2020-2021 CEBP MEMBERS
I am a student in the Clinical-Child Psychology PhD program. My research interests broadly focus on how poverty-related stressors influence the psychosocial outcomes of low-income youth. I am currently examining youth relational history, concentrating on how poverty-related stressors may compromise the parent-child dyad and further influence a youth’s relational capacity with other adults, such as a mentor. Finally, I am interested in creating effective, evidence-based treatments that address the impact of complex trauma on the mental health of marginalized communities.
Brittanie Gage [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]
Melissa Lopez [XX, XX, XX]
I am a student in the General Psychology MS Program. I graduated from DePaul University in 2021 with a BA in Psychology concentrating in Human Services. Broadly, my interests revolve around examining factors influencing mental health outcomes among marginalized populations. I am especially passionate about making mental health resources and culturally sensitive clinical treatments and interventions more accessible to Latinx immigrants on a community level. Ultimately, my goal is to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Mariana Bednarek [She, Her, Hers]
I am a student in the General Psychology MS program. I graduated from James Madison University in 2021 with a BA in History and minors in Secondary Education, Latinx Community Engagement, Spanish, and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. My research interests include understanding the mental health of African American and Latinx youth as well as methods to improve the access to, and efficacy of, culturally informed evidence-based interventions. My ultimate goal is to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Ashley Harris [She, Her, Hers]
I am a student in the General Psychology MS program. I graduated from Illinois State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of science in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. My research interests include examining factors that influence help seeking behavior, diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems in at-risk and ethnic minority youth. I am also interested in mechanisms in which to bolster social-emotional development in at-risk youth. My ultimate goal is to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in order to conduct research that will better the diagnosis, treatment and social-emotional development of at-risk and ethnic minority youth.
Taylor Ullrich [She, Her, Hers]
PROJECT COORDINATORS & POST BA/BS RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology and a minor in Spanish. I am broadly interested in culturally-informed, evidence-based programs for ethnic/racial minority youth who have experienced trauma, depression, and anxiety and how it impacts their development. I am also interested in how cultural modifications and factors impact programs/interventions and how youth benefit from programs that are culturally competent. I am passionate about making mental health resources more accessible to marginalized communities. My goal is to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Brenda Castillejo [She, Her, Hers]
I graduated from the University of Belgrade with a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural studies. After my graduation, I moved to the US to learn English, seek more opportunities, and continue my education. I was amazed by the social inequalities across cultural groups in the U.S., which inspired me to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology. Broadly, my research interests include analyzing the mental development of youth from underprivileged groups. I am passionate about exploring how cultural background and place in the community affect adolescents' psychosexual development. Lastly, I am a dedicated advocate of the welfare and safety of those facing economic adversity and poverty.
Milena DeMario [She, Her, Hers]
I graduated in June 2020 from DePaul University with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Prior to that, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Latinx Studies. My research and clinical interests primarily focus on understanding how traumatic stress impacts mental health development for minority youth and young adults. I’m interested in examining resiliency and cultural, familial, and social factors that impact the well-being and academic achievement in minority populations. Finally, I’m interested in culturally-informed, evidenced-based interventions that improve mood and physical symptoms and lead to post-traumatic growth.
Miguel Herrera [He, Him, His]
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]
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
I am an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. I am very passionate about social and public advocacy, and my research interests include the socio-cultural effects on minority communities. I am from Cleveland, Ohio and chose to attend DePaul University because of the innovative opportunities that Chicago offers that can help me further progress in this field. Most of my work experience is in nonprofit work, but I look forward to expanding my research experience so that I can further develop an understanding around the administration of mental health services and how to make them more accessible to minority communities.
Monica Kronstain [She, Her, Hers]
I am currently an undergraduate student at DePaul University on track to graduate with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. After graduation, I plan to pursue my PhD in School Psychology and become a school psychologist. I have experience working as a Special Education paraprofessional at an underserved minority freshman high school in the suburbs where we implemented social emotional learning in our daily lessons. I am particularly interested in research on interventions that can be shown to be effective in improving youth mental health.
Arlene Ocampo [She, Her, Hers]