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).  [email protected]


Carina Alvarez graduated from Florida International University of 2017 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology.  As an undergraduate, she was a research assistant in two psychology labs that focused on school readiness in young children with or at risk for ADHD and related disruptive behavior disorders.  Throughout her time at FIU, Carina worked at the renown Summer Treatment Program for three years, where she provided intensive behavioral intervention to young children with externalizing behavioral disorders.  Throughout her undergraduate career, Carina also worked with the University of Miami's IBIS Clinic to provide Applied Behavioral Analysis services to young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Upon graduating from FIU, Carina worked as an Assistant Grant Coordinator for the S.E.L.F. - Regulation Lab, where she conducted leading research on the role of children's self-regulation skills as it pertains to school readiness, early intervention, learning, and fitness.  To continue expanding her repertoire, she took on a teaching position the year after at at Title 1 charter school.  As a first grade teacher, Carina learned first hand the critical role teachers play on the development of today's youth.  In the Fall of 2020, she began her graduate career in clinical and school psychology under the mentorship of Dr. Jason Downer.  Carina happily invites prospective students to contact her with any questions regarding applications, interviews, mentoring, or research. She is passionate about early intervention, socio-emotional development, and teacher-student relationships.  [email protected]


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.  Noor encourages interested applicants to reach out with questions regarding beginning graduate school directly after college. [email protected]


Atunrase.Jackie.jpg Jacqueline Atunrase graduated from Temple University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After graduation, she worked as a third-grade teacher in Wilmington, Delaware through the Teach for America Program and earned a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Wilmington University. In 2013, she began working as a clinical research coordinator on a study evaluating the implementation of evidence-based mental health services in urban schools. She began her doctoral studies in 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Tolan. Her research and clinical interests include improving access to high quality mental health services for underprivileged youth, advancing school mental health prevention and intervention programs, and the implementation of evidence-based mental health services in schools. Through her clinical training, Jackie has provided therapy and assessment in schools including at Monticello and Albemarle High Schools, Little Keswick School, and Orange County Public Schools. She has also provided assessment and therapy to children and adult clients in the Sheila Johnson Center for Human Services at UVA. She is completing her internship during the 2020-21 academic year at the University of Maryland School of Medicine's School Mental Health Program in conjunction with the National Center for School Mental Health. Jackie encourages prospective students, especially those with a background in education and interest in school mental health, to contact her and is happy to discuss her career path and specific research interests.  [email protected]


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.  Julia encourages prospective students to reach out with questions about the application process, program format, and hospital-based clinical training opportunities.  She is happy to share more about her career path and research interests in SEL and Positive Youth Development.  [email protected]


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.  Paris welcomes prospective students to contact her to learn about her experiences being a scholar of color at UVA and to learn about her passion for school psychology as well as questions related to how she navigated the program with a previous Master's degree.  [email protected]


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.  Marissa encourages prospective students to reach out with any questions about the application process, the clinical and school psychology program at Curry or her research interests.  She is also happy to share her experience transitioning from working as an early childhood educator to graduate school, and is committed to diversifying the fields of clinical and school psychology.  [email protected]


Sophia_Brunt.jpegSophie Brunt graduated from Bowdoin College in 2017 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. During her undergraduate career, she investigated the moderating effect of personality characteristics on the associations between social media usage and wellbeing outcomes. Following graduation, she worked as an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist at a residential school for children with ASD. She transitioned to working as a research coordinator and data manager at the UMass Boston Autism, Behavior, and Child Development (ABCD) lab on a project investigating the efficacy of a universal screening protocol to identify and diagnose young children with ASD through local Early Intervention programs. Sophie began her graduate studies at the Curry School in 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Micah Mazurek. She is happy to connect with prospective students, particularly first-generation college students who are interested in discussing the graduate school application process. [email protected]


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.  Nicole is happy to connect with prospective graduate students about the application process, the program, and school-based research. [email protected]


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 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 clinical and school psychology. Her current advisors and mentors are Drs. Noelle M. Hurd and Nancy Deutsch.  Bianka's research interests include utilizing mixed-methods approaches to explore protective and promotive factors that buffer against risk among marginalized individuals. Her current dissertation work explores the mechanisms by which strong and connected familial and non-familial bonds can optimize developmental well-being and resilience among Black and Brown adolescents, parents, and families. Bianka warmly welcomes prospective students to contact her with any questions related to her research interests, entering and navigating graduate school as a student of color in clinical psychology, and the graduate school application process. She is also happy to share about her own journey to graduate school as a first-generation college student, HBCU graduate, and former teacher.  Anyone interested in learning about clinical training opportunities in college counseling and integrated healthcare settings should also feel welcomed to contact her. Bianka is a proud member of the C.A.R.E. - Conversations About Race and Equity group leadership team. [email protected]


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.  [email protected]


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.  Caroline encourages prospective applicants to contact her regarding clinical-forensic psychology and the graduate school application process.  [email protected]


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.  Brittany's graduate research interests focus on correlates of aggression and victimization, and her clinical interests focus on adult neuropsychological populations.  She encourages prospective student to reach out with questions about her research, as well as clinical training opportunities in neuropsychology.  Brittany is also happy to speak with prospective students about beginning graduate school directly after college.  [email protected]


Westley Fallavollita graduated from Northern Virginia Community College in 2011 and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences.  As an undergraduate, he worked as a research assistant for the design and analysis of online language learning courses, teaching assistant for the math department, and volunteered as a mentor with the Carver Promise mentoring program.  After graduation, Westley worked in private industry as a data analyst before returning to the VCU School of Medicine as a research assistant, where he studied the impact of policy and environmental factors on adolescent tobacco-related health behaviors and outcomes.  Westley also proudly served for two gap years in the national service programs AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and City Year Washington, DC and is a recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award.  Westley began his graduate studies in the Clinical and School Psychology program in the fall of 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Lyons.  He welcomes questions from prospective students, including AmeriCorps alumni and others who have taken non-traditional paths through college.  [email protected]


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. After graduation, she worked at the National Institute of Mental Health as Post-Baccalaureate IRTA fellow. 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 was a research team member within CASTL primarily working on a project called "Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten Success (P2K)".  Renee completed practicum experiences at Agnor Hurt Elementary School, the Sheila C. Johnson Center, the Virginia Treatment Center for Children at Children's Hospital Richmond, and the Behavioral Medicine Center at UVA Health System.  Renee successfully defended her dissertation titled "Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adolescent Mental Health in the Context of Social Support from Caregivers, Schools, and Neighborhoods".  She is currently on her pre-doctoral internship at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children in Richmond, Virginia.  Renee continues to be interested in intervention and treatment work with children, adolescents, and their families specifically in the areas of anxiety, depression, and trauma.  She also takes a social justice approach to her work and is a proud developer of a group called C.A.R.E. - Conversations About Race and Equity.  Renee always welcomes prospective students to contact her with any questions regarding the application or interview process.  [email protected]


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.  Christina welcomes potential applicants to contact her regarding the graduate school application process and to discuss research and clinical work in autism spectrum disorder. [email protected]


Belinda Hernandez graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior. Upon graduation, she worked as a research assistant for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was the research coordinator for the nationwide Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Students (OLOS) study in Dr. Carol Connor's ISI lab at UCI. As part of the OLOS project, Belinda conducted classroom observations and developed the social-emotional learning measure for the OLOS classroom observation system.  Belinda began her doctoral studies in Fall of 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Bradshaw. Her research interests include social-emotional development and the etiology, prevention, and treatment of problem behaviors in youth. She is happy to connect with prospective students regarding the application process, especially those who come from disadvantaged and non-traditional backgrounds.  [email protected]


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. [email protected]


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.  Sarah welcomes prospective students to contact her with any questions they may have about the application process, the clinical psychology program, or her research interests. [email protected] 


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.  Michelle welcomes prospective applicants to contact her regarding the application process for doctoral programs in clinical psychology.  As the proud sister of a young woman who is autistic, she would be particularly interested in speaking to potential applicants who identify as neurodiverse or who have neurodiverse family members. [email protected]


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.  Meredith is committed to diversifying the field of clinical-school psychology and welcomes any and all questions regarding the application and interview process.  She is also happy to share career insights regarding her path from K-12 educator to psychologist-in-training for those looking to make a similar transition.  [email protected]


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.  She welcomes prospective students to contact her with any questions they have about the application process, the clinical psychology program, or her research interests.  [email protected]


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.  Eleonora is happy to connect with prospective graduate students.  [email protected]


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.  Sydney is happy to connect with prospective students and would be especially interested in hearing from students who have pursued a non-traditional path to their Ph.D. [email protected] 


Smith.Katie_.jpgKathryn Smith graduated from Saint Louis University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in Theological Studies. Prior to beginning graduate studies at UVA, Katie 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 parent and teacher attitudes influence children's performance, anxieties, and attitudes; and how children's use of technology related to their understanding of academic topics.  In 2017, Katie began graduate work in the Clinical and School Psychology program with Dr. Jason Downer as her advisor. Her research focuses on school readiness, early childhood education classroom environments, and factors that contribute to young children's math performance. She currently works on the Understanding the Power of Preschool for Kindergarten Success (P2K) project. Clinically, Katie has extensive experience working with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and with internalizing disorders. Prospective students are invited to reach out to Katie regarding related research or clinical interests, or questions related to the application process, mentoring, and transitioning to graduate school far from home or after working full-time. Katie is particularly interested in connecting with prospective students who are drawn to the program's combined clinical and school psychology aspect and is happy to discuss the variety of clinical training experiences in school, hospital, and community mental health settings in Charlottesville. [email protected]


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.  Lara is happy to talk with prospective grad students about the application process, the program, life in Charlottesville, or anything else that would be helpful.  [email protected]


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.  [email protected]


Emily Warren graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009 with a B.S. in Psychology, and worked as a Community Development Advocate for a nonprofit in Fairfax, VA, that provides services to low-income and homeless families.  Emily returned to school at the University of Virginia and graduated in 2013 with an M.Ed. in Counselor Education, and remained in Charlottesville to work at the local community mental health agency, Region Ten CSB.  In her time at Region Ten, Emily served as a school-based prevention specialist at Charlottesville High School, outpatient and crisis stabilization clinician, as well as medical liaison for children with psychiatric hospitalizations.  As the Prevention Director, she supervised the Student Assistance Program, parenting support programming, and implemented evidence-based trainings such as Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.  Emily is passionate about supporting trauma-informed practices and resiliency, and enjoys teaching on these topics as a Master Trainer for ACE Interface, and Instructor for the Community Resilience Initiative Trauma-Informed and Trauma-Supportive Certification courses.  She is the co-Chair of the Suicide Prevention Awareness Resource Council (SPARC), which supports suicide prevention efforts in central Virginia.  Emily began her Clinical and School Psychology doctoral studies in the Fall of 2020 under research advisor Dr. Dewey Cornell.  Emily encourages prospective students to contact her with any questions, particularly if they are in interested in trauma-informed care, life in Charlottesville, or transitioning from school or community counseling to clinical psychology program.  [email protected]


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. [email protected]


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

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