Meet the Team

Principal Investigator

SHANA COLE, PhD | Principal Investigator

Shana is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University and director of the Regulation, Action, and Motivated Perception (RAMP) Lab. She received her PhD from New York University before joining the Rutgers faculty in 2014. Shana is interested in the underlying cognitive, perceptual, and affective processes that enable successful goal pursuit. She explores self-regulatory processes across multiple levels of analysis, including higher-order cognition, visual perception, and psychophysiology. Her research spans many goal domains to provide insight into the tools that enable people to mitigate threats, attain rewards, and resist temptations. 



PhD Students (Advisees)


Despite setting goals and being motivated to achieve them, most people experience goal-relevant setbacks. People splurge when trying to save money, eat ice cream despite trying to eat healthier, and watch Netflix when they should be studying. Across multiple domains, Janna’s research explores the situational and social influences on perceptions of self-control failure. She also studies the strategies that people can use to bolster motivation and get back on track.

E-mail:  |  Curriculum Vita



Maggie is interested in the intersectionality between health and social psychology. Her previous projects explored the relationship between stressors and chronic illness, particularly among those diagnosed with diabetes. In the RAMP lab, her research focuses on the motivators and barriers to goal pursuit, including how identity can conflict with goal-setting.




Broadly, Kyle is most interested in impression formation and perceptual biases. His research has primarily sought to better understand the nuances of these processes as they occur across social categories. Currently, Kyle plans to explore the extent to which goal-relevant motivators may influence subsequent metaperceptions and target evaluations.


PhD Students (Affiliates)


Analia is interested in how dual identities are perceived and experienced in a society that largely views social categories as biological and thus distinct and static. Analia's current projects examine the unique social and health experiences of biracial and bicultural people, as well as various aspects of racial essentialism. In the RAMP lab, she explores how visual information influences our attribution of blame and shapes our social attitudes towards stigmatized groups. 

E-mail:  |  Curriculum Vita | Personal Website


KIM CHANEY, MS | PhD Student

Broadly, Kim's research explores strategies to confront and cope with prejudice and stigmatized identity threats by employing psychophysiological, affective, and behavioral methodologies. Within the RAMP lab, Kim's research explores perceptions of and attitudes towards collective action movements and stigmatized groups.

Email:  |  Curriculum Vita | Personal Website



Melanie's research generally focuses on the experiences and perceptions of sexual and gender minority individuals, intergroup solidarity, and the interplay between stigma and close relationships. Her work so far has examined identity cues, relationships and stigma coping, and stigma management. In the RAMP lab, Melanie explores visual information used to distinguish people on the basis of sexual orientation, and the impact of attitudes and stereotypes on social categorizations.

Email:  |  Curriculum Vita


PhD Students (Alumni)


Kristina is an Assistant Professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland. Her research explores perceptual and attentional routes to prejudice and discrimination, with an emphasis on bias towards stigmatized populations. She also explores perceptual biases in the way people view themselves. 

E-mail:  |  Curriculum Vita | Personal Website


Undergraduates Currently Working on Independent projects


DEVIN BARZALLO | Undergraduate Research Assistant, Honors Student

Devin is a senior majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology. He is completing his honors thesis with the RAMP lab focusing on how social experiences can minimize feelings of self-control failure. His research interests include goal pursuit and how to maintain self-control in the presence of temptations. Devin has also worked in a Neuropathology lab and Molecular Cardiology lab at Columbia University Medical Center. He plans to continue doing research and to pursue an MD/PhD dual-degree training program.


Lab Alum

SHARON KAL | Former Aresty Fellow

DARLA BONAGURA | Former Honors Student

JOSEPHINE KIM | Former Aresty Fellow

BROOKE SCHLEYER | Former Honors Student, Aresty & Cooper Fellow (currently a fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse)

SAMUEL KLEIN | Former Aresty & Cooper Fellow (currently a Clinical PhD student at the University of Minnesota)

KELLY LOVE | Former Research Assistant  (just graduated from the Masters program in I/O Psychology at Sacred Heart University)

PAMELA GOMEZ | Former Honors Student (currently a PhD student in the Rutgers-Newark Social Psychology Program)

SAMANTHA BRUNO | Former Aresty Student (currently pursuing a double certification in Special Ed and Elementary Ed at Rutgers University)

THOMAS BUCHENOT | Former Honors Student (currently a Residential Counselor at Carrier Clinic)

ANKITA HUCKOO | Former Rutgers Aresty Fellow (currently working in Human Resources for a luxury retail brand)

MONICA GALASSO | Former Rutgers Aresty Fellow (currently pursuing a Masters in Counseling from The College of New Jersey)

ALESSA NATALE | Former Research Assistant (currently a PhD student in the CUNY I/O Psychology Program)

CAITLYN SMITH | Former Aresty & Cooper Fellow (currently a MS student in the Kean University Occupational Therapy Program)