2023-2024 CEBP TEAM MEMBERS
I am a doctoral student in the Clinical-Child Psychology program at DePaul University. My research interest focuses primarily on Latinx youth. Specifically, I am interested in examining the effects of Parentification (e.g., language brokering, caretaking, and more) on Latinx youth. I am also interested in the impact that machismo and marianismo have on Latinx youth. Lastly, I am interested in exploring the development of culturally sensitive after school interventions.
Melissa Lopez [She, Her, Hers]
I am a doctoral student in the Clinical-Community Psychology program at DePaul University. My research interests broadly focus on examining factors that influence the mental health development of adolescents and exploring how these factors impact educational outcomes, specifically among Latinx youth. I am also interested in understanding how cultural and familial factors influence help-seeking behaviors in minority youth. Lastly, I am interested in increasing the accessibility of culturally informed interventions and treatments to bilingual families through community-based organizations.
Elizabeth Martinez - Charleston [she/ her/hers]
I am a doctoral student in the Clinical-Child Psychology program at DePaul University. Broadly, my research interests focus on examining psychosocial contexts (i.e., culture, domestic violence) and mother-child attachment relationships among Latinx communities. More specifically, I am interested in how these factors can moderate the impact maternal psychopathology has on children’s or adolescent’s developmental trajectories. Finally, I am interested in developing and evaluating culturally sensitive interventions and treatments tailored to ethnic minority populations in community and school-based settings.
Paulina Paredes Cienega [She, Her, Hers]
I am a doctoral student in the Clinical Child Psychology program at DePaul University. My current research examines cultural factors (i.e., acculturative stress), parenting, and academic achievement among Latinx youth. More broadly, I am interested in examining developmental and treatment outcomes for dual-language, minority, and immigrant youth to develop and evaluate culturally-tailored intervention and assessment tools for these underrepresented groups. Finally, I am interested in addressing obstacles to care through the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments in community and school-based settings.
Laura Saldana [She, Her, Hers]
I am a student in the Clinical-Child Psychology PhD program. Broadly, my research interests relate to creating, strengthening, and tailoring evidence-based interventions aimed at preventing depression among marginalized communities. I am also interested in understanding how cultural factors influence mental health treatment in hopes of developing cultural-sensitive interventions at the community level. Finally, I am interested in the components of the caregiver-youth relationship and how they may contribute to mental health.
Jesús Solano [He, Him, His]
I am a student in the Counseling Psychology MA program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology concentrating in Child and Adolescent Treatment. I graduated from the University of Rochester in 2022 with a BA in Psychology. As a counseling student, I have been intrigued in several theoretical orientations that work well together to treat children and adolescents with mood disorders. My research interests focus on children and adolescents, specifically how psychosocial contexts influence motivation and achievement in Latinx populations. My goal after graduation is to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology and develop novel-based community counseling interventions for youth.
I am a student in the Research Psychology MS program. I am originally from Colombia, where I received a bachelor's degree in psychology with an emphasis on applied behavior analysis (ABA) at Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz in 2020. My research background is in neurodevelopment and parenting practices, including the effects of early adversity on children's mental health in low-income communities. My ultimate goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and work to improve a scientific understanding of how children cope with adversity to develop diverse support systems and services for parents struggling to manage the challenges of raising their children
Melisa Dangles [She, Her, Ella]
I am a student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA program. I graduated from Marquette University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. As a counseling student, I have had the experience of seeing the disparities in trauma-informed care for at risk-youth, specifically ones within underrepresented communities. My research interests include developing and improving trauma-informed interventions tailored to ethnic minorities, youth with disabilities, and those who fall within both communities. My ultimate goal is to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in order to conduct research that will better the treatment interventions and emotional development of youth within various minority groups.
Elin Seay [She, Her, Hers]
PROJECT COORDINATORS & POST BA/BS RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
I graduated from Wheaton College in 2022 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish. After that, I completed a Fulbright Grant in a public school in Mexico City as an English Teaching Assistant. I loved working and learning from my students. I am interested in working with at-risk youth and minority populations and families without access to mental health care due to linguistic or legal barriers. Upon return to the United States I hope to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology focusing on providing economical and effective mental health interventions and services to underserved students and families focusing on services that look outside of the traditional (and often costly) individual therapy model to provide solutions.
Caroline Kimble [She, Her, Hers]
I graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with honors and a minor in African-American Studies. My areas of study have greatly influenced my research interests, as I endeavor to understand the relationship between ethnic/racial minority culture and psychopathology. Outside of this intersection, I am also passionate about the mental health of youth populations and brain-behavior relations. In the near future, I will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Neuropsychology to become a pediatric neuropsychologist. I aim to continue neuropsychological research with minority youth populations to better understand and ameliorate their mental health and expand the representation of non-WEIRD populations.
Angel Lee [She, Her, Hers]
I graduated from DePaul University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in human development, and minors in Latin American and Latino Studies as well as Women and Gender Studies. These fields tie together to provide knowledge and insight into my research interests which are primarily focused on the intersections of people’s lives. Particularly, the influence of cultural and ethnic factors on the mental health and well-being of populations that are not well represented in the field.
Amber Ramos [She, Her, Hers]
I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Clinical-Community Psychology and Spanish. My primary research interests include cultural and familial influences on the development of internalizing disorders in minoritized youth, particularly Latinx youth. I am also interested in culturally-informed interventions at the community level. In the future I hope to further my research by obtaining a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.
Ashley Serna [She, Her, Hers]
I graduated from Temple University in the Spring of 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I moved to the United States in 2019 from Ecuador and have been participating in research ever since to prepare to pursue a PhD in the future. My background teaching multi-cultural children and my experience studying child development inspired me to work towards making research findings about mental health and research in Psychology accessible beyond English-speakers. My interests are mainly the influence of different languages and parent-child interventions on children's behavioral and socio-emotional outcomes.
Paula Ueki Galarza [She, Her, Hers]
I graduated from DePaul University in 2023 with a B.S. in Cognitive/Behavioral Neuroscience and Spanish. I am interested in conducting research on schizophrenia, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, including their neurobiological mechanisms and interventions. As an undergraduate, I tutored children from various age groups through DePaul’s Education and Counseling Center and became passionate about prevention, education, and the well-being of high-risk youth. I hope to continue studying adolescent mental health in underserved populations throughout my career by pursuing Pediatric Psychiatry or Neurology as a physician.
Judy Zakieh [She, Her, Hers]
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
I am currently a junior at DePaul University majoring in Special Education with minors in Psychology and LGBTQ Studies. After graduation, I plan to continue my education and explore paths in Social Work or School Psychology. One of my passions includes addressing the social-emotional needs of neurodiverse youth to enhance their educational experiences. I strongly resonate with CEBP’s objectives, and I am so excited to join the team and help serve the mental health needs of CPS students.
Kayla DeBora [She, Her, Hers]
I am currently a junior at DePaul University majoring in Health Science with a concentration in general BioScience. After graduation, my career goal is to enroll in a master's nursing program to become an RN. As an aspiring nurse, it is fundamental to understand the communities I am potentially serving as far as understanding health disparities and available resources for all when it comes to healthcare. I am excited to work alongside the CEBP Lab as their mission is to advocate and educate Chicago public schools to incorporate the importance of mental health within their students.
Victoria Garcia [She, Her, Hers]
Madelynn Oztas [She, Her, Hers]
I am currently a Junior at DePaul University majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience. After graduation, I hope to continue my academic goals in counseling to become a Child Therapist. Working with children has always been a passion of mine and I believe it is of the utmost importance to create healthy environments and support youthful minds. I am eager to work alongside the CEBP Lab team to learn more about how culture shapes mental health in the Chicago Public School district.
Sophia Pitillo [She, Her, Hers]
I am a sophomore at Richard J. Daley College majoring in biology. Starting in the Fall of 2024, I will major in Neuroscience with a Behavioral concentration and a minor in Criminal Justice at DePaul University. Upon graduating, I plan to enroll in a psychology Ph.D. program with the aim of becoming a researcher and advocate for underserved communities. By addressing the overlooked mental health concerns in our society, I hope to enhance the lives of those negatively affected by this problem. I am thrilled to work with the CEBP team since its mission aligns with my aspiration of providing essential mental health services to students within the Chicago Public Schools District.
Alyssa Purvis [She, Her, Hers]
Evelin Regalado [, , ]
Anna Tronstad [, , ]