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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

2017-2018 Student Committee:

Hannah Moshontz, Chair (email)

Hi everyone! I am a third-year social psychology Ph.D. student at Duke University. I received my B.A. in Psychology from Reed College. Broadly, I am interested in goal pursuit, theoretically and in applied contexts (e.g., academics). My work aims to understand the processes that result in quitting and persistence in both academic and non-academic settings (e.g., New Year's Resolutions). Other projects investigate pedagogical and situational factors that affect students' self-regulation and consequently, their achievement. I am also enthusiastic about open science and I would like to help students find practical ways to make their work more transparent and reproducible. I am proud to serve as Chair of the student committee and help SPSP continue to provide support and resources to its student members. Feel free to email me at


Miao "Kitty" Qian, Vice Chair (email)

Hello! I am currently enrolled in a Developmental Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Toronto. I graduated from Zhejiang University of Finance & Economics in China in 2011 with a BS in Social Work. I completed an MA in Developmental Psychology at Zhejiang Normal University in China. Broadly, I am interested the development of children’s racial bias. Specifically, I am interested in how children’s experience with own- versus other-race people would influence their attitudes toward people from different races. I am also working on strategies to children’s negative bias against people from other races. You may email me at


Darlingtina Atakere, Member-at-Large (email)

Hi everyone! I am a second-year social psychology and Gerontology Ph.D. student at the University of Kansas. I received my M.S. in Psychology from Arkansas Tech University and my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. My research examines social determinants of health and health outcomes among older minorities. In addition, an emerging area of interest for me is the examination of cultural ecological variations in the conceptions of eldercare, specifically looking at filial/felt obligation towards elderly parents with chronic illness. I am excited for the opportunity to serve as member-at-large of the student committee, and I look forward to providing support to SPSP student members. Please feel free to email me at


Mike Dooley, Member-at-Large (email)

Greetings! I am a 4th year doctoral candidate at the University of California, Riverside. I received my BS from a the University of Mary Washington, a small liberal arts university in Virginia, in both Psychology and Religion. My research interests focus on how people seek and evaluate social support when attempting to cope with anxiety and stress, particularly when the context involves some element of uncertainty (e.g., waiting for medical test results, graduate acceptance, job callback). Moreover, I am interested in not just the experience of the support receiver, but how support providers recognize and choose the type or method of support delivery, and the effect this provision has on the provider. I am pumped to be on your graduate student committee because of the chance to get first-hand experience providing support to each and every one of you. Feel free to contact me at, or send us a message through Facebook (SPSP Student Committee)


Mona El-Hout, Member-at-Large (email)

Hi everyone! I am currently a third-year Social Psychology Ph.D student at the University of South Florida. I received my B.S in Cognitive Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and my M.S. in Health Psychology at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. My main line of research examines the effects of racial discrimination and sexism on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery. I am also currently working on a line of research that examines the influence of system order and political turbulence on the dehumanization of stigmatized outgroups. I am very excited to be a part of this year's GSC and hope to help to create a fun, collaborative, and informative 2018 SPSP in Atlanta with the rest of this wonderful committee! For any questions or comments, or to share any ideas for SPSP, feel free to contact me at


Angela Robinson, Member-at-Large (email)

Hi all! I am a 2nd year social psychology PhD student at University of California, Irvine. I previously completed an MS in Cross-Cultural Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. My primary line of research examines how high-inequality contexts and economic threat affect attitudinal, behavioral, and person perception processes. I am also interested in how racial, ethnic, and gender inequality shape interpersonal behavior and responses to societal events. If you have any questions about SPSP or graduate school, please feel free to contact me at


Jenny Barton, Member-at-Large for Undergraduate Affairs (email)

My name is Jenny Barton, and I am a first-year doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin and I also hold a Master’s degree in General Psychology from the University of North Florida. My research interests lie at the intersection of social, developmental, and health psychology. I am interested in how parents create and regulate healthy environments for their children, specifically examining factors that facilitate or undermine parents from engaging in health behaviors. Another line of my research focuses on psychometric evaluation and measurement of self-related traits and processes. With that said, I am excited to be your 2017-2018 Member-at-Large for Undergraduate Affairs! The GSC is looking to expand opportunities and provide meaningful experiences for undergraduates; if you have ideas (or concerns) related to these initiatives, please feel free to contact me at or connect with me on ResearchGate


Sofia Kousi, Spotlight Co-Editor (email)

Hello! I am a 4th year PhD candidate in the department of Marketing and Communication of the Athens University of Economics and Business in Greece. My research is in the field of consumer behavior. I am investigating the relationship between happiness and consumption, identifying the aspects of our material and experiential purchases that contribute to wellbeing. Prior to joining the PhD program I worked in market research and brand strategy in the US and Europe. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a dual degree in Marketing and Communication, and received my MBA at the Stern School of Business of New York University. I look forward to hearing your suggestions and feedback on the SPSP Spotlight newsletter. Feel free to email me at


Brenda Straka, Spotlight Co-Editor (email)

Brenda Straka headshotI'm interested in 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. I completed my undergrad this past spring at the University of Virginia where I double majored in Psychology and Cognitive Science, and minored in English. I am currently a first year doctoral candidate in Dr. Sarah Gaither's Duke Identity and Diversity Lab.


Leigh Smith, Past Chair (email)

Leigh SmithHello! My name is Leigh Smith, and I graduated from San Francisco State University in 2011 with a BS in Physics & Applied Mathematics and a BA in Psychology. I completed an MA in Human Development at The University of Texas at Austin, and I am currently enrolled in a Social Psychology PhD program at the University of California at Davis. Broadly, I am interested in questions concerning the mind-body connection. Specifically, I investigate how people differentially rely on internal cues (such as physiological sensations and affective experiences) versus external cues (such as interaction partners and the social environment) to guide behaviors in close relationships. I am also a statistics and computer programming enthusiast! You may email me at