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 currently serves on the Executive Board for the Society of Child and Family Policy and Practice (APA Division 37) and as a consultant for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's Presidential Initiative on outbursts and emotion dysregulation.

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Doctoral Students

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Ashley Karlovich

Ashley Karlovich (she/her/hers) is a second-year graduate student in the CAB Lab. Ashley graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2019 with bachelors’ degrees in Psychology and Spanish. After graduation, she worked as the post-baccalaureate Research Associate in the Child and Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Treatment (CAMAT) Program at the University of Miami, where she worked on projects related to transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders in youth. During her work in the CAB Lab, Ashley is interested in exploring parental influences on the development of aggression, irritability, and disruptive behaviors in youth, including parenting behaviors and parent psychopathology. Outside the lab, Ashley enjoys cooking, going to the beach, traveling, and trying new restaurants in Miami.

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Shannon Shaughnessy

Shannon Shaughnessy (she/her/hers) is a first-year graduate student in the CAB lab. She graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2020 with a bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in international studies. After graduation she worked as an Intramural Research Trainee at the National Institute of Mental Health with Drs. Melissa Brotman and Ellen Leibenluft. Here she worked on projects that examined the cognitive and neurological mechanisms of irritability to inform the development of novel therapeutics. Broadly, Shannon’s research interests include the underpinnings of irritability and aggressive behaviors in childhood and adolescence. She’s particularly interested in the potential of technology, such as ecological momentary assessment, to enhance phenotyping. Shannon is also interested in how cognitive control deficits may be implicated in the development of irritability and is funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program to explore this line of thinking further. Outside of research, she loves to travel, hike, and spend time with friends and family.

 

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. 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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Lab Coordinator

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons (she/her) is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Miami. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with minors in Chemistry and Education. She is also working on her Senior Honors Thesis about the relation of sleep impairment and disturbance to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Kate plans on attending graduate school to pursue a doctoral degree and is interested in a career in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

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Research Assistants

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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 is a first-year doctoral student in the College of Education at DePaul University. She works as a Research Fellow in the Weisz Lab for Youth Mental Health, and as a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Psychology, at Harvard University. Sakshi holds a master’s in clinical psychology from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India, and a master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research interests are preventive mental health care in school settings, and investigating the application of ideas and concepts from Buddhism to design mental health interventions for children and youth. While not engaging in research or teaching, Sakshi enjoys cooking, trying different cuisines, and participating in her Buddhist activities.

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Bianca Buza

Bianca Buza is a volunteer 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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Will Riddle

Will Riddle (he/him/his) is a volunteer research assistant in the Evans Lab. He is a recent graduate of the University of Miami, with a BA in Psychology and 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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Nour Abduljawad

Nour Abduljawad is a third year Psychology student in the University of Miami. She comes from Saudi Arabia. Nour aspires to complete her PhD in Clinical Psychology then open a mental health treatment center in Saudi Arabia. Her focus is to work with young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, eating disorders and other mental health issues.

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Patricia Gao

Patricia Gao (she/her) is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Miami. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in psychology and a minor in biology. Her interest in the effect of early psychological intervention inspired her to participate in research involving youth. She is also interested in the impact of early childhood trauma on behavior and mental health. She plans to attend graduate school to obtain her Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

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Rebecca Elia

Rebecca Elia is a junior currently attending the University of Miami. She is majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry on the Premed track. Rebecca is a volunteer research assistant in Dr. Evan’s lab. Her previous experiences with caring for children has led her to develop an inspiration for working with children, and instantly led to an interest in CAB lab. She plans on attending medical school and employing psychology in the future work place.

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Sophia Ross

Sophia Ross (she/her/hers) is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Miami. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with minors in Chemistry and Spanish. Her previous experience volunteering at a respite center for children with intellectual disabilities inspired her interest in mental health and working with children and adolescents. She plans to pursue a career as a psychiatrist, specializing in children and adolescents by attending medical school to obtain her doctorate degree.

 

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