Meet the Lab (Archive)

 

 

Former Graduate Students

Jessica McCauleyjess

mccauleyjm@vcu.edu

My primary research interests are the role of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination in health. More specifically, I am interested in how these constructs influence risky health behaviors and healthcare-seeking behaviors. Right now I am examining how weight status impacts healthcare attitudes and utilization. I hope to one day apply my research to stigma reduction and health promotion at the policy level. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending time with my dog.

Former Undergraduate Students

Our research lab consists of several undergraduate students who are either gaining research experience for course credit or as volunteers. Please scroll down to find out more about our undergraduate RA’s.

Elisabeth Alison
Majors: Psychology, Biology
Expected Graduation Date:
May 2015
Class Standing:
Junior

I have a mixed interest in both the biological aspects of human life as well as the social reasons behind human behavior. So far, most of my work has been in the field of Social Psychology, focusing greatly on issues such as the beauty bias in different aspects of the community.

Priyanka Arora

Major: Psychology

Expected Graduation: December 2016

Class Standing: Senior

My research interests lie in mental health disorders, specifically depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder, and how they present in adolescents and young adults, but more specifically young adults and adolescents of color. They are a very underrepresented group in research and I want to be able to contribute to that area. I’m interested in examining how one’s race interacts with their mental health, how different cultures’ opinion on mental health can impact one’s discovery and recovery from mental health disorders, and why race influences one’s worldview and health (or doesn’t). I hope to go to graduate school for clinical psychology in a few years and eventually get licensed and open up my own practice some day. In my free time, I like to exercise, write poetry, explore Richmond, and relax with my cat on the weekends

Alexis Briggs

Major: Psychology and African American Studies

Expected Graduation: May 2017

Class Standing: Senior

Research Interest: Racism in the African Diaspora

​Hobbies: Reading, Listening to 90’s Hip Hop, Going to see bad movies in the theater.

Bryonna Davis
Major: Psychology
Minor: Criminal Justice
Class Standing: Senior
Expected Graduation Date:
May 2013

My research interests are primarily in the mental health outcomes of psychological disorders. In my spare time, I enjoy reading book series, researching court cases, going to the beach, and styling hair.

Grace Denio
Major: Psychology
Class Standing: Junior
Expected Graduation Date:
May 2014

My research interests include: the nature causes, and solutions for decreasing gender bias in American institutions, the effect of “feminine” traits, features, and stereotypes on attitudes, behavior, and well-being, and the effect of stigma on those afflicted with mental disorders. In my spare time, I frequently pet sit a variety of animals, ranging from puppies and kittens to rabbits and turtles.

Praise Ekwueme
Major: Psychology
Concentration: Pre-Med
Class Standing: Senior
Expected Graduation Date:
May 2013

I am originally from Chesapeake, Virginia. My research interests run along the lines of investigating the effects that child psychopathology has on the patient and his or her social network. I am fascinated by fashion and the ever-evolving trends of today. When I’m not working with children, I enjoy engaging in the occasional DIY (do-it-yourself) project.

Malisha Gyamfi

Major: Clinical lab sciences    Minor: Psychology

Expected Graduation: 2019

Class Standing: Freshman

Description: I am planning on working as a clinical scientist that assists with diagnosing patients. On the side, I would like to also pursue research that involves how genes and the autoimmune reaction plays a part in the development of Crohn’s Disease. With my research I hope to find an effective treatment that treats many of the symptoms associated with this chronic illness.

My hobbies include: watching anime, reading manga, blogging, cooking international cuisine, and playing with my Bichon Frise, Shiney!

Melissa Haslam
Major: Psychology
Concentration: Pre-Med
Minor: Chemistry
Class Standing: Junior
Expected Graduation Date:
May 2014

In the future, I want to apply my Psychology background in my career as a physician, and research how human interactions — patient with physican, patient with family, and patient with society — affect the patient’s health and healthcare throughout his or her life. When I have free time, I love exploring Richmond, listening to music, and eating delicious food.

Ivan Kane
Major:
Psychology
Class Standing: Senior
Expected Graduation Date: December 2013

I am greatly interested in researching the possible health effects of discrimination. I am also interested how sensory perception and social factors influence discrimination. I would also like to study how people learn, acquire and utilize different skills. I have deep passion for classical music and I play and teach the violin.

Emily Ho

Major: Psychology

Class Standing: Senior

Expected Graduation Date: December 2016

My research interests include mindfulness, close relationships, and stress. I plan to attend graduate school for clinical psychology with the hope of doing research as well as therapy. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, hiking, and doing yoga.

Katherine Kulick
Major: Psychology
Class Standing: Senior
Expected Graduation Date: May 2013

I am interested in research on the impact of collectivist versus individualist environments on education, the workplace environment, personality, and on individual values. Additionally, I am concerned with the adjustment of inmates to prison  life as well as the transition back into society after incarceration.  I have particular interest in interventions designed to help prisoners cope with long-term sentences.  Additional activities I enjoy include painting and drawing. I also am an avid swimmer, having been on a swim team for over 12 years.

Kat Leich

Major: Psychology        Concentration: Pre-nursing

Expected Graduation: May 2019

Class Standing: Sophomore

My main research interest is the role that prejudice and discrimination play in health disparities amongst certain racial groups. I plan to pursue a career in the health field, and I hope to use information gathered from this research topic to apply to my field of work. In my free time, I enjoy running, cycling, and reading.

Anthony Morales
Majors: Psychology, German
Concentration: Pre-Med
Minor: Chemistry

Graduated: December 2012

I have several research interests, including mnemic neglect, terror management theory, cognitive dissonance, and social comparison theory.  Outside of psychology, I try to keep up with the latest medical research, especially cardiovascular interventions.  I am in the process of switching careers from multinational litigation support to medicine.  In my spare time, I host a weekly late-night radio show at a local radio station.

Nancy Sey

Major: Psychology     Minor: Biology

Expected Graduation: May 2017

Class Standing: Junior

Research interest/ Plans for after graduation : I am interested in neuroscience research addressing neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and Parkinson’s. I want to get a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience

Mayah Taylor
Major: Psychology

Class Standing: Senior
Expected Graduation Date:
May 2013

My research interests are primarily in mental health across development and child health psychology.  In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, going to theme parks, and traveling.

Sudeepti Trivedi

Major: Psychology

Expected Graduation: Sophomore

Class Standing: Spring 2018

My research interests include public health, women’s health, and epidemiology, and studying certain topics such as maternal death rates and obesity among the young population at a global level. I am interested in examining the trends and behaviors across different countries and cultures. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, photography, and traveling.

Kayla Vernon

Major: Psychology

Expected Graduation: Fall 2016

Class Standing: Junior (Senior by credits)

My goal is to work for an adoption and foster care agency. My primary research interests are focused on discrimination within the foster care system in regards to age, health status, and race, for both the foster families and foster children. In my free time I love exploring Richmond’s coffee shops with friends, reading, and taking road trips to see my favorite music.

Danice Alstondanice
Major: Psychology
Expected Graduation Date: May 2015
Class Standing: Senior
My research interests are primarily in cancer specifically in improving late effects of childhood cancer survivors. In my free time, I like to go sightseeing around Richmond and to travel.

Charmante Baucomcharmante
Major: Psychology, Pre-med concentration
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Class Standing: Sophomore
I have many little hobbies that I do daily. Things like shopping, hanging out with loved ones, dancing, acting, going to different art/drama shows, theatres often interest me. I love to learn and gain knowledge on anything that I am not familiar with: anything ranging from animal’s organs to the material that is used to make shoestrings. I have an inquiring mind. As far as research, I am interested in learning why people act the way they do and what are the various social/environmental/behavioral aspects that contribute.

Jamitta Brooksjamitta
Major: Psychology
Minor: Sociology
Expected Graduation Date: May 2014
Class Standing: Senior
My research interest is the impact of discrimination towards minorities mainly African Americans.

Keiona Carterkeiona
Major: Psychology/Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Minor: African American Studies
Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2014
Class Standing: Senior
I am planning to go into private practice as a Clinical Psychologist and focus primarily on African American men, women and children. My research interest include the ways in which societal constructs have impacted the African American person physically, mentally, and emotionally and how that compares to the history of African American people in this country. My hobbies include drawing, photography, watching movies and listening to music.

Bryonna DavisBryonna
Psychology B.S.
Graduated from VCU
Bryonna is interested in Clinical Psychology and is currently a Research Coordinator for VCU’s Microbiology and Immunology department. Bryonna enjoys yoga and playing with her peek-a-poo, Sam.

Grace DenioGrace
Major: Psychology
Minor: Religious Studies
Expected Graduation Date: May 2014
Class Standing: Senior
I’m originally from Norfolk, Virginia. I’m interested in researching psychosocial properties of pain experience, the relationship between ableism and self-efficacy, gender disparities of all varieties (both binary and non-binary conforming), drug addiction (coping skills, stigma, and rehabilitation), alcoholism and drug addiction in relation to family dynamics, elementary and higher level student stress levels in relation to standardization, the use and abuse of stimulants in academia specifically higher education, toddler and child stress levels in relation to adult stress levels (longitudinal), causes and nature of stigma of mental disorders, mental disorder in relation to family dynamics , the relationship between diagnosis and work performance, and Biopolitics. In my spare time, I frequently pet sit a variety of animals, ranging from puppies and kittens to rabbits and turtles.

Harmony Evansharmony
Major: Psychology/Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Expected Graduation Date: May 2014
Class Standing: Senior
Through my research, I hope to bridge both areas of my undergraduate studies by researching both the ethics and politics of researching LGBT populations as well as the treatments of these populations in counseling through a postcolonialist and intersectional approach. I have a specific focus on Trans* needs in therapy and research. In my spare time, I love writing, playing the violin, and dabbling in amateur photography.

Dorothy Huffman
Major: Psychology
Expected Graduation Date: May 2015
Class Standing: Junior
After graduating I hope to attend graduate school for Occupational Therapy. As an OT I hope to work with children and because of this I am interested in learning more about children’s social groups, especially in regards to how they treat others who have learning disabilities. When I’m not at school I love to be outside doing anything from scuba diving to skiing.

Taylor Ihsane-Thomastaylor
Major: Psychology
Expected Graduation Date: May 2015
Class Standing: Senior
My research interests involve mental health disorders that affect and/or influence criminal behavior. A prospective graduate in May 2014, I plan to get as much experience that I can with research, data collection with the hopes of developing an overall synopsis of factors that correlate to how people think and act.
My hobbies include: laughing, eating (yup, I’m a foody), and just being myself around the ones that I love.

Katherine KulickKatherine
Major: Psychology
Graduated: May 2013
I am interested in research on the impact of collectivist versus individualist environments on education, the workplace environment, personality, and on individual values. Additionally, I am concerned with the adjustment of inmates to prison life as well as the transition back into society after incarceration. I have particular interest in interventions designed to help prisoners cope with long-term sentences. Additional activities I enjoy include painting and drawing. I also am an avid swimmer, having been on a swim team for over 12 years.

Layne Mitchelllayne
Major: Psychology/Criminal Justice
Expected Graduation Date: May 2015
Class Standing: Senior
I hope to be getting ready to start a Child Clinical PhD program after I graduate. My long term goal is to develop and test programs for first time, juvenile offenders that will prevent them from offending again. I am currently in the works of starting up a research project with the Richmond Department of Child Welfare to look at why some child may be harder to place then others in foster homes. When I have free time, my daughter and I love to go to All Fired Up and paint!

Anthony Moralesc2717f_38358f7d023d93b6c05cbeaed492894e
Majors: Psychology, German
Concentration: Pre-Med
Minor: Chemistry
Graduated: December 2012
I have several research interests, including mnemic neglect, terror management theory, cognitive dissonance, and social comparison theory. Outside of psychology, I try to keep up with the latest medical research, especially cardiovascular  interventions. I am in the process of switching careers from legal services to medicine. I currently work as a histologist in the School of Medicine’s Pharmacology & Toxicology Department. In my spare time, I host a late-night radio show at a local radio station.

Drasti Pateldrasti
Major: Psychology/Biology, Pre-med concentration
Minor: Chemistry, Spanish
Expected Graduation Date: May 2014
Class Standing: Senior
As a hopeful doctor, my research interests lie in health psychology and determining how patient and physician interaction is affected by external factors such as discrimination. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family as well as explore Richmond and its wonderful restaurants.

Brittany Robbinsbrittney
Major: Psychology
Expected Graduation Date: May 2015
Class Standing: Junior
My research interest includes the role of clinical psychology and educational psychology and its application in both the behavioral and learning problems of student’s in the education system. In my free time I love to spend time at the lake, explore new places in the city, and hangout with my friends and family.

Nancy Sey
Major: Psychology and African American Studies
Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2016
Class Standing: Sophomore
I am a very active person so during my free time, I like to bike ride, go to the gym or do yoga. Researchwise, I have broad interests but a particular topic I am very fond of is how yoga and other meditations can be used to help Alzheimer patients.

Destiney Walker
Major: Psychology.
Expected Graduation Date: May 2015
Class Standing: Senior
I love to read, write, and travel. As a researcher I am interested in studying how an individual’s environment affects their mental health status. I am really interested in studying this with African Americans and discrimination and soldiers during, and post, war.