Lab Members

Are you an RU-N Undergraduate looking to get involved in the Well-Being Lab? Fill out an RA Application and email it to Dr. Heintzelman. Applications for Spring 2022 will be reviewed in November.

Graduate Students

Fahima M. | CV

Fahima is a third year student in the PhD Psychology program. Her research interests lie at the intersection of social and positive psychology – she is interested in studying well-being, inequality, and positive outcomes among general and disadvantaged populations. In some of her current projects she explores social mobility among first-gen students, and the role of meaning & well-being in collective action. Outside the lab, she loves reading, lettering, and watching satire.


Elif Ulutas

Elif is a first year PhD student in the Psychology program. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology at Ankara University. Currently, she is interested in studying positive life transitions, meaning in life and well-being. In her free time, she enjoys baking, journaling, and talking with others.

PREP Students

Bridgette Byrd
Bridgette Byrd earned a Bachelor of Arts at Rutgers University, Newark with a major in Psychology and Minor in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is enrolled in the Post Baccalaureate Research Experience Program (PREP). Her research interests include Psychosocial frameworks, Social Psychology, and health equity particularly  within disadvantaged populations and communities of color. She aims to understand the interrelation of social factors i.e., norms, beliefs, and engagement that shape pain perceptions which can enhance or hinder subjective well-being. She believes “healthy mindsets” have influential power that shape positive outcomes; a belief she attributes to the start of a healthy lifestyle. She enjoys sustainable initiatives, travel, embracing new cultures, and being outdoors in nature.
Sharon Chin
Sharon is currently in the Rutgers PREP Program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Rutgers University-Newark, with a minor concentration in Biology. Her research interests include studying the role of identities in well-being, in hopes to raise awareness and better understand the experiences individuals face in their daily life. Sharon aims to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. Outside of lab, she enjoys the aesthetics of fashion and beauty as her personal interests.

Honors Thesis Students

Micaela Generali

Micaela is a senior studying Psychology and Latina/o studies. She is currently conducting her senior thesis on the well-being of undocumented students and is extremely excited to start recruiting participants. She is happiest when she is with her family and friends at the beach..


Research Assistants

Abaigeal Ahlholm

Abaigeal is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Public Health, she is also a member of Psi Chi. She finds happiness working out, reading, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. Abaigeal is an ABA therapist, a personal trainer, and a member of the NJ Air National Guard. After graduation in the fall she plans to pursue a graduate degree in behavior analysis or enroll into a PsyD program.

Atiyah Hack-Russell

Atiyah is a senior majoring in Psychology with a second concentration through the Rutgers Newark Honors College. She finds happiness in reading and learning about a variety of different topics and doing artistic activities like painting.



Marlene Cazares

Marlene is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Art History and Women’s Gender Studies. Marlene is a first-generation student, a medical assistant and hopes to pursue a career in clinical psychology. Her hobbies are crocheting and rug making. She finds happiness in trying new food, being in nature, and hanging out with friends.

Alex Tedino

Alex is a junior with a major in Psychology and potential minor in Youth Development and Juvenile Justice at Rutgers. She enjoys helping people , with a focus on youth , and prefers holistic approaches in her form of help. For now, you will find her volunteering with Urban Agriculture, somewhere in nature, seasonally baking, practicing yoga, listening to music , talking about Squid Game, and pursuing her degree.

Mark Cabrera

Mark is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Cognitive Neuroscience. He aspires in to be a clinical neuropsychologist. He is passionate about the research and practice of Psychedelic drugs and how they have been shown to improve well-being in ones daily life. He is currently a research intern at Hudson Origins. Mark finds happiness in skateboarding, hanging out with friends, and taking care of himself so he can help others.

Arthur Searle
Arthur Searle is a senior double majoring in psychology and anthropology. He is actively pursuing a career as a psychological researcher and is planning on starting graduate school in the fall of 2022. His passion for psychology is directed towards understanding how multiracial individuals identify with the world and the mental processes of these individuals. He believes these mental processes will become more common in a quickly globalizing world. He is very excited to be adding a new addition to his family and hopes that the pursuit of knowledge is passed on to his child.

Well-Being Lab Alumni

Bryant Gomez is now a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D in Social Psychology at the City University of New York.

Michelle Mendoza is now a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at University of Oregon.

Kainaat Anwar is now a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Rowan University.

Da’Quallon Smith is now a graduate student pursuing his Ph.D. in Psychology at the London School of Economics. *not pictured

Ahmad Awadallah
Rankita Sinha
Grace Akinlolu
Jacqueline Rodriguez
Zakiyyah Ibrahim
Shivangi Sharma
Paula Alves-Czachor
Analaura Ramirez
Thomas Moussa
Mariam Lopez
Brian Barylski
Sally Durant
Arly Navarro
Daniel Rivera
Viridiana Villasenor
Eshrat Oyeshee
Nelson Reyes
Julia Paredes