Graduate Students

 Talia Ariss, PhD Student

Talia Ariss (1)Talia received her B.A. in psychology from the American University of Beirut and an MA in Psychology in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests focus on investigating the interplay between one’s emotions, cognition, and social interactions as they relate to substance misuse. Specifically, she is interested in looking at the factors that increase one’s likelihood of developing of a substance use disorder. Outside the lab, Talia enjoys drawing and reading about nineteenth century European art.


Dani Kang, PhD Student

1F48B7B2-0FC8-4A91-80A1-E4E80889EB71-71098-00000B6CEF11C915Dani received her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She  is broadly interested in identifying socio-contextual and emotional factors that might contribute to understanding the underlying mechanisms of AUD development. Specifically, she is interested in employing electroencephalogram technique into the lab’s alcohol administration paradigm to investigate the effects of alcohol on individuals’ cognitive processing of social contexts. In addition, she is interested in applying machine learning algorithms to social science data. In her spare time, Dani enjoys traveling, swimming, baking desserts, and spending quality time with the lab members!


Walter James Venerable, III, PhD Student

1Walter received his B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University. His research interests are focused on alcohol’s role in human sexual interactions. Specifically, alcohol’s role in the perception of sexual cues or romantic interest that may lead to the initiation of sexual behaviors. Walter is interested in using this research to make informed improvements to sexual assault awareness and prevention efforts. Outside of lab Walter enjoys hiking through nature, watching educational documentaries, and participating in massively multiplayer online video game communities.


Yang Lu, PhD Student

DSC_0249Yang received his B.S. in Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. He strives to understand and contribute to substance use research utilizing tools from both clinical and social psychology. Having a better grasp of the motivating and reinforcing mechanisms of alcohol use could help produce effective interventions that properly target social contexts. Outside of academic settings, Yang enjoys spending time with friends while taking photos or playing video games.


Jiaxu Han, PhD Student

IMG-1380Jiaxu received her B.S. in Mathematics from Lanzhou University, China. Jiaxu is interested in the emotional benefits of alcohol that contribute to its abuse potential using neuroimaging and computational methods. Outside of work, Jiaxu enjoys hanging out with family and friends and playing Dota2.


Eddie Caumiant, PhD Student

EC Spring 2020Eddie received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests involve exploring the relationships between social anxiety, social context, and alcohol consumption. Specifically, he is interested in using experience-sampling methodologies alongside transdermal alcohol sensor technology to capture real-world drinking behaviors and affective experiences, as well as to examine how different social environments shape patterns of drinking. Outside of the lab, Eddie enjoys going to movies and playing board games with his friends.