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Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology Student Achievements

International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) Student Research Award

Justyna JurskaJustyna Jurska received a Student Research Award from the ISSS for her poster, The Impact of Grit and Gratitude on the Relationship between NSSI and Suicidal Ideation and Behavior. Her research found that increased levels of grit, but not gratitude, significantly predicted fewer lifetime suicide attempts. Interestingly, the association between NSSI and current suicidal ideation was significant and positive in individuals with average and high levels of grit. Thus, Justyna’s study highlights the complex relationship between trait factors, such as grit, and behavior in populations at risk for suicide. Her mentor is Dr. Peggy Andover.

New York Neuropsychology Group Student Research Award

Brandon FrankBrandon Frank received a Student Research Award from the New York Neuropsychology Group for his poster, Machine Learning Predicts Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Localization Better than Lateralization using Neuropsychological Data. His research used a kernel support vector machine to assess whether indices of verbal and nonverbal memory, verbal fluency, and naming would classify epilepsy localization with greater accuracy than lateralization. The poorest localization model outperformed the strongest lateralization model. His mentor is Dr. Dean McKay.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Travel Award

Travis ScottTravis Scott received an Early Investigator Travel Award from NIDA for his work investigating the impact of opioid dependence severity on neuropsychological functioning in patients beginning treatment with opiate agonist therapy – methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone. Participants with high, compared to low, severity opioid dependence demonstrated worse nonverbal learning and memory function. Since impaired learning and memory may contribute to poor medication adherence or appointment-keeping, tailored substance abuse treatment interventions may be indicated for individuals with severe opioid dependence. This award supported his presentation at the APA 2017 Conference. His mentor is Dr. Monica Rivera Mindt.

NIH F31 Individual National Research Service Award

Vanessa GuzmanVanessa Guzman received the NIH F31 Individual National Research Service award for her study, The Longitudinal Effects of Hypertension on Cognitive Aging in Underrepresented Minority (URM) adults with HIV. Both hypertension and HIV disproportionately affect URM populations and may also potentiate age-related neuropsychological functioning. Thus, her study aims to examine the longitudinal effects of hypertension and hypertension control on neuropsychological functioning in a diverse cohort of older adults living with HIV and aims to determine if hypertension differentially affects neuropsychological outcomes in HIV+ adults. The F31 is a highly competitive 2-year training grant awarded to individuals conducting their dissertation. Her mentor is Dr. Monica Rivera Mindt.

Fordham GSAS Distinguished Research Fellowship

Evan HollowayEvan Holloway received the Distinguished Research Fellowship from Fordham University. During the fellowship period, he will receive specialized training in Latent Class Analysis (LCA) and individualized mentorship from Dr. Damion Grasso at UConn in order to examine patterns of PTSD symptoms with juvenile detainees. Subsequently, he will use LCA to examine patterns of criminogenic needs from a risk assessment tool for his dissertation. During the fellowship, he also plans to finalize and submit manuscripts from ongoing research projects. His mentor is Dr. Keith Cruise.

Eastern Representative for the Association of Black Psychologists Student Circle

Evan AugustEvan August was elected as the Eastern Representative for the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) Student Circle. Early in his career, he attended an emotional emancipation circle hosted by ABPsi. Since then, their commitment to enrich Black communities through active engagement and research has been an inspiration to him, and he was honored to accept a position on their Board. While holding this position, Evan hopes to foster more visibility, in general, and create new opportunities for students to work with the association. His mentor is Dr. Keith Cruise.