Sydney Klein, MA, HDFS Graduate Student Spotlight, October 2021

Sydney KleinSydney received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from SUNY Geneseo in 2019 and received a Master’s in Psychology from New York University in 2021. She joined the HDFS program in 2021 to work with Dr. Alaina Brenick to examine youth victimization and discrimination experiences in various contexts. Sydney is also interested in how media contributes to the development of stereotyping and discrimination, as well as how we can use media to combat the development of harmful and prejudicial beliefs toward various social groups.


At SUNY Geneseo, Sydney worked in a social cognition lab, examining explicit and implicit bias toward individuals with tattoos in hiring decisions, presenting this research at the 2019 Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Conference in Portland, Oregon. Sydney then developed her own individual project that combined her love of dance and social psychology. Experiences within the dance community led her to identify prominent stereotypes and discrimination in dance, and further motivated her to investigate the psychological bases for these biases. Sydney went on to present this work both at the 2020 SPSP conference and at NYU’s MA research conference, winning 3rd place in the poster competition. Sydney also worked as a lab manager and teaching assistant at Geneseo.


When Sydney arrived at NYU, she became curious about the origins of prejudice and discrimination toward social groups and joined the Conceptual Development and Social Cognition (CDSC) lab at NYU. For her master’s thesis, she performed a content analysis of the quality and quantity of racial representation, stereotypes, and status depictions in popular children’s media, and how children’s media consumption predicted their racial biases overtime. Sydney received NYU’s Model-Mentorship Grant in 2020 to conduct this research. In 2021, Sydney presented this work at the SPSP Annual Conference, and NYU’s MA research conference where she won 2nd place in the poster competition.


Looking ahead, Sydney is excited to join the HDFS family at UConn and begin participating in research that centers on taking an interdisciplinary and developmental approach!

Undergrad HDFS major Rupa Sharmin awarded Gilman Int’l Scholarship

Congratulations to undergraduate HDFS major Rupa Sharmin ’23, UConn Stamford student, who was awarded a Gilman International Scholarship,  “congressionally funded through the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. The funding supports broadening the student population who participates in study abroad, encourages travel to diverse locations around the globe, intensive language study and internship experiences.” “With family from Bangladesh and a native of Stamford, she is an aspiring international pilot, seeking cross-cultural competency through the exchange opportunity. Sharmin is embarking on a career field in which fewer than 10 percent are women, and plans to use this position to explore the many cultures of the world, with attention to language study and cross cultural communication through immersion. Sharmin will apply to Yonsei University in South Korea for the spring 2022 semester and, upon her return, will reach out to SSS students to promote the Gilman scholarship and EGL program opportunities.” Learn more here: