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Student Committee

The Student Committee works to promote the interest of SPSP's student members. This includes producing helpful student content, organizing events for student members at the annual convention, and much more.

About the Student Committee

2018-2019 Student Committee:

Miao “Kitty” Qian, Chair (email)

Miao Qian headshotHello! I am Kitty. I am a third-year Ph.D. student enrolled in Developmental Psychology at the University of Toronto. I completed an MA in Developmental Psychology at Zhejiang Normal University in China. Broadly, I am interested in the development of children’s racial bias and gender stereotypes. Specifically, I am interested in social, cognitive factors (e.g., essentialist thinking, race salience) affect the development of social stereotypes. I am also working on different strategies to reduce children’s stereotypes across different cultures. You may email me at


Heidi VuletichVice Chair (email)

Heidi Vuletich headshotHello everyone! I am a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a dual-program student, I’m officially enrolled in both the Developmental and Social Psychology Programs there. I attended Regis University in Denver, CO, for my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience. My current research focuses on the psychological factors contributing to inequalities by socioeconomic status (SES), gender, and race. I examine how subjective SES influences behavior in academic contexts; how gender and race stereotypes affect students’ beliefs and expectations; how success and failure attributions differ by race and gender, and how they change across development. I also explore the determinants of adults’ attitudes towards economic inequality, their  perceptions of “having enough money,” and their implicit race biases. I’m really excited to serve you and be a resource to you as part of the student committee! Please feel free to contact me at


Brenda Straka, SPSPotlight Co-Editor (email)

Brenda Straka headshotI am a first-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Sarah Gaither's Duke Identity and Diversity Lab. I completed my undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia where I double majored in Psychology and Cognitive Science and minored in English. Currently, I study questions around biracial identity, particularly relating to Hispanic/Latino groups. I am especially interested in social pain as it relates to social exclusion and cross-group interactions and how these effect identity, as well as the health outcomes stemming from these experiences.


Lucy Zheng, SPSPotlight Co-Editor (email)

Lucy Zheng headshotHello! I am a second-year Ph.D. student at UC Davis. I received my B.A. in Psychology and Government from Cornell University and my M.A. in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University. As a previous high school teacher and a current college applications consultant, I have experience in mentoring adolescents through exciting (but often stressful) transitions in their academic life. These experiences led to my interest in examining the relationship between personality and academic achievement and how those associations may change from childhood to adulthood. Graduate students often suffer from stress, and as part of the student committee, I will work to connect us on professional and personal levels, to combat “graduate school culture,” and allow us to learn and teach one another. Ultimately, I plan on consulting with the state and federal departments on educational policy at both the K-12 and higher education levels.


Jonathan GordilsMember-at-Large (email)

Jonathan Gordils headshotHey everyone! My name is Jon Gordils, and I am a 3rd year doctoral student at the University of Rochester. Prior, I graduated from the University of Connecticut and worked as a research associate for two years at Haskins Laboratories. My research interests include social inequality and social conflict. Currently, I am investigating how income inequality (including racial income inequality) and resource inequality affect downstream psychological processes, as well as exploring the affective, behavioral, and physiological consequences of interpersonal conflict. I am looking forward to serve as a 2018-2019 Member-at-Large of the student committee, and I am excited to help make this conference a great experience for everyone. Feel free to email me at


Jaboa LakeMember-at-Large (email)

Jaboa Lake headshotI am a 4th year in the Applied Social Psychology doctoral program at Portland State University. I received by BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California, Merced. My research explores responses to systemic forms of bias from the target's perspective and their allies. More specifically, I am interested in intraminority intergroup relations and coalition building towards social change, with an intersectional perspective. Beyond a researcher, I also identify as a community organizer and work with organizations on various projects and campaigns combating oppression and working towards liberation. Bridging these roles, I am looking to bridge the gap between research and the community to promote more equitable and action-oriented research. I also love exploring outdoors, creating hand embroidery and textiles, and trying new foods. You can email me at


Harrison OakesMember-at-Large (email)

Harrison Oakes headshotHi there! I am a 4th year PhD student at the University of Waterloo. I am passionate about improving the quality of our science through mixed methods to ensure our theories reflect the lived realities they aim to capture. Gender, sexuality and social justice make up the core of my interests. In my quantitative work, I study the influence of social environments on our likelihood of conflating behavior with identity. Using qualitative inquiry, I also study the impact of "hook-up" apps (e.g., Tinder, Grindr) on gay men's sense of gender and sexuality, and on their experiences of intimacy and relationships. I am thrilled to be a part of this year's GSC, and I aim to make your experience at SPSP in Portland next year the best you've had yet. In particular, I would love to help bring voice to those who feel they are generally not heard or considered in the planning of a convention like SPSP. If you have suggestions or experiences you'd like to share with me to help make that happen, please feel free to contact me at I look forward to hearing from you!  


Ashley Weinberg, Member-At-Large (email)

Ashley Weinberg headshotMy name is Ashley Weinberg and I am serving as the SPSP Student Committee Member-at-Large.  I am from San Clemente, California and a PhD student in my fourth year of graduate school, studying at York University in Toronto, Canada. I am working with Dr. Jennifer Steele and Dr. Kerry Kawakami studying interpersonal social cognition. On a large scale, my research is driven by a passion to help reconcile hostile and systemic oppression of minority group members, by understanding the nuances of intergroup interactions, relationships, and perceptions that influence intergroup relations. In my role I hope to help foster community and natural networking opportunities.  Additionally, I aim to make diversity a main focus within my role in as many ways as I can.  When I’m not working on research and SPSP committee work, I find time to attend dance classes and go to live music events!


Gohar Harutyunyan, Member-At-Large for Undergraduate Affairs (email)

Gohar Harutyunyan headshotHello! I am from the Republic of Armenia and I am a third-year PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior at Rutgers Business School. My research focuses on the psychology of social hierarchies. Specifically, I study how social class and economic inequality shape behavior in different domains of organizational life. I completed my undergraduate degree at Columbia University where I majored in Financial Economics and minored in Psychology. I am very excited to be part of SPSP Student Committee! Please feel free to contact me at