Student Profiles - University of Houston
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Mycah Ayala

Hello everyone! My name is Mycah Ayala and I am a first year in the program. I graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Child Development. My current research interests include understanding different factors that impact early intervention in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Specifically, I am interested in the role that pediatricians play in early identification and intervention and the collaboration between pediatricians and psychologists. Due to these interests, I am so excited to work with Dr. Mire and the UH*sparc lab throughout my time at UH. I am from San Diego, California, so in my free time I like to do anything out in nature (especially hiking!). Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions: mycahayala@gmail.com.

Amy Barton

Hello! I am a fourth-year student in the School Psychology program. I graduated from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana with a B.S in Brain and Behavioral Sciences with minors in Human Development and Family Studies and Religious Studies in May of 2016. My research interests broadly surround academic skill development for at-risk populations, including children with ASD. I completed my school psychology practicum at Katy ISD with the Developmental Assessment Team and primarily completed autism assessments. The next year, I completed my LSSP Internship at the UH Charter School, supervised by Dr. Kristen Hassett. This year, I am completing my first AP rotation at the UTHealth C.L.A.S.S. Clinic. My advisor is Dr. Milena Keller-Margulis, but I am also working on various projects with Dr. Mire, Dr. Gonzalez, Dr. Julia Strait from UHCL, and Dr. de Dios in the counseling psychology program. Currently, I am an RA for Dr. Mire and Dr. KM on their grant-funded project examining academic skill development for children with ASD (ASD 4ASD) and for Dr. Smith and Dr. Gonzalez on their program evaluation for Letting Everyone Achieve Dreams (LEAD). After graduation, I hope to stay in academia and work to close the research to practice gap! In my free time I enjoy baking and crafting. I am so thankful for the all of the research and clinical opportunities Houston has to offer. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have at abarton@uh.edu.

Katherine Bergez

Hi! My name is Kat Bergez and I am currently a sixth-year student. I grew up in Houston and earned my B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Urban Education from Santa Clara University in Northern California. I have had a wonderful experience in the program over the past few years and have had many fantastic training opportunities. I have previously completed practicum placements at the Texas Children’s Health Plan Center for Children and Women, UT Health Science Center Department of Psychiatry CLASS Clinic, Texas Children’s Hospital Psychology Service Preschool Program, Katy Independent School District, and Sheldon Independent School District. I am currently completing an advanced practicum rotation at the UT Health Science Center Department of Pediatrics High Risk Children’s Clinic. I have also gained valuable experience through a grant-funded assistantship at Baylor College of Medicine/ Texas Children’s Hospital Autism Center, where I provide intervention for youth with ASD and co-occurring anxiety. My clinical interests surround family-based behavioral intervention for young children with disruptive behaviors, with a specific focus on application of these skills to youth with ASD and/or chronic medical conditions. My research interests broadly surround the systems impacting youth with ASD and how to promote positive child outcomes by enhancing the capacities of the adults in their lives (e.g., service providers). I am actively involved in research at U of H through the *sparc research group, where I have had the opportunity to present at state, national, and international conferences and contribute to multiple peer-reviewed publications. I have also presented to community audiences and continue to participate in research with other partners throughout Houston. I am currently working on defending my dissertation project, which examines the perspectives of community mental health providers serving youth with ASD. I have loved my time in our program- my advisor, research group, supervisors, and peers have helped me to reach so many of my personal and professional goals. I really enjoy talking about the program and graduate school in general, so please feel free to reach out! katherinebergez@gmail.com

Nayoung Choi

Hello! I am part of the 2017 cohort in the UH School Psychology program. I received my B.A. in English education from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea and M.A. in Second Language Studies from University of Hawaii at Manoa. Before joining this program, I worked as an English language teacher for five a half years both in Korea and the United States. Working with students has been one of the most fulfilling life experiences and I would like to continue to develop my abilities to better serve them as a school psychologist. I particularly feel passionate about the topics surrounding bilingualism such as a role of second language learning and usage in the development of the social, emotional and academic skills of children. After completing my doctorate program, I would like to seek a university position that will enable me to combine a researching and teaching career with advising school programs. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, exploring local places, and watching movies. I can be reached at nchoi3@uh.edu.

Becca Clayton

Hi! My name is Becca Clayton, and I am a fifth-year student. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Sociology and earned my M.Ed. in Counseling through the University of Houston. I am currently completing my advanced practicum at Texas Children's Hospital in the Section of Adolescent Medicine. Previously, I completed practicum placements at the Monarch School, UTHealth PATH Program, Deer Park ISD, and Katy ISD. My advisor is Dr. Gonzalez, and my research interests revolve around interventions and factors associated with promoting positive social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes in children and adolescents. I am currently working on my dissertation, which focuses on the relationship between preschool behavior and later reading comprehension in Latinx populations. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with family and friends and taking advantage of all of the opportunities and experiences Houston has to offer. Please feel free to email me at beccajohnsonclayton@gmail.com if you have any questions about the program!

Kade Downs

I am a first year doctoral student in the school psychology PhD program at the University of Houston. I recently finished an EdS degree in school psychology at Brigham Young University in Utah. Prior to that, I earned a bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish at Utah State University. My research interests include the identification of language and literacy mechanisms, as well as relevant social emotional factors, that contribute to educational outcomes for English learners. I am part of Dr. Jorge Gonzalez’s Project WORLD lab, and I also work as a research assistant in Dr. Norma Olvera’s BOUNCE Latino Health Disparities lab. Outside of school, I contribute to projects focused on constructs such as religious freedom in our local communities. I also enjoy bouldering and playing music.

Kristen Erps

Hello! My name is Kristen H. Erps and I am a first year graduate student in the School Psychology Ph.D. program. I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in both Spanish and Clinical and Community Behavi oral Health. Following graduation, I went on to complete two years of graduate coursework towards my Ed.S. in School Psychology. Some of my research interests include suicide risk assessment broadly, mental health comorbidities with neurodevelopmental disabilities, and early screening and prevention for at-risk youth. In my free time you’ll find me singing karaoke, catching a performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre, playing Fortnite, or running with my pup, Montana. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions: kherner@uh.edu

Gulden Esat

Selam! I am part of the 2017 cohort, feeling very enthusiastic I must say. My endeavor of psychology started at Bosphorus University in Istanbul which is my hometown. After I had received my masters from UMASS, I worked two years in Iowa public schools as a school psychologist. Following our relocation back to Istanbul, I ran a private practice business doing assessment, counseling and coaching for children and their families. Helping children along with raising two boys led me to be interested in researching the topic of well-being. I am grateful for being able to continue this pursuit at UH, that I had started at Marmara University three years ago. I would like to concentrate my studies in the areas of mindfulness, spirituality and personal peace of students of all ages. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to connect. gesat@central.uh.edu.

Stacey Grebe

Hello everyone! I am Stacey Grebe, a third-year student in the UH School Psychology Ph.D. Program. I’m originally from Houston and before coming to UH I completed my B.S. in Special Education at Texas A&M University and my Ed.S. in School Psychology at Baylor University. I completed my School Psychology internship in the Houston area. My research interests revolve around children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and behavior management across the school and home setting. Since my interests are ASD focused, I am actively involved with the UH *sparc (School Psychology Autism Research Collaboration) research team where I have been part of several project teams. I am currently working on my candidacy project, which is focused on understanding the perceptions of fathers surrounding their child’s ASD diagnosis. Since starting the program, I have completed a practicum rotation at the UTHealth C.L.A.S.S. (Changing Lives through Autism Spectrum Services) Clinic where I completed autism evaluations and co-facilitated group therapy for intellectually-able adolescents, transition age youth, and adults. I am currently completing an advanced practicum at The Harris Center, S.T.A.R.S. (Specialized Treatment & Rehabilitation Services) Feeding Disorders Clinic, where I assess and treat children with feeding disorders and train parents on feeding strategies. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, working out, watching Netflix, and going out to eat at all of Houston’s wonderful restaurant options! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions: sgrebe@uh.edu.

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. kahilliard@uh.edu

Rainey Hughes

Hi! My name is Rainey Hughes and I am a fifth-year student in the School Psychology Ph.D. program. I earned my BA in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina. During my undergraduate career I was awarded a research grant to examine early communication differences in infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and infants with fragile X syndrome. More recently my primary research interests have expanded to include parents treatment considerations for individuals with ASD and early identification/intervention efforts for children with ASD. I have had a wonderful training experience in the program and I completed my school-based practicum in Katy ISD, LSSP internship in Galena Park ISD and advanced practicum placement at UTHealth C.L.A.S.S. Clinic (Changing Lives through Autism Spectrum Services). During the 2019-2020 school year I will complete a second advanced practicum at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD. I have collaborated on several * sparc presentations/publications and have presented at multiple national conferences. In my free time I enjoy taking spin classes, running, reading (or listening to audiobooks), and hanging out with my animals. Feel free to contact me with any questions about the program or Houston in general, raineyhughes28@gmail.com.

Emily Jellinek

Hi everyone, I’m a first-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program. I’m originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I recently graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Psychology. My research interests involve behavioral, social, and academic outcomes among children with ASD and other developmental disabilities. I’m also interested in researching parent training and the effects of parental perceptions on interventions for students. In my free time I enjoy cooking, yoga, and exploring Houston.

Georgette Richardson

Greetings! My name is Georgette Richardson, and I entered the program Fall 2014. Previously conferred a Master's in Clinical Psychology at The University of Texas at Tyler. In 2016, named Inaugural UH COE Holmes Scholar, a national program made up of AACTE member institutions, which provides mentorship, peer support, and professional development opportunities to doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds who are pursuing careers in the professoriate.

Since my first year, I have been a part of several research projects which have either led to presentations at major conferences or publications many with mentor Dr. Jorge Gonzalez. An invaluable skill set I have acquired and will continue to gain experience in is program evaluation. I have been a part of two program evaluation teams where we conducted a needs-based assessment and the other assessed fidelity of a school-based intervention.

My research interests are about understanding how to improve health and well-being in children most at risk for poor developmental outcomes. Previous work has focused on understanding low-income African American parents’ cognitions about their young child’s cognitive development (i.e., early language,) and how integrated systems of care (i.e., WIC, primary care settings) help mitigate health disparities by accurately identifying children that are at-risk for negative developmental outcomes across all areas of functioning (early health, cognitive, behavioral, social). I’m interested in the relationship between stress, health promoting behaviors (e.g., prenatal care), and maternal averse health conditions (e.g., maternal depression) that contribute to complications during childbirth, and/or adverse infant health (e.g., preterm birth, low-birth weight).

I enjoy spending time with family, my two dogs, Cooper and Biggie Smalls, and riding my bicycle to explore trains near and around Houston. I look forward to speaking with you about the professional field of psychology especially how training as a school psychologist equips you with a unique and invaluable skill set. Contact me at grjacobs@uh.edu.

Anna Laakman

Hello! My name is Anna Laakman and I’m a first-year student in the School Psychology PhD program at UofH. I am originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, but I moved to Houston from Southern California where I worked at the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of California-Irvine as the Education and Training Director. My BA is in Communication and Sociology from Wake Forest University in North Carolina. I have a Master’s degree in Special Education with a focus in Autism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Before starting this program I worked at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders on the Simons Simplex Collection and at Texas Children’s Hospital on the Simons Variation in Individuals Project. I am very interested in the female phenotype of autism spectrum disorders and how we can better identify girls with ASD. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the program! allaakma@central.uh.edu

Lindsey Landry

Hello! My name is Lindsey Landry, and I am a first-year student in the program. I graduated from the Ogden Honors College at Louisiana State University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies. During my undergrad career, I spent most of my time serving in leadership roles across campus and volunteering throughout the Baton Rouge community. My research project at LSU investigated the parental behaviors of adolescent mothers that could possibly influence the development of children born to adolescent mothers. My primary research interest relates to the developmental and academic outcomes among at-risk children. In my free time, I love to hang out with family and friends, shop, watch movies, and go to yoga classes!

Jamie Manis

My name is Jamie Manis, and I am a fourth-year doctoral student in the UH School Psychology program. I am a native Houstonian and am happy to be living in Houston again. Before coming to UH, I attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where I got my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Child Development. I am interested in early diagnosis and intervention and working with parents and teachers of young children with ASD, especially providing services in the school setting. I am currently a member of the UH*sparc (school psychology autism research collaboration) team, and have had the opportunity to be a part of projects involving training clinicians working with children with ASD. Additionally, my interest in working with preschool-age children and their teachers has led to my involvement with the Project World lab where I managed the coding of behavioral observations of preschool teachers implementing an early shared book reading intervention. My own research focuses on helping teachers to deliver evidence-based interventions in the school setting. I have completed practica in school settings, including Galena Park ISD for my school psych practicum and Katy ISD for my LSSP internship. I am currently completing a year of advanced practicum training at the Center for Children and Women, which is an integrated care setting that serves low-income patients on the Texas Children’s Health Plan. In my experience, the UH School Psychology program has had no shortage of great opportunities and experiences! In my spare time I love to enjoy all the sights, food, and events that Houston has to offer. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! jkmanis21@gmail.com.

Shannon McKee

I am a third-year student in the program. Before starting the doctoral program at UH, I completed my B.A. in psychology at Harding University and my M.A. and Ed.S. in school psychology at Middle Tennessee State University. During my MA/EdS program, I worked on a statewide grant assessing an at-rick preschool population for school readiness, and I a lso served as a consultant for several counties on the implementation of positive behavioral supports through a statewide PBS grant. I worked as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in a school district in the Fort Worth area after graduating. My research interests revolve around children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the family system. I am currently working on several projects as part of UH*sparc (school psychology autism research collaboration) and have enjoyed presenting research at a variety of conferences this past year, such as NASP and IMFAR. I have also gotten the opportunity to work on studies at The Autism Center involving regression in ASD. I am currently at an advanced practicum placement at UTHealth in the High Risk Childrens Clinic providing developmental assessments and outpatient therapy to children and adolescents with complex medical issues and at Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital participating on the Chronic and Pallia tive Services team and serving patients and families in the NICU and PICU. I also have a wonderful husband and two amazing kids, so my time spent out of school is occupied by my family. :) Feel free to contact me with any questions at slmckee2@uh.edu.

Morgan McNeel

Hi! My name is Morgan McNeel, and I am a second-year student in the UH School Psychology program. I grew up in Tampa, Florida, but have been in Houston since 2011. I graduated from Rice University in May of 2015 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. Following graduation, I worked as a research assistant and clinic coordinator at UT Health Science Center's Developmental Neuropsychology Clinic, with children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. I have continued working with this population during my time at UH with Dr. Mire and the UH*sparc team. My current research interests include systemic approaches to autism intervention–what impacts treatment choices and outcomes and how that knowledge can be used to develop more integrated, effective, and affordable treatment options. Please feel free to contact me with any questions ( mmmcneel@gmail.com)!

Allison Meinert

Hi friends! I am a fourth year in the School Psychology program here at UH. I graduated from Clemson University (Go Tigers!) with a BA in psychology and minor in education. My advisor is Dr. Sarah Mire, and I am excited to be a part of the UH*sparc team that conducts research on the different systems surrounding children with autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, my research interests involve psychotropic medication use for children with ASD as well as prescriber decision-making and their use of risk-benefit analysis. I am also interested in pediatrician-psychologist collaboration and have assisted with a research project at Texas Children’s Hospital to explore this interest. I completed my school psychology practicum at Galena Park ISD, and last year, continued my clinical training at Texas Children’s Health Plan: The Center for Children and Women. This year, I am completing my advanced practicum at the Texas Children’s Autism Center and gaining experience in conducting comprehensive autism evaluations. Additionally, this past summer, I participated in the cultural immersion practicum in Querétaro, Mexico, where I was able to practice behavioral consultation with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. In my free time, I love exploring Houston and spending time with my dog, Hallie. Please feel free to contact me at ameinert12@gmail.com.

Ashley McDonald Ramclam

I started the program in 2016. I am originally from Mexico, MO, but have lived in Houston since 2012. I attended the University of Missouri (Go Tigers!) for my B.A. in Psychology and Ed.S. in School Psychology. My relocation to Houston was specifically to complete my school psychology/LSSP internship in a district with ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity. Following internship, I became licensed and worked as an LSSP in the district for three years. My primary responsibilities as an LSSP were assessment, counseling, and behavior consultation. I entered the program to gain additional experience and increase my opportunities beyond the school setting. I have completed practicum rotations at the UTHealth C.L.A.S.S. (Changing Lives through Autism Spectrum Services) Clinic and Texas Children's Hospital Section of Adolescent Medicine where I have the opportunity to provide individual, family, and group therapy working with traditional outpatient and an inpatient eating disorder program. I also participated in the program’s cultural immersion program to Querétaro, Mexico! My current rotation is at Texas Children’s Hospital Preschool Program where I provide parent management training for families of preschoolers with disruptive behaviors. My research interests broadly include the experiences with behavioral health services for culturally and linguistically diverse patient populations, the training and delivery of culturally competent services, and multicultural supervision. I enjoy applying these interests to clinical tasks including intervention, assessment, and (one day) supervision and training! Outside of school I enjoy teaching Jazzercise, watching Netflix, and hanging out with my hubby! Feel free to contact me with any questions about the program, school psychology, or Houston! My email address is amcdona3@central.uh.edu.

Erin Reid

My name is Erin Reid, and I am a fourth year in the School Psychology PhD Program. I am originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but have happily called Houston my hometown since 2013. I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and music as well as a minor in French. Upon graduating, I joined the 2011 Teach For America corps and taught middle school special education at a KIPP charter school in Central City New Orleans. I then moved to Houston where I taught sixth grade literature at the Briarwood School, a private school for children with learning differences. At the University of Houston, I have continued my pursuit to equip students with disabilities with the tools that they need to be successful students and thriving members of society. In Dr. Keller-Margulis' lab ( https://sites.google.com/view/uhpassteam/home), I study the role of writing and behavior in student achievement. With the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities ( https://www.texasldcenter.org/), I study how factors such as cognitive profiles, executive functions impact academic skill development and response to intervention. Outside of school, I enjoy going to the theater, trying new restaurants, and practicing yoga. Please contact me with any questions you may have about our program at ereid@uh.edu.

Syed Rizvi

Hey, my name is Syed Rizvi and I am a second year in the UH School Psychology program. I am from NYC and am a first generation college graduate, I received my Bachelors of Science in Psych. from University of Houston with honors (cum laude). I have worked in a few labs researching a variety of topics from the casual effects of sleep deprivation on children's emotions to the effects of prejudice through media. I am interested in the areas of spirituality, mindfulness, compassion, and seek to work with the Muslim community in Houston to better understand a correlation between specific religious practices and better life achievement (school grades, happiness, etc.) In my free time I enjoy outdoor activities, writing, watching films and working out. You can email me at Syedarizvi134@gmail.com. Syed is also a writer and editor for The Muslim Vibe ( online platform for Muslims) and runs his own YouTube channel geared towards understanding the intersection of Psychology and Spirituality.

Georgina Rosenbrock

Hey there! My name is Georgina Rosenbrock, and I am a second-year student in the UH School Psychology program. I am originally from the small town of Port Lavaca, Texas, but I completed my undergraduate degree in Lubbock, Texas. I graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies. During my time at Tech, I became increasingly interested in early development research. My current interests center around how parents and families influence the early identification and early intervention of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Additionally, I am interested in improving the identification and treatment of ASD-affected families from culturally diverse. As a member of UH*sparc I have had the opportunity to contribute to manuscripts concerning school readiness for children with ASD and the influence of parental affective states and cognitions on treatment acceptability of parent-mediated interventions. I have also served as a research volunteer at Texas Children’s Autism Center and helped develop a research database for a study concerning parents’ perceptions of genetic testing for their children on the spectrum. In my free time, I love to cook, spoil my fur babies, Jackson and Rory, and spend time with family/friends. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions – I'd love to talk any prospective students about UH*sparc or our school psychology doctoral program georginarosenbrock@gmail.com

Patrick Sajovec

I am a sixth-year student in the school psychology doctoral program here at the University of Houston. Prior to coming to Houston, I received my BS in Psychology from the University of South Carolina. While at USC I ran an after-school program for children with ADHD and behavior problems. My first summer in Houston, I worked at a summer camp at DePelchin Children's Center in Houston on a math program using Khan Academy to try to reduce summer learning loss. I have been evaluated yoga and mindfulness programs in HISD, KIPP Houston, and YES Prep for students and teachers. I completed my school practicum and LSSP internship in Deer Park ISD and Galena Park ISD, respectively. I completed an advanced practicum rotation at the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department where I conducted forensic evaluations for detained youth. Currently, I am at the Texas Children’s Center for Children and Women where I conduct diagnostic intakes, parent management training, individual therapy, and consultation/liaison with pediatrics and OB/GYN. Please contact me if you have any questions! psajovec@uh.edu

Jelisa Scott

Hey there! My name is Jelisa Scott and I am first year student in the School Psychology doctoral program at the University of Houston. I received my B.S. in Psychology from Louisiana State University in 2010, and earned my M.A in Behavior Analysis from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 2014. Before joining the cougar family, I worked with families of children with autism and other developmental disabilities as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. My research interests are focused on reduction of challenging behaviors in school settings and increasing teacher implementation of behavior management strategies. In my free time you can find me relaxing at home, actively volunteering with my church’s children and youth ministries, or singing/rapping along to my favorite songs.

If you have any questions about the program, or Houston life ( in general) feel free to email me at jscott2@Central.uh.edu.

Angela Serrano

Hey! My name is Angela Serrano, and I am a second-year student. I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Psychology. I am currently completing my school psychology practicum at Katy ISD. My advisor is Dr. Bradley Smith and I am involved in the LEAD lab, providing program evaluation to the LEAD non-profit community organization that aims to promote positive academic and behavioral outcomes of at-risk youth. My research interests include evaluation of preventative and intervention programs delivered in school settings for positive social, emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes for adolescents. I’m also interested in researching teacher and school personnel training and delivery of school-based interventions. My populations of interests include adolescents (especially the transitionary period from middle school to high school), at-risk and vulnerable students, and Hispanic/Latinx students. Outside of school, I enjoy visiting the animal center, spending time with friends, and cheering on my nephew’s in their little league games!

Caroline Silva

Hi! My name is Caroline Silva and I am a first-year student in the School Psychology program. I received a B.S in psychology from Fordham University in New York. My research interests revolve around early literacy intervention in dual language learners, with a focus on the home literacy environment. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, working out, and reading. Feel free to contact me with any questions, casilva4@uh.edu.

Kimberly Smoots

Hello, my name is Kimberly Smoots and I am a first-generation college graduate. I am currently a fourth-year student from El Paso, TX but I received my BA in Psychology from Texas A&M in Corpus Christi. I am bilingual, biethnic, and biracial. I am hoping to graduate with a focus in bilingual service delivery.

I am interested in working with culturally and linguistically diverse families and children below the age of 12, who have emotional and behavioral challenges. Specifically, I would like to focus on family-focused service delivery such as parent management training. I am also passionate about reducing mental health and/or disability stigma and hope to increase knowledge, awareness and acceptance among the families and communities.

My advisor is Dr. Bradley Smith. I have various research interests surrounding cultural factors in service delivery, family-school relationships, and assessment. I am also generally interested in effective interventions for mood, behavior, and emotional disorders and/or challenges.

I enjoy working in schools and have focused most of my training in this setting. I have completed my school practicum in Katy ISD, my LSSP internship in Deer Park ISD, and currently I am working as an advanced practicum student in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. In these practicums I have gained wonderful experiences doing assessments, interventions, and consultation in both English and Spanish, primarily with elementary school students.

In my free time I enjoy singing, dancing, cooking, reading, spending time with my family and friends, and working out (when I can).

If you have any questions about the application process or the program you can email me kdsmoots@uh.edu.

Christian Stewart

I am currently in my second year in this program. Before coming to the University of Houston, I earned my MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and my undergraduate degree in Behavioral Science, with an emphasis in Family Studies from Utah Valley University. My ever-evolving research interests currently include the impact of parental stress and involvement on school success, well-being, and life satisfaction, as well as the role shame plays in the social development of children with ADHD, the relationship between family dynamics and secondary language acquisition among linguistically-diverse student populations, and the various factors influencing school psychology graduate training programs. While in this program, I have had the opportunity to be involved with both the LEAD and Project WORLD research teams. I spend most of my free time catching up on some self-care and quality time with my family. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at cmstewart7@uh.edu.

Samantha Tan

Hello! My name is Samantha and I'm a first year Ph.D. School Psychology student. I come from a sunny island in Southeast Asia, Singapore, which is vibrantly multicultural and diverse. I graduated from the University of York (UK) with a BSc. in Psychology, and completed an MEd. in the Psychology of Education at the University of Bristol (UK). Subsequently, I did my teacher training at the National Institute of Education in Singapore and taught at a Singapore primary school. Wanting to understand how macro-level measures impact upon the education system, I worked at the Singapore Ministry of Education on developing national programs and policies to raise the quality of Special Education in Singapore. My interests broadly surround Autism Spectrum Disorder, teaching of English Language to Second Language Learners, and the development of systems-level interventions and programs to promote inclusivity for students with special needs. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, reading, music, Pilates and trying out new vegetarian recipes.

Dieu Truong

Hi Everyone! My name is Dieu "Dew" Truong. I am currently in my fourth year of our School Psychology doctoral program and a current Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Predoctoral Fellow, as part of the APA Minority Fellowship Program. My clinical and research interests are aligned. They focus on understanding cultural factors that can impact access to autism services for Southeast Asian children and families in the U.S. and the usage of telehealth-based approaches to disseminate evidence-based parent-mediated behavioral interventions to families of children with autism from Southeast Asian countries. My advanced practicum experiences are at the Harris Center STARS clinic and the Center for Children and Women Psychology Externship - Texas Children's Health Plan.

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: lttwitchell-heyne@uh.edu

Mariana Vazquez

My name is Mariana Vazquez, and I am a first-year student in the UH School Psychology Program. I graduated from Texas A&M University in December of 2017 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Spanish and Sociology. My advisor is Dr. Gonzalez, I am very excited and motivated to become involved in his lab. My current research interests center around bilingual youth and English Language Learners. I chose the UH School Psychology program because of its commitment to diversity. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions ( mvazquez14@uh.edu)

Katherine Zopatti

Hi! I am a second year in the program. I am a San Diego, California native and graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Psychology in 2016. During my time at 'SC and after graduation, I worked as a learning specialist, an early elementary teacher, and volunteered to tutor struggling readers in community elementary schools. I also served as a Research Assistant in an Adolescent Development lab where I studied peer victimization in high schools. All of these experiences sparked strong research interests in early elementary readiness. I'm particularly interested in Kindergarten risers, early foundational literacy, and the impact of preschool education on long-term academic success. I also enjoy working with Dr. KM in the UH Pass lab. In my free time you can find me traveling or spending time with friends. If you have any questions feel free to email me at klzopatti@uh.edu!

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COLLEGE SNAPSHOT

Learn more about the College of Education’s programs, research, community engagement and more in our new magazine. Prospective students won’t want to miss this useful guide! Read on.

Outside Farish Hall

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

Program Director: Dr. Milena Keller-Margulis

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

Undergraduate: coeug@uh.edu or 713-743-5000
Graduate: coegrad@central.uh.edu or 713-743-7676
General: coecomm@uh.edu or 713-743-5010

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