Research Assistants and Trainees

Research Assistants and Trainees

Erin Staker, B.S.
Research Coordinator,
Center for Optimal Aging,
Marymount University 
Email: estaker@marymount.edu

Erin Staker is a research coordinator with over three years of research experience, specifically coordinating a project aimed at identifying modifiable risk factors in the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech where she double majored in Cognitive and Behavior Neuroscience and Psychology. She will be deeply involved in various projects within the Center for Optimal Aging, dedicating particular focus to the Arlington Longitudinal Optimal Health Aging Study (ALOHA) project. Erin is enthusiastic about applying her experience to gerontological research and promoting health and wellness among older adults.

Research Assistants and Trainees

Ms. Yordanos Berhanu Tolessa, M.S.
Information Technology
Research Assistant,
Center for Optimal Aging,
Marymount University 
Email: ybt68349@marymount.edu 
Phone: 571 457- 8883

Ms. Yordanos Tolessa has over five years of experience working in the healthcare sector in the areas of data analysis, project management, product development, and operations. She is currently working at the Center for Optimal Aging as a Research Assistant, where she focuses on assisting the center’s researchers with conducting surveys, handling the Redcap software for data collection purposes, and managing social media presence. Yordanos currently holds a Master of Science degree in Information Technology with a specialization in Data Science from Marymount University.

Research Assistants and Trainees

Bezawit Eshete, B.S.
Graduate Research Assistant,
Center for Optimal Aging, Marymount University
Email: bte70353@marymount.edu

Bezawit Eshete holds a bachelor’s degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering from Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. She has over 4 plus years of industry experience working as a technology analyst. Currently, she is proudly serving as the President of the GSA Student Chapter while also holding the position of Graduate Research Assistant at MU’s Center for Optimal Aging. Simultaneously, she is dedicated to pursuing her master’s degree in IT with a concentration in Data Science. She has extensive knowledge in the field of data science and knows how to utilize different software and programming languages to extract valuable insights. In the past, she has served as a secretary for student-led groups and volunteered with various non-governmental organizations. This has fueled her drive to contribute to her community and work towards making the world a better place. Beyond academics, she loves being outdoors and finding peace in adventurous hikes.

Research Assistants and TraineesMs. Aliscia Carvalho (2021 – 2023)
BA Psychology,
Graduate Research Assistant, Marymount University Center for Optimal Aging
Email:a0c63425@marymount.edu
Phone: 774-488-4458

Aliscia has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Roger Williams University, where she helped conduct studies with faculty on alternative therapies, including art. She is currently a Graduate Research Assistant for the Center of Optimal Aging, where she will help with the research process of the center’s Arlington Longitudinal Optimal Health Aging Study (ALOHA). Aliscia is currently in her second year of pursuing her Master of Arts in Forensic and Legal Psychology from Marymount University.

Research Assistants and Trainees

Catherine Goldstein (2021 – 2023)
MCOA Associated Research Fellow
Email: catherinegoldstein436@gmail.com

Catherine Goldstein is a senior at Alexandria City High School and is focused on pursuing a degree in psychology or cognitive science in college. After observing the detrimental impact of Alzheimer’s disease on her beloved grandmother, she was motivated to improve the care and treatment for those diagnosed with dementia. In 2021, Catherine’s passion for learning about Alzheimer’s disease led her to become a certified volunteer at Silverado Memory Care Center in Alexandria, where she leads activities, converses with memory care residents, and assists staff. In January of 2022, she created an Adopt-a-Grandparent Program that connects memory care residents with second-grade students at a nearby elementary school. The students and residents in the program formed close relationships through the exchange of letters and packages. While at the Marymount University Center for Optimal Aging during the summer of 2022, Catherine is working with Dr. Heyn as a research assistant. During her time as a research assistant, Catherine hopes to gain insight into ways to provide optimal care to individuals suffering from dementia, expanding her current knowledge base and applying what she learns to her future career.