2011 Fellows

Julie Barzilay (’13: History of Science; English), working with Susan Carey (FAS Psychology)

Julie, a rising junior lucky enough to live in Quincy House, is a History and Science concentrator with a focus in Human Evolutionary Biology and a Secondary in English. She was born in NYC, but has spent the last twelve years in sunny Los Angeles! Julie is working with West on his thesis research about Theory of Mind in deaf and hearing infants, as well as helping with other research projects in the Lab for Developmental Studies at Harvard. She is a dancer and a science writer for The Harvard Crimson, and as her BLISS peers have (over)heard, she’s been learning to play the guitar this summer! After BLISS, Julie hopes to continue to combine her love of literature with her interests in health, medicine, and psychology.

Caitlin Carey (’13: Psychology; Computer Science), working with Ken Nakayama (FAS Psychology)

Caitlin is a classic nerd. When she was younger, her parents misled her into thinking that Photoshop and VisualBasic were video games, so she would "play" them for hours on end, thinking she was cool. She was clearly mistaken. However, she is now using those skills to help her bring behavioral psych tasks to the internet and thus conquer the world. She works with Professor Ken Nakayama in the Vision Sciences Lab as a programmer and psych RA extraordinaire. She is interested in creating reliable alternative versions of tasks and in relating performance on social cognition tasks to personality measures. In BLISS, she is perhaps best known as the girl who accidentally exploded a can of soda on the first day of orientation.

Debra Chang (’12: Sociology; Economics), working with Nicole Newendorp (FAS Social Studies)

As a sociology concentrator with an economics secondary, Debra is excited to be a part of the first cohort of BLISS! Born and raised in California, she loves the warm weather and sun that Boston shines in the summer. Over the course of these next 10 weeks, Debra will be exploring the ins and outs of Boston Chinatown as she interviews and talks to elderly migrants from China. So far, she’s already ballroom danced and shared coffee with some of the elderly at her field sites. She can’t wait to share what she’s learned by the end of the program and hear about the other BLISS fellows’ experiences as well.

Christopher Hernandez (’13: Psychology), working with Jason Mitchell (FAS Psychology)

Chris is like any New York-born Puerto Rican: silly, sometimes loud, loose on the dance floor, and surging with rice and beans in his blood. He is currently working in Jason Mitchell’s SCAN Lab at Harvard, which harnesses the powers of Magneto to study how humans behave in social groups and how they mentalize, or infer the thoughts of others. Oh sorry, he meant to say functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI! Chris is a rising junior living in the concrete palace known as Mather House. He enjoys playing basketball and frisbee, devouring pizza at all hours of the day, and excessively doing the Carlton Dance. His first summer at Harvard is sure to be memorable, as will his (bad) karaoke moments and (awesome) multiple voice impersonations (dare him to do Scooby Doo). He feels honored to be a part of the first cohort of BLISS and is strongly motivated to move on and earn his Ph.D in psychology. Otherwise, he can always return to looking after his relatives at New York's Bronx Zoo.

Marlee Morris (’12: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; Classics), working with Stephanie Jones (GSE Prevention Science and Practice)

Marlee is a rising senior who lives in Lowell House, undoubtedly the most beautiful place on campus. She is an Organismic and Evolutionary Biology concentrator pursuing a secondary field in the Classics. Originally from one of the farthest reaches of Northern New York, known as Potsdam (practically Canada), Marlee is adjusting well to the heat and humidity that is Cambridge in the summer! As a BLISS Fellow she is working with Professor Stephanie Jones to describe the social networks in classrooms of 3rd and 4th graders during an intervention program in New York City. She is also exploring data from a national study on social networks. Outside of the classroom Marlee in a member of the Radcliffe Choral Society. She is the president of the Harvard-Radcliffe Rugby Team and is still celebrating the team's National Championship win during the spring semester. She is also a tour guide for the Admissions Office so if you see her walking backwards around campus talking to a group of eager looking prospective students shout out your favorite thing about Harvard!!  

Elena Pepe (’13: Psychology), working with Ken Nakayama (FAS Psychology)

Elena is a rising junior in the lovely Eliot House and is concentrating in the life sciences track of Psychology with a secondary in Archaeology. Coming from Melrose, a nearby suburb of Boston, she is looking forward to spending her typical Massachusetts summer in an exciting new way by joining the BLISS community. This summer, she will be working with Caitlin Carey in Ken Nakayama's vision/prosopagnosia lab, running experiments related to faces and programming psychology tests for the web (insert shameless plug for testmybrain.org here). When she's not in William James, she can most often be found tap dancing, at the Eliot Grille, playing sports or games, and/or eating fruit snacks or ice cream (or both at the same time).

Westley Resendes (’12: Psychology), working with Susan Carey (FAS Psychology)

Westley is a rising senior in Kirkland House. From the tiny and mighty state of Rhode Island, he is concentrating in Psychology and studying education on the side. During BLISS’ maiden voyage, West will be working on his developmental psychology thesis entitled “Language and Early Theory of Mind: A Study of Deaf and Hearing Infants.” He will be investigating the potential impact of language on early cognition in 18-24-month-old children, and grappling with the question of whether language affects social thought in infants. West also enjoys playing with (and analyzing) his two little brothers, as well as trying various new delicacies from different cuisines.

Vipul Shekhawat (’14: Economics; Psychology) working with Mark Edington (Decision Science Laboratory at KSG)

Vipul is a rising sophomore, looking forward to his next three years under the iconic roof of Dunster House. He will spend this summer at the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, working on projects related to active learning for economics instruction, interaction in collaborative groups, and the relation between power and body language. Besides his interest in the social sciences, Vipul has a passion for writing, discovering new music, and exploring the world and its countless curiosities.

Zuzanna Wojcieszak (’13: Psychology; Women, Gender, and Sexuality), working with Jason Mitchell (FAS Psychology)

Zuzanna is a rising junior in Eliot House. Hailing from the lovely city of Gdańsk, she is proud to be the resident Pole of the fair Domus and BLISS, always happy to share pieces of her culture via candy (ask her about the "chocolate-covered marshmallowy thingy"!) and other Polish edible specialties. As part of the first cohort of BLISS, Zuzanna is working in Jason Mitchell’s lab for social-cognitive neuroscience, learning Matlab and helping with studies on social deficits in autism, the relationship between reading fiction and improving theory of mind, and the influence of aging on social cognition. Outside of WJH or Northwest Labs, Zuzanna can be found rehearsing with Corcairdhearg (Harvard College Irish Dancers; pronounced like core-key-air-egg) or for a theatre show, taking photos for the Yearbook, or working/learning to play the piano in Eliot Dining Hall.

Esther Wu (’13: Psychology), working with Daniel Gilbert (FAS Psychology)

Esther is a rising Junior in Winthrop House concentrating in Psychology. Though originally from Ohio (MIDWEST PRIDE!) she has loved her time in Cambridge and Boston. This summer she's working with Daniel Gilbert and Bethany Burum on Social Psychology research and has been running a wide variety of studies related to co-experience, altruism, and delayed gratification. Esther spends a lot of her time in Chinatown tutoring, volunteering, and of course, eating. She also enjoys listening to and playing music on piano and guitar, playing tennis and ultimate frisbee, and watching chick flicks. However, her favorite past-time is probably meeting and getting to know lots of people and BLISS/PRISE has been perfect for that. Esther has absolutely loved her time in BLISS so far and is excited for the rest of the summer!

Ge "Greg" Yang (’14: Mathematics), working with Stephanie Jones (GSE Prevention Science and Practice)

Armed with well-versed mathemagic, Greg attempts to decode the social Matrix. He currently works with Professor Stephanie Jones to map out the social networks of school children and to find patterns in the dissemination of aggressive behaviors along with other emotional and academic developments. On the side, he writes articles for Triple Helix and the Harvard College Math Review on applying mathematical principles to socially sacred subjects such as dating and love. Outside of academia, he plays percussion and composes contemporary genres and is musically active in the Harvard fine arts community. He is hoping to do more with his alternative rock band and wants to enlist more musicians (especially guitarists!). All in all, this summer has already liberated Greg's adventurous spirit, and he is looking forward to more.

David Zhao (’13: Applied Mathematics; Economics) working with Brigitte Madrian (KSG Public Policy and Corporate Management)

David is a rising junior in Currier House concentrating in Applied Math. Hailing from the friendly suburban state of New Jersey, he is excited to spend his summer on campus with BLISS. Over these ten weeks, he will assist a project team at the National Bureau of Economic Research with framing and designing a behavioral economics experiment, running the experiment, and collecting data for analysis. In his free time, David enjoys doing strange things like listening to NPR, eating mangoes, and taking long runs along the river (as well as long walks along the beach).