Clinical & School Psychology Current Students


Accavitti.Maria_.jpgMaria Accavitti graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. As an undergraduate, Maria worked as a research assistant in the Early Language and Literacy Investigations (ELLI) Lab, and the Child Emotions Lab. Following graduation, she worked as a project manager for the Building Early Emotion Skills (BEES) Lab. From 2015 to 2017, Maria worked as a postgraduate associate for the Edward Zigler Center at Yale University, where she helped a team of researchers to investigate the role of implicit bias in preschool expulsion, evaluate an i3 funded curriculum intervention for English Language Learners, and develop a tool to assess the mental health climate of preschool classrooms. In fall 2017, Maria began the Clinical and School Psychology program as an advisee of Dr. Amanda Williford. She is currently working on the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) within the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL).  ma5xs@virginia.edu


Noor_Alwani.JPGNoor Alwani, B.A., graduated from the University of Southern California in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. During her time as an undergraduate, she conducted research with the Motivation and Education Research Group (MERG), the Family Studies Project, and the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics. Noor worked as an RA in Residential Education for two years and volunteered briefly as a crisis counselor. As a researcher, Noor is interested in positive youth development and school-based mental health intervention. Her clinical interests include working with adults and refugees. In 2019, Noor began her graduate studies in the UVA Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Michael Lyons, Ph.D. na3rk@virginia.edu


Atunrase.Jackie.jpgJacqueline Atunrase graduated from Temple University in 2011 with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. After graduation, she joined Teach for America and taught third grade in Wilmington, Delaware for two years. While teaching, she earned a Master's Degree in Elementary Education from Wilmington University. In 2013, she began working at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a clinical research coordinator for Project ACCESS, where she helped to conduct research in Philadelphia public schools evaluating the implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Programs (SWPBIS) with evidence-based CBT group interventions for students with or at risk for anxiety disorders and disruptive behavior disorders. She began her doctoral studies in 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Tolan. Within the YouthNex Center to Promote Effective Youth Development she works on the Compassionate Schools Project, which evaluates a holistic, mindfulness-based curriculum in Louisville public schools. Her research interests include prevention and intervention programs for students in low-income, urban schools. Her clinical training has included practicum work at Monticello and Albemarle High Schools as well as assessment and therapy with children and adult clients in the Sheila Johnson Center for Human Services at UVA.  jk6zd@virginia.edu


Augenstern.Julia_.jpgJulia Augenstern graduated from Tulane University in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology.  As an undergraduate and following graduation she worked as a research assistant for ProjectDIRECT, a Tulane-affiliated dissemination and implementation research lab studying early childhood education and well-being. From May of 2015 to April of 2017 Julia served as the Clinical Program Director for Child and Adolescent services at a community mental health center in New Orleans, LA. Julia initiated her doctoral studies in the Curry School of Education's Clinical and School Psychology Ph.D. Program in the fall of 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Tolan.  Her research interests include youth and social and emotional well-being and the inclusion of client perception in intervention design.  ja9ym@virginia.edu


Paris_Ball.JPGParis Ball graduated Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. During her undergraduate career, Paris conducted Neuropsychological research at Northwestern University and Pennsylvania State University. After graduation, Paris was selected to be a 2013 corps member for Teach For America (TFA) where she taught 8th grade at a Title 1 school in Dallas, TX. Upon completing TFA, Paris worked for an educational non-profit organization where she provided on-going support and professional development for teachers. In May 2019, Paris graduated with her Masters of Education in School Psychology from Georgia State University (GSU). At GSU, Paris researched Black girls’ responses to peer conflicts in the Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate, and Classroom Management. In Fall 2019, Paris began her doctoral studies in the Clinical and School Psychology program with Dr. Chauncey Smith as her advisor. Paris’ research interests center around the holistic development of Black girls within families, school, and communities. Also, how gender and identity beliefs support psychological resilience among Black girls. Pb9zj@virginia.edu


Marissa_Bivona.JPGMarissa Bivona graduated from Pomona College in 2009 with a major in English and minor in Africana Studies. Following graduation, she worked as an Early Childhood teacher and completed the Harris Fellowship in Early Childhood Education at Calvin Hill Daycare and Yale Child Study Center. After the fellowship, Marissa developed curriculum for and taught kindergarten abroad. She returned to Calvin Hill to work as an associate teacher for six years. While teaching, Marissa completed her masters in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University, where she worked as a graduate clinician in the office of psychological assessment, engaged in research on ADHD and perceptions of wisdom and completed her dissertation on narrative interventions for elderly individuals. In the fall of 2019 Marissa began her doctoral studies with Dr. Amanda Williford as her advisor. Marissa’s research interests are deeply informed by her time spent teaching and center on creating supports for teachers and children in early childhood settings.  mab2dx@virginia.edu


Anna Grace Burnette, B.S., graduated from the College of Charleston in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she interned with the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC), assisting with ongoing research projects and active cases pertaining to incidents of mass stabbings, threat assessment, and threat management strategies. Following graduation, she continued with the NCAVC and became a Research Assistant at the University of Virginia's Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. In 2015, Anna Grace began graduate work in the Programs of Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Dewey Cornell as her research advisor.  agb8p@virginia.edu


Capobianco NicoleNicole Capobianco graduated from Wake Forest University in 2016, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, with a double major in Sociology. Following graduation, Nicole continued at Wake Forest, completing her Master of Arts Degree in General Psychology in 2018. Working under the advisement of Dr. Deborah Best, she completed a master’s thesis investigating the interacting roles of executive function and teacher-child relationship quality in relation to preschoolers’ school readiness. Nicole began the Clinical and School Psychology program in 2018, with Dr. Jason Downer as her advisor. Her research interests include early childhood social-emotional development, school-based interventions, and factors promoting school readiness. At CASTL, she works on the Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten Success (P2K) and RULER projects. nbc3tf@virginia.edu


Charity-Parker.Bianka.jpgBianka Charity-Parker graduated from Spelman College in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies. As an undergraduate, Bianka served as a research assistant to Dr. Valerie Jones Taylor, conducting research on interracial interactions and the capacity to which the presence of unforeseen identity threat can be either detrimental or advantageous to minority group members’ behavioral and cognitive outcomes.  Prior to joining Curry as a doctoral student, she participated in the Curry School’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) in 2011. Dr. Nancy Deutsch served as her faculty mentor and as an intern, Bianka worked on a longitudinal study that sought to explore the characteristics of non-parental youth-adult relationships (YARs) and their impact on adolescent developmental outcomes. For Bianka’s senior honors thesis, she explored how the race of female role models might impact academic performance and self-esteem outcomes for college Black women. After graduating, Bianka served one year as a kindergarten teacher at KIPP STRIVE Primary School in Atlanta, Georgia. In the Fall of 2017, Bianka began her graduate studies in the Curry Program in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Valerie Adams-Bass as her research advisor. Bianka’s research interests include exploring cross-contextual relationships for positive youth development and factors that optimize resilience outcomes for minority children and families.   bmc4qb@virginia.edu


Clifford.Meghan.jpgMeghan Clifford graduated from Duke University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and minors in Global Health and Education. During her undergraduate career, she worked under the direction of Dr. Steven Asher studying peer relations. She completed her undergraduate honors thesis on the associations between social-cognition, aggression, and friendship quality. In 2017, Meghan began her graduate studies in Curry’s clinical and school psychology program under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Bradshaw. Meghan is interested in school-based interventions for aggressive behavior. In particular, she wants to explore the role of cognitive processing patterns in aggression.  mec9he@virginia.edu


Crichlow-Ball CarolineCaroline Crichlow-Ball graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she studied college students' cellphone usage and sleep habits as a research assistant in Dr. Karla Murdock's Technology and Health lab. She also served as a University Peer Counselor and interned with a forensic psychology practice. After graduating, she worked at UT's Southwestern Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care as a research assistant with Dr. Jennifer Hughes's Risk and Resilience Network. While at UTSW, Caroline implemented and coordinated a pilot study of Youth Aware of Mental Health, a school-based mental health program. Caroline began graduate work in Curry's Clinical and School Psychology program in 2018 under the mentorship of Dr. Dewey Cornell.  cc5cx@virginia.edu


Crowley.Brittany.jpgBrittany Crowley, B.A., graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish, and a minor in Statistics. As an undergraduate she conducted research at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy and in several labs at the University of Virginia, studying topics such as sexual victimization in correctional facilities and indiscriminate shackling of juvenile defendants. Brittany also worked at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women as an intern in the Cognitive Therapeutic Community for substance abuse. In 2017, Brittany began graduate work in the Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Dewey Cornell as her research advisor. bzc4kc@virginia.edu


Renee Gallo graduated from Lafayette College in 2014 with a B.S. in Psychology. As an undergraduate she worked in the Lafayette Kids Lab studying infant and toddler development, particularly in relation to virtual learning through FaceTime. After graduation, she worked at the National Institute of Mental Health as Post-Baccalaureate IRTA fellow where she worked on a study of toddlers at risk for Autism due to language delays. Renee began her graduate work in the Clinical and School Psychology program in the fall of 2016 with Dr. Jason Downer as her advisor. She is a research team member within CASTL primarily for a project called "Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten Success". Her research interests include early childhood social and emotional development and how to best improve these skills. Clinically, Renee is interested in intervention and treatment of internalizing disorders with children, adolescents, and their families. Her clinical training has included practicum work as an assistant school psychologist at Agnor Hurt Elementary School and as a therapist and assessor at The Sheila C. Johnson Center. She will begin as a practicum student in the in-patient facility at The Virginia Treatment Center for Children in July 2018.  rg2kz@virginia.edu


412x412_Harkins.Christina.jpgChristina Harkins graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Experimental Psychology. As an undergraduate researcher, Christina investigated infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and served as the project manager of a study exploring health in youth with ASD. She also led social and life skills groups and implemented applied behavioral analytic techniques at the Autism Academy of South Carolina. Following graduation, Christina began graduate study in Applied Behavioral Analysis and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with her Master of Education degree in Spring of 2018. During her graduate study, Christina was also a clinical research coordinator for the Behavioral and Developmental Neuropsychiatry team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She coordinated several neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and longitudinal phenotyping studies of fragile X syndrome, ASD, and high-risk infants.  Christina began her doctoral study in the Fall of 2018 under advisement of Micah Mazurek, Ph.D. Her research interests include co-occurring symptoms, comorbid psychopathology, and novel assessment development in ASD. She hopes to improve outcomes for individuals and families affected by ASD through her research and clinical work in collaboration with the STAR program at UVA. cmh4gd@virginia.edu


Jablon.Elana_.jpgElana Jablon graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and International Studies and a minor in Spanish.  While in college, she worked in labs focused on Developmental, Social, and Clinical Psychology.  After graduation, she taught high school through Teach for America in Prince George's County, MD for two years.  While teaching she developed and implemented for Spanish and the World Languages program.  She then taught middle school Spanish in Washington, DC, serving as Spanish department chair and creating curriculum for the language department as well as a 6th grade advisor.  After she worked as a volunteer on a crisis hotline for the greater DC and Northern Virginia region.  She began her doctoral studies in the Fall of 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Lyons.  Her research interests include middle school mentoring programs and culturally responsive mentoring practices.  eee5se@virginia.edu


Sarah KassabianSarah Kassabian graduated from Boston College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  After graduating, she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital as a clinical research coordinator in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD clinical and research program. Her work focused on pediatric behavior and mood disorders, particularly on ADHD in the school setting.  Her current research and clinical interests include positive youth development and mental health in schools. Sarah began her graduate work in the fall of 2018 in the UVA Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Michael Lyons, PhD as her research advisor.  sk5sr@virginia.edu 


Maloney GraceGrace Maloney graduated from Colorado College in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology.  After graduation, she worked at the National Institutes of Health as a Post-Baccalaureate IRTA fellow where she used animal based research models to investigate the effect of attachment on cognitive and social development.  In 2014, Grace began graduate work in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Patrick Tolan as her advisor.  She will be working with Dr. Tolan in UVA's Youth-Nex Center for Positive Youth Development.  Grace's research interest include understanding how early life experiences influence emotion regulation.  She is also interested in the impact of neighborhoods on development.  gm2wq@virginia.edu


Menezes MichelleMichelle Menezes graduated from Brown University in December of 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. After graduation, she worked as a research consultant for the Health Equity Research Laboratory and the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance on a variety of projects aimed at improving youth mental health. She had a particular interest in studies focused on the mental health care of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Michelle also worked as a therapist for children with a variety of special needs, including autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In this role, she prepared and followed treatment plans to address the psychological and behavioral difficulties of her clients. In the fall of 2018, Michelle began her graduate study in the Curry School’s Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program with Dr. Micah Mazurek as her advisor. Michelle’s research focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring mental health problems. mbm9qy@virginia.edu


Powers MeredithMeredith Powers graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015 with a combined B.S./M.Ed. in Special Education and a minor in Human Development. Following graduation, she worked as a special educator in Montgomery County Public Schools and as a clinical research coordinator in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD) at Children’s National Health System. At CASD, she conducted classroom observations to evaluate the effectiveness of middle and high school executive function interventions. Meredith began her doctoral studies in Fall 2018 under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Bradshaw. Meredith’s research interests include how to effectively address disproportionate punishment of minority students, promote culturally-responsive classroom management, and implement school-wide prevention programs.  mdp8ud@virginia.edu


Shannon Reilly graduated from Georgetown University in 2015 with a B.A. in psychology and minors in English and Education, Inquiry, and Justice. As an undergraduate, she worked with Drs. Anna Johnson and Deborah Phillips to convene expert panels about the next generation of pre-K evaluation. With Dr. Johnson, she completed a senior honors thesis investigating classroom factors that promote kindergarten readiness for Spanish-speaking dual language-learners. In fall 2015, Shannon began graduate work in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Jason Downer as her advisor. At CASTL, she works on the Learning to Objectively Observe Kids (LOOK) project and an initiative to refine, evaluate, and scale high-quality pre-K programs. Her research interests include child development across domains, classroom quality, and factors that promote kindergarten readiness for children from diverse backgrounds.  sr6hd@virginia.edu


Jaclyn RussoJaclyn Russo graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. In 2011, she earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. After completing her Master’s Degree, she worked at Rush Neurobehavioral Center in the Chicago area as a Project Coordinator for several studies aimed at improving the assessment of social-emotional learning in children. In 2014, Jaclyn began graduate work in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Amanda Williford as her advisor. Jaclyn is specifically interested in the social-emotional development of young children and the use of reliable and valid assessments for early identification and intervention. Additionally, she is interested in teachers’ perceptions of their students’ social and emotional skills, and she aims to better understand how to help teachers to use this information to guide classroom instruction and interventions. She is currently working on the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) within The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL).  jr4ym@virginia.edu


Brooke_Ruffa.JPGBrooke Ruffa, B.A., graduated from Duke University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in Education. As an undergraduate, she completed an independent study focusing on how harmful school disciplinary policies, such as zero tolerance, contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline. Following graduation, Brooke worked at American Prison Data Systems, an educational technology company which provides education, job training, and cognitive behavioral therapy programs on tablets to incarcerated individuals. In 2019, Brooke began graduate work in the Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Dewey Cornell as her research advisor. Email: bcr9uf@virigina.edu


Eleonora SadikovaEleonora Sadikova graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. During her undergraduate career, she researched neurocognitive processes of social interaction in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She also worked as an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist for children with ASD. Following graduation, she worked as a clinical research coordinator at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Children's National Health System. She worked with individuals with Gender Dysphoria and ASD, and studied best clinical care practices for this population. In the fall of 2019, Eleonora began her doctoral studies under the mentorship of Dr. Micah Mazurek. Eleonora's research interests include the assessment and clinical care of individuals with ASD.  es4yq@virginia.edu


Simmons SydneySydney Simmons graduated from Georgetown University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in English. After graduation, Sydney worked as a consultant for the federal government prior to returning to school to obtain a master's degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard's Graduate School of Education. At both Georgetown and Harvard, Sydney served as a research assistant, studying early childhood development and social and emotional learning. In 2018, Sydney began her doctoral studies in the Curry School of Education and Human Development's Clinical and School Psychology Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Tolan. Her research interests include the design, implementation, and evaluation of family- and community-based interventions, with a particular focus on parenting. scs3uj@virginia.edu 


Smith.Katie_.jpgKathryn Smith graduated from Saint Louis University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in Theological Studies.  Following graduation, she worked as a nanny for three young children.  She then worked at the University of Chicago as a full-time research assistant on a cognitive developmental research project investigating how children develop math, reading, and spatial skills; how parents and teach attitude influence children's performance, anxieties, and attitudes, and how children's use of technology relates to their understanding.  In 2017, Katie began graduate work in the Clinical and School Psychology program with Dr. Jason Downer as her advisor.  She will be working on the Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten Success project (P2K).  Her research interests include early childhood social-emotional development, school-based interventions, and parent and teacher training.  ks3eb@virginia.edu


Lara Spiekermann graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. As an undergraduate she worked as a research assistant with the Virginia Institute of Development into Adulthood project. After graduation Lara worked as coordinator for The Family Prevention Of Adolescent Alcohol, Drug Use, and Psychopathology for a year. In 2016 she completed her Master’s of Education in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education where she worked as a graduate research assistant on the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP); a mentoring program that pairs at-risk adolescent girls with UVA undergraduate women. Lara will begin her doctoral work in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Edith “Winx” Lawrence as her advisor where she will continue her work on youth mentoring with YWLP. Her research interests include positive youth development and the formation of successful mentoring relationships.  las4qe@virginia.edu


Shelby Stohlman graduated from the College of Charleston in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Crime, Law & Society. During her undergraduate career, Shelby interned at the National Crime Victims Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. She spent a year working as a Supplemental Instruction Leader in the Department of Psychology for a course in Conditioning and Learning. For Shelby’s honors thesis, she conducted research on the psychometric properties of the Ruff Figural Fluency Test, including its construct validity as a measure of executive function. In the Fall of 2016, Shelby began her graduate studies in the Programs of Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Dewey Cornell as her research advisor.  sls4cw@virginia.edu


Supriya Williamson graduated from The George Washington University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs. After graduation, she served for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana. While in the Peace Corps, Supriya focused on HIV/AIDS prevention by teaching life skills at a rural primary school and working at a non-profit organization which provides counseling and support to at-risk youth. In 2015, Supriya began her doctoral work in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Edith “Winx” Lawrence as her advisor. Supriya has been working with her advisor on the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP), a mentoring program that pairs at-risk adolescent girls with UVA undergraduate women. In YWLP, Supriya has helped with curriculum development focused specifically on expanding the Global Connections and science and engineering components. Her research interests include positive youth development and the long-term outcomes for youth involved in mentoring programs.  sw7zs@virginia.edu


Sarah Wymer graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology. Following graduation, she started working at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, GA, initially providing applied behavior analysis therapy to children with autism spectrum disorder, and later moving into a research coordinator position in the Severe Behavior Program. In 2015, she received a M.S. in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University. Sarah began graduate work in the Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Amanda Williford as her advisor in the fall of 2016. Her research interests include externalizing behavior problems in young children, school-based interventions for emotional and behavioral problems, and teacher and parent training. At CASTL, she works on the Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten Success (P2K) Project. scw2wf@virginia.edu


Michelle Yoder graduated from Messiah College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and minor in Spanish. Following graduation, she completed her Master’s of Education in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education in 2015, where she participated in research regarding the linguistic and social-emotional development of Spanish-speaking children and their siblings. Michelle began the Clinical and School Psychology program in the fall of 2015 and is an advisee of Dr. Amanda Williford. Her research interests include early childhood social-emotional development, peer interactions, and development of self-regulatory and expressive verbal skills.  Her clinical interests lie primarily in early childhood assessment and evaluation, with an interest in emotional and behavioral disorders.  mly4pe@virginia.edu


For a list of our recent student work please visit the student publication and presentation pages.

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