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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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PhD Program in Clinical Health Psychology

Current Student & Alumni Profiles

Ryan Asherin

Ryan Asherin graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a BA in Psychology. Since receiving his undergraduate degree, he has worked as a research assistant and project coordinator on several research projects at the University of Colorado and Children's Hospital Colorado. His research interests include the effects of postpartum depression on infant development, evidence-based intervention programs, and integrated mental health services. Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and their two dogs, hiking and camping in the Colorado mountains, playing soccer, and snowboarding.; Lab: Drs. Peter Kaplan and Kevin Everhart.  

David Avram; Lab: Dr. Kristin Kilbourn

Arjun Bhalla

Arjun Bhalla earned his BA in Psychology and Mass Communication at Rockhurst University in  Kansas City, MO in 2013. In 2014 he earned an MA in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. His research interests include the effects of traumatic stress and itnerpersonal functioning on physical health in civilian and military populations, as well as the implementation and evaluation of eHealth/mHealth interventions. In his free time, Arjun enjoys going to concerts, running, hiking, trying new restaurants/coffeehouses and hanging out with friends.; Lab: Dr. Elizabeth Allen

Christianne Biggane

Christianne Biggane graduated in 2015 with BA degrees in Nutritional Sciences and Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, she worked with electroencephalography (EEG) and psychophysiology equipment to examine the fear response. She is interested in the intersection of mindfulness and exercise with mental health. She enjoys backpacking, yoga, lingering in coffee shops, cycling, and live music.; Lab: Dr. Kevin Masters

Tim Brunelle

Tim Brunelle graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Finance. He returned to school at the University of Colorado Denver and received a BS in Psychology and is currently completing his thesis for an MA in Clinical Psychology. He works with Dr. Grigsby and his primary research interest involves the effect of meditation on executive cognitive function. He enjoys mountain biking, travelling, trying new restaurants and spending time with his wife and friends.; Lab: Dr. James Grigsby

Alaina Carr; Lab: Dr. Kristin Kilbourn 

Lacey Clement

Lacey Clement graduated with a BA in Psychology and a second major in Communication Studies from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas in 2011. Her research interests include the positive psychological factors influencing adjustment to chronic illness, specifically cardiovascular disease. Some of the positive psychological factors she studies are religion, spirituality, meaning, values, and happiness. Lacey grew up in Texas and now loves the snow and watching the sun set over the Rocky Mountains.; Lab: Dr. Kevin Masters 

Shiva Fekri

Shiva Fekri graduated in 2009 with a BA in Psychology from Yeshiva University in New York. Her research interests include the impact of stressors on the immune system, immune related diseases and pregnancy outcomes. She is also interested in global health disparities and cultural factors that impact psychotherapeutic interventions. Shiva is originally from Turkey and enjoys practicing and studying yoga, traveling, and spending time outdoors exploring Colorado with her dog, Banana.; Lab: Drs. Peter Kaplan and Kevin Everhart 

Amy Frers; Lab: Dr. Jonathan Shaffer 

Jessica Geller

Jessica Geller completed a BA in International Studies and minor in Business Administration from the University of Oregon in 2003. In 2010, she earned a MS in Health Communication from Tufts University School of Medicine. Her research interests include psychosocial oncology, cancer survivorship and the development of culturally-relevant health interventions. She is currently on external practicum at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute at Presbyterian/St.Luke's Hospital. Jessica is a Colorado native, but has lived and traveled abroad extensively. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, camping, pilates, and spending time with friends and family.; Lab: Dr. Kristin Kilbourn

Diana Graham

Diana Graham graduated from the University of California San Diego with a BA in Human  Development and from San Diego State University with an MA in Psychology. During her  master's program she became involved in neuropsychological and behavioral testing for children who had been prenatally exposed to alcohol. She is now working with Dr. Edward Dill in assessing pediatric populations with chronic illness, particularly intractable epilepsy and cystic fibrosis. In addition to understanding the development of mood disorders associated with living with chronic illness, she is also interested in the neuropsychological competence associated with neurological symptoms, as well as before and after undergoing pharmacological/surgical treatments. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and snowboarding and seeing live music around Denver.; Lab: Dr. Edward Dill

Megan Grigsby

Megan Grigsby graduated with a BA in Psychology from Cedarville University in 2011. Her research interests include how religion/spirituality within close relationships may impact health. She is also interested in developing interventions that could strengthen relationships and thus increase health. Megan enjoys music, nature, chai tea, and spending time with friends. megan.grigsby@ucdenver.eduLab: Dr. Kevin Masters

Kassie Guenther

Kassie Guenther graduated with highest distinction from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with a BA in Psychology. Her research interests encompass a broad range of pediatric health issues. Specifically, she is interested in child mental and physical health promotion and treatment, chronic illness, risk and protective factors of children suffering from illness, familial systems and the intersection of youth mental and physical health. In her spare time, Kassie enjoys being outdoors with friends and family - hiking, fishing, shopping and relaxing at the lake.; Lab: Dr. Ed Dill

Adam Harris; Lab: Dr. Jonathan Shaffer 

Stephanie Hooker

Stephanie Hooker completed her BAS in psychology in 2009 at the University of Minnesota Duluth and her MS in clinical psychology from Syracuse University in 2011. She currently serves as the Student Chair for Division 38 (Health Psychology) of APA and is also working on her MPH in applied biostatistics. Her research interests include health promotion and disease prevention, primarily in physical activity interventions to prevent/treat obesity and cardiovascular disease, and positive psychological factors (e.g., a strong sense of purpose in life) related to health behavior. She enjoys walking her dog, tea and coffee, outdoor adventures, and autumn.; Lab: Dr. Kevin Masters

Anson Kairys

Anson Kairys graduated from the University of Michigan in 2011 with a B.A. in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science. He worked as a professional research assistant at the University of Michigan's Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center (CPFRC). His research interests are in the field of chronic pain, with particular emphasis on understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie abnormal sensory processing and cognitive dysfunction in disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic pelvic pain. Anson plans to develop his own research program studying chronic pain conditions and other chronic illnesses. He is currently working under the supervision of Dr. James Grigsby on several projects, including the longitudinal analysis of structural MRI scans of chemotherapy patients, looking for alterations in brain gray matter due to chemotherapy treatment. Anson spends his spare time outdoors, running, snowboarding, biking and fishing. He is a huge Michigan Wolverines fan, and spends the weekends watching football and basketball.; Labs: Dr. James Grigsby

Jessica Kenny

Jessica Kenny graduated with a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver in 2013. She earned her Bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in Psychology ad Spanish from Pepperdine University in 2010. Her research interests include exploring the relationship between physical and mental health in the areas of couples, families, at-risk youth and trauma. As part of Dr. Allen's lab, she is currently working on a study examining how relationships play a role in recently deployed military males' PTSD and suicidality. Jessica enjoys yoga, the mountains, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.; Lab: Dr. Elizabeth Allen   

Lauren Languido

Lauren earned her Bachelor's degree with a dual major in International Relations and Spanish from DePaul Univeristy. She later completed a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Pre-Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University. Her research interests broadly encompass health disparities, integrative healthcare, and psychoneuroimmunology. She hopes to better understand the impact stressors, such as acculturation, forced migration, and trauma, may have on psychological and immunological health. Moreover, she is also interested in projects that seek to develop culturally relevant interventions and programs that improve overall health and quality of life for underrepresented, chronically ill populations, especially those with cancer.; Lab: Dr. Kristin Kilbourn

Sarah Lynch

Sarah received her BA in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She holds an MPH in Public Health from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Sarah is interested in understanding how social support and ecological factors affect the promotion of chronic disease management during transitional life events. As a member of Dr. Ranby's lab, Sarah is working on projects examining health behaviors of engaged and newly married couples. Sarah is originally from Las Vegas and enjoys cooking, checking out new coffee shops and exploring Colorado.; Lab: Dr. Krista Ranby

Kellie Martens

Kellie Martens graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2007. Her areas of research interest are psychosocial oncology and palliative care. Her dissertation is a study examining the most important predictors of quality of life and life satisfaction in young breast cancer survivors. Kellie spends her free time with her husband and two daughters and enjoys cooking and exploring new places.; Lab: Dr.Kristin Kilbourn

Jennifer Nguyen

Jennifer Nguyen graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver in 2009. Her research interests involve working with the medically- and minority-underserved populations with cancer. Jenny enjoys spending time with her family, baking, and traveling.; Lab: Dr. Kristin Kilbourn

Holly O'Donnell

Holly graduated with a BA in Psychology from Middlebury College in 2012. Before beginning graduate school, she worked for a nonprofit called The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which is an organization that serves children with serious illnesses and their families. In this role, she worked with children in pediatric hospitals throughout New York City. As part of Dr. Dill's lab, she is working on a project examining psychosocial predictors of employment status in individuals with Cystic Fibrosis. In her free time, Holly enjoys hiking, skiing and being in the mountains. holly.o'; Lab: Dr. Ed Dill

Lindsley (Sunny) Pence; Lab: Drs. Kevin Everhart and Peter Kaplan 

Tattiana Romo

Tattiana Romo graduated with her BA in Counseling Psycology from Colorado Mesa University in 2010. Her research interests involve working with medically- and minority-underserved populations with a specific focus on cancer. Tattiana enjoys spending time with her family, and going to sporting events and concerts.; Lab: Drs. Peter Kaplan and Kevin Everhart

Kaile Ross

Kaile Ross graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2007. Her research interests include improving self-management, quality of life, and spiritual well-being among the chronically ill. In her spare time she enjoys climbing 14ers, snowshoeing with her dog, hanging out with her husband and volunteering at the Alzheimer's Association.; Lab: Dr. Kevin Masters

Christina Rush; Lab: Dr. Kevin Masters

Kathryn Scheyer

Kathryn received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Health Sciences from California State University, Long Beach. As an undergraduate, she obtained research experience in several areas in health psychology such as risk for chronic disease such as heart disease, major depression and postpartum depression, the impact of stress on behavior and physiological health and efffect of maternal, infant and pregancy mental and physical health. She is currently working in Dr. Kevin Everhart and Dr. Peter Kaplan's lab examining infant cognitive development and how postpartum depression affects areas of infant cognitive development and attachment. Her hobbies include traveling, eating, behing outdoors, going to the beach, playing with dogs and most importantly spending time with family and friends. Lab: Drs. Kevin Everhart and Peter Kaplan

Kelly Soberay

Kelly graduated with a BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Dayton in 2005. She also earned an MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver in 2010. Kelly is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado. Her research interests include military psychology, the effects of chronic pain on relationships, suicide prevention and intervention, and dissemination and implementation science. Kelly enjoys spending time with her family backpacking, skiing and traveling. Lab: Dr. Elizabeth Allen

Jo Vogeli

Jo Vogeli completed her BA in Psychology and Neuroscience in 2010 at the University of Colorado Boulder. After receiving her degree, she worked as a research assistant at the Depression Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus, as well as with an integrated care clinic for perinatal and postpartum women at the University of Colorado Hospital. Her research interests include investigating causes and preventative measures for perinatal and postpartum depression and anxiety, and looking at the health consequences for infant development.; Lab: Drs. Peter Kaplan and Kevin Everhart

Keegan Walker; Lab: Dr. James Grigsby

Susanne Withrow

Susanne Withrow graduated from the University of Colorado Denver in 2013 with a BS in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she obtained research experience in the field of yoga therapy for children with Autism. She currently works on a clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of telemedicine in providing speech/language therapy for congenitally deaf children following cochlear implants in Dr. Grigsby's lab. Her research interests include sex chromosome disorders and cognitive functioning. She enjoys traveling abroad and the Colorado outdoors.; Lab: Dr. James Grigsby

Jennalee Wooldridge

Jennalee received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Neuroscience and in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado Boulder. She holds a Master's degree in Psychology from San Diego State University. Jennalee is interested in understanding the interaction between physiological and psychological factors as they relate to health behaviors and outcomes in populations with chronic conditions. As part of Dr. Ranby's lab, she is working on projects examining health behaviors in engaged couples and in prostate cancer patients and their partners. In her spare time, Jennalee enjoys running, hiking and yoga.; Lab: Dr. Krista Ranby