Graduate Students

CeCelia Palow

CeCelia is interested in interventions to improve cognitive functioning. In particular, she is interested in how physical activity may enhance cognition. Currently, she is investigating the influence of physical activity on stress, as this relationship may be a mediator to the connection between physical activity and cognition.

Cecelia Palow

Stephanie Robinson

Stephanie is a rising third year Ph.D. student and is currently studying physical activity, cognition, and successful aging. Specifically, she is interested in psychological and social barriers that impede adults from engaging in physical activity and how these influence age-related declines. At Brandeis, she is examining how perceived control can be modified to promote activity in middle-aged and older adults. She hopes that by developing such interventions she can continue to explore the relationships between physical activity, perceived control, and cognition. Before coming to Brandeis, she graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Psychology where she explored strategies to improve episodic memory. She then graduated with honors from the Catholic University of America with an M.A. in General Psychology. 

Stephanie Robinson

Michael Polito

Michael Polito is a fifth-year Ph.D. student with an interest in anxiety, personality, and the physiological markers of stress and arousal. He graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, where he and a colleague conducted a study on how shyness could play a role in proximity decisions and memory formation when approaching a stranger. At Brandeis, his research has examined personality differences in physiological reactivity across the adult lifespan. Currently, he is studying the effect of stereotyping on physiological stress responses and behavior. Mike also assists the Rohleder/Wolf Health Psychology lab in preparing biological samples for analysis and in performing cognitive testing.

Michael Polito

Salom Teshale

Salom is interested in decision-making and well-being across the lifespan, specifically strategies and methods older adults use to make life decisions. Her dissertation work examines within-person changes in reports of selection, optimization and compensation strategies across the lifespan, and how usage of these strategies relates to emotional memory and well-being within a healthcare decision making context.

Photo of Salom Teshale by Lori DeSantis Photography

(Image Credit: Lori DeSantis PhotograpY)

Nicholas Brisbon

Nick is a fourth-year Ph.D. student whose research interests involve the concept of mindfulness. He is currently exploring the effects of mindfulness practice on intrusive thoughts, stress, sleep quality, and memory. However, his interests regarding mindfulness are quite broad. Nick graduated from UMass Amherst with a B.A. in psychology and most recently earned an M.S. in clinical psychology from Springfield College. Prior to enrolling at Brandeis, Nick was engaged in clinical work in Northampton, MA.

Nick Brisbon

Julianna Bednar

Julie is a masters degree student. Her interests include exploring the effects of trait mindfulness and mindfulness-based treatments on age-related issues including stress, memory and overall physical and subjective aging.  Before Brandeis, Julie worked with Dr. Ellen Langer at Harvard University studying the effects of mindfulness on weight change in college women. Julie is interested in continuing her research on the mind-body relationship as it relates to the physical and cognitive progression toward older adulthood.

Julianna Bednar