MAPR Faculty Mentor List

Fall 2020 MAPR Faculty Mentor List

The following faculty are considering accepting new MAPR applicants into their research programs.  It is strongly suggested that these specific faculty members be considered as potential mentors when completing Part D of the MAPR department application.

This procedure applies to MAPR applicants only.  

Potential Mentors, Fall 2020 Admission

Courtney Ahrens
I am broadly interested in community psychology and the psychology of women.  My research focuses on violence against women (e.g., sexual assault, domestic violence) with an emphasis on survivors’ experiences of abuse, help-seeking, and recovery.  

Nicholas Alt   
My research spans the areas of social psychology and vision science.  In particular, I am interested in our rapid visual perception of people (both individuals and groups) and the social judgments we make when we see others (e.g., social categorization, trait impressions, stereotyping).  For example, I examine how quickly we perceive and recognize group diversity (e.g., gender, ethnicity/race, etc.) and how who makes up a group impacts our judgments about the group (e.g., competency, threat, cohesiveness, etc.).  I am also interested in processes and outcomes associated with confronting instances of prejudice and discrimination, such as how to facilitate ally-confronting behaviors and how confronting prejudice changes attitudes.

James H. Amirkhan
Stress and coping, health psychology, attribution theory.  As a Personality psychologist, I am particularly interested in individual differences in the above domains — e.g., the person-related variables that make some people vulnerable, and others resilient, to a stressful event.  Currently, I am using recently published stress measures (Amirkhan, 2012; 2016) to identify people most likely to develop stress-related disorders.  This includes populations of trauma survivors (Amirkhan & Marckwordt, 2017), university freshmen (Amirkhan & Kofman, 2018), Dreamers (Amirkhan & Velasco, 2019), and other high-risk groups.

Young-Hee Cho
I am broadly interested in psychological well-being of older adults. My current research involves the identification of risk factors (cognitive, physical, and social factors) associated with falls and the investigation of the effectiveness of a cognitive and physical intervention designed to prevent older adults from falling. Falls are a leading cause of serious injuries in older adults that can lead to hospitalization, nursing home admission, serious psychological consequences or even death (CDC, 2010). Falls can also have serious psychological consequences. I have been working with a team of interdisciplinary researchers at CSULB from Physical Therapy and Gerontology. Our team has been investigating the interplay of both cognitive demand and physical strength on fall risks using the dual-task methodology where individuals perform a cognitive task while walking. Specifically, we investigate (a) the mutual interference of a cognitive task and walking on each other under the various degree of cognitive task complexity, (b) the effect of dual-task (i.e., cognitive and balance exercise) intervention on both cognitive and walking ability, (c) the effect of the intervention on psychological factors (e.g., fear of falling and quality of life).     

Maricela Correa
My research examines the organization of childhood and family life in communities that do not have a long history of participation of schooling.  In particular I examine some of the ways that families organize teaching and learning in everyday family and community life and some of the strengths associated with these forms of learning.  My work has centered on families that have historical roots in the Americas (Mexico and Central America in particular) as well as in immigrant families.

Gino Galvez  
Broadly, my research interests pertain to examining complex issues that affect ethnic minority populations within organizational contexts.  For example, some of my work has examined the intersection of intimate partner violence, culture, and employment outcomes among Latino men.  Another area of research that I am interested in is program evaluation.  Currently, I conduct program evaluation research and consulting for a variety of organizations and institutions (that focus on issues related to underrepresented minority groups) to systematically assess process and outcomes of programs to determine their effectiveness.

Araceli Gonzalez
I am broadly interested in assessment and treatment of anxiety and depression.  Specifically, my work focuses on (a) trying to understand the interplay of individual (cognitive bias, physiological stress response) and social (family, ethnicity) factors in the development and expression of internalizing problems, and (b) developing and improving culturally appropriate mental health services.  I recently completed a study to see how college students respond in stressful situations, and what factors predict how they respond (e.g., parenting behavior, ethnicity, cognitive processes, anxiety levels). 

May Ling Halim
In my primary line of research I study how, across different cultural groups, children’s gender and ethnic identities develop from preschool to early elementary school.  I also investigate what factors lead to differences in gender and ethnic identities (e.g., cognition), as well as what consequences are associated with them (e.g., intergroup gender attitudes, interest in STEM-related fields, psychological adjustment).  In my secondary line of research I study how forms of group-based discrimination (ethnic, gender, language) interact with one’s identity in affecting one’s health and well-being.  

Karissa Miller   
My research focuses on the psychosocial determinants of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, with a particular emphasis on the pathways  (endocrine, autonomic) through which health disparities in CVD may arise. I am particularly interested in threat appraisal, and examining how individual differences in attention to threat might contribute to sociodemographic health disparities.  This work involves examining whether social disadvantage is reflected in heightened attentional vigilance for threat, and testing whether computerized threat bias interventions might be used to improve cardiovascular health.

Bradley Pan-Weisz
Broadly speaking, my research centers on understanding how stigma and societal stereotypes can contribute to academic and health disparities between advantaged and disadvantaged social groups.  Specifically, I have two different, but related, lines of research.  My first line of research focuses on understanding how stigma based on  intersecting social identities can harm students’ academic achievement, and how brief social-psychological interventions can be used to combat this underachievement. My second line of research focuses on understanding the mental and physical health consequences of possessing stigmatized identities that can be concealed or hidden from others (e.g., mental illness; low social class), and how people can effectively cope with this form of stigma (e.g., disclosure, social support).

William Pedersen   
My research is focused on factors that impact aggressive behavior and violence.  I am interested in a variety of personality factors including trait rumination, narcissism, impulsivity, and religiosity.  I have also investigated a variety of situational factors that impact aggression including collective rumination, priming aspects of religion, resource inequality, alcohol priming, and social exclusion.  A related line of research investigates the impact of trait displaced aggression on romantic relationships, life satisfaction, and both mental and physical health.  Please see my lab website for more information (   

Yada Treesukosol 
Taste cues and feeding behavior.  My research takes advantage of animal models to ask questions related to how oral signals (e.g. taste, smell, texture) send information to the brain to control feeding and drinking behavior.  My approach is to use physiological procedures (e.g. pharmacology, electrophysiology, genetic manipulations) combined with behavioral measures (e.g. meal patterns, detection thresholds, preference).  This allows us to begin to tease apart the relative contributions of oral stimulation, post-ingestive cues and reward-related mechanisms to eating behavior.  Such studies contribute to efforts to reveal how the system is organized and in turn may also identify potential targets for therapeutic interventions for eating disorders and obesity-related complications.  

Christopher Warren   
The domains of research I am current investigating can be roughly grouped into three categories: affect, performance, and psychometrics.  My work on affect, or affectivity, investigates the various predispositions that shape the way we view our environment and interpret our work settings, including how we interact with others.  Another area of interest for me includes individual performance, including counter-productivity and deleterious behaviors such as sexual harassment.  Finally, my work in psychometrics focuses on ways to best measure concepts as well as ways to understand the relationships we analyze.  My applied work mostly involves the assessment of educational programs, vocational guidance, and educational strategies.

Amy Wax
My research interests broadly include diversity in the workplace, teamwork, and social network analysis.  Currently, my stream of research investigates women’s issues and LGBTQ issues at work. 

Arturo Zavala
Areas of interests include animal models of drug addiction and developmental neuropsychopharmacology.  Specifically, my research investigates the short- and long-term neurochemical and behavioral effects of exposure to psychostimulant drugs across development (neonatal, adolescence, and adulthood), as well as determine the impact that early exposure to drugs may have on the susceptibility to abuse drugs later in life.