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Research Coordinators | Overview

Gina Schnur Gina Schnur, EdM

Gina received her Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education studying Human Development and Psychology and received her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech. Her research interests have broadly focused on social-emotional skills, executive function, and teacher-student relationships with the hopes of informing education policy and promoting equity in early childhood education. Gina worked as a postgraduate associate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence researching the associations between classroom quality and school readiness in preschools. During this time, she worked directly with educators and families as she explored the efficacy of a systematic approach to teaching emotional intelligence in preschool classrooms. Previously, she worked at Boston Children’s Hospital researching the development of children with rare neurogenetic disorders and piloted a research study exploring the efficacy of home-based video recordings. As an undergraduate Gina was a research assistant in the Children’s Emotions Lab at Virginia Tech studying self-regulation and emotion coaching in young children and worked as a teacher’s aide in preschool classrooms. She is excited to be working in the Faja Lab as a coordinator for the IDEA study and is particularly interested in how the study’s findings can inform future interventions, particularly in school settings.

 

Matthew Armstrong Matthew Armstrong, MS

Matt has returned to the Faja Lab after successfully completing a master's degree in Biomedical Studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia. His bachelor's degree in Natural Sciences is from the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College. Matt is currently taking classes at UMASS Boston with the goal of becoming a physician assistant. Matt’s research interests include the role that autism plays in dating and developing quantitative measures of how an autism diagnosis can affect relationships. As a graduate student in the Faja Lab, he played a pivotal role in writing the CRUSH curriculum, which aims to support the development of dating skills and sexual health and is excited to help with its initial pilot testing. Matt will also be working on the KISS project which seeks to develop tasks for autistic adults to measure their sexual health. He will also support the L16HTHOUSE Study and ABC-CCT. Matt recently hiked Franconia Notch in New Hampshire where his photo was taken on top of Mount Lafayette, the tallest mountain he has hiked. Aside from hiking, Matt also enjoys listening to the Boston Symphony, swimming at the Harvard Pool and surfing over the summers on Cape Cod. 

 

Doo-yun Her

Doo-yun Her

Doo-yun graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive and Brain Sciences from Tufts University (during which she wrote an honors thesis as a student intern under Dr. Nelson here at the LCN!). Since graduating, she worked on cognitive neuroscience research at Cambridge Health Alliance, supported data projects at Mount Holyoke, and completed a data science fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s developed a strong curiosity for human experiences and perception, which she is excited to explore under Dr. Faja’s mentorship. As the ABC-CT study coordinator, Doo-yun wears many hats in supporting the Faja Lab’s operations, but her favorite responsibility is maintaining a robust and exciting spread of snacks and prizes to offer our participants when they visit the lab. While she loves to spend her free time laying down, Doo-yun very much enjoys thrifting, yoga, painting, and going outside.

 

Madison Surmacz Madison Surmacz

Madison graduated from Johns Hopkins University in the spring of 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Madison spent 2.5 years at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), where she worked primarily on a study that observed the phenomenology of anxiety in preschool children with ASD through clinical and behavioral assessments. She completed her senior honors project in the characterization of intolerance of uncertainty in ASD through completing item-level factor analyses of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale for Children (IUS-C) alongside her research team. On campus, Madison participated in the Best Buddies program, provided academic guidance through peer mentoring, and served as an internal trainer for JHU’s mental health organization, A Place to Talk. Madison is excited to be a part of the Faja Lab and continue to grow in a clinical research context in hopes of one day pursuing her PhD in Clinical or Developmental Psychology. In her free time, Madison enjoys spending time outdoors, trying new restaurants, and watching documentaries.