Inara is a junior at FCLC majoring in Integrative Neuroscience on the pre-health track with a minor in Business Administration. She joined the Memory & Aging Lab in the Spring of 2023 with an interest in investigating the effects of Covid-19 on cognitive function. She is also interested in studying visual perception and behavior, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic procedures to ameliorate the mental health field for adolescents to seniors. After graduating, she intends to pursue research in clinical psychology and/or medicine while aspiring to become an ophthalmologist. 


Giovanna Rafanello

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. 


Elena Roden

Elena Roden is a junior at FCRH majoring in Integrative Neuroscience with a cell-molecular concentration on the pre-med track. She joined the Memory and Aging Lab in Fall 2022. Her research interests in memory and it’s intersections with mental health stem from her experience as a caregiver for dementia patients and a crisis counselor for the crisis text hotline. 


Alex Schandlbauer

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.

Undergraduate lab members currently completing a Psychology Honors Thesis or a Neuroscience Capstone Project

Arika Ahamed

Inara Jamil

Jin In

Elena Roden

Vashma Ramdass

Past Undergraduate Lab Members

Maggie Boros

Emmeline Brzeczek

Natalie Fermoselle

Ahang Leqola

Alexa Mancini

Hannah Mason

Samantha Dargie

Devin D'Agostino

Alissa Kerr

Lis Ortiz

Julianna Scofield

Zuzanna Smurzynska

Kennedy Abbott

Travis Aprile

Samantha DeAssis

Eunice Jung

Emma Spoldi

Ilanys Almonte

Cassandra Cooney

Ara del Pino Mollina

Caroline Lucy

Emily McFadden

Nahla Taher

Annie Young

Samantha Banjany
Soulin Haque
Arif Kostak

Angela Kennedy

Erin Hunt

Maria Pleshkevich

Julianna Pollina

Courtney Romans

Zane Sejdui

Samantha Steimle

Siwen Xie

Past undergraduate students who have completed Psychology Honors Theses or Neuroscience Capstone Projects


Maggie Boros, "Relationship Between Cognitive Functioning and COVID-19-Induced Loss of Taste and Smell

  • Findings to be presented at the 2023 Association for Psychological Science annual meeting


Emmeline Brzeczek, "Assessing Language and Wording in Recall in Bilingual Speakers"

Natalie Fermoselle, "Examining the Role of Subjective Age in Subjective and Objective Cognition"

  • Findings to be presented at the 2023 Association for Psychological Science annual meeting

Alexa Mancini, "Age-Related Differences in the Accessibility and Usability of Online Therapy"

Alex Schandlbauer, "Examining the Temporal Relationship between Anxiety and Impulsivity"


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 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. [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” 

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