Advisor & Officer Biographies

Dr. Cynthia Sifonis and Dr. Lakshmi Raman - Faculty Advisors
Aubrey Mercer - President

"Hello! My name is Aubrey and I am a senior at Oakland University pursuing a double-major in Psychology and Spanish Language & Literature. My primary field of interest is Industrial/Organizational Psychology, however I also enjoy learning about various other topics in the field of Social Psychology. In the future, I hope to combine my passion for Spanish and Psychology as an I/O consultant specializing in workplace diversity, or more specifically, the effects of stereotypes in the workplace and improving efficiency in a multilingual work environment."

"This past year has given me numerous opportunities to become involved within the Psychology Department. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as President of Psi Chi and I am looking forward to another great term, with the hope of offering a variety of interesting events that are beneficial to psychology students here at Oakland. In addition to my Psi Chi duties, I am also a Research Assistant in Dr. McLarnon’s Resilience at Work Lab."

"For students interested in becoming more involved in the Psychology Department, I would encourage them to attend Psi Chi’s many workshops and meetings to discover what learning opportunities there are at Oakland University outside of the classrooms. It is important to take advantage of all that the Psychology Department has to offer in order to pave the way for future success. If anyone has any questions about involvement opportunities or Psi Chi membership, please do not hesitate to contact me!"


- Aubrey Mercer

Jennifer Ishaq - Vice President

"I'm Jennifer Ishaq and I'm starting my senior year here at Oakland. I am a psychology major with a middle eastern studies minor. My main interests in psychology are developmental, cognitive, and positive psych with a focus on children. My goals within psychology are to continue schooling to attain my doctoral degree. After this, I'd like to open and own a private practice, and hopefully come back to Oakland to become a professor involved in child related research. Currently, I am conducting two independent research projects; one under Dr. Zeigler-Hill and one under Dr. Raman. I am also serving as the Vice President for Psi Chi. As Vice President, my job is to assist wherever needed with room reservations, reaching out to professors to speak at events, ordering food or supplies, ect. I am also the Vice President for the Holistic Health Student Organization."

"I joined Psi Chi in order to become more involved while attaining my bachelor's degree in Psychology. I have already met amazing people that have similar interests in psychology, made connections with professors, and learned a lot of valuable information at Psi Chi events that I would not have been able to attain otherwise. Through Psi Chi, I am a lot more prepared for Grad School and a career in psychology. Last year, I served as the Officer of Major Workshops, and planning the major events has taught me to stay organized and balance a lot of commitments at once. I would highly recommend anybody interested in joining Psi Chi to do so and become as involved as possible by applying to leadership roles next year. Connections are the way to get far in life, so build connections within the Psychology community through Psi Chi.  You'll be amazed at the places they'll take you."
- Jennifer Ishaq
Urja Parikh - Officer of Major Workshops


Audrey Raymond - Officer of Minor Workshops

"I’m Audrey Raymond and I am a senior psychology major with a minor in English. Psychology is great for understanding others and English is a great way to develop greater communication with others and I hope to apply  these skills in the future. Currently my interest is in Industrial/Organizational psychology, but I am a fan of all other areas particularly evolutionary psychology. I became a member of Psi Chi last year after being a liaison for a couple semesters. I decided that it would be a great way to build relationships within the psychology department, and I would highly recommend joining for this reason. Taking on a liaison role is a great way to show your interest and motivation to become a member in the future. Since joining Psi Chi, I have taken on an assistant role in Dr. Kozak and  Dr. Pickett’s Project STARLIT lab. Attending Psi Chi events is a fantastic opportunity to meet professors looking for assistants for future projects, and I strongly encourage this for all psych majors regardless of Psi Chi membership."



- Audrey Raymond

Sara Frost - Officer of Communications & Liaisons

 "Hello everyone! My name is Sara Frost and I am the Communications & Liaisons Officer for the 2017-2018 year. I am a senior pursuing my degree in Psychology with a Sociologyminor. I am interested in going into the counseling aspect of psychology—specifically school counseling. My main goal is to become a guidance counselor for children and adolescents. In addition to being a Psi Chi officer, I am a Research Assistant inDr. Sifonis’ lab as well as working in the ABA Clinic on campus." 

"I decided to join Psi Chi in order to become further involved inthe psychology department. Psi Chi offers a great pathway to build networks among peers and professors alike. This year, I hope to get underclassman more involved with Psi Chi and encourage them to branch out of their comfort zone. This is my first year as a member of Psi Chi and my only regret is not joining sooner! The best advice I can give to those interested or curious about Psi Chi is to ask questions, and reach out to me or other officers to help guide you along your journey at OU!"


- Sara Frost

Julia Franklin - Officer of Publicity

"As Psi Chi’s publicity officer, I am looking forward to engaging with professionals in diverse areas of the discipline. I am currently in my junior year, majoring in psychology with a minor in art history."


- Julia Franklin 

AnneJoleen Elum - Officer Web Managment

"Salutations! My name is AnneJoleen Elum and I am currently a sophomore, majoring in Nursing here at Oakland University. I will be Psi Chi's Officer of Web Management for the 2017-2018 academic year. I have a strong passion for medicine, as well as helping others. In addition to being an officer for Psi Chi, I am apart of Oakland's winter guard, I work as a nurse aid at a senior living center, and I am a waitress." 

"I am the only standing officer not majoring in Psychology, but that does not stop me from participating and becoming an officer. I decided to join due to the strong interest I have in Psychology and to be more involved with people on campus and the community. 

"My best advice, to any student interested in Psychology or any organization, is to join. It doesn't hurt to get out of your comfort zone once in a while. Inaddition, you will make new friends and be notified of any opportunities you might want to participate in!"

"Feel free to contact I or any of the officers listed if you have any questions. We will be glad to help you out!"


- AnneJoleen Elum


Maria Kontogouris - Officer of Research Colloquia


Megan Cash - Officer of Philanthropy

"Hello everyone!"


"My name is Megan Cash and I am a sophomore at Oakland University. I am a psychology major with a biology minor. My goal is to further my education with a Master's Degree in Genetic Counseling and specialize in Cancer Genetics. I have always had a love for psychology as a whole, but my main interests are in developmental, behavioral, and social psychology."


"Whenever I would ask for advice for starting college, I was always told to make sure to get involved on campus. Currently, I am a research assistant for Dr. Kozak and Dr. Pickett's Project STARLIT. I've always had a passion for giving back to the community so when I saw that the Officer of Philanthropy position was open I jumped at the opportunity! My goal as the 2017-2018 Officer of Philanthropy is to inspire others to develop a passion for volunteering and giving back to those in need."


"If I could give one solid piece of advice to students it would be to get involved. Get involved in your community, on campus, at your work, etc. If you haven't quite put yourself out there yet, it's never too late. This organization is a wonderful opportunity to network and immerse yourself in the wonderful field of psychology. Psi Chi will help you grow as an individual while strengthening those around you."


- Megan Cash

Lauren Harrison - Treasurer

"My name is Lauren Harrison and I am a senior Psychology major and Communications minor. I am a returning E-Board member in Psi Chi and will be serving as the Treasurer of the club once again. Aside from my role as Treasurer for Psi Chi, I am a research assistant in Dr. Taku’s Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) Lab. In the upcoming fall 2017 semester I will also be volunteering as a research assistant for Dr. McGinnis and as a teaching assistant in her Adulthood and Aging course. Being heavily involved in research has inspired me to pursue a PhD in geriatrics. I will be applying to graduate schools this fall and hopefully interviewing with schools in the winter semester!"


"My goals for the year as the Psi Chi Treasurer are to maintain organization in Psi Chi finances, communicate efficiently with other members and faculty, and to train a prospective Treasurer as I plan to graduate and leave behind this position. I am happy with my first year as a Treasurer for Psi Chi and all that we accomplished together. I had first joined Psi Chi because I was told it would look good on an application to graduate school. However, the skills developed through Psi Chi proved to be invaluable and have helped mold me into the student I am today. Becoming involved in Psi Chi will first give you roots and then wings. The international society will help build your foundation as a psychology student, teaching you what you enjoy and what you may not fancy. The many opportunities offered through Psi Chi will then give you endless options to pursue. Whether those options be faculty connections, research opportunities, or graduate school interests, I am certain that Psi Chi will be the reason that one of those doors opened for you."


- Lauren Harrison

Jenna Duronio - Secretary

"My name is Jenna and I am a senior at Oakland University majoring in Psychology and Writing and Rhetoric. Upon graduation, I plan to attend graduate school to begin working toward a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I have been actively involved in the Psychology Department serving as both a research and teaching assistant and this year, I will also be working as an embedded writing specialist for the Department of Writing and Rhetoric."


"As a research assistant in Dr. Kanako Taku’s Posttraumatic Growth lab and Dr. Matthew McLarnon’s Resiliency at Work lab I have had many opportunities to conduct research and present findings at conferences such as the Midwestern Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, and Meeting of Minds. As a fellow student, I want to encourage you to make connections with your professors and get involved no matter what stage you are in academically because it will enrich your education and help you to grow individually and professionally and ultimately set you up for success!"


"I initially joined Psi Chi in order to become more involved in community work and make connections with fellow students, faculty, and staff. The thing that gets me most excited about the Oakland University Psi Chi Chapter is the workshops because they are a great way to learn and make connections outside of the classroom whether you are a psychology major or not. This year, I am excited to take on a more active role in contributing to the success of Psi Chi and advancing the OU Chapter’s goals. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities and resources available through Psi Chi and as an officer, I hope I can give begin back to this amazing organization."

- Jenna Duronio

Vacant - PsychMatters Editor


Emanuel Romero - Assistant Officer   

"Hello! My name is Emanuel Romero. I am starting my sophomore year at Oakland University. I am a psychology major with a double minor in Spanish and Criminal Justice. My main interest is in social behavioral psychology. My goal is to work with the Spanish community through counseling or in the criminal justice system. I also plan upon going to grad school."


"I decided to join Psi Chi to continue exploring the psychology field. In my first year, I was a liaison for Psi Chi to become more active and to stay connected on campus. Attending workshop events and meetings is a great way to learn more about the field, and a way to meet fellow students and faculty involved. Getting involved is important and I encourage everyone to get involved. As well as joining Psi Chi, I am a research assistant in Dr. Kozak and Dr. Pickett's Project STARLIT. Working in the lab has allowed me to gain experience and knowledge in a research study." 


"The best advice that I can give is to listen and take action. If you want to do something do not wait, take every opportunity that you have to be successful. Psi Chi is a wonderful way to network. For anyone interested in psychology, Psi Chi allows you to explore the amazing field of psychology, meet like minded people, and take roles that have rewarding enrichments that will prove to serve you well. Psi Chi is another door open to your bright future!"


- Emanuel Romero

Ashley Harris - Assistant Officer of Communications and Liaisons  

“Hi everyone! My name is Ashley Harris. I am a junior in Psychology with a Biology minor. My primary interest is in behavioral neuroscience, which I hope to pursue in graduate school and obtain a Ph.D. In addition to serving as the Assistant Communications & Liaisons Officer for Psi Chi, I am a Research Assistant for Dr. Welling’s hormones lab, a Teaching Assistant for Statistics in Psychology, and a member of the Marketing Team of the Student Program Board. I am so excited to be an officer this year and help out with more psychology-related events!"


"I decided to join Psi Chi as a sophomore to become more involved with my major and create networks in the department, with both faculty and other students with similar interests as me. The Psi Chi events and departmental opportunities I’ve been presented with have really helped me prepare for graduate school and my future career. I used to be pretty shy, so I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone in order to make the most of my time here at OU and help others along the way. I encourage others to do the same. Feel free to reach out to myself or other officers with any questions about Psi Chi or psychology in general."


- Ashley Harris