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Sasha Kimel, Ph.D.

Lab Director

Dr. Sasha Kimel is a social and cultural psychologist. She joined the Psychology Department at California State University, San Marcos in Fall 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Beforehand, Dr. Kimel was at Harvard University where she was a Harvard College Fellow, a postdoctoral fellow and a lecturer. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan. Her psychological research on intergroup conflict and culture draws on her background in public policy as well as her experience working at the United Nations and non-profits focused on international conflict resolution. She has lived in Canada, Japan, Singapore and Israel/Palestine. 


Brianna Salazar 

Graduate Student

Brianna graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of La Verne in 2018 before beginning the Masters of Arts program in Psychological Science at California State University, San Marcos. Brianna is interested in examining the differences between the acculturation attitudes of minority groups and receiving host communities on intergroup relations. After graduating, she would eventually like to become a professor of psychology. During her free time, Brianna enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and drawing. 


Cinthya Navarro

Undergraduate Research Assistant 


Cinthya graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Science from California State University San Marcos in May 2022. Cinthya is currently gaining research experience with Dr. Kimel and Dr. Huynh and is planning to apply to graduate schools in the near future. She is interested in topics around intergroup conflict, culture, multiple stigmatized identities, and health disparities found in marginalized groups. 


Josh Taarud

Undergraduate Research Assistant 


Joshua is a fourth year student in the Psychology Bachelor of Arts program and a first-time research assistant working under Dr. Kimel. Joshua is interested in statistically describing how modern hegemonic and non-hegemonic intersectionalities interact in western societies; specifically phenomena like stereotype threat, social ostracism, and the mental health wellness gap. Off the books, Josh shifts his focus towards documenting the mostly human-free natural processes through landscape- and astro-photography. 

Lab Alumni


Kayleigh Cousar
Graduate Student (Former)

Kayleigh graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside in 2018 before pursuing her Masters of Arts in Psychological Science at CSUSM and graduating in 2021. For her Masters thesis, Kayleigh investigated the influence of morality on motivating intergroup conflict, through the lens of political group affiliation. Kayleigh is currently a research manager. More info. 


Viridiana Sanchez Alcaraz
Lab Manager (Former)

Viri graduated from California State University San Marcos in 2020 with a major in Psychological Sciences and then served as as a lab manager for the Culture and Intergroup Relations Lab. While at CSUSM, Viri was an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Dr. Carnes' Social Psychology Lab. Viri is currently a case manager for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. More info.


Alexair Gonzalez

Undergraduate Research Assistant (Former)


Alexair graduated from California State University, San Marcos and n May 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Science. Alexair also completed the Undergraduate Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (U-RISE) scholar at CSUSM which is funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS). He is currently a PhD student in UCLA's Social Relations Lab.

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