Graduate Profiles - University of Houston
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Catherine Abrahamson

Dr. Catherine Abrahamson graduated from the program in 2016. She is currently a licensed psychologist and LSSP who works for a public school district delivering psychological services to students and their families. Dr. Abrahamson completed her post-doctoral fellowship and pre-doctoral internship at Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. While attending UH, Dr. Abrahamson participated in research labs at the University of Houston and the University of Texas Health Science Center. She completed practicums at Texas Children's Hospital, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, University of Houston Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic, and the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD. Dr. Abrahamson also received training at Ft. Worth ISD for her LSSP internship and earned her masters in school psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Abrahamson’s research and clinical interests include children with chronic health conditions, parent knowledge of child development, parenting training, and developmental assessment of children born preterm. She is also interested in issues related to diversity and multiculturalism.

Jacqueline Anderson

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care. I am implementing school-based prevention program called Youth Awareness of Mental Health (YAM), conducting clinical interview with children to adults (10 – 99 years old), and working on other various research projects and grants. My clinical and research interests surround the areas of mental health, resiliency factors, and implementation science. While in the School Psychology program at UH, I had the opportunity to work with various faculty members: Dr. Mire, Dr. Smith, Dr. Gonzalez (my advisor and dissertation chair), and Dr. Jones. I also had the opportunity to conduct research at UT Health. While working with these faculty members, I had the opportunities to work on grants, publications, and program evaluations. I continue to collaborate with Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Smith. In addition to my research experience, I completed rotations at Galena Park ISD, Texas’s Children Hospital, Summer Treatment Program, and Katy ISD. I completed my APA-approved pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship at Applewood Centers Inc., and graduate from the PhD program in July 2019. If you are a prospective or current student, please feel free to email me with any questions.

Christie Brewton

I am a currently a licensed psychologist (LP) and received my doctorate degree in School Psychology from the University of Houston (UH). I worked within various practicum settings during my time at UH including public schools, community mental health, inpatient psychiatric, and in juvenile justice facilities. I completed my pre-doctoral internship at the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department (HCJPD) where I conducted full psychological and forensic evaluations, provided individual and group therapy services to adolescents, and completed a rotation within the Mental Health Specialty Court. My post-doctoral training was completed with TRIAD Prevention Services where I conducted full psychological evaluations with youth and provided therapeutic and crisis intervention services to an underserved population. Currently, I am working in private practice and have several contracts including with a juvenile justice facility. I specialize in providing comprehensive and individualized assessments for children, adolescents, and adults across a wide range of assessment areas including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), AD/HD, learning disorders, mood disorders, trauma-related disorders, and behavioral disorders. I also provide individual therapy services for children, adolescents, young adults across a variety of presenting concerns utilizing a range of therapeutic techniques (e.g., Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy [CBT], Dialectical Behavior Therapy [DBT], Parent Management Training [PMT]) and am committed to providing high quality and evidence-based treatment services. Please feel free to contact me ( with any questions you may have :) Wishing everyone well this year!

Aaron Boyce

Dr. Boyce is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology who has been working at Cypress Fairbanks ISD since 2015. He earned his Doctorate in School Psychology from the University of Houston (2015) and his Master’s in Counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University. Dr. Boyce completed his Doctoral Internship at the Munroe-Meyer Institute Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. There, he used techniques in Applied Behavior Analysis to implement evidence-based interventions for pediatric feeding concerns. Dr. Boyce has a primary interest in working with elementary-aged children and, in particular, children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He also enjoys developing and implementing behavioral interventions in the classroom and providing behavioral consultation to teachers and staff. In his free time, Dr. Boyce enjoys playing videogames with his wife, watching science fiction movies and anime, and playing board and card games. Prospective students can email at

Erin Faith

I am an August 2018 graduate of the program. Before arriving at U of H, I graduated from Texas A&M University, with a B.S. in Psychology. While in the doctoral program, I completed practicum placements in a variety of settings including a speech clinic, a primary care center, an alternative school, a juvenile detention center, and a summer treatment program. My research projects focused on Curriculum Based Measurement in writing and the assessment of early literacy skills and behavior, as well as prevention and early intervention of academic and behavioral problems in early childhood. I am now a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and have been working within the Cypress-Fairbanks school district since August 2017. I completed both my pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship within the Cypress-Fairbanks school district. Currently, I provide psychological services at both the high school and elementary school levels. I also serve the internship training program as a supervisor for the Family Interaction Training Clinic (FIT) and have assisted with the development and implementation of the department’s parent training workshops for the community. Please contact me if you have any questions about the program. I would be happy to help!

Rachel Fein

I currently work as an Assistant Professor/Clinical Psychologist at the Autism Center at Texas Children's Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine (TCH/BCM). My clinical and research interests broadly surround the areas of autism spectrum disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, parent management training, disorders of sexual differentiation, and helping children with chronic health conditions return to school. While in the School Psychology program at UH, Dr. Sarah Mire served as my advisor and the chair of my dissertation committee. As part of my dissertation, I investigated the influence of child and parent factors on the parenting behaviors of mothers and fathers of children with ASD. Additionally, I served as a research assistant in Dr. Mire's lab and was involved in a variety of projects including gender disproportionality and special education, vaccine uptake in children with ASD, as well as parenting stress and behavioral treatment for children with ASD. My participation in various research projects has afforded me the opportunity to publish manuscripts as well as present at state and national conferences. In addition to my research experiences at UH, I gained diverse clinical experiences through my graduate assistantship with the Autism Clinic at DePelchin Children's Center, my research assistantship through the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities as well my practicum rotations. I completed rotations at the University of Texas Health Science Center, the Disruptive Behavior Disorders clinic at Texas Children's Hospital and Katy Independent School District. I completed my APA-approved pre-doctoral pediatric/clinical psychology internship at TCH/BCM and graduated from the PhD program in August 2017. Following internship, I completed a one-year post-doctoral pediatric/clinical psychology fellowship at TCH/BCM. If you are a prospective or current student, please feel free to email me with any questions.

Erika Gonzalez Flynn

My name is Erika Gonzalez Flynn and I am a 5th year student. I am currently in advanced practicum at Texas Children's Hospital's Disruptive Behavior Disorders program. Previously, I was in a school practicum at Katy ISD and an advanced practicum at the University of Texas Health Science Center. My research interests are broad, however, my candidacy focused on parenting strategies used for preschool children with Disruptive Behavior Disorders. I have published in the field of Health Psychology, specifically looking at body image perceptions in adolescent Hispanic females and their mothers. I have a background in math and enjoy applying this knowledge to the statistical side of research. I'm a native Houstonian who enjoys yoga and living a healthy lifestyle. My favorite vegan restaurants are Radical Eats and Peppertree! I have an extremely supportive husband and delicious baby girl who are my everything. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the program.

Kennetha Frye-Ortega

My name is Kennetha Frye-Ortega and I graduated from the program in 2014. I completed my APA pre-doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Dallas Independent School District. I currently work as an independent contractor providing crisis intervention and grief support in multiple assisted living facilities and also just started my private practice a few months ago. My research interests include Teacher knowledge of ADHD and Multiculturalism/Diversity in Psychology. If you have any questions for me, please email me at

Stacey Grebe

Hello everyone! I am Dr. Stacey Grebe, a 2022 August graduate of the University of Houston’s school psychology doctoral program. I am currently completing my postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine/Kennedy Krieger Institute in the pediatric feeding disorders program where I complete feeding assessments and interventions as well as supervisory duties for direct care behavioral staff. Before attending UH, I completed my B.S. in special education at Texas A&M University and my Ed.S. in school psychology at Baylor University. During my time at UH, my practicum experiences included the UTHealth Changing Lives through Autism Spectrum Services (CLASS) Clinic, where I completed neuropsychological and autism assessments for adolescents and adults, and The Harris Center’s Behavioral Feeding Program, where I conducted feeding assessments and intakes, feeding interventions and parent training for children with avoidant or restrictive food intake disorder. I completed my APA approved pre-doctoral internship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine/Kennedy Krieger Institute in the applied behavior analysis track. My dissertation research focused on fathers’ perceptions of their child’s ASD. My current research interests extend on parents’ perceptions of their child’s ASD and families impacted by Pediatric Feeding Disorders. Please feel free to contact me at

Karrie Hilliard

I'm in the final stretch of what has been an incredible experience as a doctoral student - I'm applying to internship sites and working on my dissertation this year. My practicum sites have included two traditional school districts for LSSP-type experiences, the University Speech, Language & Hearing Clinic as a behavior consultant, Houston Independent School District (HISD) as a member of the crisis intervention team, and the juvenile justice system where I conducted court-ordered evaluations of detained youth. I spent the first several years in the program working on a multi-year study identifying predictors of success in algebra with Dr. Tammy Tolar. My own research is on the identification of reading difficulties among young English Language Learners. This interest arose out of my time as a bilingual kindergarten teacher in HISD, which is where I spent my Teach For America corps commitment. Later, I went on to work for Teach For America, helping to manage the arrival and training of new TFA teachers in Houston, and then joined the Human Resources team at HISD, developing strategies to improve the training and retention of top teachers in underperforming schools. I grew up in Arizona and went to college at Claremont McKenna College in southern California but got to Texas as soon as I could! My husband and I have a toddler and second child due in the fall.

Amy Izuno-Garcia

Hello! I graduated from the program in August 2022, and I am currently completing my postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Katherine Loveland at the UTHealth C.L.A.S.S. Clinic. I completed my doctoral internship at Marcus Autism Center in the clinical assessment and diagnostics track, where I provided autism evaluations for children ages 0-16 and individual therapy services for school-age children with autism and co-occurring anxiety. While attending UH, I was the project manager for Dr. Mire and Dr. KM's Spencer grant investigating the use of curriculum-based measurement (CBM) in students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as the project coordinator for Dr. Smith’s program evaluation of Letting Everyone Achieve Dreams. Clinically, I completed practicum placements with the Developmental Assessment Team at Katy ISD, the UH Charter School, the UTHealth C.L.A.S.S. Clinic, and Texas Children's Autism Center assessment track. Across all of these opportunities, I gained extensive experience in ASD evaluations across the lifespan. 

Following graduation, I have continued to serve in service and leadership roles for the field of school psychology. During graduate school, I served as the chair of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) graduate student committee and the president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association at UH. I am so thankful for all of the research and clinical opportunities I had during my time in the program. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have at

Ashlie Llorens

I am a recent program graduate. I completed my internship at the APA-approved Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology, in the Behavioral Pediatrics and Integrated Care Track at the Munroe Meyer Institute in Omaha. Since beginning my graduate education at UH, I have completed practica in a variety of settings: LoneStar LEND Program at The Children's Learning Institute, Summer Treatment Program for ADHD at The Center for Children and Families at Florida International University, HealthBridge Children's Hospital, Katy ISD, Simons Variation in Individuals Project at Texas Children's Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine, and Deer Park ISD. My research interests primarily revolve around Autism Spectrum Disorders and cultural perspectives, which was the primary focus of my dissertation project (African American Parents' Beliefs about Autism Spectrum Disorders). I have been able to work with faculty both at UH and in the surrounding community, and have 5 peer reviewed publications and multiple conference presentations, with the majority being at national and international conferences. I enjoy talking about my graduate career path and can be reached by email at:

Kerri Nowell

Hi there! I am a recent graduate from the doctoral program in school psychology. Prior to enrolling in the PhD program at UH, I worked as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology in the public schools and was the site supervisor for a North American Autism Spectrum Disorder genetic research study. My research interests focus broadly on youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and their families. I am particularly interested in using evidence based assessment to inform epidemiological research and to facilitate implementation of effective interventions in individuals with ASD. My doctoral level clinical training has included practica at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Autism Clinic; the Department of Genetics, and the Disruptive Behavior Clinic, and at MHMRA where I worked with youth and young adults with IDD. I am currently completing my internship within the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology where I am placed at the Center for Autism Spectum Disorder at Munroe Meyer Institute. At my site, I am doing two 6 month rotations. The first rotation is in the Pediatric Feeding Program and the second is in the Severe Behavior Program. During my time at UH, I’ve presented at national and international conferences and have several publications in peer reviewed journals. I'd be happy to share more details about my experience or answer any questions about the School Psychology program at UH!

Sarah Ochs

I graduated from the program in August 2017. I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY. During my time in the program, I completed a traditional school psychology practicum at Deer Park ISD where I primarily completed evaluations, provided counseling services, and supported behavioral consultation cases. Next, I moved on to a very different school setting. Through Psychological Services at Houston ISD, I was involved in crisis intervention including suicide risk assessments, self-injurious behavior, and severe internalizing disorders, as well as leading individual and group counseling cases. During my third practicum, I gained more experience in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders and accompanying medical conditions in the Adolescent Medicine department at Texas Children’s Hospital. Lastly, I completed an assessment practicum at Krist Samaritan Center, primarily serving children and families referred for concerns for ASD. I also participated in the Summer Treatment Program in Buffalo, NY. I returned to Psychological Services at Houston ISD to complete my APA-accredited, pre-doctoral internship. Related to research, I enjoy working with schools or other organizations to help collect and use data to answer important, applied questions. Typically, this involves questions related to how we can better identify and intervene with children at risk. The program enhanced my ability to conduct meaningful research by providing valuable connections in local schools and supportive, knowledgeable faculty in my area of interest, specifically my advisor Dr. Keller-Margulis. Thanks to her support and mentorship, I am currently a tenure-track faculty at Western Kentucky University. I am always happy to speak with potential applicants or current students and I hope that you feel free to reach out to me by email.

Anita Payan

I am a recent program graduate and am currently a Postdoctoral Psychology Fellow in Houston ISD providing a range of psychological services. I was drawn to UH because of the tremendous variety of clinical experiences. I completed advanced practica rotations in Houston ISD, Texas Children’s Hospital- Adolescent Medicine, and UT Health Department of Psychiatry- Developmental Neuropsychology Clinic, and I completed my APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship in the Houston ISD Psychological Services Department. In my time spent at UH, I have also enjoyed working closely with faculty members, co-authored articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and presented at both the state and national levels. In collaboration with my advisor, Dr. Keller-Margulis, part of my candidacy research project was published in School Psychology Quarterly. I greatly appreciate the warm weather that Houston has to offer and love to spend my free time exploring the diversity within Houston.

Madeline Racine

I started the program in August 2013 and graduated in August 2019. I completed my predoctoral internship at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital in Child Clinical/Pediatric Health Psychology and am currently completing my postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. My interests include evaluation of children and adolescents with developmental and behavioral concerns (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, developmental delays, intellectual disability, attention problems, anxiety, disruptive behaviors), parent training, and behavioral interventions for children with developmental disabilities. While at UH, I participated in various research projects within Dr. Sarah Mire’s lab, who also served as my advisor. My dissertation was entitled “Identifying Early Concerns of Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Influence of Patient Ethnicity in Pediatric Physician Decision Making." I completed practicum rotations at Sheldon ISD, The University Speech & Language Clinic, The Center for Children and Women, Brief Behavioral Intervention Program at Texas Children’s Hospital, University of Texas Health Science Center, and the Severe Behavior Disorders Research Clinic. Please feel free to contact me with questions at

Christian Stewart

I graduated from the program in August 2023. Before earning my Ph.D., I earned an M.Ed. in counseling, an M.S. in marriage and family therapy, and a B.S. in behavioral science, family studies emphasis. I completed my pre-doctoral internship at Boys Town (Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology) and decided to stay on at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health for a postdoctoral clinical psychology fellowship. During my time in the program, I participated in various research labs, including Dr. Sarah Mire’s SPARC, Dr. Smith’s LEAD, and Dr. Gonzalez’s WORLD. I completed my school psychology practicum at Katy ISD, my LSSP internship at Hempstead ISD, and my advanced practicum at The Center for Children and Women - Greenspoint. For three years, I was selected to serve as the graduate teaching fellow for the PHLS Department, through which I had the amazing opportunity to teach several courses in the Health Education undergraduate program as the instructor of record. My dissertation research focused on positive illusory bias and the dual-factor model of mental health in person with and without ADHD. I look forward to practicing as a licensed psychologist and serving the mental health needs of children, teenagers, and families from diverse backgrounds.

Lena Twitchell-Heyne

I am a third-year student in the program and was born and have lived most of my life in Houston, Texas.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston Honors College where I received my B.S. in psychology. My research experience includes working in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology team looking at prenatal, perinatal and pediatric use of psychotropics.  I recently presented a poster on FDA psychotropic drug safety communications at the 2014 Convention of the American Psychological Association along with Dr. Kubiszyn and Dr. Mire.  I am also involved in Dr. Smith’s Yoga Research lab where I am interested in looking at educational outcomes of regular yoga practice for children and adolescents. After graduation I hope to work in a medical or academic setting where I can pursue a career in research. I enjoy spending my free time traveling, practicing hot yoga, and reading science fiction novels. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail:

Outside Farish Hall

The School Psychology doctoral program is a member of UH's Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences department.

Program Director: Dr. Brad Smith

UH College of Education
Stephen Power Farish Hall
3657 Cullen Blvd., Room 491
Houston, TX 77204-5023

Undergraduate: or 713-743-5000
Graduate: or 713-743-7676
General: or 713-743-5010

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