Interested in being a KIND LAB RA?

Fall research assistant positions are now closed.

Interested applicants should complete our application form for consideration for winter positions. Please read the following eligibility criteria and information about the application process here before submitting your application.


Lab Director

Kalina Michalska

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. I am also a member of the Program in Neuroscience, the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, and the Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies. Prior to joining UCR, I received my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago and spent 4 years as a fellow at the NIMH Intramural Research Program, under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Pine. I combine neuroimaging (fMRI), autonomic measures, and behavior observations to understand the neural systems underlying emotional processes engaged by the distress of others. I am interested in how those processes mature across development, how individual differences are expressed, and how these emotional processes relate to disruptive behavior problems and anxiety in childhood and beyond.





I am thrilled to join the UCR KIND lab as its first lab manager! In 2018, I graduated with honors in Psychology from Oberlin College. For my thesis, I investigated the influence of social media usage before class on student attention and academic performance. Previously, I was a research assistant at Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center and Pomona College’s Child Attachment Relationships and Emotions Lab. At Yale, I studied infant social cognition, specifically group membership and theory of mind. While at Pomona, I studied the effects of relational savoring on parental sensitivity and child self-regulation. I have always been interested in social relationships, what drives them, and how deeply they can impact mental health. I plan to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and I am especially excited to be able to investigate a factor as meaningful and influential in human relationships as empathy here at the KIND lab.

Learn more about me here.


Graduate Students


Sarah Carlisle

I’m a second year graduate student in the Developmental area at UCR. I received my Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I conducted research on cognitive strategies that children and adults employ to explain the world around them and how such strategies can sometimes lead to societal disparities. At the KIND Lab, I examine neural underpinnings of emotion recognition and emotional learning in children with disruptive behavior problems and anxiety.


Dana Glenn

I am a second year doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology program at UCR. I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology. Subsequently, I worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Chicago, where I examined how parental input and children’s neurological characteristics interact to affect cognitive development in children with early brain injury. My current research interests focus on the neural mechanisms behind empathic responding, specifically among girls with disruptive behavior problems.


Gwendolyn Gardiner

Broadly speaking, my research interests fit within the intersection of personality and cross-cultural psychology. I seek to examine how behaviors, values, and beliefs vary across cultures, and how these unique characteristics interact with the environment. Currently, I am a grad student in Dr. David Funder's lab, working on the International Situations Project.

Learn more about me here: [link]


Aleksa Kaurin

I am a visiting graduate student from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany, funded by the Fulbright Commission. Broadly, my work focuses on the mechanisms of accurate person and affect perception in clinical contexts. In the KIND Lab, I am examining the consequences of highly pronounced empathic responsiveness on affective symptomatology.


Undergraduate Research Assistants

Not Pictured above:

Mayra Ojeda

Teresita Rodriguez

Derrian Tabilin

joyce khalil

Danniele lacad

Christina shea


Kelsey Michaels

Briseida Avelar

Alex Nguyen

Lab Alums

Leonel Merino ROMERO

Amber Quezada



Lilianna Lopez



Jay Trieu