PROGRAM IN PSYCHOLOGY

CURRENT PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENTS

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Jessica Alva

Area of Specialization: - Clinical Geropsychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. TJ McCallum

Research Interests - My main research interests focus on issues relevant to the well-being of older adults with Alzheimer's Disease and their caregivers. I am particularly interested in the roles of culture and age (i.e., adolescent caregivers and early-onset Alzheimer's Disease patients) as it pertains to the stress and coping process. Additionally, I am interested in community outreach initiatives. These include leading support groups for caregivers and people with Alzheimer's, increasing community education on Alzheimer's Disease, and developing community programs for people with Alzheimer's Disease as a means for increased socialization and cognitive stimulation.

Favorite Parts of the Program - The program provides plenty of opportunities for students to work towards their individual career goals.

Comments on the Faculty - The faculty has created a challenging and supportive environment in which all students can grow professionally and academically.

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Alison Athey

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. James Overholser

Research Interests - I am interested in the effects of stress, potentially traumatic events, and coping on the etiology, course, and treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. I am particularly interested in pursuing clinical and research work with acutely ill populations (e.g., those at risk for suicide) and traditionally underserved populations. My other interests lie in improving mental health treatment dissemination.

Recent Publications and Presentations: Athey, A., Elias, J, Crosby, J, Jenike, M, Pope, H, Hudson, I, Brennan, B. (under review). Reduced disgust propensity is associated with improvement in contamination/washing symptoms in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Athey, A.J., Elias, J.A., Crosby, J.M., Jenike, M.A., Pope, H.P., Hudson, J.I., Brennan, B.P. (2014, January) Reduced disgust propensity is associated with improvements in contamination/washing symptoms in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Chicago, IL.

Pope, H. G., Kanayama, G., Athey, A., Ryan, E., Hudson, J. I., & Baggish, A. (2013). The lifetime prevalence of anabolic‐androgenic steroid use and dependence in Americans: Current best estimates. The American Journal on Addictions.

Brennan, B.P., Schwab, Z.J., Athey, A.J., Ryan, E.M., Killgore, W.D., Jenike, M.A., & Rauch, S.L. (2013). A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Rostral Anterior Cingulate Cortex Activation in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Using an Emotional Counting Stroop Paradigm. Biological Psychiatry.

Brennan B.P., Schwab Z.J., Athey A.J., Ryan E.M., Killgore W.D.S., Jenike M.A., Rauch S.L. (2013, May) A functional magnetic resonance imaging study of rostral anterior cingulate cortex activation in obsessive-compulsive disorder using an emotional counting Stroop paradigm. Annual Meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, San Francisco, CA.

Martin, L., Butt, A., Athey, A., Sit, W. (2011) Door-Through-Door Medical Escort Service: Participant satisfaction and volunteer opinion of effectiveness. Annual Conference of the Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA.

Favorite Part of the Program and Comments on the Faculty - I am very much looking forward to exploring the wealth of research and clinical training opportunities available at Case!

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Hannah Bergman

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Norah Feeny

Research Interests - I am interested in the development and treatment of PTSD across different populations, better understanding the factors that influence PTSD treatment choice, and the stigma associated with a PTSD diagnosis. Some of my recent research projects have explored the influence of trauma-related negative cognitions on PTSD treatment choice and PTSD treatment preference among individuals with subthreshold PTSD.

Recent presentations - Bergman, H.E., Brennan, E., Feeny, N.C., & Zoellner, L.A. (November 2013). The influence of PTSD diagnostic category, treatment history, and treatment beliefs on PTSD treatment choice. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN.

Bergman, H.E., Rytwinski, N.K., Feeny, N.C., & Zoellner, L.A. (April 2013). The influence of negative cognitions and treatment history on treatment beliefs and PTSD treatment choice. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, La Jolla, CA.

Bergman, H.E., Feeny, N.C., & Zoellner, L.A. (April 2012). Examining underlying beliefs of PTSD treatment choice: Preliminary psychometric properties of the Treatment Beliefs Questionnaire. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Arlington, VA.

Favorite Part of the Program and Comments on the Faculty - The program provides great clinical and research training and opportunities. The faculty is very supportive and encouraging!

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Jennifer Birnkrant

Area of Specialization - Child Clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Amy Przeworski

Research Interests - I am interested in the etiology and treatment of anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and young adults. I am especially interested in studying how interpersonal risk factors contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety. Ultimately, I am interested in studying how such risk factors function in the development and maintenance of internalizing disorders in LGBT youth and developing psychotherapies tailored to this population.

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David Bradley

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Julie Exline

Research Interests - I am interested in the psychology of atheists and the variety of atheist experiences. Currently, my research is focused on the reasons people give for not believing in a God or gods, with the aim of shedding light on the differences among atheists.

Recent Publications & Presentations- Bradley, D.F. & Exline, J.J. Personality Characteristics of Atheists With Emotional Reasons for Disbelief. Presented as part of a symposium at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI, August 2013.

Bradley, D.F. & Exline, J.J. A God-Shaped Hole? Atheists Who Experience Emotional Engagement With God. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI, August 2013.

Bradley, D.F. & Exline, J.J. Variations in atheists’ reactions to “God” in response to suffering. Presented as part of a symposium at the American Psychological Association Division 36 Mid-Year Conference on Religion and Spirituality, Columbia, MD, March 2013.

Favorite Parts of the Program - The program provides various opportunities for students to explore their professional and research interests.

Comments on the Faculty - The faculty do an excellent job stimulating discussions inside and outside of the classroom.

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Marco-Antonio Brown

Area of Specialization - Clinical Psychology; Child-Family Track

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Amy Przeworski

Research Interest - My primary research focus is on cognitive, behavioral, environmental, and biological processes, risk, and maintenance factors in child anxiety and related disorders as well as the assessment, prevention, and treatment of such. I am also curious about intrapersonal and interpersonal mechanisms in the transmission of (mal)adaptative behavior and thinking in the context of chronic parent stress, serious physical or mental illness.

My other interests lie in understanding mental health self-stigma and perceived stigma in association with anxiety and depression across cultures and how it may relate to treatment-seeking behavior.

Favorite Parts of the Program - Apart from the remarkable collegiality among students, the program’s balanced emphasis on acquiring both research and clinical skills is extraordinary. Particularly, the incredible wealth of placement/training opportunities including Cleveland’s world class hospitals enhance the rigorous training you will receive here.

Comments on the Faculty - The approachability and support one receives from all faculty is hard to overstate.

Recent Publications: Korte, K.J., Brown, M.A.S., & Schmidt, N.B. (2013). Anxiety sensitivity and impairment: Evidence for a direct association and partial mediation by subclinical anxiety symptoms. Journal of affective disorders, 151(3), 875-881. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.07.026

Bender, T.W., Brown, M.A.S., & Joiner, T.E. (under review). Screening for Suicide in a College Population: An Analysis of Iatrogenic Risk.

Dunbeck, K.M., Brown, M.A.S., Przeworski A. (2013) Selective Mutism with and without Comorbid Social Anxiety. Poster to be presented at 47th annual conference of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN

Brown, M.A.S., Korte, K.J., & Schmidt, N.B. (2013). Physical Concerns Predict Significant Interference In Pre-Morbid Anxiety. Poster presentation at 47th annual conference of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN.

Brown, M.A.S., Korte, K.J., & Schmidt, N.B. (2013). Anxiety Sensitivity Predicts Significant impairment At Subclinical Levels Of Anxiety At One Year Follow-Up. Poster presentation at 47th annual conference of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN.

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photograph Mark Burton

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/MentorDr. Norah Feeny

Research Interests – I am currently studying multiple factors that influence the development and treatment of PTSD, including dissociation, childhood traumatization and life-stress. More broadly, I am interested in understanding different types of trauma response and the application of exposure therapy to different types of psychopathology.

Recent Publications & Presentations - Burton, M., Youngner, C.G., McCarthy, A. Rothbaum, A.O., & Rothbaum, B.O. (2014). Enhancing Exposure Therapy for PTSD Using D-Cycloserine. To appear in Marilyn Safir, Helene Wallach and Skip Rizzo (Eds). Future Directions In PTSD: Prevention, Diagnosis And Treatment. Springer.

Burton, M., Feeny, N., Zoellner, L., (March, 2014). The relationship between childhood trauma and dissociation among adults with PTSD. Poster presentation at the 34th annual Anxiety and Depression Association of America conference, Chicago, IL.

Burton, M., Feeny, N., Zoellner, L. (April, 2013). The presentation of dissociation and rumination within PTSD: evidence for independent cognitive mechanisms. Poster presentation at the 33rd annual Anxiety and Depression Association of America conference. La Jolla, CA.

Burton, M., Feeny, N., Zoellner, L., (November, 2013). The relationship between dissociation and PTSD symptoms in a clinical sample. Poster presentation at the 47th annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies meeting. Nashville, TN.

Youngner, C. G., Burton, M.S., Price, M., Zimmerman, L., Kearns, M.C., Houry, D. & Rothbaum B.O. (2012). Contributions of Prior Trauma and Peritraumatic Dissociation to Predicting Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder Outcome Immediately after a Traumatic Event. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 13(3).

Favorite Parts of the Program – The program provides a truly balanced mix of research and clinical opportunities, giving students a more comprehensive experience to better inform their professional development.

Comments on the Faculty – The faculty are all very supportive of student’s research and clinical needs, professional development and general well-being.

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Erin Clifton

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Norah Feeny

Research Interests - I am interested in the development and treatment of PTSD and comorbid disorders. I am interested in concepts of stigma surrounding mental health treatment and gender differences in PTSD symptoms and preferred treatment type.

Recent publications – Rauch, S.A.M, Defever, E., Favorite, T., Duroe, A., Garrity, C., Martis, B., Liberzon, I. (2009). Prolonged exposure (PE) for PTSD in a veteran's health administration PTSD clinic. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22(1), 60-64.

Defever, E., Perkins, S., Rauch, S.A.M. (2008). Relationships Between Patient Characteristics, Anger, PTSD, and Comorbidity: How are They Similar and Different for Vietnam and OEF/OIF Veterans in a PTSD Clinic. Poster presented at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Orlando, FL.

Favorite Part of the Program and Comments on the Faculty – This program provides varied research and practicum opportunities as well as a challenging and engaging curriculum. The faculty provides tremendous encouragement and is committed to mentoring and supporting graduate students in all of their endeavors. Everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming and truly care about the success of each student.

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Rachael Cooper

Area of Specialization – Child Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/mentor - Dr. Elizabeth Short

Research Interests – Play-based assessment with developmentally delayed, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and specific language impaired populations.

Recent Publications - Cooper, R. D., Short, E. J., Noeder, M. M., Wojtowicz, A., Lewis, B., Manos, M. (2010). Impact of Linguistic Skills on Play Performance of Preschoolers. Poster presented at the 2010 ASHA Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

Favorite Part of the Program – The engaging and innovative dialogue between faculty and students. The kindness, warmth, and encouragement offered by fellow students.

Comments on the Faculty – The faculty are skilled at challenging each of us to develop and refine our knowledge and experience base while at the same time providing a rich and supportive environment.

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Glen Dawson

Area of specialization - Child Clinical Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Arin Connell

Research interests - Biological mechanisms of emotion regulation in the context of internalizing disorders

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Kimberly Dunbeck

Area of specialization - child clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Amy Przeworski

Research interests - Etiology and treatment of anxiety in children. Family dynamics and how these dynamics influence child development. Family involvement in the treatment of child internalizing problems.

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Susan Gross

Area of Specialization: Experimental Psychology (Developmental)

Research Advisor/Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Short

Research Interests: I am interested in studying the experiences of children with developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Favorite Part of the Program: The collaborative environment with faculty and other students.

Comments on the Faculty: Each faculty member is very approachable and supportive. They provide amazing learning opportunities through challenging coursework and interesting research projects.

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Joshua Grubbs

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Julie Exline

Current Projects and Research Interests – I am very interested in spiritual struggles, behavioral addictions, and various aspects of personality, especially those centered around narcissism and entitlement. Currently, I am focused on exploring the role that personality plays in spiritual struggle, and the manner in which various spiritual struggles interact with each other. I am also very interested in the intersection of clinical and social psychology

Recent Publications: Exline, J.J., Kaplan, K., & Grubbs, J.B. (In Press) Anger, exit, and assertion: Do people see protest toward God as morally acceptable? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Exline, J.J. & Grubbs, J.B. (2011) "If I Tell Others about My Anger toward God, How Will They Respond?" Predictors, Associated Behaviors, and Outcomes in an Adult Sample. Journal of Psychology and Theology

Grubbs, J.B., Sessoms, J., Wheeler, D.M., & Volk, F. (2010). The cyber-pornography use inventory: The development of a new assessment instrument. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 17(2), 106-126.

Grubbs, J.B. & Exline, J.J. Negative affectivity, personality, and anger toward God: Emotional responses in the context of suffering. A Poster Presented at the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Preconference, Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX, Jan. 27, 2011.

Exline, J.J. & Grubbs, J.B. "If I'm Mad at God, Should I Keep Quiet or Tell Someone?" Results from an Undergraduate Sample. A Poster Presented at the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Preconference, Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX, Jan. 27, 2011.

Sessoms, J., Grubbs, J.B., & Exline, J.J. The Cyber-Pornography Use Inventory: A Comparison of a Religious and Secular Sample. A Poster Presented at the 9th Annual Mid-Year Conference on Religion and Spirituality, Columbia, MD, April 16th, 2011.

Honors/Awards - Recipient, Society for Personality and Social Psychology Preconference on the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Annual StudentPoster Award. January, 2012

APA Division 36, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2011 Research Seed Award Grant

Favorite Part of the Program – To pick one part of the program as my favorite would be difficult. Honestly, I have loved each part I have experienced thus far.

Comments on the Faculty – My experience with my faculty advisor has been extraordinary. Furthermore, I have found all of the faculty to be insightful and genuinely interested in the personal and professional growth of their students.

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Valencia Harriott

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Julie Exline

Research Interests - Broadly, I am interested in how religion and spirituality play a role in personality and the way people experience life. Currently, I am exploring people’s perceptions of having heard from God, seeking to understand what it means for people and the factors that seem to foster this perception.

Recent Presentations - Harriott, V.A., Exline, J.J., Hall, T.W., & Pargament, K.I. (2014). Awareness of God’s Presence, Well-Being, and Responses to Spiritual Struggle. Presented at the 122nd annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.

Favorite part of the program - My labmates, my classmates, and the faculty here are amazing people who inspire me daily.

Comments on the faculty - I feel that the faculty members are excited about students’ thoughts and ideas. I value their support and encouragement.

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Laura Hlavaty

Area of Specialization - Child Clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Elizabeth Short

Research Interests - I am interested in the etiology and treatment of developmental disorders in pediatric populations. I am also interested in overlap in symptomatology across ADHD and ASD, primarily in regards to treatment and assessment implications.

Favorite Part of the Program - The collaborative environment and true balance of research and clinical experiences.

Comments on the Faculty - The professors are all very welcoming and positive. As a student, I admire the way that the faculty are able to challenge students in a way that is both constructive and supportive. You can tell that all the professors are genuinely invested in the future happiness and success of the students in the program.

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Steffany Homolka, M.A.

Areas of Specialization - Child/Adolescent/Family Clinical Psychology, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (clinical, developmental, and social)

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Julie Exline

Current Research/Clinical Interests - I am interested in better understanding the relationship between spirituality and child development, especially in regards to attachment, negative childhood experiences, psychopathology, and treatment. One growing focus of my research is child and adolescent religious and spiritual struggles. I love working with clinical child/adolescent populations and have a strong passion for working with particularly marginalized children/adolescents and families, especially those that have experienced significant traumatic and/or negatively life-altering events.

Recent Publications and Presentations - Homolka, S.J., & Exline, J.J. (2014). Religious and spiritual struggles among adolescents and children. In J.B. Grubbs & J.J. Exline (Co-Chairs), Religious and spiritual struggles: New research frontiers. Symposium conducted at the 12th Annual Mid-Year Conference on Religion and Spirituality, La Mirada, CA.

Liu, C., Homolka, S.J., & Adamek, J. (2014). Faith and religion: Avenues for social justice. Roundtable conducted at the 31st Annual Winter Roundtable, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY.

Exline, J.J., Pargament, K.I., Grubbs, J.B., Yali, A.M., & Homolka, S.J. (2014). Religious and spiritual struggles: Development of three new measures. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Institute for Research on Psychology and Spirituality, La Mirada, CA.

Exline, J.J., Grubbs, J.B., & Homolka, S.J. (2013). Seeing God as cruel vs. distant: Links with divine struggles involving anger, doubt, and fear of God’s disapproval. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10508619.2013.857255

Exline, J.J., Homolka, S.J., & Grubbs, J.B. (2013). Negative views of parents and struggles with God: An exploration of two mediators. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 41, 200–213.

Homolka, S.J. (2013). Divine struggles: Parents’ contributions and attachment to God as a mediator. Master’s thesis, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.

Homolka, S.J. (2013). Engaging division 36 students: Resources and professional development Dialogue. Presented at the 121st Annual APA Convention, July 31-August 4, 2013, Honolulu, HI.

Homolka, S.J. (2013). Which Parental Characteristics Predict More Struggle with God? Poster presented at the 121st Annual APA Convention, July 31-August 4, 2013, Honolulu, HI.

Homolka, S.J., & Exline, J.J. (2013). Divine struggles and parental relationships. In J.J. Exline & J.B. Grubbs (Co-Chairs), Divine struggle. Symposium conducted at the 11th Annual Mid-Year Conference on Religion and Spirituality, March 22-23, 2013, Columbia, MD.

Homolka, S.J., & Exline, J.J. (2013). Parental and divine relationships’ links to divine struggle. Paper presented at the Annual Conference for the Institute for Research on Psychology and Spirituality, January 4-5, 2013, La Mirada, CA.

Homolka, S.J., Exline, J.J. (2012) Images of parents and God: How are they related to anger toward God? Poster presented at 120th Annual APA Convention, August 2-5, 2012, Orlando, FL.

Homolka, S.J. (2012). Changing Lives at a Faith-Based Residential Treatment Facility: The Positive Impact Spirituality has on Residents. Presented at the faith-based residential treatment facility research site for master’s thesis [name withheld to protect confidentiality], March 14, 2012.

Homolka, S.J., Hawthorne, S., Fryling, A., Quistad, A., & Frazer, A.L. (2012). Spirituality/ Religiosity and Emotional Symptom Change at a Faith-Based Residential Treatment Facility for Adolescent Males. Poster presented at the 10th Annual Mid-Year Conference on Religion and Spirituality, March 29-31, 2012, Columbia, MD.

Kimball, C., Mangis, M., Griffith, S., Rabb, J., Homolka, S.J., & Mitchell, H. (2011). Young Adults’ Stories of Unwanted Sexual Experiences: Gender Differences in the Nature of Experience, Value of Instrumental Support, & Gender Role Attitudes. Paper presented at the Christian Association for Psychological Science International Conference 2011, March 31-April 2, Indianapolis, IN.

Homolka, S.J. (2010). Spirituality/religiosity and emotional symptom change at a faith-based residential treatment facility for adolescent males. Master’s thesis, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.

Neal Kimball, C., Mangis, M., Griffith, S., Mitchell, H., Kalkreuth, K, Herrell, K., & Homolka, S.J. (2010). Unwanted Sexual Experiences: Men's and Women's Responses. Paper presented at Wheaton College's Psychology of Sexuality Discussion, April 7, 2010, Wheaton, IL.

Phinney, R.E. & Homolka, S.J. (2008). Type-B, U-Shaped Cyclopean Masking Function at Mask-To-Target Energy Ratio of One. Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Science 20th Annual Convention, May 22-25, 2008, Chicago, IL.

Comments on Faculty/Program - I really appreciate the program's balance between research, practice, and teaching. There are many opportunities for students to be involved in various research and clinical work while also hone any particular interests students may have within psychology. Faculty are also dedicated to the development, training, and mentoring of students.

Contact Steffany

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David Katz

Area of Specialization - Experimental Psychology

Research Advisor - Lee Thompson

Research interests - I am interested in the process of learning, especially in regards to children with developmental disorders like Fragile X Syndrome and ASD. I am also interested in discovering more about the etiology of such disorders. Other interests include learning about prodigies, memory, and math anxiety.

Favorite Part of Program - I appreciate the strong emphasis on research, as well as the encouraging and collaborative staff.

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Stephanie Keller

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Norah Feeny

Current Projects and Research Interests - I am interested in the development and treatment of anxiety disorders, namely PTSD. Specifically, I am interested in factors related to the process of change in both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatment for PTSD. Currently, I am working on a project examining the effects of social support in relation to the development of a strong therapeutic alliance between client and therapist in the treatment of adults with chronic PTSD.

Recent Publications - Chen, J., Pierce, S., Zoellner, L. & Feeny, N. (2009). How will it help me?: Predicting reasons about treatment mechanism that underlie choice of therapy. Poster submitted for presentation at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) 43rd Annual Conference. New York City, NY.

Pierce, S. & Zoellner, L. (2009). Childhood sexual abuse moderates the relationship between social support and early therapeutic alliance. Poster presented at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) 29th Annual Conference. Santa Ana Pueblo, NM.

Pierce, S. & Zoellner, L. (2009). Childhood sexual abuse moderates the relationship between social support and early therapeutic alliance in PTSD treatment. Manuscript under review.

Pierce, S., Stines Doane, L. & Feeny, N. (2008). Cognitive factors and their relation to posttraumatic stress disorder in youth. Poster presented at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) 42nd Annual Convention. Orlando, FL.

Favorite Part of the Program and Comments on the Faculty - The program provides excellent clinical and research training. Additionally, the faculty offer a tremendous amount of support and encouragement.

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Alex Kline

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical

Research Advisor - Norah Feeny

Current Projects and Interests - Before arriving at CWRU, I completed my BA in psychology and political science at Tulane University in New Orleans. After graduating, I worked on various projects in several different psychology research labs at the University of Texas at Austin. In the UT Laboratory for the Study Anxiety Disorders, for example, I worked on two studies aiming to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of exposure therapy in the treatment of chronic PTSD. Currently, my research interests focus on exploring the ways in which different factors and conditions affect treatment efficacy and outcomes for PTSD.

Favorite Part of the Program - I'm very excited to be a part of an active, dynamic team here in the PTSD Research and Treatment Program.

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Susan Klostermann

Area of Specialization - Child Clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Arin Connell

Current projects and Research Interests - I just completed my master's thesis looking at the co-development of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in early adolescence

Research Interests - The development of internalizing disorders, at-risk youth.

Favorite Part of the Program - Everyone is really friendly, and the students are not competitive.

Comments on the Faculty - They are very supportive and accessible

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Hannah McKillop

Area of Specialization - Child Clinical

Current Projects - Real-time analysis of changes in psychophysiology and affect between mothers with depression and their teens during discussion tasks; youth sexual risk in high-risk samples.

Research Interests - At-risk youth, particularly in the context of internalizing disorders; intergenerational transmission of mental health issues

Favorite Part of the Program - Truly provides a blend of both research and clinical experiences and training

Comments on the Faculty - Very supportive and accessible; open to individual research interests

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Christine May

Area of Specialization – Experimental Health Psychology

Research Advisor/MentorDr. Heath Demaree

Research Interests – Psychology of health behaviors, particularly topics related to weight loss, food motivations, physical activity, and overall health promotion. Affective changes related to changes in physical activity and the adoption of other healthy behaviors.

Recent Publications - Holland, J.M., Futterman, A., Thompson, L.W., Moran, C., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2013). Difficulties accepting the loss of a spouse: A precursor for intensified grieving among widowed older adults. Death Studies, 37, 126-144.

May, C., Overholser, J., Raymond, D., Ridley, J. Passive suicidal ideation: A clinically-relevant risk factor for suicide in treatment-seeking veterans. Manuscript under review.

Comments on the Faculty – They are extremely supportive and always willing to help you reach your goals.

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Jessica Nasser

Area of Specialization – Adult Clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Amy Przeworski

Research Interests – I am interested in anxiety disorders, especially Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am particularly interested in how these disorders affect family functioning and dynamics. Additionally, I am interested in developing treatments for emotional eating and Binge Eating Disorder in adolescents and adults.

Favorite Part of the Program – All the members of the Clinical Psychology program (faculty, staff, and students) are extremely supportive of each other. Additionally, one of my favorite things about the mentor-student relationship is the fact that ideas are encouraged, shared, and discussed by both parties.

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Emily Patton

Area of Specialization – Pediatric Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Arin Connell

Research Interests – Emotion regulation, transdiagnostic processes, and emotional competence in adolescents with chronic conditions, mostly in the context of depression and anxiety.

Current Project – Exploring factors of emotion regulation and social fit as mediators of depressive symptoms in adolescents tracked from sixth grade to their early twenties.

Favorite Part of the Program – The emphasis on clinical experience, informed by rigorous discussion and critique of past and present research.

Comments on the Faculty – They are supportive, especially of research and project ideas, and willing to engage with students on a variety of topics.

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Nicole Pucci

Area of Specialization - Child Clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Amy Przeworski

Current Projects and Research Interests - The etiology and treatment of childhood and adolescent anxiety disorders

Favorite Part of the Program - The feeling of solidarity within the first year cohort has been the best part of the program from a personal aspect

Comments on the Faculty - The faculty at Case are committed to mentoring graduate students in any and all of their research, clinical, and academic pursuits. The collaborative endeavors between faculty opens doors for students to learn areas of psychological research outside of their specialized interest.
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Alex Rothbaum

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Norah Feeny

Research Interests - My primary interests are in the realm of trauma, specifically PTSD. I am interested in clinical and health outcomes in patients that have experienced trauma and/or have PTSD as well as the underlying biological processes of PTSD. Additionally, I am very interested in integrating screening, prevention, and treatment for PTSD into pre-hospital and hospital settings.

Selected Publications and Presentations - Rothbaum, B.O., Kearns, M.C., Reiser, E., Davis, J., Kerley, K.A., Rothbaum, A.O.; Mercer, K.B.; Price, M.; Houry, D., & Ressler, K.J. (in press). Early Intervention following Trauma Mitigates genetic Risk for PTSD in Civilians: A Prospective, Emergency Department Study. Accepted for publication in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Few, L.R., Miller, J.D., Rothbaum, A., Meller, S., Maples, J., Terry, D., Collins, B., & MacKillop, J. (2013) Examination of the Section III DSM-5 Diagnostic System for Personality Disorders in an Outpatient Clinical Sample. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Rothbaum, B.O., Garcia-Palacios, A., & Rothbaum, A.O. (2012). Treating Anxiety Disorders with Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy. Revista de Psiquiatría y Salud Mental (English Edition).

Murphy, C.M., Stojek, M.K., Few, L.R., Rothbaum, A.O., MacKillop, J. (2014). Craving as an Alcohol Use Disorder Symptom in DSM-5: An Empirical Examination in a Treatment-seeking Sample. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Kearns, M.C., Rothbaum, A.O., Youngner, C.G., Burton, M.S., McCarthy, A. & Rothbaum, B.O. (in press). Prevention of PTSD. To appear in Marilyn Safir, Helene Wallach and Skip Rizzo (Eds.), Recent Developments in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Springer.

Rothbaum, A.O. (co-chair, March 2014). Psychological Risk Factors for PTSD in a Prospective Civilian ED Study, presentation at a symposium entitled Biological and Psychological Predictors of PTSD in Civilians. Symposium accepted for presentation at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Rothbaum, A.O. (March 2014). IV Opiate Administration Post-Trauma in an Emergency Department Prospectively Attenuated PTSD Risk, presentation at symposium entitled Novel Methods of Prevention and Intervention for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Symposium accepted for presentation at the Anxiety and Depression Association of American Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

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Alex Uzdavines

Area of Specialization - Adult Clinical Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Julie Exline

Research Interests - My overall goal is to investigate how the strength of an individual's religious or nonreligious beliefs impacts their physical and mental wellbeing. Currently, I am working on how spiritual/belief related struggles impact both religious and nonreligious individuals and whether stronger forms of belief/nonbelief protect against these struggles. I am also interested in how the accumulation of stressful life events impacts individuals' decisions to change their religious identifications, either moving toward or away from religion and how these changes then impact their wellbeing.

Recent Publications and Presentations: Uzdavines, A.W., Bradley, D.F., & Exline, J.J. Struggle and the Nonreligious: Do Weaker Forms of Nonbelief Increase Susceptibility to Spiritual Struggle? In J.B. Grubbs & J.J. Exline (Co-Chairs), Religious and spiritual struggles: New research frontiers. Symposium conducted at the APA Division 36 Mid-Year Conference on Religion and Spirituality, La Mirada, CA, Apr. 26, 2014.

Uzdavines, A.W., & Exline, J.J. Do Converts Report Stronger Faith than Others? A Poster Presented at the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Preconference, Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX, Feb. 13, 2014.

Comments on the Program/Faculty - I appreciate that the program maintains a strong balance between clinical training and research. Both elements of the program are supported by the faculty and students have the space and training to grow in both arenas.

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Alexander Vu

Area of Specialization: Experimental Psychology

Research Advisor/Mentor: Dr. Lee Thompson

Current Projects and Research Interests: I am interested in studying depressive and anxiety disorders. I am currently researching the nature and effects of mathematics anxiety, as well as the construct of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, and how SCT can affect behaviour and cognitive outcomes within a population of twins.

Favorite Part of the Program: Everyone here, faculty and students, is exceptionally supportive, approachable, and knowledgeable. There is a constant air of cooperation and inclusion, and you get the feeling that everyone is helping everyone else to do their best to succeed and realise their potential.

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Claire Wallace

Area of Specialization - Child Clinical

Research Advisor/Mentor - Dr. Sandra Russ

Research Interests - My undergraduate honors thesis focused on the relation between parental depression and depressive symptoms in their children. Now I plan to continue investigating psychopathology in children via assessment of play in children with various clinical presentations.

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Olena Zyga

Area of Specialization - Child Clinical

Research Advisors/Mentors - Dr. Sandra Russ & Dr. Anastasia Dimitropoulos

Research Interests - My main research interests focus on better understanding the neural correlates of processes involved in pretend play (i.e. creativity, imagination) and how they may overlap with important areas of social and emotional development. Ultimately, I would like to examine how this knowledge can inform intervention in both typical populations and in children with differing developmental disorders.

Favorite Parts of the Program - The faculty and students are all very supportive and approachable, which really leads to a cooperative atmosphere.

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