Meet the Pilas crew!
Here are all the pilitas that make this team possible.
Hola! Born to immigrant parents, I have spent my life navigating between two cultures--Mexican and American. Through my experiences, passion, and advocacy, I have developed a science that centers Latines. I was born and raised in Odessa, TX. I have West Texas in my heart and truly feel like a desert boy. I am bicultural and bilingual, so I am lucky to be able to enjoy media in two different languages. You will usually hear me playing music to some capacity. I love R&B and traditional Mexican music. I'm a big foodie and I'm always down for a good laugh.
3rd Year Graduate Student
Hi, I'm William Rayo. I'm a doctoral student interested in how our cognitive processes are shaped by our life experiences. My research interests are: 1) how differences in our bilingual experiences help shape neural and cognitive outcomes, 2) science of teaching and learning, with a focus on the effects of prior knowledge in conceptual development. I'm interested in a range of statistical approaches such as structural equation modeling, latent profile analyses, bayesian statistical techniques, and so on. My interest in how bilingualism affects the mind comes from my experiences growing up as a Colombian-American bilingual in South Florida, since you never knew what languages people were able to speak/understand you always needed to pay attention to your audience and be prepared to change the language you were using at a moments notice. Outside of psychology I'm interested in learning, hiking, camping, riding my bicycle around town, playing video games, and good food.
1st Year Graduate Student
Lianelys Cabrera Martinez
I’m a graduate student at the School of Psychological Science, focusing on the Applied Cognition area. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (May 2022). As a Latina and first-generation immigrant, I’ve always been passionate about the social issues in psychology that affect our community. Currently, my research interests include how bicultural identity development, social cognition, resilience, and racial microaggressions impact Latinx individuals. In my free time, I like to do embroidery work, and sometimes I publish my work in a digital magazine called Kindergarten Mag.
Incoming Graduate Student
Hi y’all! I am Kiara (Kiki) Hunt. I am a Doctoral student at Oregon State University, School of Psychological Sciences. I am a non-binary, biracial human with various invisible disabilities. My intersectional lived experience heavily influences my research in Social Identity Development and the application of a Black, Feminist framework in psychology. I draw from the inspiration of bell hooks, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Dorothy Roberts, as these Black women are pivotal to the disruption of white supremacy in academia and society. I intend to leverage my findings to reallocate power to community via data literacy, using data as a story-telling technique and reinforcing community care through research. When I am not wearing my researcher hat, I am a parent to four incredible kiddos. Our time is spent shuffling from various games and practices and of course, a lot of Fortnite. In my downtime, I practice rest as it is the biggest act of revolution.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” -audre lorde
Lizbeth Salamanca Silva
I’m an undergraduate student here at Oregon State pursuing a B.S. in Psychology, as well as working towards minors in English and Spanish. I am an Oregonian born andraised in the Medford area; however, my roots originate in Mexico from the coastal state of Guerrero where the majority of my family still resides. I originally came to Oregon State with the plan to get a degree in engineering; however, after taking part in URSA (an undergraduate research program) I became interested in social justice work and currently want to combine my interest in multicultural backgrounds and psychological approaches to research the demands of being part of a non-dominant culture in America. After completing my bachelor’s, I want to go to graduate school where I plan topursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. In my free time, I enjoy binging the Star WarsSaga, Game of Thrones, and rock climbing.
Michelangelo Mic Arriaza-Silva
I am an undergraduate student at Oregon State working towards a B.S. in BioHealth Science with a minor in psychology. I was born in Montebello , CA, and raised in La Cañada, CA. With an immigrant father from El Salvador and a mother from the States, I grew up between two cultures. My experiences in navigating two cultures have influenced my interest in an intersectional approach to forensic psychology. I want to specialize in forensic psychology because I’m interested in using an intersectional approach to investigate the unique obstacles faced by multicultural people when navigating the criminal justice system. In the same way, multiculturalism demands consideration of different perspectives so too does the work I envision. In this way, I see my diverse upbringing being a real asset in studying these important issues. In my free time, I love playing soccer, where I have competed at a national level, working out, playing video games, and spending time with friends and family.
Comunidad sin barreras
The PILAS Team grows even outside of OSU!
4th year Graduate Student Affiliate (UNLV)
Aldo Barrita M.A.
Aldo Barrita (he/his/él) is a queer Latinx doctoral student in his 4th year at the Psychological and Brain Sciences Ph.D. Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He was born in Mexico and immigrated to the US when he was 16. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017 with high honors. His research focus includes how different forms of discrimination, primarily microaggressions, psychologically impact individuals from marginalized communities. Specifically, he has a special interest in Latinx and/or LGBTQ+ experiences with microaggressions as well as psychometrics. Aldo Barrita currently serves as the student representative for the National Latinx Psychology Association (NLPA) and student chair for APA Division 52. He has been awarded prestigious honors and recognitions such as 2021 NLPA Distinguished Student Service Award and 2021 SPSP Janessa Shapiro Student Research Award and the 2022 Barbara Smith & Jewel E. Horvat Graduate Student Award for Research on Queer Individuals of Color Award from the Society for Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race (APA Division 45). In 2022, he became a Mellon Fellow receiving the 2022-23 Crossing Latinidades Mellon Humanities Fellowship.