Hi, everyone! My name is Ashley Fontana.
I was born and raised here on Long Island. I completed my undergraduate education at the University of Rhode Island, where I acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. At the University of Rhode Island, I was an undergraduate research assistant on three different research projects. In addition to gathering research experience while assisting with the research of others, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to conduct research of my own. In completing the honors program at the University of Rhode Island, I had the opportunity to research the detrimental stigma associated with mental illness and, most importantly, ways in which to combat that stigma. I compiled this research and proposed a new psychology course for my university which would aim to educate undergraduate students, from all disciplines, about mental health and mental illness in the hopes of diminishing the stigma that often follows.
At the University of Rhode Island I was also a teaching assistant and a mentor for incoming psychology majors. These experiences have fostered a love for teaching within me, and, as such, I went on to obtain a tutoring position at Huntington Learning Center in Smithtown, New York so that I may continue to teach and mentor throughout my time as a masters student. Additionally, this passion has manifested itself in my current internship placement; at Stony Brook University, I am working with Dr. Hoi-Chung Leung as the Undergraduate Advising Intern for this academic year.
In addition to these many experiences, I also had the opportunity to work as a Per Diem Counselor at a local assisted-living agency, here on Long Island, called Concern for Independent Living. While working at Concern, I was given the opportunity to interact with, and learn from, individuals possessing various mental illnesses.
After earning my Master of Arts degree from Stony Brook University, I am interested in gaining additional research experience before eventually going on to pursue a PhD in Neuropsychology. More specifically, I am interested in researching degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease; as such, I am currently working in the Integrative Neuroscience lab of Dr. Hoi-Chung Leung.
In my free time, you can most likely find me reading. I also enjoy cooking, exercising, and photography!