Hyeeun Chung is a second year Family Science doctoral student from Korea. She earned her B.A. in Consumer and Child Studies from Seoul National University. She also earned her M.S. in Child Development and Family Studies from Seoul National University. Hyeeun has worked on a Multicultural Families Support team as a desk officer at the Headquarters of Healthy Family Support Centers. She also has worked at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA), a government-affiliated organization, focused on low birth rate and aging. Hyeeun's Master's thesis investigated intentions of a having a second child by employment status of married women. Her current research interests include work and family, child care, family policy and fathering. In her spare time, Hyeeun enjoys working out, cooking and spending time with her husband.
Emily Cook is a third year Family Science doctoral candidate from Montgomery Village, Maryland. She earned a B.A. with Highest Honors in Psychology from Emory University and a M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland. Emily's master’s thesis investigated the impacts of trauma symptoms on maternal parenting and child psychological health. Her dissertation will examine the impacts of deployment on active duty military couples' marital satisfaction using longitudinal data from the Department of Defense. Emily currently serves as Project Director for the Maryland Veterans Resilience Initiative, a two year grant that partners the University of Maryland School of Public Health with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She also works in a private practice as a licensed couple and family therapist. In her time away from clients and work, Emily enjoys spending time in the company of her husband and friends, exploring new local restaurants, and reading novels.
BreAnna Davis is a first year Family Science doctoral student from Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies. BreAnna earned her M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland. She has worked as a grant writing intern and program planning intern, and in a sorority targeting issues of the family. Her research interests include gender roles in families, dynamics of blended families, impact of financial literacy in premarital couples, and racial and gendered socialization of children and its impact on identity. BreAnna also currently works as a therapist intern at a local non-profit. BreAnna enjoys playing the piano and singing, and she is learning to play the guitar. She also enjoys reading, going to movies, and traveling.
Ada Determan, a fourth year Maternal and Child Health doctoral candidate, is originally from Arlington, VA. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia and her M.P.H. in Health Promotion-Disease Prevention from George Washington University. Ada has worked for a public health consulting firm on issues related to substance abuse and treatment, for a research center focused on diabetes interventions and complications, and for the federal government on program areas focused on improving the health of underserved populations. Ada’s current research interests include hearing loss in children, quality improvement in health systems, and the effects of policies on maternal and child health. During her free time, Ada enjoys spending time with her husband and two children (ages 3 & 6), getting together with friends, attending area festivals and events, playing outdoors, and occasionally making it to the gym for Zumba.
Jessica DiBari is a third year Maternal and Child Health doctoral candidate from Northport, New York. She earned a B.A. in Public Health and her M.H.S. in Environmental Health Science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Jessica has worked for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) contributing to the planning and implementation of the National Children’s Study, a longitudinal study looking at environmental exposures in pregnancy through 21 years of age. She has an interest in prenatal exposures and their impact on early childhood growth and development, health education, and translational research. Jessica's dissertation is on the developmental origins of obesity. In her free time Jessica enjoys playing soccer.
Laurén Doamekpor is a fourth year Maternal and Child Health Ph.D. candidate from Ghana. She was born in Jerusalem and grew up on the island of Cyprus. She earned her B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University in Massachusetts and her M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health from The George Washington University. Laurén has always been interested in health research and has had the opportunity to work in a variety of different settings. She has worked at Brigham and Women’s hospital conducting clinical research on circadian rhythms and cardiovascular health and also at the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER) on various needs assessments and program development projects. Most recently, Laurén worked with the GWU Health Policy Department on immunization policy, women’s reproductive health, and implementation plans for D.C. Medicaid and sister agencies. Her current research interests include the social determinants of sexual and reproductive health, particularly with respect to decision making and autonomy. Her dissertation is focused on understanding the reasons behind immigrant health patterns in the U.S. Laurén’s special interests include all reality television shows, traveling, foosball, and she is a budding master chef who enjoys cooking in her spare time.
Katheryn Downesis a first year Maternal and Child Health doctoral student from the Tampa Bay Area in Florida. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Florida. She also earned a dual M.P.H. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of South Florida. She has 11 years of research experience in a wide range of topics including developmental disabilities, mental health and education. While completing her dual-master degree, she worked as a biostatistician in public health on mental/psychiatric health projects. She has also consulted as a general medicine statistician and specialized in orthopedic surgery and OBGYN research. Katheryn's current clinical interests are gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension. Some of her hobbies include karaoke, art (painting and photography), movies, dancing, and finding new restaurants to try. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exercising and exploring her new surroundings. During her undergraduate career, she was a hip-hop DJ at an underground radio station.
Mili Duggal is a third year Maternal and Child Health doctoral candidate. She is originally from India and graduated from Sophia College, Ajmer, India with a B.A in English Literature, Sociology, and Psychology. Mili earned her Post Graduate Diploma in Health Management from IHMR, Jaipur, India. Her thesis work was titled "Operationalization of Screening for Anemia in Pregnant Women in an Urban Primary Health Care Institution in New Delhi, India." Mili has worked as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences in AAIDU, Allahabad, India, and as a UNICEF District Mobilization Coordinator on social mobilization and advocacy in under served areas across India. Mili later came to the United States to earn her MPH in Global Maternal and Child Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. While getting her MPH she worked within the Maternal and Child Health program of the Louisiana Office of Public Health on health education communication projects. Her research interests include nutrition, gender, mental health, and MCH policy. Mili enjoys reading books and has recently started to knit. She loves spending time with her family, friends, and her dog, Olive. Mili has even done a few 1000 miles long motorcycle rides riding pillion.
Jenifer Faheyis a first year Maternal and Child Health doctoral student from Mexico City, Mexico. She earned a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Texas at Austin. Jennifer also earned a M.S. in Public Health at Harvard University and a M.S. in Nursing (Midwifery) from Yale University. She is currently a member of faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore) where she practices as a full-scope nurse midwife and also works as Director of Maryland Advanced Perinatal Support Services Program a collaborative program with DHMH, Johns Hopkins’ Obstetric Department to help provide outreach support to community hospitals and providers of perinatal care. Jennifer is interested in maternal mortality reduction (through provider training in management of obstetric emergencies), interconception care, and innovative models of healthcare delivery – specifically, group prenatal care and midwifery-led care. She enjoys spending time with her daughters (ages 9 and 11) and husband, soccer (watching), writing, and dancing.
Patty Fanflik is a fifth year Family Science doctoral candidate and a native of Maryland. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University, a Master's of Science in Human Development and Family Science from Kansas State University, and a Master's of Arts in Sociology from Southern Illinois University. Patty spent six years as deputy director of the Office of Research and Evaluation at the National District Attorneys Association/American Prosecutors Research Institute. She is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Patty's research experience has included large-scale national surveys, experimental and quasi-experimental investigations, and qualitative case studies. Her research interests include the interface of law and mental health issues, family and individual coping strategies following violent crime, and family violence. Outside of school and work, Patty loves traveling, spending time with her family and friends, and having fun outdoors with her dog, Piggy.
Nicole Finkbeiner is a fifth year Family Science doctoral candidate from Levittown, PA. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, with a B.S in Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies. She earned a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Maryland College Park. Nicole has worked at Saint Mary’s County Detention Center, serving as a liaison between incarcerated individuals and various criminal justice organizations. She has also interned at the Human Rights Campaign in D.C. Nicole is currently conducting research with FMSC faculty on the transition to adulthood. Nicole’s current research interests include resiliency and strengths withing LGBT families, particularly those headed by gay fathers. Her dissertation is on the parenting experiences of gay adoptive fathers and is titled "Examining Parenting Perceptions among Gay Fathers: Do Experiences with Minority Stress Influence
Parental Competency?" When not working or studying, she enjoys playing with her dog, Maddie, cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles, reading, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.
Megan Fitzgerald, a sixth year Family Science doctoral candidate, earned her Master's degree in Family Science from UMCP. Prior to beginning graduate school, Megan worked as a researcher on several projects, including substance abuse among women, arrestees, and juveniles; immigrant families; and the Safe Start Initiative with the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. She currently works as a research specialist at the Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center with the UMB School of Social Work. Megan's Master's thesis explored cultural values, acculturation, and parental involvement as predictors of Latino youth engagement in extracurricular activities. Her current research interests are of depression in young men and fathers, as well as child welfare programs. She enjoys playing with her two daughters and hanging out with her family and friends.
Amanda Ginteris a third year Family Science doctoral candidate from Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended Miami University for both her bachelor’s and master's degrees. Amanda earned a B.A in both Classical Languages and Women’s Studies (with a focus on sexuality and social systems) and an M.S. in Family Studies. Her Master’s Thesis examined the consequences of mothers’ breast cancer experiences for their adult daughters’ intimate relationships. Prior to attending the University of Maryland, Amanda conducted research on breast cancer and obstetric issues in a variety of academic and hospital settings. She has also conducted research with FMSC faculty on health messages for rural, low-income women as well as the relationship between smoking and postpartum depression. Amanda’s research interests include coping methods for breast cancer patients and their families, HPV vaccine usage, health literacy, and bioethics. She is currently working on her dissertation, a qualitative study that explores how single women navigate breast cancer diagnoses, treatment, recovery, and survivorship. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys knitting, reading, and yoga.
John Hart is a first year Family Science doctoral student from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He earned a B.A. in Psychology with Honors from The George Washington University. He also earned a M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy at the University of Maryland. John has worked at Children’s Hospital in Washington D.C. as a HIV tester and a peer educator on risky health choices. He also interned at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD as a research assistant exploring the role of pharmacological drugs on young adults. He was also a clinical residential counselor at a psychiatric rehabilitation center working with adults. John's clinical interests include the structural patterns (i.e. power dynamics, boundaries around the couple, and boundaries between the partners) that exist in ethnic couples’ relationships. His research interests include the experiences of low-income men as they transition into adulthood, the acculturative and assimilative processes first-generation immigrant young men face, and the interpersonal and societal challenges of African American fathers. John loves watching movies (he is a movie buff), working out, playing basketball, hanging out with family and friends, having debates about various topics, keeping up with politics and current events, learning about different cultures through travel or conversation, and pulling pranks. He is also somewhat of a barber - he can cut his own hair and other peoples' hair!
Katie Hrapczynski, a fifth year Family Science doctoral student, is originally from Malvern, PA. She graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Psychology, a Certificate in Human Development, and a minor in Sociology. She earned a M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy at the University of Maryland. Katie has won a Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, N.I.C.H.D. She also worked as a Residential Leader at the Good Shepherd Center in Baltimore, a research assistant at the University of Delaware, a Clinical Intern at the Center for Adoption Support and Education, and as a research specialist at the Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center. Katie currently teaches FMSC 302, Research Methods for Family Science in Public Health. Her Masters Thesis focused on the impact of couple therapy for abusive behavior on partner's negative attributions about each other and the relationship between cognitive and behavioral change. Her dissertation explores the role of the adoptive family environment and discrepancies in parent-adolescent views of their family on the development of transracially adopted adolescents. Katie's other research interests include family and individual transitions, adoption, parent-child relationships, couple relationships, and therapy outcomes. Outside the University, she loves working out and spending time her family and friends.
Nicolle Buckmiller Jones, a sixth year Family Science doctoral candidate, is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. She earned both her Bachelor's degree in Marriage, Family and Human Development and her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brigham Young University. Nicolle's Master's thesis investigated the influence of DSM-IV diagnoses for psychotherapy on patients' use of health care. Her current research interests center around family, couple, and parent-child relationships, fathering, and foster care. She is also interested in the transitions that military families make during reunions and separations. Nicolle currently teaches FMSC 330, Family Theories and Patterns, and supervises student therapists in the MFT program. When she's not studying and researching, Nicolle enjoys spending time with her husband, visiting historic sites along the East coast, playing tennis, and enjoying the outdoors.
Sherylls Kahn is a second year Family Science doctoral student from Los Angeles, CA. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Pomona College and a M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her Masters Thesis explored the effectiveness of couple therapy for improving well-being in aggressive couples. Sherylls’ main research interests include sibling relationships and family conflict, as well as issues affecting immigrant families. She previously worked as a senior research assistant at Child Trends, a non-profit research organization focused on issues affecting children and their families. Sherylls currently works as a research assistant at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for a qualitative study investigating the impact of couple conflict on children. She also works on a project focused on improving early childhood classroom quality in the District of Columbia. In her spare time, Sherylls enjoys cooking, watching reality television, learning new things, and exploring new places with her husband and their super cute dog, Oliver.
Yoonjoo Lee is a first year Family Science doctoral student from South Korea. She earned a B.A. in Consumer and Child Studies from Seoul National University. She also earned a master’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies. She has worked as a full-time administrative assistant at Seoul National University, managing a one-year department budget and scholarships for undergraduate students, as well as assisting the department chair. She has also worked as a research specialist at Research Institute of Human Ecology at Seoul National University, preparing for projects meetings and assisting professors in conducting research. She is interested in time-use patterns of children and family, family policy, and research methodology. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, jogging, and swimming.
Tiffani Stevenson Lloyd, a fourth year Family Science doctoral candidate, is a graduate of the CFT Masters program. She is from Fruit Heights, Utah, and she graduated with honors from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she assisted in research exploring the link between immigration and heart health, and she also conducted research for her honors thesis which investigated the theoretical implications of a theistic approach to psychotherapy. She spent 4 months in Romania conducting qualitative research and providing therapy for institutionalized children, and 18 months in Venezuela working as a missionary helping families and individuals. Tiffani currently works as a Marriage and Family Therapist in her own private practice in Rockville, Maryland and she is working towards becoming a certified AAMFT supervisor. Tiffani's disseration is on the relationship of religious beliefs and mental health, specifically for African Americans. Other research interests include the relationships, experiences, and mental health of single adults. Outside of school, Tiffani enjoys singing with the National Philharmonic Chorus, gardening and enjoying the outdoors, running and training for competitive races, and cooking and sampling new and exciting cuisine in excellent restaurants. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends.
Ronneal Matthews is a first year Maternal and Child Health doctoral student from Oklahoma City, OK. She earned her B.S. in Community Health from the University of Central Oklahoma and her MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She has 11 years of experience in the field of public health. Most of her work has been in chronic disease prevention, sexual and reproductive health and Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). She has worked primarily as a Project Manager conducting program planning, implementation, curriculum development and evaluation. Her current clinical and research interests include sexual and reproductive health of African American women and girls with an emphasis on how intergenerational programs and interventions can impact sexual and reproductive health. Ronneal loves singing, cooking, reading novels, writing poetry and short stories (writing a novel is on her bucket list), playing computer games, going to the park with her kids, going to the movies and going to live music events (especially jazz, deep house & soul). She loves reading Young Adult fiction like Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc. She has two beautiful girls, Journey (8) and Inaya Freedom (5) and a wonderful husband Joseph who is also in graduate school.
Lauren Messinais a third year Family Science doctoral candidate. She is originally from New Rochelle, NY and graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. in Communications. Lauren earned her M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland. She has worked as a research assistant with the Food Stamp Nutrition Education program as well as with the Fathers and Sons in Transit project. Her research interests include applied, intervention and prevention research on parenting, family health behaviors, childhood and adolescent health and mental health, and family resilience. She is involved in several projects which explore the parental processes of feeding and interacting with children about food and meals. Clinically, Lauren is interested in therapeutic systemic approaches to working with parents and children. Her dissertation is titled "Parenting Adolescents with Depression: Diagnoses, Treatment, and Resilience." Lauren has also served on the Executive Committee of the Public Health Garden, as a mentor to undergraduate students through the Graduate Student Government Mentorship program, and as the Outreach Coordinator of Maryland Council on Family Relations. In her free time, she enjoys watching documentaries, traveling to visit family and friends, gardening, and cooking.
Ashley Eberhart Munger is a second year Family Science doctoral student from southwestern Pennsylvania. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Grove City College and a M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland. Her masters thesis investigated the relationships among food security, health locus of control, and mental health. Ashley’s research interests include family nutrition, hunger, obesity, and poverty. She currently works as a research assistant at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for a qualitative study investigating the impact of couple conflict on children. In her spare time, she enjoys literature and poetry, classic movies and documentaries, running, yoga, and traveling with her husband. She likes learning new things, going new places, and having new experiences.
Woochul Parkis a third year Family Science Ph.D. student from South Korea. He earned his B.A. in Religious Studies from Seoul National University. He earned his M.A. in Child and Family Studies from Yonsei University. Woochul has worked as a family therapist at the Healthy Family Support Center in Seoul, a research assistant helping to develop the Korean government-funded program "Family Relationship Improvement Program for Preventing Adolescent Runaway," and as an adolescent counselor and social worker for the Youth Companion Policy in Korea. His research interests include couple relationship, body-image, self-esteem, sexuality, and North Korean refugees in America. Woochul enjoys playing piano and swimming.
Elise Resnick is a fifth year Family Science doctoral candidate and hails from Cleveland, Ohio. She received her bachelor’s degree in screenwriting from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1998 and her Masters in Marital and Family Therapy from UMCP in 2008. Elise worked at the Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC, as a Research Specialist, completing strategic research for hospitals and health systems worldwide. She also worked at the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) as the manager of their policy department at the national headquarters in Arlington, VA. She worked on federal legislation advocating for the rights of those with mental illnesses. Elise was drawn to the mental health field, and she liked the idea of working with families and couples from a systems perspective. During her time in the program, Elise has enjoyed learning therapeutic techniques and models, seeing a wide range of clients, and spending time with her classmates. Elise has been married for five years to Jaime, and they live in Silver Spring. She enjoys traveling, shopping, cooking, and watching reality TV.
Hoda Sana is a second year Maternal and Child Health doctoral student from Iowa. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Creighton University and M.P.H. from George Washington University, with a specific focus in Maternal and Child Health. Hoda has worked as a drug researcher at Boystown Research Hospital; a project facilitator for a smoking cessation project in Sioux City, Iowa; an executive coordinator on a project in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, to establish proper facilities to promote women’s education; and a researcher on high risk patient outcomes in mobile clinics in Kabul, Afghanistan. She desires to continue her studies and research on maternal and child health in third world countries. In her spare time, Hoda enjoys reading comics, flying kites, playing sports (played Rugby during undergraduate career), traveling, and participating in other outdoor activities.
Barbara Jones Singer is a fifth year Maternal and Child Health doctoral candidate. Barbara completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Marylandk, earning a B.S. in Community Health Education. She also earned a MSPH in Maternal and Child Health and a MSW in Health and Mental Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Barbara spent over six years working at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and five years providing health education and HIV counseling and testing for Planned Parenthood of Maryland, Anne Arundel County Health Department, and UNC Student Health Services. Her current research interests include adolescent health, sexual decision-making, prevention of HIV and STIs, and paternal involvement during the pregnancy period. Originally from Annapolis, MD, Barbara now lives in Washington DC with her husband and daughter. Outside of academia, Barbara continues to root for both the Terps and the Tar Heels, and enjoys traveling, snowboarding, gardening and watching HGTV.
Jocelyn Smith is a fifth year doctoral candidate in Family Science. Her research interests
explore trauma, violence, loss, and the transition to adulthood for boys and men
of color. Her dissertation entitled, “Violence, Traumatic Loss, and the
Transition to Adulthood: A Qualitative Analysis of Peer Homicide among
Low-Income, Young, Black Men” specifically examines the experience of homicide
survivorship among Baltimore youth and young adults. In recognition of her
innovative scholarship, the University selected Jocelyn Smith as the 2012-2013
recipient of the Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate
Achievement. Prior to her doctoral research on trauma, Jocelyn conducted
research funded by the William T. Grant Foundation exploring fathering
relationships and the transition to adulthood for low-income, young men.
Originally from Norristown, PA, she earned a B.A. in Psychology at Hampton
University in Hampton, VA before completing a M.S. in Marriage and Family
Therapy from the University of Maryland. As a licensed therapist, Jocelyn also
provides individual, couple, and family therapy to a diverse group of clients in
at Jonah Green and Associates, Kensington, MD. Outside of academia, Jocelyn
loves listening to live music and spending time with friends and family,
especially her Godson, Zion and her nephew, E.J.
Damian Waters, a fourth year Family Science doctoral candidate, is a graduate of the Couple and Family Therapy masters program. He graduated with his Bachelor's degree from Georgetown University. As an undergraduate, he worked as a hotline counselor, providing clinical support for people who were in crisis and/or feeling suicidal. After graduation, Damian pursued his interest in counseling as a New York City Teaching Fellow, in which he was able to work with emotionally disturbed high school students in the Bronx. Damian's current clinical interests focus on African American families, particularly fathers. Damian's dissertation focuses on African American fathers' interactions and involvement with their children. He hopes to use findings from this research to develop programs and initiatives that would encourage low-income fathers to become actively involved in their children's lives. Outside of school, Damian remains busy as an active member of his church, reading about early church history, teaching GED classes, cooking, and studying Brazilian Jujitsu.
Andrew Williams is a first year Maternal and Child Health doctoral student from Watertown, South Dakota. He earned his B.S. in Mass Communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He also earned his M.P.H. in Community Health at New York University. Andrew has worked at the North Dakota Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Center at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences where he worked to implement a standardized prenatal alcohol screening in North Dakota. Andrew also established a partnership with a clinic in Brazzaville, Congo, screening women for alcohol and cigarette use in pregnancy. He is interested in prenatal health and early childhood development, health communication, health education, and translational research. Andrew also enjoys watching soccer and baseball, cooking, going to movies and museums with his wife.
Couple and Family Therapy Students
David Curtis is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Roy, Utah. He earned a B.S. in Psychology from Brigham Young University. David has worked in a group home for individuals with developmental disorders to help them achieve their therapeutic goals and learn social skills. He has also worked as a third party facilitating the exchange of children between parents experiencing high conflict divorces. His current research interests include coping of couples and individuals who experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. In his spare time, David enjoys extreme sports such as snowboarding, football, and rock climbing. He also enjoys a wide variety of books and spending time with his wife and daughter.
Andrew Dauler is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Germantown, Maryland. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Upon graduating, Andrew worked as a counselor in a psychiatry unit for teens at Children’s National Medical Center. His current research interests include conflict resolution, family communication, methods of discipline and adolescent development. Andrew enjoys being active—he now uses bicycling as his primary form of transportation, and he likes getting involved in high adrenaline activities like skydiving and skiing. When he’s not juggling academic responsibilities, Andrew can be found spending time with friends, playing board games (he's quite competitive), and has even juggling fire.
Ebony Edwards is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Lanham, Maryland. She graduated from Bennett College with a B.A. in Psychology. She has worked as a clerk for the Department of Immigration/Office of the General Council and an assistant to the founder of the Sherri Denese Jackson Foundation for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Ebony has also completed a research internship for the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University. Her current research interests include black/white interracial relationships, black families, and same-sex couples. Ebony enjoys reading books and magazines, attending church, exploring the city, playing video games, yoga, cooking, and learning more about caring for natural African American hair. Careful-- she has a brown belt in Kung-Fu!
Nicole Ehlert is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Mundelein, Illinois. She graduated from Butler University with a B.A. in Psychology and in Communication Studies, with a minor in Spanish. She has worked as a clerk for a clinical psychologist's private practice. Her current research interests include emotional intelligence, relationship satisfaction and quality, friendship, and adjustment to change. Nicole loves to cook, travel, read, shop, listen to music, and spending time with friends. She also knows about fixing cars, since she's had terrible luck with hers breaking down.
Maya Foster is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Silver Spring, MD. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maya also completed a senior thesis to graduate with honors. She worked two part-time jobs through college. She served as co-president to UNC Student Parent Association and also served on a university government committee, The Chancellor's Child Care Advisory Committee, where she was able to successfully change a local policy regarding the administration of scholarship funds. She worked as a research assistant in a social psychology laboratory at UNC. She also interned in Washington D.C. at The Center for Youth and Family Investment. Her clinical and research interests include the secondary effects of social policy, specifically, how policies shape family decisions, structure, identity, and value. She is also interested in blended families, fatherhood, absent parents, and childhood trauma. She loves HGTV, food TV, cooking, and fishing on the weekends with her daughter. She also makes and sells upholstered headboards. She was recently honored by Jill Biden who presented her with an award for perseverance!
Leslie Gunderson is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She earned a B.S. in Psychology from Brigham Young University. Leslie has worked at a Residential Treatment Center in Utah, assisting teenage girls with therapy interventions, coaching them in day-to-day activities, and teaching them how to have healthy relationships. She has also worked as a research assistant in Brigham Young University’s Counseling Center, where she collected and summarized articles for a meta-analysis on group therapy. She is interested in group therapy within family systems, strengthening individuals by strengthening family relationships, therapy outcomes for mental health issues, and recovery in a family setting. Leslie enjoys hiking, camping, exercising (anything outdoors!), reading, singing, and dancing. She also played Mrs. Potts in a theater production of “Beauty and the Beast.”
Erin Sande Levenberg is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Reno, Nevada. She graduated from the City University of New York (CUNY) Baruch College with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. Most recently Erin worked as an Adult Literacy instructor at the YWCA in Washington DC. Her research interests include the affects of diagnosis, substance abuse, and adult attachment. Before pursuing a graduate degree, Erin worked at a mental health outpatient clinic where she created group therapy curriculum and co-authored a guided journal for an adolescent day-treatment program. She enjoys yoga, running, hiking, cooking, camping, and her family. Erin also loves incredibly spicy food!
Stephen Mortensen is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Washington State. He attended Brigham Young University and received his B.S. in Marriage and Family Studies. Stephen's current clinical and research interests are the process of forgiveness, use and effects of pornography, and how perceptions of a relationship can differ while positivity remains. In his free time, Stephen enjoys playing sports, hiking and camping, and reading a good book.
Paige Murtagh is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She earned a B.S. in Family Studies, with a minor in Sociology, from Miami University of Ohio. She has worked as the Support Intern for the Young Parents Support Network, a division of the Center Foundation, doing case management and mentoring for young parents and pregnant teens in impoverished areas of Philadelphia. Paige has also interned, and then worked, as an after school program teacher and part time pre-school teacher at the Oxford Early Childhood Center. Additionally, she has worked as a research assistant on a study of Family Quality of Life in Breast Cancer survivors, spouses of survivors, adult children of survivors and mothers of survivors. She is interested in health related family quality of life, due to her previous research experience in the area. She is also especially interested in the impact of infidelity, outcome and development of children within families that have faced a crisis, young/teen parents, and substance abuse impacts. Paige enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as playing with her two dogs. She loves to read, watch professional baseball and attempt to cook. Paige also lived in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia for 5 months studying Social Work at the University of Queensland!
Estefania Ospina is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Miami, Florida. Her entire family is from the beautiful country of Colombia where she spent most of her summers growing up. She a Colombian at heart! Estefania graduated Cum Laude with honors from The Florida State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Child Development. She successfully defended her undergraduate honors thesis titled, “Factors Correlated with Teachers Response to Child-Initiated Speech.” While at FSU, she had the privilege of working as a counselor for incoming freshmen and as a research assistant. Estefania has also worked as a counselor in Florida International University’s renowned Summer Treatment Program for children and adolescents with ADHD, ODD, and CD. She is interested in learning about male roles in couples conflict, and father figures. She is also interested in improving cultural barriers affecting the Latino population’s instance of seeking therapy. Estefania enjoys listening and singing along to songs, weight lifting, running outside, and dancing salsa! Now that she is in a new city, she hopes to incorporate some new hobbies into her already active lifestyle.
Elizabeth Ott is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Silver Spring, Maryland. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University. She has worked as a new student orientation leader at Barnard College, and has volunteered with youth in Harlem, New York. Elizabeth has also worked for the American Psychological Association. Her research and clinical interests include communication between couples, domestic violence, gender roles, young parents, and adolescent development. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys theater and the arts, outdoor activities, spending time with family and friends, and playing with her two dogs.
Stephanie Powell is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Bethesda, Maryland. She earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and a Certificate in Elementary Education (grades 1-8) and a Masters degree in School Counseling from Bowie State University. Stephanie has been a Paraeducator, Teacher (grades 1-6), and more recently, a middle school Resource Counselor. Stephanie is interested in working with issues that arise in families in which the children do not know or have not had a relationship with one of their parents. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys reading and playing solitaire and suduko, along with attending church and spending quality time with family and friends. Although she is often shy, Stephanie has found herself successfully taking on professional leadership roles.
Kira Roerig is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Oregon. She majored in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology from Brigham Young University. Kira has worked as a camp counselor at an outdoors camp for youth at-risk. She has volunteered in Spain, sharing a religious message and volunteering within the communities she lived in. She has also worked for a year training other young adults who would do the same type of service in other Spanish speaking countries. Kira has worked at a therapeutic boarding school for adolescent boys with Asperger’s and worked primarily with the students in the school’s transition program (getting ready to graduate from High School and move on to adult life). She has been employed as a coach, helping students learn about colleges, careers, how to cook and clean and interact with others socially and was concurrently interning as a Recreation Therapist at the same school. Kira is interested in adolescents and parenting, particularly in the transition adolescents and their families make when an adolescent returns home after being in an adolescent treatment facility. She loves to be outdoors, running, hiking, and down-hill skiing. Kira also enjoys art, culture and food.
Russel Rogers is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Frederick, Maryland. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Psychology and an M.B.A. He studied Organizational Behavior in a doctoral program at the University of Minnesota, completing all but the dissertation. He has worked as a Human Resources professional and executive compensation consultant. Russel's current research interests include resilience following trauma and comparative effectiveness of alternative mood disorder treatments. He enjoys racquetball, spending time with family, hiking, and reading.
Allison Schroeder is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Baltimore, MD. She earned a B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Philosophy, from the University of Texas at Austin. Allison also earned her M.A. in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. She previously worked as the Director of International Partnerships at World Relief. Prior to that position, she conducted workforce development policy research for the Abell Foundation in Baltimore. Allison's research and clinical interests include strengthening families and communities to mitigate the consequences of poverty, the prevention and treatment of child abuse and other forms of domestic and gender-based violence, and cross-cultural communications and relationships. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, as well as leading worship at her church.
Shana Simkin is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Newton, Massachusetts. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Child and Family Studies, with minors in Psychology and Spanish. Shana also spent a semester studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. She previously worked as a senior research assistant at Child Trends, a non-profit research organization focused on issues affecting children and their families. She has also worked at a domestic violence agency as well as a mental health day treatment program for children. Her research and clinical interests include resiliency, family communication, emotional intelligence, and relationship dynamics. In her spare time, Shana enjoys dancing, singing, staying active, and spending time with family and friends.
Robin Smith is a second year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Olney, Maryland. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from Salisbury University. Robin has previously worked as a Behavioral Coach for elementary, middle, and high school students with autism, and as a Paraeducator for
MCPS (Montgomery County Public Schools)
in a high functioning autism program. He has also worked as a research assistant for various projects for the federal government. Robin's current research and clinical interests include the impacts of the quantity and quality of time parents spend with their children on school nights on academic performance, behavior in school, and overall emotional health. In his free time, Robin writes and plays music, enjoys learning new things from watching the Discovery and History channels and enjoys relaxing from watching John Stewart and the Colbert Report. Come see him perform with his band at a show in College Park!
Jennifer Young is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student from Madison, Wisconsin. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Chinese at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Jennifer also earned her master’s degree at The Ohio State University in East Asian Languages and Literatures with a Chinese Language Specialty. Her thesis topic was Chinese-American Couples: cultural difference and marital satisfaction. She has interned at Beijing Normal University’s Family Therapy Center. She has also worked as the Operations Manager of the Care for Children Special Needs School and Family Services Clinic in Beijing helping children and families find the resources they need in China. She is interested in intercultural families, multilingual counseling practices, and family therapy in developing countries. Jennifer is passionate about traveling and photography. In her free time, she enjoys biking, board games, and being outdoors.
Le Zheng is a first year Couple and Family Therapy masters student originally from China. She graduated from Beijing International Studies University with a B.A. in Spanish, and a minor in Management. Le has previously worked at the Mental Health Association of Connecticut as a community educator. Her current research interests include cross-cultural communications and relationships, intergenerational problems experienced by families, and adolescent development. In her spare time, Le enjoys music, movies, traveling, having new experiences, cooking, iPad games, and spending time with family and friends.