Lab Team

Jaclyn Farrens – Senior Data Analyst 

In 2011 Jaclyn joined Steve Luck’s lab as an Undergraduate Research Assistant working with Dr. Kappenman. In 2013 she graduated from UC Davis, where she received her B.A. in English and B.S. in Psychology. Upon graduation, she became the Lab Manager for Dr. Luck’s lab and continued her research with Dr. Kappenman full time as a Junior Specialist. In 2016, she moved to San Diego to continue her work with Dr. Kappenman at SDSU as a full time Research Assistant and Lab Manager. She plans to attend graduate school in the coming years.


McKena Geiger – Lab Manager

McKena joined Dr. Kappenman’s lab in the summer of 2019 as lab manager. Her research experience began in 2015 at North Dakota State University. Throughout her time at NDSU, McKena worked in Dr. Robert Dvorak’s H.A.R.M, Dr. Clay Routledge’s Existential Science, and Dr. Jeffery Johnson’s Cognitive Neuroscience labs as an undergraduate research assistant. She got her B.S. in Psychology at NDSU in 2019. McKena has a strong interest in computational neuroscience and has plans to attend graduate school in the future.



Wendy Zhang – Graduate Student

Wendy is a third-year student in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. She received her Bachelor of Social Sciences in psychology and fine arts from the University of Hong Kong in 2017 and M.S. in Clinical Psychology from SDSU in 2019. Wendy’s research focuses on understanding the disturbances of sensory, cognitive, and emotional processes in psychotic and anxiety disorders using primarily EEG/ERP methods. Following in Dr. Kappenman’s footsteps, Wendy also has a strong interest in promoting good practice in the use of EEG/ERP in clinical neuroscience research. In the long term, Wendy aspires to bring research and education in clinical psychology to less developed parts of the world.


Emily Meissel – Graduate Student

Emily is interested in using behavioral and cognitive neuroscience techniques to understand the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science. Upon graduation, Emily interned in Dr. Daniel Gilbert’s lab at Harvard University and has been working as a Lab Manager in Dr. Stewart Shankman’s lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago since September 2015. Emily is excited to join Dr. Kappenman’s lab in Fall 2017 as a first year student in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology.



Aniha Vijay Kumar – Graduate Student

Aniha is a first-year master’s student at SDSU. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2019 where she was an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Vicky Lai’s Cognitive Neuroscience Lab of Language from 2017 to 2019. Aniha is interested in using EEG/ERP measures to further understand the underlying elements of trait and state-induced anxiety, and would like to extend this research to depression in the future. 




Megan Spence – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Megan is a 5th year Psychology major, with a minor in Counseling and Social Change and Honors Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. She joined the lab in the Fall of 2017. Her future plans are to pursue a doctoral degree in Psychology and research noninvasive and nonpharmacologic treatments for anxiety and affective disorders.




Kentaro Kawasaki – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kentaro is a 4th year double major in Psychology and Political Science, with an Honors minor in interdisciplinary studies. He joined the lab in the Spring of 2018. His future plans include pursuing a masters or doctoral degree in psychology.




Rachel Chen – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rachael is a 3rd year Psychology major, with minors in Cellular & Molecular Biology, and Chinese. She joined the lab in the Spring of 2019. Her future plans include attending medical school in hopes of becoming a licensed psychiatrist.  




Marisa Krauter – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Marisa is a 2nd year Psychology major, with a minor in Counseling and Social Change. She joined the lab in the Fall of 2019. Marisa’s future plans include going to graduate school for clinical psychology in hopes of pursuing a career as a clinical psychologist and researcher, with an interest in anxiety disorders.




Gabriel Marra – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Gabriel is a 3rd year Psychology major, with a minor in Spanish. He joined the lab in the Fall of 2019. Gabriel is considering pursuing a career in academia.




Lily Holmes – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lily is a 3rd year psychology major, which a minor in Counseling and Social Change. Her future plans include pursuing a career as a marital and family therapist. 



Kelly Zoffada – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kelly is in her third year at San Diego State University and is working towards her B.A. in psychology. She joined Dr. Kappenman’s team in the Fall of 2019. After graduation she hopes to attend graduate school in pursuit of a masters in the field of psychology.


Former Graduate Students

Chelsea Carter – Graduate Student

Chelsea a graduate of the Master’s Program in Psychology. Chelsea attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she majored in both Psychology and Communication. She was a member of the College of Letters and Science’s Honors Program and was a research assistant in Dr. Hegarty’s Spatial Thinking Lab. After graduating in 2015, Chelsea worked as a case manager for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, as well as mental health diagnoses. 


Former Trainees


AmandaNgAmanda Ng – Junior Specialist

Amanda joined the lab as a Junior Specialist in the Fall of 2015. She has her B.A. in psychology from San Diego State University and her M.A. from San Francisco State University’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior program. In the Summer of 2016 she left Dr. Kappenman’s lab for a position at Stanford University.


DanielDaniel Kapulkin – Assistant Technical Specialist

Daniel joined the lab as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in 2013. In 2014 he was promoted to Assistant Technical Specialist. In 2015 he graduated from UC Davis, where he received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. Upon graduation, he took a position with National Instruments and moved to Austin, TX with his cat, Aurora.


Raphael picRaphael Geddert – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Raphael Geddert is an ASPIRE scholar in his senior year at UC Davis. In 2014 he joined Dr. Kappenman’s team and will continue working with her remotely from Dr. Luck’s lab in Davis. He is currently working on his senior thesis project and plans on attending medical school after graduation.


Former Undergraduate Assistants



Adam Govani Fall 2012 – Winter 2016
AlejandroLopezSpring 2014 – Winter 2015
AlexandraLuongFall 2013 – Spring 2014
AnthonyRosefeldFall 2013 – Summer 2013
AshleySymonsFall 2011 – Summer 2011
BrianTrinhFall 2013 – Spring 2015
CelesteHackenbergFall 2012 – Summer 2013
ConnieChoiFall 2013 – Spring 2014
DanielKapulkinFall 2013 – Summer 2015
Dylan ChengFall 2013 – Summer 2014
Erika ArnoldFall 2014 – Spring 2016
GarrettO’DaySpring 2014 – Spring 2015
Georgia MeyerSummer 2019 – Fall 2019
JazzlynAvilesFall 2018- Fall 2019
JedColcolFall 2016 – Spring 2018
JenniferWindusWinter 2013- Summer 2014
Krystal WulfFall 2014 – Spring 2015
LeahKrauseFall 2018 – Fall 2019
LivonHermeziFall 2012 – Spring 2013
MarkCubillan Fall 2015 – Spring 2016
MercyHuangFall 2013 – Spring 2014
Noel ElrodFall 2013 – Spring 2014
Priscilla Albarran Fall 2016 – Spring 2018
Raphael GeddertFall 2014 – Spring 2016
SashaMikhailovaFall 2013 – Spring 2014
ScottPhillipsWinter 2013 – Spring 2013
Shaun CapaulWinter 2013 – Summer 2013
Sheila FakurnejadFall 2012 – Spring 2013
SydneyToddFall 2018 – Spring 2019
Tyler FreitasWinter 2014 – Spring 2014
Zane XieFall 2012 – Spring 2013

If you are interested in joining Dr. Kappenman’s lab or want to find out more about our research, please email McKena at or call 619-594-2445 for more information.