Research Assistants

Current RAs


Recent RA Alumni

Born in Ethiopia, Nebil Ahmed moved to the United States in 2016. He graduated from Georgia State University with a major in Biology. After completing his senior year at GSU in 2021, Nebil is applying to medical school. Nebil has been a member of the L-STAR lab since June 2018. Interested in the internal mechanisms of the body, he studies the physiological changes that take place in one’s body when faced with decisions that induce anxiety.    

Cynthia Andrade graduated from Georgia State University in 2020 with a degree in Neuroscience. Cynthia joined the lab in 2019 and took over as manager of the NIMH-funded Approach Avoidance study following her graduation. Cynthia left the lab in the summer of 2021 to pursue new professional opportunities.

Gloria Cudd graduated from the Honors College at Georgia State in 2021 with Advanced and Research Honors Distinction in psychology. The psychology department also recognized Gloria in her senior year with its Outstanding Psychology Honors Student Award. Gloria was a part of the L-STAR lab from 2018-2021. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology. Gloria is broadly interested in internalizing forms of psychopathology and how these internal processes affect social decision making. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, volunteering, and traveling. 

Catalina Echeverry graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri Catalina worked in the L-STAR lab as a research assistant from 2018-2021 and found the research to be very interesting and exciting to be a part of. She loves to go out with her friends and family or draw and paint during her free time.

Kamal Hughes graduated from Georgia State University, where he was a Gates Millenium Scholar, in 2021. Kamal joined the L-STAR lab in 2019 and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Hillary Ortiz graduated with distinction from Georgia State University with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Psychology. She worked in the L-STAR lab from 2018-2021, serving in multiple capacities on a range of studies. She is currently working as a psychometrist at the Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and plans to pursue graduate training in psychology. Outside of her work, Hillary loves to volunteer at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, do arts and crafts, read, listen, and sing to music, and everything Disney!

Chinwendu Iheanacho is an undergraduate student at Georgia State University pursing a Nursing degree. She plans to apply to the Accelerated Program so that she can graduate in 2021 instead of 2023. In her spare time she enjoys creative writing, drawing, and volunteering which she does with GSU’s Civic Engagement Office. 

Riley O’Neill completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Spanish at the University of Alabama, where she worked in the Health Relationships & Disparities Lab of Dr. Jenny Cundiff and Capstone Sleep Lab of Dr. Matthew Cribbet. She served as a summer volunteer in the L-STAR lab for two years. Riley is currently enrolled in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Arizona, where she studies the pathways through which stress leads to adverse cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes. Riley is primarily interested in examining the pathways linking various psychosocial factors to increased risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease outcomes, specifically in the context of racial/ethnic health disparities.

Born to Honduran and Ecuadorian parents in Macon, GA, Javier Palacios currently resides in Atlanta, GA and completed a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology, at Georgia State University by 2021. His particular area of research interest is abnormal sleep and how to modify it and he now works on studies in this area with Dr. Brian Moore at Kennesaw State University. In the L-STAR lab, he examined how sleep quality in young adults relates to anxiety-provoking early life events. Academia, aside he holds an active memberships in the Collegiate Neuroscience Society and the Philosopher’s Guild.

Javier previously served as an undergraduate assistant in the neuroimaging lab of Jessica Turner, Ph.D., where he discovered that research is his life’s passion. In his spare time, he runs cross country, writes music screenplays, and eats pb&j to Binging with Babish.

Sydney Reese completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Georgia State University in May of 2020. She worked for two years as an undergraduate research assistant in the L-STAR lab. Sydney’s interest lie in cross- cultural psychology, and in the future she hopes to conduct research in international communities typically underrepresented in psychological research. She currently works as a copywriter at DrawChange and is completing an internship in Campus Ministry at North River Church of Christ.