Meet Our Team

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Principal Investigator

Spencer Evans

Spencer Evans (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor of Psychology (Clinical/Child) at the University of Miami. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology, with a minor in Quantitative Methods, at the University of Kansas in 2017. Dr. Evans completed his predoctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. His research focuses on irritability and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents, including interests in developmental processes, assessment, and intervention. For years, he has worked with the World Health Organization in their development of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) Mental and Behavioural Disorders. He is active in several professional organizations and currently serves on the Executive Board for the Society of Child and Family Policy and Practice (APA Division 37).

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Doctoral Students

Katherine Corteselli (she/her/hers) is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Harvard University, where she works with John Weisz and Spencer Evans in the Laboratory for Youth Mental Health. Katherine graduated with a B.A. in Human Development from Boston College in 2012, an Ed.M. in Prevention Science and Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013, and an M.A. in Psychology from Harvard University in 2019. Katherine’s research focuses on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based mental health interventions for youth in non-traditional service settings (e.g. schools, summer camps) and the training of lay providers to implement such interventions. In the Evans Lab, Katherine has contributed to research examining the extent and nature of severe irritability as a focal concern for youth mental health treatment, as well as a meta-analysis of psychotherapy treatment outcomes for youth externalizing problems.

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Melissa Wei (she/her/hers) is currently a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Harvard University, where she works with John Weisz and Spencer Evans. Melissa received her B.A. and M.A. in psychology from Stanford University. Her research focuses on emotion regulation and its relation to mental health and psychotherapy outcomes, with a particular interest in youth with comorbid internalizing and externalizing disorders. In her clinical work, she specializes in dialectical behavior therapy and other evidence-based treatments for adolescents and young adults with co-occurring emotion dysregulation, ADHD, anxiety, depression, complex trauma, and suicidal and self-harm behaviors.

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Lab Manager

Denise Lopez Sosa

Denise Lopez Sosa (she/her) graduated with Departmental Honors from Stanford University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a concentration in Health and Development, and a minor in Sociology. As an undergraduate student, Denise was a part of the Social Learning Lab (PI: Dr. Hyowon Gweon), where she completed a senior honors thesis on the impact of teachers' emotional expressions on children's beliefs about ability. 


She will be serving as the lab manager for the Evans Child Affect and Behavior Lab at the University of Miami. In the future, Denise plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology to study developmental psychopathology. Broadly, she is interested in studying protective factors of psychopathology among racial and ethnic minority youth, such as the quality of family relationships.

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Research Assistants

Audrey Edelman

Audrey Edelman graduated summa cum laude from Simmons University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. As a volunteer research assistant in the Evans Lab, she is actively involved in research examining the physiological underpinnings of irritability and mood dysregulation in youth. In addition, she contributes to a variety of projects reviewing the literature on youth psychotherapy and assessment. Since graduating, Audrey has also been a part of the Weisz Lab for Youth Mental Health at Harvard University, where she has administered psychological assessments to children and families. In the future, Audrey plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology to further study developmental psychopathology. She is particularly interested in research on childhood emotional development, as well as the role of emotion regulation and family processes on youth anxiety and mood disorders.

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Sakshi Khurana

Sakshi Khurana (she/her/hers) is a volunteer research assistant in the Evans Lab. Her research interests are related to connecting research and practice in youth mental health, and making social-emotional learning (SEL) more accessible to youth with emotional and behavioral problems. Sakshi graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2020 with an Ed.M. in Prevention Science and Practice. She also holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. Prior to moving to the United States, Sakshi worked as an elementary school counselor, where she worked with children with special needs and their parents and helped develop and implement an SEL framework. In the Evans Lab, Sakshi is working on a meta-analysis to identify the most effective treatments for youth with externalizing behaviors, and exploring concept-based approaches to psychotherapy. She is interested in pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology and conducting research bridging youth mental health and SEL.

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Bianca Buza

Bianca Buza is a new member of the CAB lab, and is working as an undergraduate research assistant. Bianca received her B.S. in psychology and early childhood development and learning from Central Michigan University (CMU). While attending CMU, Bianca worked with Dr. Timothy Hartshorne and doctoral student Lillian Slavin on a project that aimed to establish construct validity for The Educational Checklist (Slavin & Hartshorne, 2019). This project focused on a population of youth ages 3-17 who have been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder known as CHARGE syndrome. With a background in early childhood development and years of experience working in preschool settings and in the homes of young children, Bianca’s primary research interests involve early childhood trauma and its impact on child affect and behavior, and how parent-child relationships influence child development. Her future endeavors involve pursuing a PhD in child clinical psychology, and conducting research aimed at developing and evaluating interventions for children and families coping with maladaptive youth behavior.

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Lily Nestor

Lily Nestor attends the University of Miami and is going into her second undergraduate year. Lily is a volunteer research assistant in the Evans lab. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in psychology with minors in business law and philosophy. Lily plans to pursue a career path that blends psychology and law where she can be an advocate for children and provide them with a voice in the legal system. Her volunteer work at Fieldstone Farm, a therapeutic riding center, is what inspired her to find a field in which she can support children.

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Natalie Mastalerz

Natalie Mastalerz (she/her/hers) is a fourth-year undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Miami. Having previously worked with children in various contexts, she is interested in interacting with them through the lens of youth mental health in a research setting. Natalie has previously worked with Dr. Michael Antoni as a research assistant in his VSMART lab, examining the effects of remotely delivered cognitive behavioral stress management interventions on health outcomes in women with breast cancer. In the future, Natalie plans to pursue graduate school and further study psychopathology and therapeutic techniques, in hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist. She is especially interested in the development and therapeutic treatment of psychopathologies.

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Will Riddle

Will Riddle (he/him/his) is a volunteer research assistant in the Evans Lab. He is currently a
senior at the University of Miami, pursuing a BA in Psychology with a double minor in Exercise
Physiology and Anthropology. Will is interested in attending graduate school and pursuing a
career in the realm of child and adolescent psychology.

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Lab Mascot

Scout

Jean Louise "Scout" Evans-Jacobs is a Florida native who joined the lab in April 2021. Her research interests include positive behavioral intervention, ADHD, and cute aggression. Outside the lab, she enjoys belly rubs, treats, fetch, and eating virtually anything she finds on the ground. She has no interest in going to graduate school.

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Other people we're lucky to know...

 

Lab Alumni – and Last Known Whereabouts*

Elizabeth Wolock (Research Coordinator & Lab Manager, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Florida


Kelsey Callahan (Research Coordinator & Lab Manager, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Licensed clinical social worker in Massachusetts


Patricia Garibaldi (Research Coordinator, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Residential Counselor at McLean-Franciscan Community Based Acute Treatment; Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


Grace Cho (Research Coordinator, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst


Ana Carvalho (Research Coordinator, Weisz Lab, Harvard University) – Social Work AM program (MSW equivalent) at the University of Chicago

Robyn Herbert (Research Assistant & Senior Honors Thesis Student, Roberts Lab, University of Kansas) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Washington State University

Emma Rogers (Research Assistant, Roberts Lab & Fite Lab, University of Kansas) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Ohio University

Maddison Tolliver-Lynn (Research Assistant & Senior Honors Thesis Student, Roberts Lab, University of Kansas) – Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Oklahoma State University


* Keep us posted! Contact sevans@miami.edu if we should add your name or update your information.

 

Collaborators, Mentors, & Friends

Jennifer Blossom, University of Maine Farmington
Tony Bonadio, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Jeff Burke, University of Connecticut
Laura Carpenter, Medical University of South Carolina
John Cooley, Texas Tech University
Andy De Los Reyes, University of Maryland
Paula Fite, University of Kansas
Mandy Jensen-Doss, University of Miami
Joy Gabrielli, University of Florida
Ian Gotlib, Stanford University
Jessica Hamilton, Rutgers University
Sherelle Harmon, University of Miami
Jared Keeley, Virginia Commonwealth University
John Lochman, University of Alabama
Tom Ollendick, Virginia Tech
Sonia Rubens, Santa Clara University
Geoff Reed, World Health Organization & Columbia University
Michael Roberts, University of Kansas
John Weisz, Harvard University
Eric Youngstrom, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 
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Laboratory for Youth Mental Health (PI: John Weisz)
Department of Psychology, Harvard University 
Summer 2018