5/03 (from the NIMH Newsletter) Amanda E. Schweder ('95) received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Yale University in May 2003. Starting in July 2003, she will be a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in the Section of Development and Affective Neuroscience of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program. This section, headed by Dr. Daniel Pine, seeks to understand the relationships among brain development, emotion regulation, and risk for mood and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. A broad goal is to answer questions about the neural correlates of developmental changes in emotional regulation, risk or symptom patterns in mood and anxiety disorders, as well as the effects of treatments for mood and anxiety disorders on the developing brain. In reaching this goal, the section emphasizes application of fMRI to address questions on emotional development, performing fMRI studies using various traditional paradigms from cognitive and affective neuroscience, as well as behavioral measures of emotion regulation, genetically informative research designs, and treatment strategies. Dr. Schweder's research will focus on understanding the impact of trauma-related experiences, such as child abuse and exposure to extreme violence, on the relationships between neural functioning, emotion regulation processes, and the development of psychopathology.
5/03 Eileen Klein ('02) writes:I found out that a grant I wrote in February has been funded. In the grant, I proposed to train undergraduates to support our children with autism in extracurricular activities and summer camps. I was awarded $123, 430 from the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities.
I also recently had an article accepted for publication. I worked on the camp project last summer, so I wrote the article and then Brookman and Boettcher (the more advanced students) reworked it and added in all the literature references that I have yet to read!
Brookman, L., Boettcher, M. A., Klein, E., Openden, D., Koegel, R. L., Koegel, L. (in press).
Facilitating Social Interactions in a Community Summer Camp Setting for Children with Autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.
I am also presenting at the Applied Behavior Analysis Conference in San Francisco this weekend. I am presenting data on the summer camp project.
5/03 Amy Redmond D'Agostino ('97) is graduating from law school and has been working for Purdue Pharma and living in Stamford CT.
6/03 Katie Kimer ('95) sends word that she just finished her Ph.D. in school psychology at the University of Oregon. She and her husband Lawry Simon ('96) are expecting their first child in the next few months. She sends her best to everyone.
7/03 Eric Prensky ('97) writes: I successfully passed my qualifying exam in early May (also called comps in some programs). Also, Texas Tech U was involved in the Graduate Psychology Education grant and I have been working on that grant since January. You may have heard about the grant in the APA Monitor, it involves working with minority and underserved populations here in Lubbock. Several other universities were funded for this grant.
I am in the beginning stages of applying for internship and getting my dissertation proposal together. I will be applying for internship this fall and also proposing my dissertation this fall. It will be a busy fall! As far as my internship I am interested in a major rotation in Health Psychology. My dissertation research is going to be on smokeless tobacco and the sensory aspects of a smokeless tobacco substitute. Although I am interested in getting a very good internship, I am also going to be a bit picky on the cities I will be applying to. I am going to try to apply to a variety of programs but I would mainly like to be in a hospital or medical setting. I think that is what the future holds for me.
I am teaching Abnormal Psychology this fall and Health Psychology in the spring, both should be interesting.
My lab worked on a book chapter in a new health psychology book. It is out now. Here is the citation: Cohen, L. M., McChargue, D. E., Cortez-Garland, M., Prensky, E. H., & Emery, S. (2003). The etiology and treatment of nicotine dependence: A biopsychosocial perspective. In L. M. Cohen, D. E. McChargue & F. Collins (Eds.), The Health Psychology Handbook: Practical Issues for the Behavioral Medicine Specialist (pp. 101-124). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
7/03 Dan Slippen ('97) works for Pace University and his efforts to obtain FEMA funds for Pace in the wake of 9/11 were recently acknowledged in the Wall Street Journal.(His mug also appeared in a NY Times advertisement recently! Oh, and he just got married this fall!)
7/03 Katie Gifford ('02) has started working as a research assistant at the Boston Veteran's Hospital in the Normative Aging Department.
7/03 Darcy Burgund ('83) has accepted a faculty position at Rice University after several years as a post doc at Washington University.
7/03 Mimi Valderramma ('00) is going to begin the MSW program at NYU this fall after working as a research assistant in the department of Child Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (which she describes as an incredible learning experience).She remains in touch with other members of the Class of '00: Becca Freeman (in law school at American University), Antonia Batalias (PsyD program at George Washington, though she's now doing an internship in NYC), and Jessica Rodriguez (completing an MA at Queens College).
7/03 Katy Michos ('00) writes that she is looking forward to working in a school for the upcoming year (pursuant to her school psychology degree). Over the summer she is working part-time with one of the faculty at Widener. She writes, "We are trying to teach people in the Chester community about emotional intelligence to help them increase their chances of getting better jobs. I've been responsible for creating training modules with my group and then presenting those modules. I also do some screening or assessments to see if the person is eligible for the program." She has been able to enjoy some long weekends by going to Long Island and New York City to visit family and friends.
9/03 Amy Heald ('95) writes that she is now a guidance counselor at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, Vermont.
9/03 Jenna Ahearn ('03) writes that she is enjoying being part of the Page Program at NBC. She writes, "I work with amazing people and I'm involved with guest relations and production/research for Late Night with Conan O'Brien, SNL, Last Call with Carson Daly, The John Walsh Show, Dateline, and Nightly News. I also give tours of the studios...Im working ALL the time, but I love it. The city is great--I'm living with Jill Jefferson (business and dance), there are a lot of Skidmore grads here and I see them often!"
9/03 Ariel Brown ('01) is an author on a recent publication: McNamara, P., Durso, R., BROWN, A., & Lynch, A. (2003). Counterfactual cognitive deficit in persons with Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 74, 1065-1070.
10/03 Sybil (Harcourt) Zildjian ('95) received her Masters Degree in Public Health from Boston University and has been working as a Clinical Research Associate for a small biotech firm in Cambridge, MA. She works on "phase III clinical trials for a very rare genetic disorder called Fabry Disease." She and her husband, Armen, just took off for Malaga, Spain, for one last vacation before the arrival of their first child in February, 2004.
10/03 Karl Schweitzer ('03) has just accepted a position as a research assistant at the Massachusetts General Hospital in their Pediatric Psychopharmacology area.
10/03 Alyssa Porter ('00) writes that she's still working at Praxis, Inc. where they are trying to develop educational software for the mentally disabled population by applying findings of behavioral research.She's currently working to prepare a presentation for the ABA convention and preparing to apply to graduate programs.
10/03 Jamie Belli ('02) writes that he's just started working at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He's working in the Health Institute's Division of Clinical Care Research for Dr. Dana Safran. Jamie writes, "There have been three studies that we have been analyzing. Dr. Safran has created all three measures with her team of experts here at the health institute. One survey is a measure of patients' perceptions/feelings about their doctors/health care provider. Another survey looks at perceptions of Medicare by participants using the system. Lastly, the project I was brought in for, is a 50-state study/survey on over 18,000 low-income prescription drug users and their perceptions of the government programs in place to help them. It's pretty exciting since we get our first batch of sample data from this year (it is a four-year, and hopefully eight-year with grant assistance program) in only a couple of weeks."
10/03 Amy Natale ('97) writes that she's just started in a new position in the Winchester, MA school district after working for several years in Groveland, MA.She says, "I'm in two elementary schools and I do some counseling, some testing, and a lot of consultation with parents and teachers...I've already had the opportunity to take on quite a lot. One of the greatest things is that we have weekly consultation sessions with all district psychologists and social workers, which is facilitated by a psychiatrist."
10/03 Emily Bator ('02) writes that she's been "working as a teacher's assistant at a school for special needs children." She plans to further her education by getting a master's degree and certification in special education.
10/03 Mirka Vomela ('03), who is at George Mason University, writes that she's "busy with a stats course and a psych engineering course." She's also "doing research for my adviser, Matthew Peterson, on visual search and whether visual search has memory, either for location of object identity or both. We're also doing a sort of change blindness experiment."
10/03 Karen Chin ('98) and Wanda Vargas ('98) are both doing well in the Clinical/School Psychology Ph.D. program at Hofstra University. They are quite busy (as is true of all graduate students), and are conducting clinical assessments. They both serve as teaching assistants for the first graduate statistics course.
10/03 Katy Kimer ('95) and Lawry Simon ('96) are the proud parents of Sarah Amanda Simon (9/11/03). Katy is working as a school psychologist in Utah. Lawry is working for a company that writes software for credit unions.
11/03 Ten alumni returned to Skidmore to talk to current students about how their lives have unfolded after graduation. The alumni were Jamie Belli ('02), Abby Bond ('02), Ariel Brown ('01), Sara Hougen ('01), Sarah Landy ('97), Emily Leckman ('96), Katie Page ('03), Lara Pence ('01), Amanda Schweder ('95), and Susan Smith ('02).
Brief biographical information about each of these alumni is provided below:
Jamie Belli is a full-time research assistant at the Health Institute at Tufts-New England Medical center. After graduating with a BA in Psychology, Jamie wanted additional research experience as a way of deciding the next phase of his professional development. Working under the guidance of Dr. Sana Safran, he is one of two research assistants responsible for two lines of research. One project focuses on participants' feelings and impressions about the quality of care they received by way of their enrollment in Medicare.
Abby Bond is a full time research assistant on the Simmons Longitudinal Study at the Simmons College of Social Work. This study focuses on children who entered kindergarten in 1977 in Quincy, MA. The participants, now in their thirties, have been interviewed about every four years, with the goal of looking for risk and protective factors associated with depression and possible substance abuse. Abby completed her BA in Psychology, and her work with children during these years convinced her to pursue a research position involving a developmental project.
Ariel Brown is a full-time research assistant at the Boston VA Medical Center in the Department of Neurology. This is Ariel's second research appointment since she completed her BA in Psychology where she completed a thesis on the study of implicit memory. The interests of her current lab group center around cognitive processes associated with Parkinson's disease as well as those mediating sleep and dream cycles. With new studies on Sleep and Attachment and the Evolution of Sleep now underway, Ariel is a co-author on two recent publications one appearing in the Journal of Neural Neurosurgery Psychiatry and the second appearing in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Ariel is applying to graduate programs, planning to begin a PhD program in Behavioral Neuroscience this coming fall.
Sara Hougen graduated Phi Beta Kappa as a Psychology major with additional interests in music. While at Skidmore she was involved in the SGA, the honors program, and the outing club and spent her Spring semester junior year studying in Florence, Italy. After graduation, she completed a one-year post-baccalaureate program at Bryn Mawr College to fulfill her premedical requirements. Sara is currently a second year medical student at University of Rochester where she "is shoveling even more snow than she did in Saratoga Springs."
Sarah Landy is the manager of production and development for Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. Department. After completing her BA in Psychology, she joined this company working in many program areas. Currently, Sarah's work involves the development and production of shows for children 2 to 7 years of age. With all of the children's shows, Sarah works very closely with creators, writers, artists, and producers. Because all of their shows are educational with a set curriculum (e.g., emotional development), she also works with psychologists, other researchers and focus groups.
Emily Leckman is a PhD candidate in a doctoral program in epidemiology. Supported by an NIH Fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology, her dissertation focuses on maternal depression and its relationship to children's socialization processes. She is also working on the study of the health consequences of moderate alcohol consumption. Before starting her graduate work, Emily completed a BA in Psychology.
Katie Page is a full-time research assistant in the Memory Disorders Research Center at the Boston Veterans Affairs Hospital. After presenting her thesis work at an undergraduate research conference this past spring, Katie completed her BA in Neuroscience, and soon thereafter, began her new research position. Katie works with people who have amnesic patients (e.g., due to anoxic events or Korsakoffs), comparing their performance with normal and alcoholic control groups.
Lara Pence is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Widener University. After completing her BA in Psychology, Lara spent the summer working on a film fest and then moved to Nashville, TN, working as a case manager in a mental health center. Part of the attraction of Widener's program for Lara is its concentration on forensic psychology. She plans to complete their PsyD/MA program with a concentration in Criminal Justice. Her main research interests occur at the intersection of research on law and memory.
Amanda Schweder is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the National Institute of Mental Health NIMH). After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as a Psychology major, she completed her PhD in Developmental Psychology at Yale University. At the NIMH, Dr. Schweder's research focuses on exploring relationships among stressful experiences and affective functioning in children with mood and anxiety disorders. Giving special attention to the processing skills involved in the interpretation of facial expressions, she is also learning how to conduct functional MRI (fMRI) research to examine the neural bases for some of these processes.
Susan Smith is a graduate student in a Clinical Psychology PhD Program (Health Psychology track) at Drexel University. After completing her BA in Psychology from Skidmore, Susan began this graduate program, in part, because of her shared interests with faculty at Drexel (e.g., women's health issues; the role of movement as a therapeutic tool for emotional expression). Her research now focuses on the study of emotional disclosure and she is working with women at risk for cardiovascular disease. Susan is also working with an organization (Women Organized Against Rape) to investigate the relationship between perceived control and "post-traumatic growth" in sexual assault survivors.
11/03 Rachel Mann ('94) and her husband, Seth, are the proud parents of Libby. They are now living in Saratoga Springs (just down the block from the Foley's), with Rachel working for the ARC.
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