Scholarships are now CLOSED!
To increase the access and diversity of our convention attendance, SPA is excited to offer the following scholarships for our students, early-career, and members from diverse backgrounds. All scholarships will be in the form of a waiver, and only ONE scholarship may be received at a time. Please note, global attendees are welcome to apply for whatever scholarships they qualify for. At this time, we are no longer accepting applications for our scholarships. We encourage you to apply next year!
In an effort to encourage training of students and promote student participation in research and scholarly presentation in the area of personality assessment, SPA has created scholarships opportunities to attend the 2022 SPA Convention and Workshops. This $340.00 scholarship award includes a complimentary member early-bird rate registration and one night hotel. International applicants may be awarded an additional travel stipend of up to $400 depending on the stated need and the number of applications received.
In an effort to encourage and support the training and education of early career psychologists in personality assessment, which are defined as individuals within 5 years of receiving their terminal degree, SPA has created scholarships opportunities to attend the 2022 SPA Convention and Workshops. This $550.00 scholarship award includes a complimentary member early-bird rate registration, one night hotel, and $150 for reimbursable expenses (travel, additional registration fees, additional hotel, food). International applicants may be awarded an additional stipend of up to $800 depending on the stated need and the number of applications received.
As part of its overall commitment to diversity, SPA is now offering diversity scholarships of up to $1000.00 to support diverse professionals or students involved in personality assessment who seek to attend the 2022 SPA Convention and Workshops. This scholarship award includes a complimentary member early-bird rate registration, one night hotel, and up to $500 for reimbursable expenses (travel, additional registration fees, additional hotel, food). Additional funds for expenses may be given if registering at a lower rate.
2022 Student Scholarship Winners
My name is Michaela Ahrenholtz, and I am from Denison, Iowa. I am currently a fifth-year senior at the University of South Dakota finishing up my degrees in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience and am currently in the process of applying to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs. As an undergraduate student, I work in Dr. Sara Lowmaster’s personality lab where I have been able to explore the psychological symptoms and performance fluctuations across the menstrual cycle, and that research will be presented at the SPA conference. In addition to my studies, I work full time at the Sanford School of Medicine in Basic Biomedical Sciences department on a grant-funded project where I administer a variety psychological assessment for individuals who have experienced trauma. As I continue within the field of psychology, my research interests include the relationship and continuum of anxiety disorders, non-suicidal self-injury, and suicide.
Jen Ying-Zhen Ang is a 2nd-year PhD candidate at New York University's Counseling Psychology program, under the mentorship of Dr. William Tsai. She is interested in the role of culture in emotion regulation techniques, and how the wider norms/beliefs of each culture shapes the mental health interventions implemented in the community.
Emily Barni is a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Kent State University, working in the MMPI Research Lab. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from John Carroll University with a focus on Statistics and Analytics. Under the guidance of Dr. Yossef Ben-Porath, the MMPI Lab focuses on clinical assessment of psychopathology and personality with an emphasis on the MMPI-3, MMPI-2-RF (Restructured Form), and MMPI-A. Emily is passionate about several domains within psychopathology and personality assessment, with a specific interest in substance abuse treatment and forensic testing and application. As such, Emily’s research interests include exploring the psychometric properties and clinical utility of the MMPI in a multitude of settings such as inpatient, outpatient, correctional, and substance abuse treatment. Additionally, Emily is interested in incorporating mixed-methodologies in her research with both quantitative and qualitative data to better encompass all modes of research and produce in-depth answers to her research questions.
Grace Boland is a fourth-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program within the Department of Psychology and Philosophy. Her interests are primarily in understanding health disparities among vulnerable and underserved populations including law enforcement, trafficked persons, and sexual and racial/ethnic minorities. Her secondary interests include the use of complex statistical analyses to answer novel research questions. Grace’s main research and clinical goals are to identify psychological, physiological, and social factors that contribute to health disparities and work to increase effective mental health service, intervention, and training availability and use.
Youn Ji (Grace) is currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Psychology. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in Psychology to achieve a career in research and to attain professorship. Her research interest lies in emotion regulation. Successfully regulating one's emotions is one of life’s great challenges. Therefore, she is looking forward to continuing research in emotion regulation to help improve the quality of life and plans to pursue several questions regarding emotion regulation to do so. In particular, how can emotion regulation be differentiated across different pathologies to help us better understand different behavioral outcomes. For example, how can emotion regulation be distinguished in anxiety and depression and what differences may be present in comparison to healthy individuals? Secondly, what personality traits are at play that may cause individuals to regulate emotions in diverse ways. Finally, how does the interplay of social and environmental factors influence emotion regulation and how does this impact interpersonal functioning?
Alison Concannon (she/her) is a first-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Sam Houston State University. She graduated with her B.A. in psychology from Creighton University and her M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Her research interests include personality pathology, psychopathy, sexual offending, evaluation of risk assessment measures, and psychometrics.
Emily Crew is a third-year PsyD student in a clinical psychology program at Alliant International Univerisity, San Francisco campus. Emily is passionate about understanding how intersectional identities in adolescents play a role in clinical case conceptualization, assessment, and treatment. Emily is interested in continuing clinical and assessment work with the adolescent population.
Dominique Ghirardi, BA, is a graduate student in their second year at the Florida Institute of Technology’s Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program in Melbourne, Florida. After graduating from New College of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology, Dominique realized that they wanted to pursue a career in clinical psychology after working in collaboration with school psychologists and other specialists within the six schools at which they taught in Kyoto, Japan to assist recently immigrated students experiencing culture shock with adjusting to life in Japan and assisting students with social anxiety, developmental disabilities, and physical disabilities with developing social skills and successful academic habits. Employed as an English teacher at the time, Dominique found themselves working with these students because of their own experience in navigating adjustment to life abroad and to life as someone with a physical disability. Now Dominique aims to use their experience living and working within multicultural settings, working with individuals with disabilities, and working with individuals within the LGBTQ+ community to help make mental healthcare more accessible to individuals who have not traditionally been represented by using their experience to establish rapport with clients. Dominique’s current interests are health psychology and assessment, with more specific clinical interests in working with military populations and veterans as well as adults with chronic conditions and life-altering injuries. Dominique is actively involved in research regarding COVID-19 vaccination attitudes among parents and children, technology addiction in children, and the effects of resilience on post-traumatic growth in adults with acquired disabilities.
Sarah Gottlieb is a first year clinical doctoral student at William James College. After completing her M.A. in Applied Child Development at Tufts University in 2017, she went on to join the Boston Juvenile Court Clinic team where she assisted in developing the first embedded forensic case management program. Sarah's interest in personality assessment blossomed during her time with the court clinic, as she was able to learn about the application of these assessments in the forensic setting and in developing effective and tailored service plans. Sarah then joined the Juvenile Diversion Program at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston, MA where she conducted standardized risk assessments as well as developed and implemented service plans for youth diverted from the standard prosecution process. Sarah decided to pursue her PsyD in order to develop the skills and expertise needed to best service the populations she is most passionate about helping, especially gang and street involved youth and young adults. She hopes to use her education and training to learn about using personality assessments in culturally sensitive ways to assist in developing more holistic understandings about clients who face undue stigma and discrimination. Sarah is grateful for this opportunity to attend the SPA conference and looks forward to continued involvement with SPA.
Natalie is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Clemson University. She will complete her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice in May 2022, with hopes of attaining a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. At Clemson, Natalie is involved in a Child Development research team that examines various factors influencing parental attachment to their children and infants. She is also a Forensic Psychiatry Research Assistant at the Community and Public Safety Psychiatry Division of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Her present research at MUSC, under the direction of Dr. Abby Mulay and Dr. Emily Gottfried, assesses Criterion B personality traits in convicted sexual offenders in the context of the Alternative DSM-5 Model for Personality Disorders (AMPD).
Keefe Maccarone is a first-year graduate student at Kent State University. Keefe is a member of Kent State University’s MMPI Research Group, led by Dr. Yossef Ben-Porath. Keefe graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Statistics from John Carroll University. Keefe is broadly interested in the use and validity of the MMPI-3 in different settings and populations. Keefe would like to thank Dr. Ben-Porath and the members of the MMPI Research Group for their continuous support.
Julianna Nails is a senior Psychology major at Villanova University pursuing an Honors degree with minors in Counseling and Philosophy. Born in Chicago, IL but raised in Yardley, PA, Julianna is interested in the nature of mental illness and has sought to understand its origins through work with Pyramid Healthcare, Inc. and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Most recently, she worked with the University of Michigan to research the foundations of mindfulness and its use as a treatment for mental disorders. Julianna is currently working on her Honors degree thesis which investigates the assumption that college students are more psychologically distressed today than they were 30 years ago. She is thrilled to be presenting a poster at the 2022 SPA Convention on her research, titled "Is There Really a Mental Health Crisis Among College Students?" By painting an accurate picture of the mental health condition of college students today, Julianna hopes her research will highlight the importance for college campuses to provide ample mental health resources for their students.
John Rucker is a 4th year graduate student at the Florida Institute of Technology's doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. He was recently awarded a research grant from the Society for Personality Assessment to develop an evaluate an object relations measure for the Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank. Further, John is known for his professionalism, warmth and commitment to education. His primary clinical interests involve the application of psychoanalytic psychology including psychotherapy, scholarly writing, and personality assessment. John's career goals after the completion of his internship are to extend his training in a post-doctoral internship position emphasizing depth-oriented approaches. As the son of a teacher, John hopes to maintain a connection to higher learning by pursuing a position in academia in the future, while simultaneously managing his own private practice. In addition, John hopes to pursue training and certification as an adult psychoanalyst.
Born and raised in a small town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, John is a hopeless fan of the Carolina Panthers and North Carolina State Wolfpack. In his spare time he enjoys working out, reading, going to the theatre, sampling wine, and wrestling with his dog. His favorite movie is Airplane!, his favorite book is Anxious People, his favorite play is The Band’s Visit, and his favorite meal is wherever he is surrounded by friends and family. If you would like to contact John, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brooke is a second-year Master’s student in the Clinical Psychology program at Sam Houston State University. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a B.B.A. in Human Resources in 2018, and a B.A. in Psychology in 2019. Her research interests include personality assessment, the predictive utility of personality traits, and emerging dimensional measures of personality disorders.
Lisa Vassiliadis is a third-year clinical psychology student at the California School for Professional Psychology. Her dissertation focuses on understanding the impact of cyberbullying on adolescents through the perspective of educators. Additionally, she is excited to discuss at this conference the student and trainee perspective with her peers and professor on incorporating a cultural identity semi-structured interview into clinical assessment training.
Born in 1988, I gave an MS in Clinical Psychology in 2015 at the University of Turin.
In May 2021 I finished my Ph.D. in Psychological, Anthropological, and Educational Studies, focusing my research studies on affective neuroscience, emotion dysregulation, and psychological assessment.
Nowadays, I am a psychologist working in both clinical and research areas, mainly focused on psychological testing and affective neuroscience.
Rachel graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration of Mental Health from Stockton University, located in New Jersey. Rachel is in her last semester of graduate school, studying Mental Health Counseling, at Bowie State University, located in Bowie, Maryland. Rachel is currently completing her internship at Mettle Works and is counseling returning citizens. After graduation, Rachel will apply to become a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC) for the state of Maryland. Rachel has been involved in various activities on and off campus, including being the President of the Student Adlerian Society for the past 2 years. Rachel’s interests include assessments, research and treatments for various types of offenders and working with the criminal justice system. Rachel wants to pursue her PhD in forensic psychology or clinical psychology to further her skills and work more closely with her target population.
Allison Warner (she/her) is a second-year student in the Psychology M.S. Program at Villanova University. Her current primary research focus in the laboratory of Dr. John Kurtz is the measurement of Criterion A of the DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorders (AMPD). She is interested broadly in interpersonal functioning in personality and personality disorders. Clinically, Allison is interested in personality assessment in medical settings and is a member of the Health Psychology Interest Group. Prior to coming to Villanova, Allison received her B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University and worked in health and educational equity program management.
Megan Whitman is a third year PhD student at Kent State University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Yossef Ben-Porath, her primary research interests include psychological assessment and testing, particularly using the MMPI-2-RF and MMPI-3. Megan is especially interested in preemployment psychological evaluations of public safety candidates and forensic assessment.
Leila Z. Wu, M.S., is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University under the guidance of Dr. Aaron L. Pincus. She earned her B.A. in psychology with honor and M.S. in psychology at Pennsylvania State University. She completed her clinical internship at SUNY Upstate Medical University and plan to graduate with Ph.D. degree in Summer, 2022. Her research interests are broadly focusing on personality disorders, personality assessment, interpersonal functioning, cross-cultural clinical application, and cultural identity, as well as clinical supervision and training on international students, especially targeting on Chinese population.
2022 Early Career Scholarship Winners
Francesca Ales is a post-doctoral research fellow at the department of Psychology of the University of Turin, Italy, and a member of the Evidence-Based Psychological Assessment lab. Her research efforts focus on personality and multi-method assessment, Rorschach test and eye tracking.
Hej fra Danmark! My name is Miles Broadbery and I am a psychologist situated in Copenhagen, Denmark. I work therapeutically with families and assess adolescents and children on behalf of a local municipality. Although undeveloped in Denmark I have tried incorporating the principles of Therapeutic Assessment (TA) in my work and am visiting USA and the SPA Convention in Chicago to learn and further my expertise in this area and expand my international network. My research interests lie in the fields of attachment, emotion regulation, TA and how to promote therapeutic change in difficult-to-treat clients. In my spare time I like making and listening to music, reading, and making good food. I look forward to connecting with like-minded individuals at the convention!
Dr. Emily Dowgwillo earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University. She joined the University of Detroit Mercy psychology department in 2020 after completing her clinical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital. She teaches psychology to undergraduate and graduate students and has been appointed the associate director of the department psychology clinic. Her program of research examines dimensional models of psychopathology and personality and the between- and within-person assessment of co-occurring personality dysfunction, psychopathology and interpersonal dynamics in daily life.
Adam P. Natoli, PhD is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Philosophy at Sam Houston State University. His main program of research draws upon multimethod research designs and diverse statistical tools to uncover how different assessment instruments measure what they purport to measure and to investigate personality’s context-specific variability in everyday life. Dr. Natoli has been an active member of SPA since 2012, serving as President of SPAGS in 2017 and as a regular member on multiple SPA committees; he currently serves as co-chair of the Education and Training Interest Group and is the Treasurer of the Assessment Psychology Section of the Society of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12).
I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Sam Houston State University (SHSU). I completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology at Texas A&M University and my predoctoral internship at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. I currently work within the Clinical Psychology PhD program at SHSU.
My research focuses on the assessment of personality pathology and other psychological constructs, especially those relevant to forensic settings. Topics I emphasize in my work include psychopathic personality disorder (psychopathy) and the Alternative Model for Personality Disorders. I use advanced statistical techniques to understand measurement issues in instruments designed to assess these constructs. My current projects focus on the interpersonal processes associated with the triarchic model of psychopathy, adapting psychopathy measures into Spanish, using the Personality Assessment Inventory in applied settings, and clarifying links between personality pathology and experiences of discrimination and prejudice.
2022 Diversity Scholarship Winners
Dalal Alhomaizi, MA, MS, MPhil is a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital (HMS/MGH), where she is currently completing her predoctoral internship in Clinical Psychology. Dalal is affiliated with the Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL) at MGH where she is receiving training in conducting comprehensive outpatient assessments for diagnostically complex patients as well as contributing to its rigorous research program. She is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College (TC), Columbia University. In 2014, Dalal secured a competitive scholarship from Kuwait University (KU) and the Ministry of Higher Education in Kuwait, to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology, with subspecialty in statistics and psychometrics. Upon completing her graduate studies, Dalal will assume an assistant professorship at KU and be one of only a handful of Kuwaitis with a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the country. In preparation for this role, Dalal has led the psychometric arm of multiple studies at the Global Mental Health lab (GMH-lab) at TC where she was tasked to adapt and validate psychological scales to monitor and evaluate treatment outcomes for psychotherapy research studies in low-resource communities locally and globally. Dalal’s research interests include exploring help-seeking behavior and stigma to examine what impacts service utilization; investigating cross-cultural manifestations of mental illness; scaling-up mental health infrastructure through innovative techniques, such as task-shifting and training-of-the-trainers’ models; and enhancing the cultural-fit of common psychological and personality instruments through adaptation and validation. Her clinical interests include providing theoretically integrative and culturally responsive treatment to diagnostically and socioeconomically diverse patients.
Christine Chan was born and raised in the Bay Area. She moved San Diego and attended the University of California, San Diego and pursed a Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Psychology. While Christine has always been passionate about mental health and advocating for others, she took some time away from psychology and worked as a Client Services Manager for several tech companies in both Southern and Northern California. After some time off, Christine decided to pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. While living in Chicago, Christine gained clinical experience working as a counselor in a college setting and an inpatient facility treating individuals diagnosed with eating disorders. Currently, Christine is a fourth-year student at the California School of Professional Psychology pursing a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology doing her current practicum at a VA Medical Center. Her clinical interests include hospital settings, psychological assessments, working with underserved populations, and providing services in Cantonese.
Isra Dar is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toledo pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in Psychology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Joni Mihura, she works as a Research Assistant in the Thought and Perception Assessment System laboratory. Her current project titled "Publication Rates and QRPs of MMPI and Rorschach Dissertations Compared to the Broader Field of Clinical Psychology" will be presented at the SPA conference. Alongside her studies, she currently works as a Nursing Assistant at the University of Toledo Medical Center's Senior Behavioral Health unit. Upon graduation, Isra will pursue a Master of Science in Nursing with the goal of becoming a Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurse Practitioner. Through this career, she aims to actively reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and explore mental health disparities, specifically within minority communities.
Raja M. David is the founder and owner of the Minnesota Center for Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment. He received his Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology in 2002, and is board certified in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology (ABPP). Raja is the former Program Dean of the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology and has taught doctoral courses on psychological assessment. He authored a chapter on conducting the initial TA session for the Oxford Handbook of Personality and Psychopathology Assessment, 2nd Ed. (2022; J. Mihura Editor). He is a co-author of the forthcoming TA manual, Therapeutic Assessment with Adults: Using Psychological Testing to Help Clients Change (Routledge) and in 2021 published an article in the Journal of Personality Assessment, entitled Virtual Delivery of Therapeutic Assessment: An Empirical Case Study.
Dr. DeShong is a first generation college student who grew up in a small town in southcentral Pennsylvania. She attended WVU as an undergraduate and Villanova for an experimental master's degree before moving to Oklahoma for her doctoral training, working under the mentorship of Dr. Stephanie Mullins-Sweatt. Dr. DeShong's research focuses on using the five-factor model of general personality to conceptualize, distinguish, and better understand personality disorders and personality constructs like psychopathy and Machiavellianism. She also investigates how personality can influence the engagement in adaptive and maladaptive behaviors and thinking styles, such as substance use, suicidal behavior, and rumination. In her free time, Dr. DeShong enjoys hiking, running, reading, writing, and has taken to teaching herself guitar over the past year.
Whitney Erby is currently a Clinical Psychology Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She is also a fifth year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Boston College. She attended Teachers College, Columbia University and received an M.A in Social-Organizational Psychology and she attended The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and received a BSE with a concentration in Management.
Amanda Flake is a second-year clinical psychology Master’s candidate at Sam Houston State University. She received a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Armstrong State University in 2018. Amanda believes in providing criminal-justice-involved individuals with comprehensive assessment and treatment services through examination of various aspects of personality and culture. As part of the LGBTQ+ community, Amanda has taken her passion for advocacy and diversity and applied it to her work in forensic psychology. Her research and practical experiences are primarily focused on underprivileged and underserved individuals, focusing on the establishment and promotion of multimodal and multicultural assessments in forensic mental health. In addition to her independent research on the predictive validity of the Structured Assessment of Protective Factors (SAPROF), Amanda is also part of The Health and Resilience Initiative for Vulnerable and Excluded Groups (weTHRIVE) lab where she has worked on various projects involving vulnerable populations such as first responders, law enforcement, and victims of human trafficking. She is also a member of the Psi Chi Honors Society.
I am a Graduate Assistant at Villanova University's Masters of Psychology program. I am originally from Kolkata, India, and am pursuing my education in psychology in the United States. I graduated from The University of South Dakota with a B.S. in Psychology in May of 2021. My interests lie in personality assessment and psychological disorders, specifically in personality disorders. I am excited to meet others in the field and explore more about personality assessment at the convention!
Sarah Hernandez (she/her) is a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Sam Houston State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in psychology at the University of Houston and was inspired to pursue clinical psychology following a research assistantship at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Her research interests include physiological and psychometric measurement of personality pathology especially as it pertains to underserved, minority populations and within forensic settings.
Saba Masood, PhD (she/her) received her PhD in Clinical Psychology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and completed a captive predoctoral internship in Pediatric Psychology and Center for Pediatric Eating Disorders at Children's Health in Dallas, TX. Her dissertation examined posttraumatic stress symptoms in pediatric solid organ transplant using a mixed methods approach. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Menninger Clinic/Baylor College of Medicine.
Her clinical interests include adolescents and young adults, cultural identity, trauma, personality disorders, and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Dr. Masood is also interested in collaborative/therapeutic assessment, assessment of cultural identity, application of psychodynamic theory to diagnostic formulation, and issues of diversity related to personality assessment.
Dr. Masood is passionate about issues related to race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status in clinical work, assessment, research, and graduate education. She was the Cultural Diversity Scholar at Children's Health where she conducted research on racial/ethnic disparities in mental health outcomes in pediatric solid organ transplant patients. She helped develop and lead educational workshops on poverty and food insecurity for medical and graduate students, physician residents, and faculty at UT Southwestern. As a graduate student representative on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, she worked to increase awareness of training in clinical psychology to students from diverse backgrounds and implemented initiatives to increase retention and recruitment of diverse students and faculty. Dr. Masood also co-founded a non-profit called the Giving Fridge where she gets to combine her love of food from different cultures with outreach.
Jacy is a first-year student in the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program at Sam Houston State University. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences, and a certification in Applied Behavioral Health. Her undergraduate research largely focused on psychopathy and forensic assessment. Jacy’s research interests broadly include personality disorders (particularly psychopathy), forensic psychology, psychometrics of psychological assessments used in a correctional setting, and law enforcement psychology. Following the completion of her master’s degree, Jacy hopes to further her education by pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. In her spare time, Jacy enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog, singing, and calligraphy.
I'm a third-year international graduate student in the experimental program at the Department of Psychology at the University of Toledo with an advisor from the clinical program (Dr. Gregory Meyer). Recently, I've studied and nourished an interest in personality, neuroscience, psychometrics, and artificial intelligence. I'm a musician in my free time, and I love to learn new hobbies. I received my bachelor's degree from Universidade Luterana do Brasil (ULBRA) in the state of Tocantins in Brazil. Since my undergraduate training, I've been involved with scientific research. As an undergrad, I participated in research labs working on cognitive and emotional processes (attention, memory, and affect), mental health, and the elderly population. I did my master's at Universidade São Francisco (USF) in one of the highest-rated departments in psychological assessment in Brazil. In my master's program, I researched the implication of self-perception in the relationship between two different methods of assessments, using scores derived from the Rorschach task and self-report. Finally, right now, I'm very curious about how different kinds of psychological measures could provide information about oneself (multimethod) and how someone's different mental states could generate different perceptions of the world.
Manizeh Raza received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and is currently a graduate student at the Alliant International University where she will be receiving her Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.). She has a passion in building empowerment and working with underserved and minority groups. Throughout her grad school training, she has worked with children, adolescents, couples, and families improving communication and helping them develop skills to overcome difficulties like anxiety, depression, trauma and more. She also has experience conducting assessments for children and adults answering questions about ADHD and Autism. Manizeh also worked in forensic psychology, conducting immigration and asylum evaluations.
Manizeh approaches therapy from a strengths-based approach. She implements an integrated orientation utilizing systems theories to best support her clients. She believes therapy should be collaborative and supportive to help clients meet their needs effectively.
In her free time, Manizeh enjoys spending time with her family and friends or reading a good book in her backyard.
Chloe Rodriguez is a senior at Sam Houston State University. She is double-majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice and will be graduating in May. She intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis on forensic psychology. Her research interests include psychopathy and forensic evaluations. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, reading, and spending time with her cats.
Dr. Vanessa Shafa is a clinical child psychologist specializing in working with children, adolescents and families who have experienced complex developmental trauma. She works at WestCoast Children’s Clinic, a community based mental health agency in Oakland, CA with a strong focus on supporting children and families involved in the foster care system, as well as families who have experienced various forms of trauma. Dr. Shafa received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco, California. In her work, she provides psychological assessment services to children, adolescents, and families utilizing the Therapeutic Collaborative Assessment model. Dr. Shafa also provides supervision to doctoral interns, postdoctoral level staff, and licensed staff at WestCoast Children’s Clinic.
Ryan Van Fossen is a second-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of South Dakota. He works under the supervision of Dr. Sara Lowmaster. Ryan is primarily interested in measures of personality functioning and traits as they relate to quality in global relationships.
Shelby Vaughn is a Senior anticipating a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Mississippi State University. She is interested in researching socially aversive personalities, emotion regulation, and maladaptive behaviors. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology after graduating from Mississippi State.
My name is Alicia W. Villanueva van den Hurk, and I am an international student from Spain. I was born and raised in Mallorca, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea, but I have been studying in the United States for almost 6 years. I graduated from Layton High School, Utah, in 2018, and I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, in 2021. Currently, I am a first year clinical psychology master’s student at the University of Dayton, Ohio, where I conduct research under the supervision of Dr. Julie Walsh-Messinger. Overall, one of my main research interests involve the assessment of psychosis, along with schizophrenia and similar conditions. My other research interests include the effect of social factors (e.g., social stigma) on schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, as well as on the treatment of such conditions. Additionally, I am interested in examining the influence of demographic elements (e.g., culture, ethnicity, gender, SES, etc.) on these previously mentioned topics. Regarding the Society for Personality Assessment, I joined this organization over the Summer, and I will be attending my first SPA conference in March.
2021 Scholarship Winners
Adam Anderson is a second-year P.hD Student at Alliant International University Fresno. He has worked as a mental health nurse for the previous 15 years. He has a bachelorettes degree in organizational leadership from Fresno Pacific University. He currently is in clinical training and conducting research on the Rorshach, conspiracy theory, and sexual attraction.
My research has centered on refining the conceptualization of personality pathology, specifically, and psychopathology, more generally; understanding the association of interpersonal dynamics and personality pathology; and identifying dynamic mechanisms of dysfunction in personality pathology.
Leah Emery is a second year graduate student at the University at Buffalo clinical psychology program under the mentorship of Dr. Leonard Simms. Prior to attending the University at Buffalo, she earned a Master's Degree from Wake Forest University, under the mentorship of Dr. William Fleeson. Her research interests include trait models of personality disorders and the relationship between normal and pathological range traits; the structure of hierarchical models of psychopathology and the clinical application of these models; and the psychometrics of self-report.
Aubrey Flanigan is a dual-degree doctoral student at Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. Aubrey will be graduating in May 2021 with a doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) and Master of Business Administration in Health Care Management. Aubrey is currently completing her doctoral internship through Widener University in a rotation at The Centered Brain in King of Prussia, PA under the supervision of Dr. Kristin Van Doren, BCB, BCN. Aubrey is BCIA certified in general biofeedback and uses this in conjunction with traditional therapy techniques to help individuals cope with anxiety, stress management, and chronic pain. She is currently pursuing BCIA certification in neurofeedback to augment the education she has received from her internship training. After graduation, Aubrey plans to continue to integrate bio- and neurofeedback assessments and interventions with therapeutic techniques in order to assist clients in regulating their physiology and achieving their treatment goals.
Alexandra Halberstadt (she/her) is a doctoral student working with Dr. Aaron Pincus at Penn State. Her interests lie in interpersonal conceptualizations of personality, specifically those that integrate the structure and process of personality (e.g., Contemporary Integrative Interpersonal Theory). Additionally, Alexandra is interested in integrating personality assessment into her clinical work and understanding the pathoplastic relationship between personality and pathology.
Mary Norris is a doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology program at Regent University and a psychology intern at the VA North Texas Health Care System. Her present research is exploring adolescent personality traits through the MMPI-A-RF Personality Psychopathology Five (PSY-5) Scales.
Olivia is a third year Ph.D. student in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University, with particular interest in dynamic dyadic processes in psychotherapy, psychometric modeling, and personality. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Purdue University and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University. Currently, she is a psychology trainee at Palo Alto VA Medical Center's First Step Recovery Program.
Kayla Spenard is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Master’s Program at Sam Houston State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology: Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia. Her research interests include forensic assessment and interventions for preventing child sexual abuse. In her spare time, she loves to bake and practice yoga.
Arianna Della Vigna
Arianna Della Vigna, born in Como, Italy, on 17 December 1997.
She graduated in 2016 from the Liceo Classico "Alessandro Volta" in Como.
She holds a BA in Psychological Sciences and Techniques at the Bicocca University of Milan.
She is a Master student in Clinical Psychology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan, Italy.
Currently she is conducting a research for the Master dissertation on Therapeutic Assessment.
Born in Turin in 1988, I got a bachelor's in Psychological Techniques and Sciences in 2013, with a thesis named "The effects of gaze processing in the social cognition", reaching a degree of 106/110. In November 2015, I got a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology with a thesis named "Schizophrenia and white matter: a meta-analytic study on connectivity anomalies in the disease's development", reaching a degree of 110/110 cum laude. In October 2017, I started my Ph.D. program in Psychological, Anthropological, and Educational Sciences under the supervision of Prof. Alessandro Zennaro. During these years, I've studied psychopathology and personality assessment, practicing with the Rorschach test according to the R-PAS method. During the Ph.D. course, I've developed my actual interests in affective neuroscience theories. Indeed, my Ph.D. dissertation regards the neurobiological foundations of emotional and emotion regulation processes. I will discuss this final dissertation in April 2021.
Megan Whitman is a 2nd year clinical psychology doctoral student at Kent State University. She is an active member of the MMPI Research Group under the mentorship of Yossef Ben-Porath. Her research interests include psychometrics and applied personality assessment in forensic settings as well as in preemployment evaluations of public safety candidates. She is particularly interested in the MMPI-2-RF and MMPI-3.
Dr. Agata Andò
I am Agata Andò. I am currently a researcher associate at the University of Turin (Italy). My research interests lie in the field of psychopathology and psychological assessment. Specifically, I deal with Rorschach (R-PAS method) and other measures able to evaluate some psychological constructs related to emotional dysregulation (e.g., mental rumination). During the last few years, I have undertook and followed my research projects abroad increasing my knowledge about the field of personality assessment and neuroscience.
Dr. Emily Dowgwillo
Dr. Emily Dowgwillo earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University. She joined the University of Detroit Mercy psychology department in 2020 after completing her clinical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital. She teaches psychology to undergraduate and graduate students and has been appointed the associate director of the department psychology clinic. Her program of research examines the between- and within-person assessment of co-occurring personality dysfunction, psychopathology and interpersonal dynamics in daily life.
Dr. Jennie Duchschere
Dr. Duchschere completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2020. She is currently a forensic psychology postdoctoral fellow with the Colorado Department of Human Services.
Dr. Dana Forman
Dana graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2019, completing her pre-doctoral internship at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina (forensic emphasis). She also completed an ABPP-approved postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology in 2020 with the Colorado Department of Human Services, Court Services Division. She currently remains with CDHS as a full-time forensic evaluator, while also continuing to research in many areas: offender rehabilitation, forensic best practices, and competency to stand trial.
Dr. Ryo Matsuda
Ryo Matsuda, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Psychology at Chukyo University in Japan. He received his Ph.D. from Chukyo University a year ago for his research on the Rorschach test. His main research interest is the understanding of the Rorschach test through cognitive psychological findings and its clinical application. He has also worked as a clinical psychologist in a psychiatric clinic.
Dr. Cristina Mazza
I am a clinical psychologist with a proven training and experience in
psychodiagnosis and personality assessment. During the last three years I’ve been involved in lie detection research, that is an interesting area of application in which I was able to join my psychological, psychodiagnostics and statistical knowledges. I had the opportunity to deepen innovative and useful techniques to detect simulators such as mouse tracking and machine learning analysis. I’ve applied them in mental damage evaluation, parental skills assessment and in those forensic settings in which simulation, both in its faking-good and faking-bad forms, is widespread with alarming estimates of its prevalence.
Dr. Abby Mulay
Dr. Mulay is a licensed clinical psychologist and Clinical Instructor in the Community and Public Safety Psychiatry Division in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She first earned a Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Voice Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and worked as a professional singer for several years in New York City. Dr. Mulay then obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus). She completed her pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology (forensic track) at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine/Federal Correctional Complex (Butner, NC). After internship, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical forensic psychology at MUSC. In her current role at MUSC, Dr. Mulay conducts forensic evaluations (e.g., competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, pre-employment/fitness for duty), supervises trainees in their forensic work, and delivers clinical services within the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC). She also maintains a small outpatient psychotherapy practice, where she uses an integrative approach, drawing upon the principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as well as the relational psychodynamic tradition. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Mulay has several research projects underway examining issues related to forensic evaluation. She also studies the clinical utility of the Alternative DSM-5 Model for Personality Disorders (AMPD). Dr. Mulay was recently a co-editor of a book that outlines the use and research support of the AMPD, entitled, The DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorders: Integrating Multiple Paradigms of Personality Assessment. She is an active member of the Society for Personality Assessment and the American Psychology-Law Society, and she serves as a reviewer for several personality and criminal justice journals.
Dr. Stephen Pappalardo
Dr. Pappalardo recently earned his doctorate at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and completed an APA accredited pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at Hartford Hospital/The Institute of Living. He is currently in his second year of post-doctoral fellowship at a private practice specializing in Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Pappalardo has presented several posters at the American Psychiatric Association and Psychiatric Services annual conferences and co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles. His current research interests include examining the predictive validity of personality and diagnostic measures and the construct validity of psychiatric disorders.
Eleonora Patriarca obtained her Master's Degree with honors in Clinical Psychology at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and completed her post-graduate training in community mental health services for adults in Italy. In her previous positions, she worked as a Visiting Associate Fellow and Research Assistant at the University of Wollongong, Australia where she conducted scientific activities on themes concerning personality disorders. She is currently in private practice as a Clinical Psychologist in Rome, Italy.
Dr. Yoav Shimoni
Yoav Shimoni is a clinical psychology postdoc fellow at the Boston Children's Hospital Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program (DHHP). His clinical and research interests pertain to psychodiagnostic testing and psychotherapy with deaf and hard of hearing children, teens, and families. He completed his internship at Harvard Medical School’s Cambridge Health Alliance. He holds a double major undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the Open University of Israel, and received his doctorate from Roosevelt University. His dissertation, framed within Extended Mind Theory, consists of a series of validation studies on his original psychodiagnostic tool, the Social Extended Mind Inventory (SEMI).
A. Esin "Essie" Asan is a second-year doctoral candidate at Penn State University's clinical psychology program, working under Dr. Aaron Pincus. She is from Istanbul, Turkey and serves as the international member-at-large on SPAGS board and is a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Her research interests are focused on dimensional and dynamic measures of personality pathology and interpersonal behavior, particularly using novel quantitative methods to improve existing assessment measures and taking longitudinal approaches to assessing personality. Clinically, she is interested in integrating personality assessment with her psychotherapy practice.
Dr. Danielle Burchett
Danielle Burchett is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). She obtained a B.S. in Psychology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo as a first-generation college student before earning an M.A. and Ph.D. at Kent State University in Clinical Psychology (Assessment Concentration) under the mentorship of Yossef S. Ben-Porath. She completed her predoctoral internship at Patton State Hospital (Forensic Track). She now directs the all-undergraduate Clinical and Forensic Evaluation (CAFE) Lab at CSUMB, focusing especially on the utility of validity scales, and is passionate about helping undergraduates succeed in their career goals. She is honored to be part of the SPA community and appreciates the opportunities SPA offers to students who traditionally experience barriers to gaining research and clinically relevant experiences.
Kelci C. Davis (she/her) is a second-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Sam Houston State University. She works under Dr. Jaime Anderson. Her research interests broadly include multicultural aspects of personality psychopathology and assessment, particularly in the gender and sexual minority community. Regarding clinical work, she is interested in therapeutic assessment, forensic assessment, and multicultural aspects of clinical work. Kelci's thesis, titled "The Role of Perceived Parental Acceptance-Rejection on Personality Psychopathology in Sexual Orientation Minorities," was published this year. Currently, she serves as a Member at Large in SPAGs and on various diversity committees.
I am a first year student in the clinical PsyD program at West Chester University. I work in Dr. Michael Roche's PATTERNS lab which investigates how traits (e.g. general personality dysfunction, narcissism, dependency, psychopathy) can impact human functioning in emotional and social domains experienced in daily life. My research interests lie in adolescent psychopathology, specifically looking at mood and other personality dysfunctions. Currently, I am investigating how psychological assessments can enhance clinical practices and the evaluation of personality disorders.
After studying psychology at San Francisco State University as an international student from Japan, she completed a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University, Tokyo campus. As a translator/interpreter, she has worked closely with a group of psychologists in Tokyo, who comprise the Asian-Pacific Center for Therapeutic Assessment (ACTA) and Stephen Finn, Ph.D., the president of Therapeutic Assessment Institute. Tomoko is currently pursuing a PsyD at Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of Denver. Her clinical and research interests involve the intersections between perinatal health and health disparities experienced by marginalized population.
Taylor Rodriguez is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi. She completed her undergraduate and graduate (M.S. - Clinical Psychology) training at Augusta University. Taylor is primarily interested in traits (e.g., personality, sociodemographic variables) and preferences of clients and therapists as they relate to psychotherapy process and outcomes.