Brenda Caldwell Phillips, PhD
Lab Director & Senior Lecturer
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

Aaliyah Randall
Lab Manager
My name is Aaliyah Randall; I am a MA student in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University. I graduated Magna cum laude with B.S in psychology and a minor in sociology from Syracuse University in 2021. I am interested in community-based translation research that helps at-risk communities, which includes helping marginalized communities that suffer from anxiety and mood disorders. I am looking at cultural/ethnic differences within this research to help better serve these communities. In my free time, I like to walk my dog Petey and go on foodie tours.

Mariam Bashiru
Research Assistant & UROP Awardee
Mariam is a junior majoring in Behavior and Health. After graduation, she plans to earn her doctorate in clinical psychology or go to nursing school. In her free time, she likes writing, exploring cities, and learning how to play the guitar.

Marissa Carty
2022 Honors Student & UROP Awardee
Marissa is a senior undergraduate student majoring in psychology with a minor in Dance. She is also a member of the Kilachand Honors College. In the BU Lab of Contemplative Studies, she is conducting her honors thesis on the effects of self-compassion and self-esteem journaling in levels of loneliness and social connectedness in college students. Her other research interests include meditation, cultural well-being, eco-psychology, and human flourishing.

Lara Gardiner
Research Assistant & UROP Awardee

My name is Lara Gardiner: I am currently an undergraduate honors student majoring in neuroscience and philosophy with a minor in chemistry. I am interested in research on human wellbeing and human flourishing. In my free time, I like playing soccer, meditating, and hiking/being in nature!

Katie Novak
Post-grad Research Assistant and 2021 Honors Student
UROP Awardee & Social Justice Intern
Katie graduated (with honors) as a double major in psychology and biochemistry at Boston University. She is also a member of Psi Chi. She completed her honors thesis, Nature’s Influence on Women’s Psychological Well-Being During Gynecological Cancer Recovery, in the spring of 2021. She was a recipient of the Social Justice & Sustainability Internship Program via the College of Arts & Sciences. She is currently working in the Lab for Drug Discovery in Neuroscience in the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Katie intends to pursue joint doctoral degrees in psychology and chemistry. Outside of class and research, Katie spends her free time painting and drawing; her favorite media are watercolors and charcoals.

Jami Schillo
Research Assistant
Jami is a junior majoring in psychology. Following graduation, she plans to attend grad school and pursue research focusing on social psychology or cognition and behavior. In her free time, she loves to explore Boston and visit museums.

Zoe Shehan
Research Assistant & Directed Study Student

Zoe is a senior at BU majoring in Psychology with a minor in Spanish in the College of Arts and Science. They are currently working on self-silencing analysis for the lab, with future plans to look into the possible connection between self-silencing and bodily autonomy. After graduating, Zoe plans to pursue research in Clinical Psychology. Outside of academia, they love to crochet, host afternoon tea, and explore the MFA.

Recent Lab Graduates ~ You always have a home at LCS!

Bios reflect students’ studies and interests prior to graduating.

Laxmi Behara
Research Assistant
Laxmi is currently a medical student via graduates, she plans to attend medical school. In her free time, you can catch her baking, singing, or playing with her dog, Yogi. 

[Photo forthcoming]

Shannia Coley
UROP Recipient and Research Assistant
Shannia graduated from BU with a degree in neuroscience. She is currently an associate at JDI (Jones-Dilworth, Inc.), based in Austin, Tx.

Billie Cooper
Research Assistant
Billie is a senior studying psychology with a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in clinical social work and conduct research on adolescent development. Outside her studies, Billie loves all things pop culture and enjoys spending her free time outdoors and playing with her two cats.

Matthew Espinosa
Honors Student
Matthew is a first-generation undergraduate student – he majored in psychology while at Boston University. Matthew is interested in understanding how people’s mental health is influenced by their interactions with the world and the people around them. He is currently pursuing a PhD in experimental social psychology at Texas Christian University. He hopes to develop a career in academia where he can explore the role of social relationships in forming and maintaining individual emotional wellbeing. Outside of research, he loves reading, drawing, and spending time with his two wonderful dogs.

Madeline Kramer
Research Assistant
Madeline is a BU alum who graduated in 2020 with a BA in Psychology. She is a fluent Spanish speaker after spending a semester abroad in Spain, and is currently focused on her work as a dog-walker in the South End of Boston during the pandemic. She plans to go to grad school to study childhood trauma and its effects later in life, as well as intergenerational transmission of trauma between family members.

Emily Parkington
Research Assistant
UROP Awardee & Social Justice Intern
Emily graduated in 2021 with a B.A. degree in psychology (minor in public health). While studying at BU, she received funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program to pursue her research. She was also a recipient of the Social Justice & Sustainability Internship Program via the College of Arts & Sciences. Emily hopes to continue pursuing research in social justice, focusing on the social determinants of health. In her free time, Emily frequents Boston’s art museums and enjoys walking and hiking with her dog.

Kesha Perkins
Research Assistant
Melville Scholar & 2021 Honors Student
Kesha is a recent graduate, having pursued a B.A. in psychology (minor in African American Studies). She is a Dean Elsbeth Melville Scholar, Scarlet Key Honors Student, and a member of Psi Chi. She completed an honors thesis in her last year of study. It was entitled, The Examination of Black Undergraduate Student Perception of Current Events. Kesha intends to pursue a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. Kesha enjoys reading, baking cookies, and walking in nature. 

Lucia Pintor-Hoffman
Research Assistant
Lucia is a senior at Boston University, majoring in psychology and minoring in public health. Her research interests include child and adolescent resilience and people’s understanding of mental health and disease etiology, and how these understandings may be utilized in clinical settings. She plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology and to work with diverse clients.

Daniela Plana Trajtenberg
Research Assistant
Daniela is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying psychology with a minor in French. She plans to continue exploring research within the realm of psychology, specifically social psychology. She also plans to attend medical school. In her free time, she loves exploring the city of Boston with her friends and discovering hidden food gems.