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 third-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. 


Jordan Sergio

Jordan is currently a second-year masters student in the Clinical Research Methodology program at Fordham University with intentions of pursuing a PhD. He received his BA in psychology with minors in biology and health & wellness from Binghamton University in 2020. His research interests are widespread, including relationships between cognitive function, cognitive aging, and depression, as well as cognitive reserve, dementia and neurodegeneration/neuroplasticity. Jordan's current work involves examining moderators of the depression-cognition relationship.

Neshat Yazdani, MA


Neshat is currently a fifth-year 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.

Recently Graduated

Jillian Minahan Zucchetto, PhD

Jillian graduated with her PhD in 2021 and is currently serving as the Interim 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


Maggie Boros

Maggie is an Integrative Neuroscience major in her junior 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. 

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Veronika Kobrinsky

Veronika is a senior psychology major at Fordham College at Lincoln Center. Her work as a pediatric medical assistant and crisis counselor informed her research interests which include the relationship between childhood trauma and psychopathology in adulthood, as well as factors that promote normative versus pathological development throughout the lifespan. Following graduation, she intends to obtain a Psy.D. or Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. 


Ahang Leqola

Ahang is a sophomore 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 Rafanello

Giovanna is a junior 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. 


Julianna Scofield

Julianna is a senior psychology major at Fordham University. She began her involvement in the Memory and Aging Lab during the Fall of 2019. Some of her interests include cognitive functioning and how stress affects the brain. On campus, she is involved with the Rose Hill Society as a University Ambassador, and the Residence Halls Association as a member of the Executive Board.


Zuzanna Smurzynska

Zuzanna is a senior at Fordham College at Lincoln Center majoring in psychology, and she began working with the lab in Spring 2021. Some of her research interests include cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychopathology, and the impact of childhood experiences on memory capacity in adulthood. On campus, she is a student ambassador for the Lincoln Center Society, and a member of the Campus Activities Board executive board. After graduating from Fordham, she intends to continue doing research while pursuing a career as a medical doctor, possibly specializing in neurology or psychiatry.

Students currently completing a Psychology Honors Thesis or a Neuroscience Capstone Project

Radha Jadoo

Veronika Kobrinsky

Julianna Scofield

Zuzanna Smurzynska

Alexandra Trant (co-mentored with Dr. Falzarano)

Past Undergraduate Lab Members

Samantha Dargie

Devin D'Agostino

Alissa Kerr

Lis Ortiz

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


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. [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”