Dr. Pani Farvid
Scholar, Advocate, Consultant
Lab Founder and Director
Dr. Pani Farvid is an Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology. She joined The New School in 2019 from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, where she developed successful teaching and research programs, as well as wide-ranging media profile addressing social and psychological issues (e.g., see her TEDx talk on saying goodbye to binary gender).
Dr. Farvid works with interdisciplinary research teams, community organizations and policy makers across the globe. She draws on mixed-methods, discursive methods, as well as new and emerging methodologies. Her current research/supervision interests span the following:
Working with marginalized populations (e.g., refugees, immigrants, non-binary, LGBTQI+, ethnic/racial minorities) in order to foster equity and social justice.
Dr. Thomas a. Vance
Visiting Research Scholar
Dr. Thomas A.Vance is a Visiting Research Scholar at the Schools for Public Engagement at The New School in New York. Clinically, Dr. Vance's work examines the intersection of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, race/ethnicity, disability, class, and other identities and experiences. Dr. Vance researches, practice, and advocates on the resilience of the transgender and gender non-binary community through social justice and empowerment training related to mental health. Dr. Vance specializes in providing holistic multicultural care to children, adolescents, adults, and families. His clinical practice uses evidence-based therapies and techniques appropriately modified for working cross-culturally with socially, economically, and politically disadvantaged patients.
Cultural Researcher, Futures Decolonizer, Feminist
Lydia Caldana is a Liberal Studies Master's Degree candidate at The New School for Social Research, at The New School. Her studies focus on gender and sexuality, and on the future of urban spaces and living. She is also an experienced brand strategist and trend forecaster, leading end-to-end consumer insights and trends projects with inspiring, ethical, culturally-responsive, transparent and long-term solutions as an end goal. Diversity and sustainability are at the core of her understanding of futures, and she works towards improving equity and longstanding decisions at companies and institutions.
SexTech Lab Member
Bella Ibrahim graduated from Pratt Institute in 2014 with a BFA in Communications Design and is currently completing her Liberal Studies MA and Gender Studies certificate at NSSR. Her MA research focuses on Egyptian American women and how their identity influences navigating sexuality and relationships.
Bella comes from a creative marketing background, having worked on award-winning ad campaigns for brands like American Express and Charity: Water. She is currently the marketing director at Kerning Cultures Network, the first venture-funded podcast company in the Middle East.
Writer, Activist, Researcher
Sanjana is a writer and feminist activist. She's currently studying Gender & Sexuality at the New School and will graduate in May 2020. Her work has been published in multiple Indian websites including Asia Times and News Laundry. She's a core collaborator at Smashboard, an alternative social media network for people of all genders fighting patriarchy, and a features writer for CauseBecause, a magazine focusing on corporate social responsibility, the nonprofit sector, and sustainability. Her research interests include gender-based violence, indigenous rights, and socialist feminism. Sanjana has an MBA from IIM Bangalore, India.
Student, Researcher, Clinician-in-training
Sam is a 2nd year MA psychology student in the New School for Social Research. She earned her BA in Psychology with a concentration in Gender & Sexuality studies at Bard College in 2018. In addition to being a part of the SexTech Lab, Sam is also a Research Assistant and a member of the Gender & Health Lab in the Clinical Psychology department. Sam's research interests involve sexual/reproductive health and technologies-- specifically as they relate to women, gender minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community. Her MA thesis was a qualitative study examining patient/provider interactions as participants were deciding on preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A). Sam will begin the Clinical Psychology PhD at the New School in August 2020.
Student, Clinician, Researcher
Sophie Mullens is a second-year master's student studying psychology at the New School for Social Research, planning to enroll in the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology the fall. She works as a Research Assistant in The Psychopathology Lab of McWelling Todman, and in the SexTech Lab. Research interests include boredom, psychosis, and gender bias in clinical judgment. Outside of NSSR, Sophie works as a Wellness Coordinator at Urban Pathways, an organization that provides housing and services to individuals with severe mental illness and a history of homelessness.
SexTech Lab Member
Isabela is a psychology major finishing her degree in BPATS, she will then go on to earn a master's degree in Art Therapy. Isabela is eager to help others heal through the power of creativity, and loves studying the inner workings of our psyches. Her interests include ceramics, cooking and baking, dancing, psychology, and being outside in nature.
Researcher, Student, Advocate
Kay Nikiforova is a first year Clinical Psychology PhD student at St. John's University, a mental health advocate and serves as an advisor for startups and organizations within the mental health and healthtech space. Their clinical and research interests span trauma, the GSM (Gender and Sexuality Minority) population, alternative sexuality and spiritual practices, we well as mental health literacy.
Student, Artist, Feminist
Elizabeth is a junior in the BPATS program at The New School, taking psychology and gender studies classes. She is interested in social justice and plans on getting her Masters in Social Work after she graduates. She created the Instagram: @takewaitersoffthemenu to tell restaurant employees stories of harassment.
Student, Leftist, Activist
Anna is a fourth year psychology student at The New School. She hopes to help reshape US public policy surrounding racial and economic justice, mental health, and healthcare. Her interests include racial and gender identity, psychology, and social activism. She’s a producer for the student-ran New School Radio and lives in Portland, Oregon.
Student, Researcher, Activist
Hannah (she/her/hers) is a Korean American from NYC, and is currently a Psychology Master’s student at The New School for Social Research. Previously, she studied Neuroscience, and Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. With a newfound interest in Counseling Psychology, her interests lie primarily in supporting/uplifting marginalized folx. Her research interests tend to focus much on Black and Indigenous People/Person(s) of Color (BIPOC), Gender, and Sexuality. In addition to her involvement in the SexTech Lab, she is a part of Dr. Doris F. Chang’s Lab at NYU Silver School of Social Work. Outside of Psychology, she can be found amplifying/advocating for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues, pursuing photography, and enjoying the presence of loved ones.
SexTech Lab Member
Rezwana Karim Snigdha is a Ph.D. candidate at Auckland University of Technology. Her Ph.D research focuses on transgender (hijra) in Bangladesh. She is working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, and has ten years of teaching and research experience in anthropology. She also worked as a Tutor in the Gender Sensitivity and Human Services course at the University of Canterbury, a part-time lecturer in the management department, and a tutor in Applied Media Ethics at AUT (Auckland University of Technology). She has an excellent grasp of gender diversity, LGBTQ, and qualitative research tools and techniques. She dedicates to in-depth research by using a multi-disciplinary approach and conducted several qualitative research on gender and sexuality. Ms. Snigdha’s areas of interest are Transgenderism, LGBTQ, Gender studies, Body & Sexuality. She is also interested in Queer Theory, Social and Cultural Anthropology
SexTech Lab Member
Tara Pond is in her final year of her PhD at AUT University, New Zealand. Within critical psychology, her thesis examines the experiences and identities of bisexual and other plurisexual women using a mixed method approach. Her research interests lie in examining the intersections of gender and sexuality, technologically mediated intimate relationships, and working to make hidden and marginalised populations visible in academic and community spaces. She is a vocal advocate for bisexual+ people and is at the forefront of research in this area. “
SexTech Lab Member
Tanja has Psychology major from Auckland University (1998), has a Bachelor of Science in Chiropractic (2000) and has a first-class honours degree in Health Science from Auckland University of Technology (2016). For the last 15 years, Tanja has been active in the New Zealand chiropractic profession and within chiropractic education at The New Zealand College of Chiropractic. In 2019 Tanja enrolled in a PhD programme and her research is centred on chiropractic professional identity, practitioner subtypes and patient outcomes. Tanja’s vision is to better understand the chiropractic profession and celebrate the diversity within it, enabling chiropractic to continue to grow and contribute to wider healthcare.
DR. Luke Sniewski
Therapist, Researcher, Dad
Dr. Luke Sniewski is a Wellbeing Coach and Mindfulness-Based Therapist. His doctoral research focused on evaluating meditation as an intervention for men with pornography addiction, as well as qualitative explorations of men who identify as having a problematic relationship with pornography. He is continuing his education at the Auckland University of Technology, where he is completing the required courses and placements for registration as a psychologist in New Zealand. He enjoys meditating, cooking, salsa dancing, and playing with his son, Jack.
Researcher, Applied Psychology, Technology
Sara Obaid UI Islam is currently on track to receive a masters in psychology focused on cognitive and social psychology at The New School. She has worked with diverse and underserved populations on how they use technology and consume social media information, in Pakistan. More specifically Sara worked on developing and implementing a digital literacy program for rural women as well as potential interventions for stopping spread and belief in fake news for low literacy groups. Sara is interested in research on technology and its influence on human behavior, especially in terms of social psychology, decision making and perception. She has been part of research on VR technology at The New School, specifically exploring if it affects empathy and subsequent donor behavior in participants working under Alison Jane Martingano. Sara is also now a Research Assistant at the Sex Tech Lab and a member of the NSSR Perception Lab.
Student, Pleasure activist, Community centered
Thyme (they/them/theirs) is a life long learner in the pursuit of social justice.
They hold an undergraduate interdisciplinary degree from Fairhaven College. Currently they are a psychology graduate student at the New School of Social Research.
Thyme has spent the last decade working in coalition with Black and queer people of color, young people, sex workers, youth and migrants in both Washington state and the nations capital around sex education, workers rights, and direct-service harm reduction. Thyme is interested in centering underserved communities’ experiences as they continue their education to pursue their Ph.D in clinical psychology.
Healer, Radical Listener, Scholar
Felix Gabriel is a first year Psychology Master student at the New School for Social Research, and his research interests includes mental health disparities amongst Black and Brown queer youth, serious mental illnesses, memory, and grief. Felix Gabriel earned his bachelor’s degree in History and Chinese Language & Culture from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. He has worked in multicultural development, early childhood education, arts administration, museum studies, radio production, national community outreach, and clinical case coordination. Felix Gabriel is a recent graduate of Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine program where he utilizes his passion for storytelling and its impact in the clinical setting. In his free time, Felix Gabriel enjoys shooting film photography, editing audio, and watching film.
Student, Counselor, Writer
Brian Clement is an undergraduate psychology student at the New School. His interests include gender and sexual identity, personality, and racial disparities in mental health care. At the Mental Health Association of San Francisco he counsels peers in recovery, helping them tell their own stories. He is inspired by psychoanalytic theory and plans to pursue graduate study.
Student, Researcher, Womanist
Tess George is a second-year masters student in psychology at the New School for Social Research. She is exploring the intersection of human-robot interactions (HRI), artificial intelligence (AI), sexuality, and violence against women. Her research examines how the emerging role of humanoid sex robots impacts human relationships. Currently, she is investigating the role of personality, boredom, loneliness, and social anhedonia on human-robot interactions specifically with sex robots. Tess is interested in focusing further upon issues that sex workers face, as well the complexities of erotic practices, such as BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism). She is also a research assistant in McWelling Todman’s Psychopathology lab. Outside of NSSR, Tess works as a trauma informed yoga teacher.
SexTech Lab Member
Lindsey Johnson is a State Outreach Associate at ActBlue for the Southern region of the United States. Originally from North Carolina, she works with candidates and committees in the South build sustainable,
people-powered digital fundraising programs. Most recently, she worked as a Lingerie Fit Specialist and Retail Associate and as an Academic Advisor at Simmons University. She graduated in 2015 from
Simmons University with a B.A in Political Science and presented her honors thesis “140 characters of
tactical innovation: Social movement activism and political participation on Twitter among Black Americans” at the 46th Annual National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Her interests include racial and economic justice with an intersectional lens, mental health, fashion, voter
empowerment and enfranchisement, and social media as a change agent.
Student, Volunteer, Experimenter
Vanessa is enrolled in the graduate diploma of psychotherapy studies at AUT in Auckland, New Zealand.
She is particularly interested in renewed research into psychedelic drugs and how they assist and deepen the therapeutic process.
She is also the co-founder of Morning People - an events business which organizes drug-and-alohol free dawn dance parties around New Zealand.
Vanessa is a Lifeline volunteer counsellor (suicide prevention helpline) a freelance voiceover artist, and is currently training daily in the Wim Hof method which involves breathing exercises and cold exposure to strengthen the mind and body.
Student, Researcher, Feminist
Sally McHugh is a first-year masters student in psychology at the New School for Social Research and hopes to later pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She earned her BA in Economics and Spanish Linguistics from Occidental College in 2014 and has a background in sales, talent acquisition and operations. Research interests include mental healthcare disparities across marginalized communities, the treatment and rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals with psychotic disorders, and reproductive healthcare in underserved populations. Sally is also a member of McWelling Todman's Psychopathology Lab. Outside of the NSSR, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her rescue dog, Cali, and volunteering with Brooklyn-based senior citizens.
Derek Scolpino graduated from Roger Williams University in 2011 with a BS in Business and a minor in Global Communications.
He is currently a first-year master’s student studying psychology at the New School for Social Research. Derek is interested in LGBTQ+ and social justice and plans to pursue the clinical psychology PhD program at NSSR after his second year in the master’s program.
Outside of NSSR, Derek works as a Corporate Sales Manager at a financial institution in downtown Manhattan.
Artist, Marketer, Analyst
Laura Ovcjak is a Psychology MA student at The New School for Social Research.
Originally from Toronto, Laura brings a unique range of expertise as a dancer,
choreographer, teacher, and songwriter. Laura studied Economics at The University of Toronto, is a seasoned marketing professional, and currently works at The New School as a Marketing Analyst. Laura is driven by work that focuses on equity, access, and inclusion, and is interested in research that explores gender and identity in the context
of cultural, familial, and societal expectations. Laura is also fascinated by music and dance and seeks to understand the role these disciplines play in identity, belonging, and resilience.
Student, Advocator, Thinker
My name is Faith. I am an undergraduate at Bates College, with a major of pre-med, I will be graduating in 2024. I am committed to social justice in the area of medicine, most importantly to marginalized groups. I am new to the team and ready to start talking about change.
Student, Photographer, Educator
Talea is a first year Psychology Masters student and intends to later
pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology. Growing up in NYC, Talea has always had an interest in mental health in marginalized communities, and racial justice. She is also interested in the impact of
incarceration on the development of mental illnesses, and treatment
outcomes in the LGBTQ+ community. As an undergraduate, Talea got the
chance to work with mentally ill incarcerated individuals. Her
previous research examines the influence of race on juror decision
making. Outside of the NSSR, Talea enjoys photography, baking and
Tyce Franshon Purvis
Student, Artist, Advocate
Tyce is a first year master student, studying psychology at the New School for Social Research. He is originally from Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY. His primary interests lie in the educational experiences of Black youth, intersectionality, and the quality of medical and mental health care for Black and LGBT youth. Outside of the NSSR program, he is an exercise enthusiast, dancer, and artist. He uses art to explore his creativity, and challenge the many stereotypes placed onto the black community.
Student, Volunteer advocate, Psychology nerd
2nd year grad student with interest in both the CMHSAC and GSSR track. Passionate in areas surrounding advocacy for survivors of sex trafficking/sexual violence. Also a former bartender, proud doggy mom, and other areas of interest include writing, para and forensic psychology, and arts.
Student, Designer, Sister
Sonora Goldman is a first year M.A. student in the Psychology department at the New School for Social Research. Her studies focus on global mental health, specifically at the intersection of political, climate, and migration driven trauma and intervention. She is a rape crisis volunteer councelor with RAINN working with survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. In addition to being a student, Sonora is a designer and runs a sustainable line of clothing, homegoods, and accessories called frnds of ours.
Scholar, Activist, Clinician
Maryam Omidi is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at The New School for Social Research. She is also a member of the Frantz Fanon Center for Intersectional Psychology and the Psychology Department’s Social Justice, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee. She draws on qualitative and participatory action research methods for her research, which focuses on the intersection of race, ethnicity, social justice, and mental health. After graduation, Maryam is interested in working with underserved communities in the public sector. Before training as a psychologist, she worked as a journalist in the UK, and is the author of Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums (2017).
Student, Lab Member, Empath
Aaron is a student at the New School majoring in psychology. As someone who's always had an interest in human relationships and the concept of gender and sexuality, Aaron brings a different perspective to the lab with many years in studying both subjects and their partnerships in mental health. Outside of school, Aaron is heavily invested in the gaming world, as well as religion and spirituality.
Student, Researcher, Advocate
Isabel Glusman is a first-year master’s student in psychology at The New School for Social Research, on the CMHSAC track. Her interests center around the neuropsychology of anger and aggression. She is additionally a member of the McWelling Todman Psychopathology and Gender & Health labs. Isabel is an advocate in Mt. Sinai’s Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention program. She received her B.A. in International Relations from Franklin University Switzerland.
SexTech Lab Member
Student, Researcher, Feminist
Hi, my name is Eva Hersch and I am a first year Master's student in Psychology. I am interested in social psychology and gender studies and hope to pursue the CSD PhD after finishing my Master's at the New School. My research interests involve crime, sexuality and gender. Before the New School, I did research on status and music at Muhlenberg College.
Michniewicz, K.S., Edelman, L.L., Hersch, E.R., & Kaufman, I.D. (2020). Why write music? Underdog status and music genre influence perceived motivation of musicians. Manuscript submitted for publication.