Undergraduates 2018-2019

Hi, my name is Katie McMahon! I am a junior at Pitt with a Psychology major and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies minor. I have worked in three different research labs in my undergraduate career, and I have an interest in health psychology, specifically in eating disorders and how diet effects mental health. Some of my other hobbies include running through Schenley Park, cooking, traveling and writing. I plan on pursing graduate school, and I am looking to gain more experience in both the research and clinical areas of psychology.




My name is Amanda Pavlanszky and I am a senior at the University of Pittsburgh. I am majoring in Psychology and Sociology and plan to go on to graduate school and become a doctor of occupational therapy. I love learning about people and the brain and attempting to understand the complex processes involved in all the things we do. I am especially interested in Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the future, hope to work with individuals with ASD and provide them with the help they need in order to comfortably and happily live their lives. In my spare time, I enjoy practicing yoga and going on hiking adventures with friends.



 My name is Kaitlynn Robinson and I am a senior psychology major at Pitt. Some of my hobbies are running and baking. As far as my research interests, I am interested in anhedonia and depression, particularly in kids and teens. I am also interested in eating disorders and the ways they manifest in different people. In the future, I am pursuing a career in occupational therapy.




My name is Amanda Makara and I’m a junior neuroscience major. I am interested in studying mental health disorders in the adolescent population. After graduating, my goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and potentially specialize in neuropsychology focusing on children and adolescents. My hobbies outside of lab include running, hanging out with friends, and exploring restaurants and coffee shops in Pittsburgh.






My name is Kayla Nitka, and I am a senior Psychology major at the University of Pittsburgh with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Some hobbies of mine include: playing field hockey, snowboarding, and eating out a lot. I have particular research interests in mood disorders, such as Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety disorders, in addition to substance use disorders. Specifically, I hold a strong research interest in focusing on LGBTQIA+ populations. In the future, I hope to attain a PsyD in clinical psychology with a focus on these interests, and become a clinical therapist.




My name is Zuhair Al-Bahrani. I am a Sophomore majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. I love to play soccer, watch The Office, and hang out with friends. Some research interests of mine include the effects of trauma on the brain and the development of the adolescent brain. My future goals include going to medical school and pursuing a speciality in pediatrics, although for now I would be content if I could get through one Organic Chemistry lecture without feeling miserable.





Hi, my name is Miranda Whalen, and I am a senior Psychology major at the University of Pittsburgh with a minor in Historical Art and Architecture. I am extremely passionate about mental health in at-risk youth, as well as the impact of grief on normative psychological development in adolescents and children. I plan to continue my studies to receive a Masters Degree in Social Work with a focus in Youth, Adolescents, and Families. In my free time, I love watching the Food Network, petting dogs, doing yoga, and drinking unhealthy amounts of Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee.





Name: Hongming (Bob) Chen

Major: Psychology

Year: Transfer student (sophomore)

Research interests: Haven’t got my research interests yet, honestly. But I am still looking for it!

Hobbies: Watching movies, listening to music, singing, travelling

Goals: I hope that I could construct an impression in my mind about what working in a lab is like. And I hope I could learn things, including research methods as well.



Greetings. My name is Jacob Clarin and I’m a senior at Pitt pursuing a major in neuroscience and minors in chemistry and religious studies. I’m originally from New Jersey and am a lover of music, travel, and learning new languages. In the lab, my research project is focused on suicidal ideation in adolescents and how severity of suicidal thinking relates to the functional connectivity between the nucleus accumbens and cortical areas. After graduation, I intend to apply to Au.D. programs in pursuit of a career in audiology.