CHANGE Lab Butterflies

CHANGE Lab Director 

Idia B. Thurston, Ph.D.



Dr. Thurston is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of health sciences and applied psychology at Northeastern University (NU). She is the Associate Director of the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research at NU. She is a fellow of APA and serves on the board for the Society of Pediatric Psychology (APA D54). She trained at Florida State University, University of South Florida, and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. 

As the director of the CHANGE lab, she collaborates with scholars and community members in health equity science. Dr. Thurston’s body of work explores how race, ethnicity, social class, gender, size, and sexuality intersect and influence health and well-being in adolescents and their families. She partners with community organizations to develop and disseminate strengths-based, culturally-responsive resources that reduce stigma, enhance wellness, and promote resilience. She has published over 70 peer reviewed articles and received over 3.5 million in grants. She is the recipient of the 2023 APA Mid-Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth, and Families. She co-edited a 2023 special issue for the American Psychologist on “How Psychologists Can Help Achieve Equity in Heath Care– Advancing Innovative Partnerships and Models of Care Delivery.

She is passionate about mentoring, dismantling structural and systemic barriers, and promoting pathways to health careers for individuals underrepresented in health sciences. She is committed to a re-imagining of psychological and health science, practice, and training to ensure ALL are seen and represented. She is a mama of 3 and passionate about good food and snatching joy!

Northeastern University: Graduate Students

Divya Hippolyte, M.A., LMHC


Divya is a first year Counseling Psychology Ph.D. student at Northeastern University. Before her doctoral studies, Divya attained her B.A. in Psychology at Boston University and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology at Boston College. Divya is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and facilitated individual and family therapy in community based settings with adolescents from historically underserved identities and communities in Boston. In conjunction with her clinical work, Divya engaged in research aimed at understanding adolescent critical conscientiousness development, Black men’s experience in group counseling and relationships, and Asian-American women’s experience of racial trauma in the workplace. 

Her broad research interests include BIPOC women's health and wellness, psychosocial impacts of racism, and other social justice/equity topics related to community-based resources and intervention. Divya finds joy in spending time with her family, traveling, and spending time in nature!

CHANGE Lab Coordinator

Christian Herrera, B.A.


Christian currently works as a the CHANGE Lab coordinator. He assists with day to day administrative tasks as well as supports ongoing research projects in the lab. He joined the CHANGE Lab in 2021 after completing his undergraduate education at the University of Texas at Austin where he majored in psychology and minored in educational psychology. 

His research interests include engaging community partners to co-develop, implement, and disseminate evidence based practices that address mental health disparities among adolescents and young adults.  In his free time, he enjoys reading, working out, and playing video games. He is planning to matriculate into a Clinical Psychology PhD program in Fall 2024.

CHANGE Lab Undergraduates

Anthony Trinidad

Anthony is currently working in the CHANGE Lab at Northeastern University. He is a second year ('27) with a major in biochemistry and minor in public health and is on the pre-med track. 

Anthony's research interests include understanding how identity and adversity in Latinx communities affect health outcomes and how to develop interventions/resources for underrepresented communities that are affected by health inequities. When Anthony isn't busy with classes or research, he enjoys taking walks and exploring new places in Boston!

Cayla Hoang

Cayla is currently working in the CHANGE Lab at Northeastern University as a health equity intern (HEI). Cayla is a fourth year ('25) with a major in health science.

Cayla's research interests include substance misuse as well as how trauma affects pediatric development and behavior and how art/music affects cognitive development and how it can be utilized as a form of rehabilitative medicine and healing. Cayla enjoys photography, fasion, music, and tarot reading. She is also a libra.

Gloria Mancera-Sortillon

Gloria is currently working in the CHANGE Lab at Northeastern University. Gloria is a second year ('27) with a major in health science and is on the pre-med track.

Gloria's research interests include chronic health conditions in minorities as well as exploring substance abuse tendencies in minorities, women, and youth. Gloria also enjoys going to the gym, playing piano, and watching various television series. 

Jade Lozewski

Jade is currently working in the CHANGE Lab at Northeastern University. Jade is a third year ('26) with a major in health science and a minor in human nutrition.

Jade's research interests include a variety of topics including children/adolescents, psychology, as well as movement and nutrition. Jade enjoys reading, going on walks, crocheting, baking, and traveling. 

Jaidene Henry

Jaidene is currently working in the CHANGE Lab at Northeastern University as a Health Equity Intern (HEI). Jaidene is a fourth year ('25) majoring in health sciences and minoring in cultural anthropology. 

Jaidene's research interests include a variety of topics such as substance use and harm reduction as well as racial disparities in women's reproductive health. In her free time, Jaidene enjoys reading science fiction novels and crocheting. 

Mia Cain

Mia is currently working in the CHANGE Lab at Northeastern University as a health equity intern (HEI). Mia is a second year ('27) with a major in health sciences and minors in French and public health. 

Mia's research interests include researching HIV prevention and its effects on minoritized communities as well as how race and racism play into the health of different communities and what can be done to ensure equity and equality in those areas. Mia enjoys reading, shopping, and hanging out with friends. 

Vandya Goel

Vandya is currently working in the CHANGE Lab at Northeastern University as a health equity intern (HEI). Vandya is a fourth year ('25) with a major in health sciences and double minors in Spanish and cell and molecular biology. 

Vandya's research interests include examining disparities and social determinant of care in marginalized populations and understanding how to effectively utilize community-based research interventions in health equity efforts. In her free time, Vandya enjoys reading, swimming, and doing yoga. 

Laila Harruna

Laila is currently working in the CHANGE Lab at Northeastern University. Laila is a fourth year ('25) with a double major in health science and psychology and a minor in behavioral neuroscience.

Laila's research interests include several topics including mental health in adolescents and young adults, mental illnesses, substance use, and health disparities. Laila enjoys working out, listening to music, and trying new restaurants in her free time.

Texas A&M University: Graduate Students

Whitney Howie, MPH

Focus area(s): race-based traumatic stress in Black/African American young adults, developing culturally responsive interventions, exploring strategies to improve well-being among Black/Latino communities

Caitlyn Maye, M.S.

Focus area(s): pediatric psychology, utilizing community-based interventions to examine health disparities, multisystemic factors that impact health behaviors change and sleep in children with chronic health conditions

Danielle Porter, M.S.

Focus area(s): health disparities in underserved communities, utilizing community-based particpatory research, and pediatric psychology. 

Annisa Ahmed, B.A.

Focus area(s): pediatric psychology, health equity, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion

CHANGE Lab Ph.D. Alumni

Jessica Eden Mandell, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow at the Munroe-Meyer InstituteGraduation Year: 2023

Caroline C. Kaufman, Ph.D.

Instructor, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School Graduation Year: 2020

Kristina Decker, Ph.D.

Pediatric Psychologist andAssistant Professor at UC Department of PediatricsGraduation Year: 2020

Robin Hardin, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice OwnerGraduation Year: 2020

Courtney Maclin, Ph.D.

Clinical Health Psychologist and Faculty member of the Graduate Medical Education Program at WellStar health systemGraduation Year: 2020

Rebecca Kamody, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Child Psychology at Yale UniversityGraduation Year: 2018

Mollie B. Anderson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Teaching at University of MemphisGraduation Year: 2016

CHANGE Lab Masters Alumni

Andrew Paladino, M.S.

Medical Student at UTHSCGraduation Year: 2018

Amanda Toumayan, M.S.

Regulations and Compliance Specialist at CareAcademyGraduation Year: 2020

CHANGE Lab Undergraduate Alumni

Jazmyne Burton

Michael Higgins

Dominic Ingram

Jamie Padden

Regina Rochelle

Abigail Soefker

Jordan Taylor 

Danielle Thomas

Sascha Young

Alicia BorgesAmanda BrunerLauren ChapmanCharlize CheungVeronika CroanGiselle DeleonShivani DesaiApryl HarrisRowan LambertJennifer LeeMaddy MoodyKatie MorinHope OwensMadeleine PiperSofia QuinteroKaylee RichardsonAudrey SacullaAnika SansgiryDayra SotoSarah TurnerGhenaya WinandaKarina York

Britney Amankwah

Lasya Dutta