Our Karen M. Gil Internship in Psychology has accepted 12 Gil interns for Fall 2021! Learn more about our current class of Gil Interns and their placement sites below.
Trieu-Vi is a junior from Apex, North Carolina majoring in Psychology and Biology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is a research assistant at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, studying transition health care readiness for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) such as spina bifida, epilepsy, and down syndrome. Other variables of interest she has investigated under Dr. Diana Cejas, M.D. include parental catastrophization, PIP (Pediatric Inventory for Parents) scores, and parent depression / anxiety scores, representing an additional focus on the mental health of caregivers of children with IDDs. Trieu-Vi is most excited in researching overall pediatric development, with a special interest in infant and maternal health to aid her volunteer work as a birthing doula this fall. After graduation, her goal is to attend medical school to become a physician in pediatric emergency medicine or neurology. In her free time, she thoroughly enjoys running, listening to true crime podcasts, and sewing clothes.
Tianxiu Li is a senior international student from Beijing, China. She is double majoring in Psychology and Biology with a minor in Statistics. Before college, Tianxiu participated in a charity program for three years during which she witnessed the struggle of orphans born with mental illness and further understood the significant role personalized assistance could play to help each child develop a fulfilling and independent life. Starting her sophomore year, she has been assisting in Dr. Aysenil Belger’s Neurocognition and Imaging Research Lab, obtaining insight into symptoms of mental illness through clinical interviews, learning how to acquire brain activity data on adolescents via EEG and behavioral data via neurocognitive assessments, and training on editing MRI images to investigate how cortical thickness relates to symptoms of mental illness. In Tianxiu’s junior year, she interned at Pfizer (Beijing office) and have apprehended the promising future of digital health in aiding people’s lives. With these prior experiences, Tianxiu is now interested in learning how to apply what she’s learned in college integrally to a broader field and contribute to the overall public health. After graduation, she intends to pursue a master’s degree in Biostatistics. During her free time, Tianxiu enjoys traveling, singing, watching movies, and baking.
Hayden is a senior and a Chapel Hill, North Carolina native. She is pursuing a B.S. in Psychology as well as a minor in Spanish for the Medical Professions. While attending Chapel Hill High School, Hayden spent her summers working in Dr. Kelly Giovanello’s Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory Research Lab. Upon graduating, she completed her freshman year of college at the University of California, Berkeley, where she worked in Dr. Mark D’Esposito’s Cognitive Psychology Lab. Hayden then took a year off her undergraduate studies to complete a medical internship in the hospitals of Cuenca, Ecuador, while applying as a transfer student to UNC-CH. During this time, she also became employed by UNC Hospitals as a medical scribe, where she continues to work in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation outpatient clinics. She currently serves three clinics total, which focus on concussions, spine functionality, and pediatric spina bifida respectively. Hayden finally enrolled in UNC as a sophomore and expects to graduate as a Tar Heel in May 2022. After graduation, she intends to apply to PA school.
Savannah is a senior from Rockville Centre, New York majoring in psychology and English with a minor in Health & Society. She is currently a research assistant in Dr. Jon Abramowitz’s Anxiety and Stress Lab which conducts research to advance the understanding, prevention, and treatment of clinical anxiety. She is also a coordinator for the Center for Motivation and Change in New York City, where she works closely with those struggling with substance-use disorder and their affected families, observing a mix of mindfulness and CBT treatment. Savannah is interested in studying the disordered eating population, and is currently creating her own research project to further this interest at UNC. She is also interested in those with OCD and their affected family, mostly hoping to study the best ways to help both individuals and their loved ones cope. Post-graduation, she hopes to get her PhD in clinical psychology. In her free time, Savannah enjoys playing pick-up basketball, baking and decorating cakes, and poorly belting Broadway tunes in the comfort of her car.
Elias is from Wake Forest, North Carolina and is a rising junior at UNC Chapel Hill. He is on a pre-medical route, double majoring in Neuroscience and Exercise Sports Science. This fall, Elias will work with Dr. Styner in the NIRAL Lab, investigating and analyzing ASD in kids for associations between myelin content in the white matter and ASD diagnosis. Post undergraduate studies, he plans on attending medical school where he will hopefully pursue a path in neurosurgery. In his free time, Elias enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, and playing basketball.
Luke is a senior from Cary, North Carolina majoring in Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience. He is currently a research assistant in Dr. Mitch Prinstein’s Peer Relations Lab, which studies adolescent peer relationships and development. Additionally, Luke works in the Behavioral Lab at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he aids with research in decision making. He is interested in researching the therapy stigma within the Asian community, pre-cursors of young adult mood disorders, and ways to improve parent/child relationship dynamics within Asian families. After graduation, he plans on going to graduate school and getting his license to practice therapy. His life motto is “Don’t forget to smile today”, which he maintains by encouraging himself and others to find at least one thing every day that makes them smile in order to reinforce positivity during difficult times.
Caitlin is a senior from Chicago, IL majoring in Psychology and minoring in Medical Anthropology and Business Administration. She previously worked as a research assistant in Dr. Carelli’s Lab studying animal models of drug addiction and distress tolerance using optogenetics, calcium imaging and electrophysiology. She is currently an Undergraduate Clinic Advisor for SHAC where she coordinates undergraduate volunteers, patient intake paperwork and coding clinical encounters. Caitlin also works as a volunteer doula through UNC Birth Partners to support expecting mothers through labor and delivery while focusing on patient advocacy and emotional support. Caitlin is interested in studying early childhood and the lifelong impacts of environment and socialization on development and plans on attending medical school to pursue a career in pediatrics and family medicine. In her free time, she enjoys reading, painting, and trying any type of water sport.
Nivi is a junior from Charlotte, North Carolina double-majoring in Neuroscience and Nutrition with a minor in Chemistry. She is currently a research assistant in Dr. Flavio Frohlich’s lab and Dr. Stephen Hursting’s lab. At the Frohlich lab, she studies sustained attention and electrophysiological processes in the ferret model and has worked on projects involving the 5-choice serial reaction time task and transcranial alternating current stimulation. At the Hursting lab, she studies the relationship between cancer and obesity in both cell culture and mice. Nivi is interested in a variety of research topics in both neuroscience and nutrition, from brain development and neural pathways to the gut-brain axis. She hopes to attend graduate school and pursue a research-based career in the future. In her free time, she enjoys doing bhangra (an Indian style of dance), playing her violin or guitar, and spending time with family and friends.
Selma is a senior from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is on a pre-med track and will graduate with a major in Psychology and a minor in Chemistry. She has a great interest in human development and explores it through the several research labs at the University. Over the past year, she has worked as a research assistant in the Classroom Memory Study, where she administered and coded tasks measuring children’s cognitive and academic skills. This year, she will be joining the BEE Lab for her honors thesis in Psychology and the Mother Infant Research Studies Lab for the Karen M. Gil Internship Program. Selma also volunteers at the UNC Children’s Hospital and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. After graduation, she plans on working in a research lab for a year before going to medical school. During her free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with friends and family.
Andrea is a senior from Union, New Jersey double-majoring in Psychology and Public Policy with a minor in Education. Over the past year, she has served as a Research Assistant in Dr. Deborah J. Jones’s Lab, studying innovative strategies for engaging at-risk and underserved families in evidence-based intervention and assessing outcomes in behavior at different developmental stages. In this lab, she worked on an audio team to assess audio data, in efforts to operationalize emotional reactions in young children to small tasks given by their caregivers. Andrea is interested in the cross-sectional nature between early childhood education and developmental outcomes. In addition, she is interested in strategies for expanding accessibility to care, researching peer support networks, and working on public health messaging to aid in preventative health and treatment methods. In her free time, Andrea enjoys hiking, playing soccer, and volunteering at the campus community garden.
Peyton is a senior from Greensboro, North Carolina, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Health and Society. During his undergraduate career, he has been a Research Assistant in two labs. From May 2019 to January 2020, Peyton served as a Research Assistant in Dr. Sarah Algoe’s Emotions and Social Interactions in Relationships Lab. He assisted with developing and executing the Making Friends and Dating (MFAD) study that focused on first-year student relationship-building. In the Spring of 2020, he transitioned to Dr. Shauna Cooper’s Strengths, Assets, and Resilience (StAR) Lab, to explore the development of African American children and families. Peyton is also a McNair Research Scholar and is currently conducting a project on race-related stress, mental health outcomes, and coping in young Black adults. He is now pivoting towards an interest in industrial-organizational psychology and business. After graduation, he hopes to enter graduate school in industrial-organizational psychology and eventually pursue a career based in strategy analytics, talent & organization, and human potential. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV, playing basketball, and spending time with friends.
Anna is a senior from Charlotte, North Carolina majoring in Psychology and Sociology. She has worked in Dr. Kurt Gray’s Deepest Beliefs Lab, where she analyzed ethnographic data on gods in different societies and co-authored a published manuscript on cross-cultural variation in depression. She currently works in Dr. Sara Algoe’s Emotions and Social Interactions lab, where she studies why people express gratitude in close relationships and how freshmen at UNC form new relationships during college. Last semester, Anna served as an APPLES Music and Memory intern at a dementia care facility. She is interested in exploring how personality disorders and emotional intelligence shape family dynamics. After graduation, Anna hopes to gain additional research experience before attending graduate school for a Ph.D. in clinical or social psychology. In her free time, Anna loves to go to Trader Joe’s without a list, play guitar, piano, and drums, read non-fiction books, and laugh at her own jokes.