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)



Maggie is interested in the intersectionality between health and social psychology. Her previous projects explored the relationship between stressors and health behavior, particularly among those diagnosed with diabetes. In the RAMP lab, her research primarily focuses on the motivators and barriers to health goal pursuit.




Broadly, Kyle is interested how people perceptually distort and actively respond to information that threatens their goals or ideological beliefs. In the past, he has focused upon motivated biases, impression formation, and category exemplars. Currently, Kyle is exploring the protective strategies underlying responses to romantic relationship threat and political ideological threat. 


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Hayley is broadly interested in goal-pursuit and self-regulation. Previously, she has explored the effects of objective and subjective numeracy on various financial, health, and other decision-making outcomes. While in the RAMP Lab, she hopes to study the internal and external influences that contribute to both successful and unsuccessful goal pursuit.


PhD Students (Affiliates)



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

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Students

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Gabriela rivera

Gabriela is a Psychology and Spanish major. In the RAMP lab, she studies how social comparisons in the context of COVID-19 can affect one’s emotions. Gabriela plans on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology and hopes to study both emotion regulation and stress.


Umayma Saifuddin

Umayma is a Biology and Public Health major on track to become a physician. She is interested in how STEM women can be more successful in their fields and combat the hostile environments they may encounter. She is also interested in health disparities in marginalized communities and its relevance to health psychology.


Ashima Tiwari

Ashima is a Psychology major interested in motivated perception and close relationships. In the RAMP lab, she studies how people visually distort and actively respond to information that threatens their political beliefs. After graduating, Ashima aspires to attend medical school to become a physician and is currently interested in the fields of Pediatrics and Psychiatry.

PhD Student Alumni

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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. 

Personal Website



Janna is a Senior UX Researcher at Vanguard. Her research employs motivation science and a user-centered approach to understand how people meet their financial goals. With the RAMP lab, Janna's work explores situational and social factors involved in goal pursuit.

Personal Website  |  LinkedIn

PhD Student Alumni (Affiliates)

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Analia is a postdoctoral fellow in Psychology at Duke University. She completed her PhD at Rutgers University, where her work examined the discrimination experiences of people who hold multiple identities (e.g., biracial, bicultural identities), and how people who hold multiple (or otherwise stigmatized) identities are perceived by others. She will be extending this research to child populations in her postdoc position. 


Personal Website



Kim is an Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Her research explores 1) how lay beliefs about prejudice affect low- and high-status group members’ performance, behavior, and health, and 2) how and when prejudice confrontations reduce prejudice and impact the health of confronters. 

Personal Website

Undergraduate Alumni

JOSHUA SNYDER | Former Research Assistant (currently a Clinical Psychology PhD student at the University of Hartford)

ALICE MOLODAN | Former Cooper Fellow (currently working as a Sales Development Representative at BrightEdge)

DEVIN BARZALLO | Former Honors Student (currently pursuing medical school at Case Western University)


DARLA BONAGURA | Former Honors Student (currently a Social Psychology PhD student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville)

JOSEPHINE KIM | Former Aresty Fellow (currently a Clinical PhD student at Fairleigh-Dickinson University)

BROOKE SCHLEYER | Former Honors Student, Aresty & Cooper Fellow (currently a Clinical PhD student at Temple University)

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 Education 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)