Debra Basalik


Cecily Basqiun

B.A. in Psychology with Highest Honors from Elon University

I am interested in parenting and child development, particularly the factors that prompt parents to make positive changes in their children's health related behaviors.

Allison Bickett

BA in Psychology, MS in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience Behavioral Medicine Educator at Elizabeth Family Medicine Traumatic brain injury, sleep disorders, distressed high utilizers in a primary care setting, diabetes and concomitant psychopathology in a primary care setting.

Taylor Bishop

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of South Carolina Research Assistant for the Community Research and Evaluation Team

Her research interests include broad-based promotion of well-being and success among at-risk children via community-based programs and public policy. For the past four years, Taylor has worked on the Community Research and Evaluation Team at UNCC to help plan and carry out evaluations on behalf of Charlotte’s child-serving systems, including mental health, child welfare, public housing, and education. Taylor has most recently worked to assess the types of classroom interactions that may contribute to children’s socio-emotional development and academic performance in a publicly-funded preschool program. Data from this endeavor are expected to inform quality improvements in program implementation.

Taylor’s interests in public policy are apparent in her involvement with a national network of researchers, policymakers, organizations, and advocates that form the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives. Through her involvement with the coalition, Taylor contributed to a white paper about the social and fiscal benefits of prevention. Her continued involvement with the coalition has since led her to help identify strategies for communicating research evidence to a broad audience, including policy staff, fellow researchers, like-minded organizations, and the public at large.

Cara Blevins

BA Psychology from George Mason University

Posttraumatic growth in military populations, suicide and humor.

Charles Burgess

BS in Psychology '06

Transition age youth with emotional/behavioral disorders, including substance abuse and legal involvement.

Magin Day

BS Psychology from Michigan State University 

The effects of military culture/lifestyle on physical and mental health, and eating disorders.

Mallory Fiery

B.A. Psychology, UNC Charlotte, Magna Cum LaudeMA Clinical Health Psychology, Appalachian State University

Body talk/"fat talk;" ethnic differences in body image; the self-regulation of emotion, weight, and behavior; health services administration

Spencer Fix

Cognitive Neuroscience of mental training, including (but not limited to): mindfulness, attention, affect regulation, pain, and spirituality. Mental training evaluation and application.

Leila Forbes

University of Maryland: BS-PsychologyEast Carolina University: MA-Psychology

TBI, PTSD in military populations; Neuropsychology

Drew Gadaire

BS in Psychology at Davidson College

I am interested in youth development in marginalized populations and community factors/interventions that may improve outcomes for at-risk youth. I am also interested in the acculturation process and the Latino immigrant paradox.

Erin Godly-Reynolds

M.Ed. in Sport Administration from Wingate University, 2011B.A. in Psychology and Dual Certification (Childhood Education/Special Education) from Marist College, 2008

I am interested in the prevention of childhood obesity and Type II diabetes; mother and infant wellness, specifically breastfeeding duration and rates in minority populations; utilizing program evaluation and implementation science to address challenges in educational and healthcare systems; and access to free and appropriate education for all children, including children with special needs and children from low SES households.

Meredith Griffin

BS in Psychology with Highest Honors from UNC Chapel Hill

I am interested in the hookup culture on college campuses, online mobile dating application use (i.e. Tinder), and romantic relationships.

Abigail Hardin

Seattle Academy in Seattle, Washington (diploma) 2007B.A. Public Relations; B.A. Psychology University of Southern California, 2011

stress, physiological markers of stress, eating, obesity, immunology

Marie Hayes

BA in Psychology from the University of Albany (SUNY)

Marie's current research interests are the application of technology to the prevention of disease through interventions promoting positive health behaviors, primarily in populations that are otherwise non-treatment seeking, or hard to reach.

Nicole Hilaire

M.S. in Developmental & Quantitative Psychology from Illinois State University, ILB.A. in Psychology w/ Minor in Gender Studies from Monmouth University, NJ

Close Relationships; Motivations; Appraisal Processes; Prosocial Emotions & Behavior; Happiness & Well-Being

Nadia Jafari

Psychology BA from Stony Brook University
The interactions between social networking sites, impression management, body image, and social comparison theory.

Jackie Larson

BA Psychology with High Honors, Emory University

I am interested in factors that can affect the development of positive child and adolescent socioemotional and educational outcomes. I am also interested in mental health advocacy and youth empowerment (factors affecting the development of positive child and adolescent outcomes, particularly socioemotional and educational outcomes; mental health advocacy; youth empowerment).

Paisley Lewis

Davidson College '13, B.S. in Psychology

Posttraumatic growth and cross-cultural considerations

Laura Lovato

Colorado State University, graduated 2006

Intersectionality, HIV Stigma, and health outcomes, mindfulness

Meghan McComas

B.A. from Salisbury University (2014); Double Major in Psychology & Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution-Interpersonal Track, Graduate Certificate in Applied Thanatology: University of Maryland (2015), Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C; 2016)

Megan's current research interests include trauma, stress, cyberbullying, social media, emotion regulation, adjustment, and mindfulness.

Jaimelee Mihalski

Graduated from DePaul University in 2013 with a B.A. in Community Psychology

Substance abuse recovery and prevention, education, and child welfare

Sandy Milling

Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling, M.S., May 2009 Rehabilitation Counseling, M.S., May 2009Psychology, B.A., May 2006 UNCWSociology, Minor, May 2006 UNCW
Sexual Trauma, Substance Abuse, Emotional Intelligence

Alyssa Minnick

B.A., Psychology, Dickinson College, 2011M.S., Clinical Psychology, Loyola University of Maryland, 2013

Eating disorders; Obesity; Weight loss maintenance; Social and interpersonal factors (e.g., fat talk) that contribute to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating; Incorporating technology into treatment

Ana Orejuela

B.S. in Brain, Behavior, & Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, 2011

Posttraumatic growth, the interplay between emotional regulation and cognitive processing, trauma narratives, physiological effects of stress.

Brooke Palmer

B.A. in Spanish/B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa (2007).M.A. in Spanish from Florida Atlantic University (2013).

I'm interested in eating behaviors in Latinos as well as access to health/mental health care within this population.

Kim Papay

B.S. in Psychology (Neuroscience track) from Penn State University (2009)
Physiological effects of stress; integrative health; mindfulness; meditation

Sydney Park

BA in Psychology with a minor in Biological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

executive functioning, emotion regulation

Phoutdavone "Noy" Phimphasone

MA California State University, Los Angeles 2011BA University of Kansas 2009

Developmental origins and cognitive correlates of psychopathology among underrepresented and underserved populations

Anne Marie Porter

Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science from UNC Charlotte (2014), MA in Psychology from UNC Charlotte (2014), BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (2010)


I specialize in integrating cyberpsychology and biopsychosocial health research, and I am interested in investigating how modern technology and media affects our physical, mental, and social health.  I have previously studied the positive effects of video games on pain management, and I am currently interested in studying how playing video games can affect stress outcomes.

I am also interested in conducting media literacy interventions in the local Charlotte community to promote healthy social relationships and reduce teen dating violence.  By training media consumers to critically think about the meaning behind the media they watch or the games they play, we can reduce the effect of negative stereotypes and dysfunctional relationships shown in media.

Brittany Price

BA in Psychology and BS in Animal Science from North Carolina State University

Brittany is interested in stress, health disparities and physiological markers of stress

Olivia Riffle

B.S. in Neuroscience, 2012, Washington & Lee University

Posttraumatic growth as it relates to personal narrative, prosocial behavior, sense of calling/purpose, and stress reactivity and management

Michelle Rodriguez-Diaz

Bachelor of Arts from Duke University, 2007

Multicultural factors, obesity, eating disorders, metabolic dysfunction, stress

Courtney Rogers

MA in Clinical Health Psychology from Appalachian State University, BA in Psychology from Lee University

Social and cultural influences on body image (e.g., fat talk); mindfulness-based interventions; self-compassion

Lydia Roos

Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Charleston

Emotional trauma, health behaviors, and yoga, and their effects on stress reactivity, immune function, and the neuroendocrine system.

Aria Ruggiero

M.A. in General Psychology from American University (2016), B.A. in Psychology from Boston University (2014)

How poor sleep is linked to sleep hygiene/attitudes, emotion regulation, cognitive processes, and health outcomes.

Sara Sagui

May 2013 B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Long BeachMay 2015 M.A. in Psychology from UNC Charlotte

Sara’s research broadly focuses on the ways in which individuals manage and alter their emotions to cope with stressful situations. Employing diverse methodology, she seeks to understand the contextual nature of emotion regulation and the ways in which positive emotional coping processes can promote better physiological and behavioral health outcomes.

Caitlin Simmons

B.A. in Psychology, Case Western Reserve University '14

Promoting positive outcomes for at-risk children and youth; school based interventions; mental illness stigma.

Christine Smith

B.A. Psychology, Spanish- Wake Forest UniversityM.A. Counseling Psychology- University of Denver

Stress and Health, Health Behavior Change, Chronic Illness Adaptation, Disparities in Health

Kate Strater Hogan

B.A. Major Psychology/Minor Child and Family DevelopmentM.A. UNC Charlotte - Clinical/Community Psychology

Youth and family wellbeing, integrated health care, community and civic engagement

Kirk Szczepkowski

B.S., Western Michigan University, 2009M.A., Western Michigan University, 2013

Neuropsychology and assessment, particularly with older adults

Jessica Taylor

Educational Background: B.S. in Psychology with minor in Cognitive Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2014), Summa Cum Laude & Honors in Psychology

Research: Self-Compassion, Emotion Regulation, Effectiveness-Based Research, Disordered Eating-Related Processes and Social Mentality Theory

Jacqueline Tynan

BA Psychology from University of Kentucky

The relationship between education and community support programs and outcomes of at-risk youth pertaining to substance use, juvenile delinquency, and high school completion.

Alyssa Vela

B.A. Psychology+ B.A. Spanish, Oakland University (MI)M.A. Clinical and Community Psychology, UNC Charlotte

Eating behaviors, Latinas, Culture and acculturation, Diabetes, Mindfulness

Victoria Willetts

MA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, BA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with University Honors

I am interested in posttraumatic growth following interpersonal transgressions as well as the implications of interpersonal relationships on health in regards to stress, health care motivation, and health outcomes. I am also interested in the physiological impacts of animal assisted therapy (AAT) and the use of AAT to facilitate posttraumatic growth.