Catherine Rice Dusing, M.A. is a doctoral student in the adolescent and child clinical psychology program. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2015, where she worked with mothers and children exposed to intimate partner violence, examining how experiencing violence can affect women's coping strategies. Her interests involve child adjustment and family processes, and in particular how families can foster resilience in children growing up in a stressful, traumatic environment. At Loyola University, Catherine's work has focused on evaluating and implementing mentoring programs in high violence, low income communities in Chicago. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her family and friends.
Cassie Chesney, M.S.W. is a recent Loyola University Chicago MSW graduate with a specialization in mental health. She received her B.S. in Sociology including two minors in Criminal Justice and Health and Physical Education from Murray State University in Murray, KY. She received a full-ride D1 volleyball scholarship and continues to stay active with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In the fall of 2019, she will be returning to Loyola University Chicago to pursue her CADC and will be undertaking an internship at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois assisting M.A.D. (medically assisted detox) patients, amongst other responsibilities. One of her goals is to become an LCSW as well as a CADC. Further into the future, she would like to also pursue her CEDS. Her ultimate goal is to help those who suffer from these so often co-occurring disorders. Dual-diagnosis treatment is of great interest to her. It is fairly new in the scheme of treatment history that disorders are looked at interrelatedly instead of through a separate lens. Cassie firmly believes that to fully treat a person you must deeply understand each individuals story. Things are improving, however there is still a long way to go and she would like to advocate for these individuals that are suffering so greatly while not being treated properly, and in many cases are made worse. Cassie has been a part of the lab since September 2018 and will be leaving April 30, 2019. It has been too short, however an invaluable learning experience and opportunity that she appreciated greatly. She enjoys the company of her two dogs, staying active, music, being by or in water, and spending time with her small circle of friends and family.
Liz Harris, B.S. is a post-baccalaureate in the Risk and Resilience Lab. She earned her B.S. in Humanities and Social Sciences from Shimer college in 2016. Liz joined the lab in order to learn its data collection and data entry processes, in preparation for a PhD in psychology. Throughout her time in the lab, she maintained a strong interest in research, particularly as it relates to black youth in high crime, low income neighborhoods. She also decided to become a clinician. To this end, Liz will be starting a dual master’s program in Policy and Social Work at The University of Chicago in the fall. In her free time, Liz enjoys long walks, reading and cooking.
Kassie Gillis-Harry, B.A. is a post-bac and currently participating in the Risk and Resilience Lab to gain experience in the field of clinical psychology. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Montclair State University in 2015. With hopes of applying to a clinical psychology doctoral program next year, Kassie has gotten a lot of practice with data collection, data entry, and data tracking. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her dogs, singing, and hanging out with family and friends.
Vincent Sarna is a Junior at Loyola University Chicago, who is working on his B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Italian. As a member of the Risk and Resilience Lab, Vincent works on data collection, data entry, data cleaning, and coding with the program impact team. In the future Vincent plans to purse a PHD in Social Work and work with the LGBT+ Community. He has worked with Loyola’s Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs office and the Academic Diversity of the Provosts Office to create a networking event for LGBT+ students, faculty, and staff. In the future he hopes to continue his work with the LGBT+ community with the Interdisciplinary Fellowship through Dr. Michael Dentato and Dr. Maryse Richards.
Jamie McDowell is a sophomore at Loyola University Chicago, and she is working towards a B.A. in Psychology. She is on the pre-med track, so she plans on applying to medical school as she gains more experience during her gap year. As a member of the Risk and Resilience Lab, Jamie works on many lab duties including data collection, tracking, entry, and interpretation. Some of her hobbies and interests include reading, tutoring, bike riding, and spending time with family and friends.
Neha Patel is going to be a senior at Loyola University Chicago, and she is working towards a B.A. in Biology and Neuroscience. She is on the pre-med track, so she plans on applying to medical school the next cycle as she gains more experience during her gap year. As a member of the Risk and Resilience Lab, Neha works as an Intervention Coordinator for Herzl Elementary School in the North Lawndale area. Some of her hobbies and interests include tennis, badminton, reading, playing the violin, and superhero movies
Annika Pentikainen is a sophomore undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago working on her B.S. in Psychology, with minors in Sociology, Spanish, and Women/Gender Studies. She is interested in entering a school psychology graduate program after graduation. She hopes to study school environments and research methods to encourage engaged learning which caters to the needs of individual students. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, biking, and watching movies with friends.
Daisha Hill is a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumna from the class of 2017, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Aside from being a research assistant in the Risk & Resilience Lab, Daisha is currently completing a year of service via an AmeriCorp program where she functions as a mentor/tutor to 7th and 8th grade students on the south side of Chicago. Her research interests lie in African-American children and adolescents who reside in low-income areas and the effects that their neighborhoods have on their mental health and interventions that work to combat childhood trauma for healthy youth development. In her spare time, Daisha enjoys spending time with friends and family, writing, volunteering & watching YouTube videos.
Gabriel Brown is a post baccalaureate research assistant in the Risk and Resilience Lab, and a Loyola alumni. He earned his B.S. In Psychology from Loyola University Chicago in 2014. Currently volunteering as a research assistant with Dr. Maryse Richards, and her graduate students, he helps contributes to the ongoing youth peer mentoring intervention in Chicago Public Schools. He's confident his participation in these research projects will help him reach his goal of being accepted into a graduate clinical psychology program in the future. From there, he wants to add to the existing psychological literature concerning disadvantaged black youth living in low income communities. Outside of the lab he works as a personal-trainer, helping his clients to adopt a healthier lifestyle. If Gabriel's not in the lab, or working with clients, he enjoys strength-training, reading, free-writing, drawing, and watching his favorite television shows.
Jenny Phan is a doctoral student in the adolescent and child clinical psychology program. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Boston College in 2014. After college, she worked as a research assistant for two years in the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, which focuses on understanding and promoting the healthy adjustment of refugee youth in North America. Currently, in the Risk and Resilience Lab, her interests include understanding how factors (such as mental health interventions or mentoring programs) can promote youth resilience in the face of exposure to community violence. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, baking, running, practicing yoga, and trying new restaurants in the city of Chicago.
Sydney Maten is a senior at Loyola University Chicago and is a psychology major, Spanish minor, and is on the pre-med track. She will be taking a gap year after graduation and during this time she will be taking post-baccalaureate coursework and volunteering in order to prepare herself to apply for a Physician Assistant program. Sydney is currently a volunteer in the Risk and Resilience lab and is also conducting her own research through Loyola’s Psychology department. In her free time, Sydney enjoys watching her favorite shows, hanging out with friends, and writing poetry.
Christina Tran is a senior at Loyola University Chicago and will receive her B.S. in Psychology and Criminal Justice this upcoming May. She is taking a gap year after graduation and plans to find a job that will allow her to gain valuable skills and experience. She will eventually go to graduate school for clinical psychology. She is currently volunteering in the Risk and Resilience Lab and is conducting her own independent research study through Loyola's Psychology Department. When she is not working, studying, or volunteering in the lab, she is hanging out with family and friends, traveling, attending fitness classes, netflixing, and exploring Chicago.
Kyle Deane is a doctoral student in clinical psychology specializing in child, adolescent, and family issues. He is interested in trauma, exposure to violence, family functioning, and other mechanisms that underlie certain mental and physical health outcomes among underserved populations, including immigrant, refugee, and minority groups. Kyle received his B.A. in Psychology from The University of Dayton in 2010. Upon graduation from U.D., Kyle spent nearly a year in Mexico learning Spanish and teaching English to children at a Montessori school. Thus far in his time at Loyola University Chicago's Clinical Child Psychology Program, Kyle has completed a year-long psychotherapy practicum at Loyola University Wellness Center and is currently a neuropsychology extern at the University of Chicago Pediatric Neuropsychology Service. Kyle's work in the Risk and Resilience Lab has focused on the effect of exposure to violence and family functioning on externalizing and internalizing outcomes among youth from urban, low-income environments. He greatly enjoys traveling, biking, reading, and exploring his new home of Chicago.
Dakari Quimby is a doctoral student in clinical psychology who received his B.A. in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2012. He is interested in implementing interventions targeting youth and families from marginalized urban environments that capitalize on strengths within the community. He considers this a particularly necessary approach as disadvantaged groups have historically only received attention for the problems in their communities at the expense of examining existing factors that may promote resilience. He additionally intends to promote task shifting of mental health services within these communities. During his time at LUC’s clinical psychology program, Dakari has completed a year-long psychotherapy practicum at Loyola University Wellness Center, an externship at the University of Chicago Pediatric Neuropsychology Service, and is currently an extern at Mount Sinai’s Under the Rainbow counseling center. Currently in the Risk and Resilience Lab, Dakari's work has focused on designing and implementing a cross-age peer mentoring program for Black and Latino youth residing in several of Chicago's low-income, high violence neighborhoods.
Dakari was one of the 2017-2018 President's Medallion recipients at Loyola! See the story about him here: https://www.luc.edu/presidents-medallion/2017-2018/winners/dakariquimby/
Dakari was one of the 2017-2018 President's Medallion recipients at Loyola! See the story about him here: https://www.luc.edu/presidents-medallion/2017-2018/winners/dakariquimby/
Felix So received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is planning on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. His research interest revolves around developmental psychopathology, specifically in depression and anxiety. He is also interested in intervention and prevention research. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and eating at different places.
Samrita Sawhney is an undergraduate student studying Biology and minoring in Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. Upon completing her bachelor's degree, she plans to attend medical school. She is interested in seeing the impact of mentoring programs empower the youth exposed to community violence. Outside of her interest in this research, Samrita interests also lie in impactful healthcare research and she was even a research assistant for a prostate cancer case study studying the effectiveness of specific drugs towards targeting and terminating cancer cells. In her free time, Samrita enjoys traveling to foreign countries, watching movies, and singing as she participates in acappella at Loyola University.
Hailing from the distant lands of Los Angeles, California, Grace came to Loyola University Chicago as an undergraduate to study the intricacies of psychology (a B.S. in Psychology and a minor of Psychology of Crime and Justice to be exact). She seeks to better understand the marriage of research and clinical work within the context of the Risk & Resilience Lab. However, her particular academic interests encompass the sociological and psychological implications of multi-ethnic identities within younger generations. Upon graduation, Grace will need more time to ponder her future aspirations. Perhaps a master's degree in social work would be the most socially normative decision?
Edwin Rabadan is a recent graduate with a B.S. in Sociology and a minor in Spanish and Latin-American Studies from DePaul University. He is currently working in Little Village, Chicago as a Youth Organizer at Telpochcalli Community Education Project (TCEP) where he supervises and mentors after-school programming and youth leadership group called "Ollin". He plans to pursue a career in Higher Education/Student Affairs to help increase the attendance and retention rate of students of color pursuing a post-secondary education. Enjoys Latin style dancing, Hip hop music/concerts, and competing in soccer leagues throughout the city.
Alexander Sagona graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2016 with a B.A. in English/Creative Writing. His research interests are the emotional, cognitive, and developmental effects of youth growing up with absent and/or separated parents. As a part of the Risk and Resilience Lab, Alex works as an Intervention Coordinator in the North Lawndale neighborhood at the Chalmers School of Excellence. In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing, drinking tea, watching movies, and taking his dog to the beach.
In May 2015, Mirinda received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology. She hopes to enter into a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology to eventually open her own practice and continue research. Mirinda fell in love with research through her McNair program, which provided a summer research internship. Her research interests center around violence exposure and its effects on adolescent youth, resiliency in underserved communities, social support, and the psychological effects and coping skills in adolescents. As a post-bacc research assistant in this lab, Mirinda is excited to continue working on current projects and making an impact on the community. In her leisure time, Mirinda enjoys singing, reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.
Jordan Howard-Wilson, MSW, earned BA degree at St. Xavier University in Chicago, School of Communication Science and Disorders. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago in Dec. 2015. Jordan began a career in social services in 2011 gaining experience in direct care with youth who are in care with the state (DCFS). After engaging in direct care she decided to pursue social work as a career path. Jordan worked in case management engaging young adults in the process of transitioning to independence. In addition to social service, Jordan enjoys volunteering with non-profit agencies. Currently, her research interests are examining literacy comprehension with disadvantaged youth in low-income communities, exploring how community violence impact emotional development, and the impact of environmental stressors on health and mental health. Jordan intends to enroll in a doctoral program and will pursue a career as a college professor. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, planning events, cooking, running, and spending time with family.
Amanda White is an undergraduate student studying Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice and Art at Loyola University Chicago. Upon the completion of her bachelor’s degree, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Social Psychology and eventually obtain a Ph.D. Her research interests include finding programs and policy implications that will help facilitate positive changes in underprivileged neighborhoods for the community, specifically helping adolescents and youth. Amanda has previously mentored youth minorities and assisted them with academic help. She is also a brother of the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. In her leisure time, Amanda enjoys volunteering around Chicago, drawing still life, and playing the piano.
Carolina Escobar is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Studies and minors in Sociology and Anthropology. She is interested in community-based research and grassroots activism as a mean to achieve social justice in marginalized communities. Carolina is also a current undergraduate fellow at Loyola’s Center for Urban and Research Learning (CURL). As a member of the Risk and Resilience Lab, she wishes to contribute to the positive impact the mentoring program will provide for the South Lawndale community and learn from her peers. She also wishes to pursue a career in community development to create positive impact within communities.
Suzel Bautista is a recent graduate with a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago (2015). Suzel is currently working at the Craniofacial Clinic in the Medical District as a bilingual research specialist serving as site project coordinator. She assists in the investigation of parent reported quality of life for infants and young children with cleft lip and palate as well as infants with craniofacial microsomia. Previously Suzel has worked with at-risk youth in after school and mentoring programs with predominately Latino and African American youth. She also has previously worked in Dr. Santiago's lab that focuses on how Mexican-origin children and families manage stressful circumstances. Suzel plans to continue her education by going to graduate school after getting more work experience and deciding what program she wants to pursue. However, she plans to continue working with children and families of color in the future.
A native of the Southside of Chicago, Darrick Scott earned his BA in psychology from Howard University in May 2012. His research interests are rooted within depression and anxiety along with coping and risk factors that contribute to the mental health of low-income adolescent youth within the inner city. In his leisure time, Darrick enjoys listening to music, watching films, and traveling.
Kathleen Luka is an undergraduate Psychology major and communications minor at Loyola University Chicago. She has been with the lab since May 2016. She is pursuing a masters in social work, and hopes to become a licensed clinical social worker. She hopes to work in a hospital providing aid to patients and their families.
Shivani Gandhi is an undergraduate student at Loyola University of Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance. Within the Risk and Resilience Lab, she has created a system to allow her to track the cash flow throughout this program. She aspires to become an Investment Banker in the near future. As her hobbies, she loves to dance and listen to music.
Bridget Murphy is a senior undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago majoring in psychology with minors in journalism and the psychology of crime and justice. Her research interests include PTSD, complex trauma, and evidence-based treatments. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology. Ultimately, she would like to develop cost-effective trauma treatments for under-privileged populations. Previously, Bridget has worked with the Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic’s Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center. Outside of school and work, her hobbies include playing volleyball, writing, and watching movies.
Emily Love is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Social Work degree at Loyola University Chicago, specializing in clinical work with children and families. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Social Work degree and Multicultural Certificate in December 2015. During her undergraduate career, she worked with various populations including older adults, veterans and children. She also worked with special needs children in a school in West Africa, and completed her undergraduate practicum in a social service agency advocating for abused and neglected children. Broadly, her interests include counseling, advocacy, and program development with disadvantaged children and adolescents as well as child welfare policy and research. Emily intends to pursue a License in Clinical Social Work, and aspires to earn a PhD in Social Work. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, learning yoga, and spending time with friends and family. Alongside her work in the research lab, Emily is a Clinical Social Work Intern in the Empowering Counseling Program, where she provides counseling services to youth participating in the cross-age mentoring program.
Parmida Zarei is graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in International Studies in 2016. She aspires to enter into a doctorate program to eventually practice clinical psychology and participate in the world of academia. Her research interests include the role of depression and anxiety in the functioning and development of children, and the ways in which lasting impact can be made on these children's lives. In her leisure time, Parmida enjoys volunteering with at-risk populations, music, and literature.
Nadia Ochoa is a proud Chicagoan, growing up predominantly in “Marquette Park” (Chicago Lawn area). Her dedication to working with disadvantaged youth stem from witnessing the systematic disparities and prejudices within schools and institutions obligated to educate and promote the young. She has worked in various child-centered settings but also has extensive experience in retail and retail management. She received her A.A degree from Daley College and her B.A degree in Psychology from Governors State University. Her main research interest is deciphering the relationship between emotional and behavioral disorders in children within early-childhood centers, elementary schools, and those admitted into mental health and juvenile correction facilities at a young age. Other than volunteering as a research assistant for Loyola’s Risk and Resilience lab, she works alongside NYU, UIC and Loyola in their Chicago School Readiness Program (C.S.R.P) as a student assessor and quality control checker. Her hope is to improve the prevailing violence in Chicago through education reform and clinical intervention.
Martina Sullivan-Konyn is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Martina plans to pursue a Masters in Social Justice and Human rights and eventually obtain a law degree to practice either labor or civil rights law. Martina is interested in community empowerment to promote grassroots social movements and community organizing. She is involved with Students for Worker Justice at Loyola and ONE Northside in Chicago. Martina hopes to inspire and be inspired by youth to initiate change in their own communities. Martina received a Social Justice Fellowship for the 2016-2017 school year to implement a restorative justice curriculum at select mentoring sites to help improve conflict resolution skills and promote positive relationships. She is excited to work with mentors and research staff to complete this project and contribute to restorative justice research in the context of after school programs.
Sami Shabeeb is an undergraduate student at Loyola University of Chicago’s School of Arts and Sciences, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biology. His goal is to attend medical school after his tenure at Loyola, eventually becoming a physician. During his time on campus, Sami has been involved with various humanitarian causes like Students Organize for Syria and Student Advocates for Medicine in Politics. He joined the lab in an effort to gain research experience and ultimately contribute to a project that is providing great assistance to the underprivileged youth of Chicago. He has been a member of the Risk and Resilience Lab since January of 2016.
Sydney Warren grew up in a small Southwest suburb called Worth. She is currently a part of the BSW program here at Loyola. She is a senior who's both involved in the Loyola community as a resident assistant in de Nobili hall and the greater Chicago community through being a counselor in the Empowering Counseling Program and facilitating activities through our Saving Lives Inspiring Youth afterschool mentoring program since August of last year. She is passionate about serving others and wishes to continue that passion as she enters into graduate school for Occupational Therapy. She enjoys traveling to places she's never been, trying out new food, binge watching Netflix (*cough* Shameless *cough*) and napping.
Michael Anjorin is an undergraduate student majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Statistics at Loyola University Chicago. He joined the lab in September 2016, after having worked as a math tutor at Immanuel Youth Organization (IYO). His main interests with the lab involve gaining research experience and assisting youth from underprivileged communities. After graduation, he plans to apply to medical school while possibly working in a medically-related environment. Some of his hobbies include playing and watching basketball, bowling, and reading.
Aminah Garcia is an undergraduate Psychology major at Loyola University Chicago. She has been with the lab since May 2016. She hopes to obtain a master's degree in School Psychology and go on to become a school psychologist working with disadvantaged youth.
Dhiraj Nalabothu is an undergraduate student currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Biostatistics and Psychology. Following his degree, Dhiraj hopes to apply to medical school and is interested in medical research as a future career. Dhiraj has a strong interest in working with underprivileged youth in Chicago, and his reasons for joining the lab includes gaining hands on experience in research.
Abigail Bigelow is an undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago and pursing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English with a minor in Theology. She is hoping to eventually obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology. Abigail is currently researching the effects of leadership ability on self-esteem in disadvantaged youth under a LUROP Fellowship. She has been with the lab since June 2016.
Collins Mbachu is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biophysics and a minor in Mathematics. He is interested in either Biomedical Engineering or Medical Research as a future career. Upon graduation he hopes to either get a Masters in Engineering or apply to Medical School. Collins has been highly involved in YMCA projects dealing with underprivileged youths and has always been interested in causes aimed at researching marginalized groups and finding ways to change the current financial system. Reasons for joining the lab include gaining hands on experience in lab work and real-world experience in the field.
Dhara Puvar was an undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago, pursuing her bachelor's degree in Psychology with minors in Bioethics and Spanish Literature. Within the Risk and Resilience Research Lab, she has helped implement the Mentoring Project in Englewood schools through intervention programming and data collection. Her research interests include mental health disparities, coping, and resilience among vulnerable populations, especially adolescents and members of immigrant and refugee communities. In addition, during her undergraduate career Dhara spent five months in South Asia with the School of International Training (SIT), conducting independent research on the various risk factors for suicide among female migrant workers in Nepal. She aspires to enter a doctoral program in clinical psychology.
Taylor Perri is an undergraduate student currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Following her bachelor’s degree, Taylor plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, ideally working with at-risk, delinquent juveniles. As working in juvenile delinquent centers is a potential career path for Taylor, she hopes to address issues that arise in low-income and at-risk neighborhoods through the mentoring project. She believes that the mentoring project will showcase her interests in helping children whose lack of social support is unable to foster their resilience.
Gavin Crowell is a recent graduate from Knox College, where he received a BA in Psychology, with minors in neuroscience and journalism. At Knox, he conducted an independent honors project focusing on the efficacy of nature based therapy on the negative, cognitive, and stress-related symptoms in schizophrenia.He expects to continue his education in a doctorate program in clinical psychology, but intends to get real-world research experience before applying. He is interested in studying the mental health of low-income residents within the inner city, and hopes ultimately to understand both the cyclic relationship between poverty and mental illness (such that concentrated urban poverty cultivates mental illness, while the resulting mental illness reinforces poverty) as well as the structural programs that serve as reinforcers of this relationship towardsdisadvantaged populations.
Victoria G. Smith Ellison is a Chicago native and was raised in Bronzeville. She is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in social work at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She received her B.A. in Educational Studies from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) in 2015. Her research interests include critical race theory, black feminism, urban education, and community engagement. Victoria is an artist at heart, life-long learner, black history enthusiast, and aspiring yogi. #blackgirlmagic
Jason Pica II is pursing a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science with minors in 1) Psychology of Crime and Justice and 2) Criminal Justice and Criminology. Jason aspires to obtain a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.). Beyond this, in pursuit of education, he aspires to obtain a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.), a Master of Laws in Family Law or Criminal Law (LL.M.) and eventually a Ph.D in a related field. Jason’s future work as an attorney will provide him with the opportunity to be an advocate for children in situations where their voices are often silenced by focusing his practice on juvenile criminal defense and child and family law. Additionally, Jason is a Provost Fellow researching the relationship between future expectations and beliefs about aggression in African American youth in urban, low-income communities, and was humbled to receive the Outstanding Loyola Research Award. His research interests include examining the cycle of poverty in relation to crime with an emphasis on how education can improve the quality of life for low-income populations and identifying how future expectations are able to moderate the various stressors in the daily lives of urban, low-income African American youth. In regards to the Mentoring Program, he has been involved in both field and clerical work. Jason enjoys being a pianist, singing, fishing, and volunteering with the Miss America Organization.
Margot Le Neveu is a medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. In 2014, she received her B.S. in Human Science with a minor in Philosophy & Bioethics from the School of Nursing & Health Studies at Georgetown University. While in Washington, DC, she developed an interest in public health and became deeply involved with a harm reduction organization, supporting the health of local sex workers and injection drug users. In partnership with this organization, she designed her senior capstone research project to better understand the impact of gentrification on perceptions of health and safety among vulnerable populations. Her research interests include the intersection of poverty and health as it relates to health outcomes, mental health stability, health disparities, and barriers to accessing care. At Dartmouth, she has continued to work with at-risk populations as a leader of a local LGBTQ teen group and the CARE Project working with people enrolled in the Grafton County Drug Court. As a physician, she hopes to work with low-income families, providing holistic, compassionate care to underserved communities in both an urban and rural setting.
Candice Richardson is a recent graduate at Loyola University with a B.S. in Psychology. She expects to continue her education in a doctorate program in Clinical Psychology. As a member of the Risk and Resilience Lab, she is excited to work on the Mentoring Project and believes it will be a huge asset to the community. As a south Chicago native, Candice sees this lab as an opportunity to share personal experiences and be a resource to those in the Englewood community. Furthermore, she has worked as a tutor and mentor with African refugee children at Circesteem. Her research interests includes working with at-risk children, understanding resiliency in underserved communities and the psychological effects and coping skills in adolescents. In her leisure time, Candice enjoys singing, dancing, attending church, and spending time with family.
Keenen Stevenson received a Master of Social Work in May 2016, specializing in Mental Health. He received his B.S. in Recreation and Sport Management with concentrations in Non-profit Management, Fundraising, and Youth Leadership from Indiana State University in Terre Haute in 2008. While attending Indiana State he worked as a lab assistant implementing inclusive recreation programs for children and adults with disabilities. Currently, his research interests are examining educational disparities in low-income communities, exploring how community violence impact emotional development, and the impact of environmental stressors on health and mental health. Keenen intends to enroll in a doctoral program and will pursue a career in research. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and watching documentaries.
Cordelia Grimes graduated in May 2016 from Loyola University Chicago’s Master of Social Work program, specializing in Mental Health with a sub-specialization in Inter-professional Practice with At-Risk Youth. She received her B.A. in Psychology from DePaul University in Chicago in 2010, where she completed an Honor’s Thesis and presented her research at a couple of conferences. Currently, her research interests involve examining sources of resiliency for adolescents, particularly in those that have experienced complex trauma in disadvantaged populations. She is working on a Participatory Action Research project that aims to help empower and give a voice to youth that are exposed to community violence through their voluntary submissions of their own writing, poetry, art, music, or spoken word to a website. Alongside her work in the research lab, Cordelia is the Clinical Social Work Intern in the Empowering Counseling Program, where she provides counseling services to youth participating in the cross-age mentoring program. She also enjoys working as the Charity Race Team Coordinator for a nonprofit called “Girls in the Game”. In her spare time, she enjoys (yes, enjoys) training for marathons, playing with her dog, and hanging out with her family and friends.
Arie Zakaryan graduated in May 2016 with a PhD in child and adolescent clinical psychology and has accepted a post-doctoral fellowship in California. He received his B.A. in Literature from Harvard University in 2007. Following graduation, Arie spent two and a half years working as a research assistant and research coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, FL. As a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago (LUC), Arie has completed a therapy practicum at the LUC’s Wellness Center, and is currently an extern at University of Chicago’s Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic. Arie recently joined the Risk and Resilience Lab in May 2012 and is also a member of the Department’s Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (CAN) Laboratory. So far his work has focused on looking at how executive functions influence the effectiveness of coping on the psychological well-being of middle school minority youth who live in low-income, high violence urban neighborhoods. His research interests include the development and evaluation of intervention programs for at-risk youth, with a focus on stress, coping, and the related cognitive and neural correlates.
Dante Violette is an undergraduate student currently attaining a bachelors in Psychology with a minor in communication. After graduation, he hopes to enter a Masters level social work program to eventually become a licensed practitioner to open a private practice. His research interest are gender studies, focusing on confrontation of sexist humor in social interactions, and more recently the risk and resilience lab with Dr. Maryse Richards. In his free time, Dante is involved in numerous student activities including being the photographer for Loyola’s student government.
Nicole Woodcox Bolden is a recent graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a Masters of Social Work with a specialization in school social work. She received a dual degree B.A in Sociology and Communications from Illinois College in 2006. After graduating, Nicole spent 2 ½ years in the Philippines with the U.S Peace Corps as a volunteer in a children’s home for children with imprisoned parents and also as a life skills educator for survivors of Human Trafficking. After returning to the U.S, she spent 3 ½ years working with victims and survivors of Human Trafficking. Her current research interests are on trauma, empowerment, and resilience in youth and families. In the Risk and Resilience lab, she is helping to implement the cross age peer mentoring project on the Southside of Chicago. In her spare time, Nicole is a birth and postpartum doula, enjoys spending time with her family, and cooking.
Lauren Davis is a PhD candidate in the school of social work at Loyola University Chicago. She received her B.A. in Communication and Media Studies from DePaul University in 2013 and her MSW from Loyola University Chicago in 2015. Following graduation, she began studying social work specializing in mental health. Lauren’s fieldwork has been in Chicago’s disadvantaged and impoverished South Side communities working specifically with low-income adolescents combating community violence and lack of mental health resources. She was an instructor for “Stand Up, Help Out”, the first known sexual health and romantic relationship education program created by African American youth for African American youth. She also served as a therapist for Empowering Counseling Program, a school based counseling service that provides therapy services to youth who otherwise may not receive mental health care. Joining the Risk and Resilience Lab in August of 2014, Lauren focused on developing and teaching a mentoring curriculum for a cross-age peer-mentoring program for African American and Latino youth in addition to providing counseling services to members of the program. Lauren’s research interests include work with disadvantaged youth, school-based mental health services, play therapy, and complex trauma.
Jolai Michel is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology-Sociology and minors in both Theology and Leadership. During her junior and senior year of high school, her research interests were focused on physical chemistry. Currently, in her second year at Loyola University Chicago, her research interests are geared toward psychology. Her involvement with Dr. Richards and in her lab began in January of 2015. She was involved in both field and clerical work relating to the Mentoring Program. The motivation from Jolai's involvement in the lab stems from her passion for marginalized groups, including, but not limited to, Black lives. From her involvement, she wanted to gaining hands-on experience and a more developed understanding of real-world psychological applications.
Michaela Mozley received her B.S. in Psychology in 2015. In the Risk and Resilience Research Lab, she was involved in the process and transcription of focus groups involving middle school and high school students living in the high-violence community of Little Village in Chicago. Michaela was also a member of Loyola's Social Justice and Intergroup Relations Research Lab, where she worked to run experiments that focus on how people respond to and confront prejudice. She was a member of the McNair Scholars Program and conducted research exploring the different factors that influence how people respond to racism. Michaela plans to continue focusing on race and social justice, and would like to incorporate both psychology and criminal justice into her future career. Michaela would like her future career to focus on African American youth, and she hopes to one day impact the Juvenile Justice system for its betterment. She is currently at the University of Utah getting her PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Jade Kinney graduated in May of 2015 with a B.S. in Psychology. Jade joined the Risk and Resilience Lab Summer 2014 and helped collect data for the Mentoring Project that is being implemented at Imagine Englewood if. Her research interests include studying adolescent youth specifically low-income, urban individuals. Apart from her academic studies, she was a member of the track and field team at Loyola and was also the treasurer of Loyola's Gospel Choir. Jade is currently at Auburn University getting her PhD in Counseling Psychology.
Sotonye Hart studied Psychology and Human Studies at Loyola and graduated in May of 2014. In the Risk and Resilience Research Lab, she was involved in the violence intervention program (CEC-CF) focused on decreasing stress and increasing coping in urban minority youth living in the Englewood. She conducted an independent research study focused on the impact that exposure to violence has on the development of fear in African American students. She is member of the McNair Scholars Program and has presented her research at the National McNair Scholars Conference. Her research interests focus on the development of racism-related stressors in at-risk youth and understanding the extent to which negative mood and stress contribute to physical and health outcomes. Sotonye is currently working and plans to continue her education with a doctoral graduate program in Clinical Psychology. Her professional career goal is to work in a hospital setting with trauma patients, and ultimately open a non-profit organization for underprivileged, low-income minority youth
Allison Shimer graduated in May of 2015 with a major in Psychology and minors in Peace Studies and Women’s Studies Gender Studies. She was actively involved in the Risk and Resilience Lab by implementing Dr. Maryse Richard’s Civic Engagement Curriculum to middle schoolers in the Englewood area on the south side of Chicago. She is the co-author on a poster for the Midwestern Psychological Association that focuses on the relationship between extracurricular activity involvement and coping among urban African American youth. She was also a student-athlete for Loyola and enjoys listening to music, reading, traveling, and playing the piano.
Andy Perrotte was an undergraduate student studying Psychology and Peace Studies. His research focused primarily on peace circle strategies and restorative justice. At the end of his sophomore year, he received the Provost Fellowship to clinically study the effectiveness of peace circles in Dr. Maryse Richard’s Civic Engagement Curriculum. He is the co-author on multiple accepted works with the lab surrounding ethnic identity and mental illness to the Midwestern Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, and other various academic conferences. As a panelist in Loyola University Chicago’s Pacem In Terris 50th Anniversary peace conference, Andy gave a speech about the power of peace circles and restorative justice to sustainably resolve conflicts in communities suffering from violence. After graduation, Andy will explore the fields of social justice, psychology, public policy, philosophy, and healing with the intention of bridging those fields at a doctoral graduate school program.
Edna Romero graduated with her PhD in clinical psychology in 2016, specializing in child, adolescent, and family issues. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Purdue University in 2006. Following her undergraduate education, Edna worked for three years at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children's Memorial Hospital) as a research associate and project administrator. Since beginning her graduate career at Loyola University Chicago (LUC), Edna has completed a year-long therapy practicum at LUC's Wellness Center and at Loyola University Medical Center's Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic. She is currently a psychotherapy extern at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County in the child and adolescent psychiatry clinic. Edna's work in the Risk and Resilience Lab focuses on the impact of neighborhood characteristics on aggression outcomes among youth from urban low-income environments. Additionally, Edna is involved in the development and administration of intervention programs that reduce stress and promote psychological well-being among middle school youth who live in impoverished urban neighborhoods.
Devin Carey received her PhD in child and adolescent clinical psychology in 2015. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 2007. Following graduation from Emory, Devin spent two years working as a research assistant at Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Baltimore, MD. As a graduate student at Loyola, Devin has completed externships at the Loyola University Wellness Center, Illinois Masonic Pediatric Developmental Center, Stroger Cook County Hospital, and University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. Devin's work in the Risk and Resilience Lab has focused on intervention programs that reduce stress and promote psychological well-being among adolescents who live in low-income, high violence urban neighborhoods. Her research interests include the psychopathology of at-risk youth, with a focus on specific factors that predict to adjustment and their implications for intervention programs.
Israel Gross received his B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University in 2006, and in 2007 he received his M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Israel is a former doctoral student at Loyola University Chicago's Clinical Psychology program in the child and adolescent track. Israel's research interests include understanding developmental pathways towards psychopathology and mental well-being among "at-risk" youth, as well as evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. Israel's master thesis at Loyola focused on investigating the predictors of academic achievement among low-income urban African American youth using an Optimal Data Analysis methodology. Israel completed his dissertation work investigating the role of mental health and social support on disease progression among HIV infected youth.