This summer, the Center for Decision Research will welcome seven outstanding emerging scholars as part of the Leadership Alliance’s Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP).

The Leadership Alliance is a consortium of more than 30 institutions that have provided research and networking experiences to more than 4,000 undergraduate students with the aim of increasing the participation of underrepresented minority groups in higher education and research.

About the Program

This rigorous summer research program, which will be conducted remotely in light of COVID-19, is specifically designed for undergraduates interested in pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD. Students have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a CDR faculty mentor, and participate in research seminars and professional development workshops to prepare for an advanced academic career. They also will present their research at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium, an annual national conference bringing together SR-EIP participants, mentors, and directors from different institutions.

CDR Faculty Director Nicholas Epley spearheaded this partnership with the Leadership Alliance and will organize special programs for the students with their mentors and other CDR faculty.

“We are thrilled to get such a talented group of students involved in our research this summer,” said Epley of this year’s program participants. “Behavioral science thrives when there are no barriers to getting the brightest and most enthusiastic minds involved. We hope that connecting young scholars to CDR faculty will help to launch these students into a successful career as behavioral scientists.”

Meet the Participants

The CDR is committed to mentoring the next generation of behavioral science scholars and practitioners, and we’re pleased to welcome the following students for the Leadership Alliance summer program:

Diego Arana

Diego Arana

Indiana University-Bloomington

CDR faculty mentor: Emma Levine

Diego Arana is a junior studying psychology and philosophy at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research experience includes working as a research assistant and intern for Dr. Mary Murphy and Dr. Mina Cikara, respectively.

What are you looking forward to about this program?

“Among the things that I am excited for, is working with new people and making connections with them. I am also looking forward to hearing about opportunities to attend research presentations from the CDR faculty and members.”


Cora Baron

Cora Baron

Arizona State University-Tempe

CDR faculty mentor: Ed O'Brien

Cora Baron is a student in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology. Her early interest in implicit communication led her to explore the field of psychology and develop a passion for research. Baron has spent her time at ASU working as a research assistant, studying emotions, stereotypes, prejudice, victimization, and resilience.

What are you looking forward to about this program?

“I’m looking forward to joining the Leadership Alliance summer program because it offers a supportive and welcoming community in which underrepresented students may thrive. I believe that mentorship and collaboration are vital to quality research. I’ve already had the opportunity to talk with my mentor and other faculty members involved in the program. It’s exciting to see how dedicated UChicago is to bringing scholars together, even in a virtual setting.”


Rocio Rivera CrespoRocío Rivera Crespo

University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

CDR faculty mentor: George Wu

Rocío A. Rivera Crespo is a psychology junior at the University of Puerto Rico: Río Piedras Campus. Rocío’s educational and personal goal is to graduate and be the first in their family to pursue a PhD. Rocio’s research interests are on how decisions are tied to cultural and economic aspects.

What are you looking forward to about this program?

“I am thrilled to be a part of the program at UChicago this summer. I am looking forward to working on meaningful topics that are relevant to everyday problems and making connections that will make me a better researcher and help me grow as a person.”


Matthew HailemariamMatthew Hailemariam

University of Maryland-College Park

CDR faculty mentor: Jane Risen

Matthew Hailemariam is a junior at the University of Maryland studying psychology, and plans to pursue a graduate degree in industrial-organizational psychology. Matthew hopes to research diversity-related issues under Dr. Jane Risen this summer and is very excited about this opportunity.

What are you looking forward to about this program?

“I am looking forward to honing my research skills and learning more about the various projects the Center for Decision Research has to offer.”


Charlotte ParqueCharlotte Parque

Santa Clara University

CDR faculty mentor: Ayelet Fishbach

Originally from San Francisco, CA, Charlotte Parque is a third-year student at Santa Clara University, where she is a Psychology and Music double major with a minor in Sociology.

What are you looking forward to about this program?

“I look forward to working with Dr. Ayelet Fishbach this summer, as well as learning more about what research life is like. I am also thrilled to meet other students in the program who are just as excited about research as I am!”


Timethius TerrellTimethius Terrell

Emory University

CDR faculty mentor: Katie Kinzler

Timethius Terrell is a freshman at Emory University intending to pursue a joint major in psychology and linguistics. In the future, Timethius hopes to work as an industrial-organizational psychologist, using their background in psychology, business, and other disciplines to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

What are you looking forward to about this program?

“As someone who has only recently become involved in research, I am thrilled to have this opportunity to learn from some of the best scholars in my areas of interest.”


Azriel WilliamsAzriel Williams

University of the Virgin Islands

CDR faculty mentor: Shereen Chaudhry

Azriel Williams is a senior psychology undergraduate and NIGMS MARC scholar at the University of the Virgin Islands. Azriel’s potential research interest lies in the field of social psychology.

What are you looking forward to about this program?

“With the Leadership Alliance summer program, I am looking forward to gaining more skills to help me on the road to becoming a competent researcher.”