LaRisa is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She completed her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology at St. John's University in Queens, New York. During her time at St. John's she studied abroad in Spain for a semester, participated in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program, and picked up two minors: Theology and International Studies. Her research interests analyze the intersection of psychological well-being, mass media, and religion. In her free time, she enjoys poetry, music, learning the guitar, and having long conversations with friends.