top of page

Yingying (Jennifer) Yang, Ph.D.

Lab Director

973-655-7639

Dickson Hall 227

Dr. Yang is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Montclair State University. Previously, she was a Research Associate Professor at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. She graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama with a concentration in Developmental & Cognitive Psychology and a minor in Quantitative Psychology. 

Dr. Yang's research interests focus on spatial cognition in adults, children, and individuals with intellectual/learning disabilities. She is interested in observing how people interact with and remember their environment in both cognitive and developmental contexts.

See Dr. Yang's research profile: 

Arielle Hershkovich

Graduate Research Assistant

Arielle Hershkovich is a fourth-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program. Arielle graduated from Touro College with her BA in 2020. Her research interests are in the field of cognitive development and neuropsychological assessments, and her clinical interests focus on evidence-based assessments, interventions, and prevention programs for adult and child psychopathology. As a graduate assistant at Dr. Yang's spatial development lab, Arielle is researching the spatial abilities of typically and atypically developing children. 

Nardin Yacoub

Graduate Research Assistant

website.jpg

Nardin Yacoub is a fourth-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program. Nardin graduated with her BS in Biology from Penn State University in 2017 and obtained her MS in Clinical Psychology from Chestnut Hill College in 2020. Her research interests include studying behavioral biomarkers of developmental disabilities such as autism and cognition in individuals with disabilities. Nardin’s clinical interests include the assessment and early intervention of autism as well as disseminating research to immigrant and underserved communities. As a graduate assistant for Dr. Yang, Nardin is studying the development of spatial skills, such as wayfinding, in children.

Sadaf Khawar, M.A., BCBA, NYS-LBA
 Graduate Research Assistant

image1.jpg

Sadaf (she/her/hers) is a fifth year student in the Ph.D Program in Clinical Psychology at Montclair State University. Sadaf received her B.S in Psychology from University of Houston and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from University of Houston-Clear Lake. Sadaf's clinical work in the last decade with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities (DD/ID), primarily autism spectrum disorder (ASD), has inspired her research interests which include investigating social cognition in youth with DD/ID, neural mechanisms that influence clinical presentation of ASD, evidence-based behavioral and psychosocial interventions for improving overall functioning, and comorbidities with ASD (mainly ADHD and anxiety). Additionally, Sadaf is keen to investigate the impact of ASD on parents and siblings of youth with ASD and explore evidence-based interventions to improve their quality of life. 

Daria Lasc
 Graduate Research Assistant

IMG_1032.jpeg

Daria Lasc is a third-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program. Daria graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2019 with her BS in Cognitive Science. Her research interests are in cognitive development and the development of early assessment and intervention tools for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Her clinical interests are in neuropsychological assessment and child and adolescent psychopathology. As a graduate student for Dr. Yang, Daria is researching spatial abilities in typically developing children and children with Down Syndrome.

Stephanie Grinshpun
 Graduate Research Assistant

Stephanie Grinshpun Photo.jpg

Stephanie Grinshpun is a third-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program. Stephanie graduated from Lafayette College with her BS in 2021. Her research interests are in the field of interventions for adolescents with intellectual disabilities and her clinical interests focus on neurodevelopment disorders and early intervention and early assessment for autism spectrum disorder. As a graduate assistant for Dr. Yang’s, Stephanie is researching the spatial abilities of typically developing children and adolescents and young adults with Down Syndrome.

Mikayla Haas
 Graduate Research Assistant

image0.jpeg

Mikayla Haas is a first-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology Program. Mikayla graduated with her BA in Psychology from Rutgers University in 2020. Her research interests include studying pediatric neuropsychology in children with neurological and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Mikayla's clinical interests are focused on neuropsychological assessments and evidence-based interventions for children with disabilities. As a graduate assistant for Dr. Yang, Mikayla is studying the development of spatial skills, such as wayfinding in children. 

Sonia Conde
 Research Assistant

Sonia Headshot.jpg

Sonia is a current master's student majoring in clinical psychology. She joined the lab in the year 2021 to obtain more research experience and learn more about spatial abilities. Her goal is to apply to Clinical Psychology PhD program safter finishing her master's studies at Montclair State University. In her free time, she enjoys going hiking and reading. 

Alexander Bracken
 Research Assistant

Alexander Bracken graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 2019 and a Master of Arts in psychological sciences in 2022. He joined the lab in May 2019 to gain further experience researching cognition and associated behaviors, collecting data with various research methods, and analyzing data. Also a substitute teacher, Alex is seeking additional career opportunities within psychology or a related field. Ever-fascinated with data analysis and statistical techniques, Alex has been taking mathematics courses in pursuance of additional degrees in mathematics and statistics. In his free time, Alex enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing video games, and reading.  

Matthew Baker
 Research Assistant

image.png

Matt is a first year master's student pursuing a degree in clinical psychology. He joined the lab in the summer of 2021 to join a project investigating spatial language and wayfinding. He is planning to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology following his studies at Montclair State University. He joined the Spatial Development Lab because he believes the work that the lab does is very valuable and that working with them can give him valuable research experience. In his free time, he likes to cycle, as well as spend time with his cat, Vivian. 

Nikita Duncan
 Research Assistant

image.png

Nikita recently graduated from Walden University with her M.S. in Psychology and joined the lab in the summer of 2023. She received her B.A. in Psychology from William Paterson University in 2021. This is her first research experience and she is excited to learn about the research process. She joined the Spatial Development Lab to expand her research skills and knowledge. Her long-term goals involve getting her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys reading and working.

Joselyn Lopez Moran
 Research Assistant

image.png

Joselyn is an undergraduate Junior majoring in psychology and minoring in Cognitive Science. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree to one day be a school psychologist. She joined the Spatial Development Lab at the end of May 2023 to gain research experience skills and gain more knowledge on how spatial abilities affect individuals. In her free time, she enjoys drawing and watching K-dramas or anime. 

Samantha Zakrzewski
 Research Assistant

image.png

Samantha is a second year master's student in the BA/MA psychology program.   Following the completion of her master's degree, she plans on pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology. She has always loved working with children and adolescents, which is the reason she joined the Spatial Lab in February 2021.  Her goal is to one day go into private practice as a clinical child psychologist. Her research interests include spatial abilities, such as perspective taking and mental rotation. More specifically, her master's thesis focuses on the relationship between mental rotation abilities, personality traits, and reward/feedback in children between the ages of 6 and 9 years old. Some of her hobbies include reading, baking, playing with her dog, and spending time with friends and family.  

Karima Elgamal
 Research Assistant

image.png

Karima is a graduate student in the masters of psychological sciences program at Montclair State University. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in cognitive science. Karima is particularly interested in child cognition, specifically how children reason and explain events within their everyday life. She plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology after her master’s. She joined the lab in 2021 to gain further research experience working with children and to learn more about intellectual disabilities. Apart from school and research, Karima enjoys running, trying new restaurants/foods, and traveling. 

Ameet Kaur
 Research Assistant

image.png

Ameet graduated from Montclair in 2023 with a Bachelor's in Psychology and joined the lab in the summer of 2022. She plans to pursue a career in behavioral health after completing her studies at medical school. She is very interested in how and why people work the way they do, especially in those with intellectual differences/disabilities. Ameet joined the Spatial Development Lab to gain research experience and to learn more about these intellectual differences in Down syndrome. In her free time, she enjoys painting and doing community work for the Desi demographic.

Joselyn Angon-Martinez
 Research Assistant

IMG_8979.jpg

Joselyn is a third-year psychology major. She joined the lab in May of 2023 to discover new areas of interest and get hands-on experience in how differently children can think. She has plans to go to graduate school and join the psychology field as a family and marriage therapist. In her spare time, you will find her hanging out with friends or crocheting.

Kennedy Ashley 
Research Assistant

Image (2).jpeg

Kennedy is a third-year Psychology and Human Development double major in the University of Alabama's Psychology Honors Program. She joined the lab in the summer of 2023. She plans to pursue a career in clinical child psychology after completing her undergraduate studies. She enjoys working with children and those with disabilities. She joined the Spatial Development Lab to gain research experience and learn more about child development. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, watching sports, and shopping.

Melinda Mo 
Research Assistant

image0 (2).jpeg

Melinda is a senior at Bergen County Technical High School who joined the lab as an intern in May of 2022. She is passionate about psychology and neuroscience, and plans to enter this field in her future college endeavors. She began working at the Spatial Development Lab to gain real world experience in the research field, and assists in both data coding and developing data analysis templates. She also loves competitive dancing, acting, and spending time with her dog, Munchkin.

Lab Alumni

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Samantha Glosser

Edwina Alog

Sierra Edwards

Genesis Rombola

Precious Iferika

Gomeo Lam

Baljeet Tooray

Catherine Rathjen

Pearl Christine McGee

Jesujoba Olanrewaju

Karina Toro

Melissa Czarnogursky

Hafsa Abid

Kaitlynn Bohr

Rachel Freeman

Jessica Charles

Riddhi Gandhi

Soham Goswami

GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Dai'jah Diggs

Julia Hauss

PHD GRADUATES

Lauren Grove, Ph.D.

pic.JPG

Dr. Grove is a graduate of the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Montclair State University. She graduated with her BA in Psychology from Temple University in 2015 and obtained her MA in Clinical Psychology from Towson University in 2018. Dr. Grove's research and clinical interests are in forensic psychology with a focus on juvenile justice and forensic mental health assessment. As a graduate assistant for Dr. Yang, Dr. Grove researched the spatial abilities of typically developing children and children with Down Syndrome.  

Interested in Joining our Team?

Our lab is always looking for undergraduate and graduate research assistants who are warm and kind, and passionate about research! If this describes you, please email Dr. Yang directly yangyi@montclair.edu. Our lab values diversity. So students from diverse backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.  

bottom of page