Show The Graduate Center Menu

Health Psychology and Clinical Science Students

Current Students



Katie Darabos graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2008 and a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology concentrating in Behavioral Neuroscience from Seton Hall University in 2011. After graduating she worked under Drs. Sharon Manne and Jerod Stapleton at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey researching psychological interventions that improve quality of life in cancer patients, specifically gynecological cancer as well as interventions aimed at trying to gain insight into indoor tanning behaviors.  Katie’s current research interest span the field of psycho-oncology, more specifically in the effectiveness of interventions that improve quality of life for cancer and chronic illness, risk perception, and the uptake of genetic testing.

Mani Garcia "I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Stony Brook University in May 2010, and a Master of Arts in Psychology in December 2012 from Stony Brook University. I am interested in central and peripheral nervous system measures of emotional reactivity and emotional regulation related to the development, maintenance and treatment of psychopathology - in particular traumatic life events. I'm also interested in statistics education and advanced statistical modeling. My advisor is Dr. Douglas Mennin at Hunter College. I am currently working on a project examining the constructs of emotionality and emotion regulation in an effort to better understand how emotionality as an aspect of personality may relate to emotional regulation and well-being, and what temperamental variables may be predictive of psychopathology?"

Amanda Mía Marín-Chollom earned a BA in Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She worked at UNLV's Achievement Center funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which took part in a R01 controlled treatment outcome study of clients receiving family behavior therapy. She continued her education in a Psychology MA program at San Diego State University. At SDSU, in collaboration with UCSD Moores Cancer Center, she conducted research aimed at helping resolve the underrepresentation of Hispanic Americans in cancer research studies. The project was a randomized controlled trial that tested the efficacy of an educational program adapted from the National Cancer Institute's clinical trials education series and tailored for the Hispanic-American community. Currently, she is interested in how culture, race, ethnicity affects coping and adaptation to serious illness. The goal of her research is to create a more culturally informed paradigm for psychosocial adjustment to illness. [CV]

Brett Millar Since completing his Honors thesis at Macquarie University in Australia, Brett has worked in psychosocial research at various not-for-profit cancer support organizations in Sydney, focusing mostly on unmet supportive care needs. Most recently, he has been focusing on older adults living with HIV here in New York, and same-sex couples research. Issues of health, illness, successful ageing and identity across the lifespan, with an LGBT focus, are at the core of his current research interests.

Ray Moody "I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2011 with my Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Family Studies and Human Development. Prior to completing my degree, I worked as Intake Coordinator for a long-term residential drug and alcohol treatment facility in Phoenix, AZ. In 2011, I joined the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families at the University of Arizona and served as a Lab Coordinator .My research investigates the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ individuals. I have examined how inclusive LGBTQ policies are passed at the state level, and how these policies such as the California Fair Education Act and Arizona's Ban of Ethnic Studies influence the educational experiences of LGBTQ youth and youth of color. In my research on suicide among sexual minority youth, I examine the impact of LGBTQ related stress on substance use problems and the influence of LGBTQ community-based organizations on this association. My professional experiences have shaped my interest in research on drug/alcohol use and self-harming behaviors among the LGBTQ community. My goal is to understand the barriers to accessibility and defiance against drug/alcohol treatment, such as issues with spirituality due to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. I also aim to understand the comorbidities of substance use disorders, such as sexual compulsivity, and how interventions address multiple issues that challenge successful recovery. I am thrilled at the opportunity to explore my current areas of interest and discover new ones as a doctoral student in the Health Psychology and Clinical Science program at the City University of New York. As an Arizona native, I also look forward to experiencing the diversity of New York City."

Aliza Panjwani "I completed my BA with an Honours specialization in Psychology and certificate of Practical Speaking in Spanish from the University of Western Ontario. After graduating, I sought research experience in health psychology and eventually became Lab Manager to Dr. Tae Hart at the Psychosocial Medicine Lab in Toronto, where I managed numerous multi-site projects examining health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes in marginalized cancer populations. Working with chronically ill patients has fostered a genuine passion for examining the link between psychosocial oncology, psychological outcomes, and HRQOL using both quantitative and qualitative methodology. Specifically, I aim to better understand how individuals with a chronic illness, as well as their caregivers, cope with the stresses associated with managing their disease. What makes some resilient to developing psychological distress? What hinders the adjustment process? I believe that being a graduate student in HPCS is an excellent place for me to acquire the training necessary to address these important research questions, and I look forward to the journey!"

Ashley Polokowski received a B.S. degree in psychology, with a minor in health nutrition sciences from Brooklyn College. She went on to receive her M.A. in psychology from Long Island University. She currently works under the direction of Dr. Laura Reigada, working on grant funded research investigating an integrative cognitive-behavioral intervention targeting anxiety among youth diagnosed with chronic illness. Ashley's current research examines youth's perception of their chronic illness including analyzing patterns of thinking, evaluating the use of coping skills and assessing the knowledge one has surrounding their illness.

Megan Renna Megan graduated from Simmons College in May 2010. While at Simmons, she worked on several mindfulness-based studies of stress and emotion regulation under the direction of Dr. Greg Feldman' including a study which examined the effect of individual differences in personality and emotion regulation styles on physiological markers of stress reactivity and recovery. In addition, she worked on a project examining emotion regulation motives as predictors of texting while driving in young adults. After obtaining her BA, Megan spent three years at Massachusetts General Hospital's Department of Psychiatry as a Research Assistant/Data Analyst on a project examining patient outcomes within Outpatient Psychiatry. Megan's primary research interests lie in studying emotion regulation in anxiety disorders. In particular, she is interested in examining how individual differences, both physiological and psychological, may impact a person's ability to implement adaptive emotion regulation strategies.

Thomas Whitfield has been a research assistant at The Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (part of CUNY's Hunter College) since 2012. He has spent the last year studying romantic motivations for risk taking sexual behavior and plans to continue studying sexual behavior while working towards his Ph.D. at The Graduate Center.  Thomas’s main interests lie in mental and physical sexual health. He plans to help design interventions that can increase mental and sexual satisfaction among all types of couples and individuals.