The lab includes graduate students in the PhD and MS programs, as well as a post-doctoral fellow. The lab also includes research assistants, who are usually undergraduate students in Psychology and students in Drexel's Master of Medical Science program. We will be accepting a new PhD student and a new MS student. All applicants who are invited to interview will be interviewed by both Pamela Geller, PhD and Mary Spiers, PhD. We are also open to accepting undergraduate student volunteers as research assistants.
Pamela Geller, PhD
Pamela Geller is a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology, and Research Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM). She also holds a faculty appointment in Drexel's School of Public Health. Geller's research interests involve the association between stressful life events and mental and physical health outcomes. Her work has focused largely on women's health, particularly in the area of reproductive health (e.g., mental health consequences of miscarriage), and has been published in peer-reviewed journals and other venues, as well as presented both nationally and internationally. She is an editor of the Health Psychology volume of "Wiley's Handbook of Psychology" (second edition), and an editor of the new book, "Women's Health Psychology", also published by Wiley. Geller, along with her DUCOM colleagues, created an interactive, web-based curriculum to educate healthcare providers about pregnancy loss, which received the 2010 APGO Electronic Educational Resource Award from the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
Alexa is a postdoctoral fellow in the Women's Health Psychology Lab. She received her PhD in clinical psychology with a concentration in health psychology from Drexel University in 2016. She completed her clinical internship at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill with a specialization in women's mental health and behavioral medicine. Alexa's primary clinical and research interests involve the study and treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including mental and physical health outcomes that occur in the context of reproductive functioning. She is particularly interested in understanding the impact of stressful reproductive life events, such as an infant's NICU admission. She is also interested in evaluating the use of ACT as a treatment modality for perinatal psychiatric disorders.
Emily is a fourth year doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology PhD program, with a concentration in health psychology. She received her Master's in Public Health from Yale University and has been working in adolescent sexual health for more than a decade. Her clinical and research interests are in reproductive and sexual health and intimate partner relationships. She is also interested the consequences of intimate partner violence and other trauma. She is currently completing practicum rotations Cooper Hospital in Consult and Liaison Medicine and at the Mother Baby Connections Program. In her free time, she enjoys cycling, traveling, and exploring Philadelphia.
Mona is a third year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program, with a concentration in health psychology. She received her BA in Neuroscience & Behavior from Barnard College of Columbia University. Her clinical and research interests are in women's health psychology, with a focus on the infertility and pregnancy experiences of minority women. Mona is also interested in policy and advocacy, particularly as it relates to marginalized groups; she currently serves as the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Member-at-Large, Diversity Focus. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, reading, and being with friends and family.
Christina Bricca DiSanza
Christina is a second-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology PhD program, with a concentration in health psychology. She has a Master's in Psychology from Columbia University and continues to investigate stress during the perinatal period at Drexel. Her current research focuses on the development of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program for NICU parents. For self-care, she enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, cooking, and being with family and friends.
Victoria is a first year clinical psychology PhD student, with concentrations in health psychology and neuropsychology. She earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2012) and was a Research Assistant in the Social Neuroscience Laboratory at CU-Boulder from 2012-2014. Victoria recently earned a MS in Psychology from Drexel (2016) where she examined psychosocial adjustment for families of children requiring neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) care. Her research interests focus on biopsychosocial development and outcomes associated with stressful reproductive life events, including neurodevelopmental outcomes for mothers and infants experiencing psychological distress during the perinatal period and intimate relationship and psychosocial functioning for mothers and their partners. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, hiking, running, and spending time with family and friends.
MMS Research Assistants
Jennifer Morris is pursuing her Masters of Medical Science at Drexel University. She graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a focus in Neuroscience. During college she worked in a human growth and development lab and has since worked in a family practice. Her research interests include studying women's physical and psychological health in stressful environments, and how treatment can be improved to better meet their needs. In her free time, she enjoys reading, doing yoga, and spending time with friends and family.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Cecilia is a Drexel undergraduate student majoring in psychology and minoring in nutrition and foods. She is a Research Assistant in the Women's Health Psychology lab. She is a current member of Drexel's Pennoni Honors College and served as a peer mentor for new honors college students. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, going hiking, cooking, and spending time with friends, family, and pets.
Chavis A. Patterson, PhD
Director of Psychosocial Services, Division of Neonatology
Alexa Bonacquisti, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2016 Dissertation Title: Psychological Responses and Treatment among Mothers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: The Impact of Attachment, Attitudes, Social Support, and Health Behaviors Internship: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Recent Position: Postdoctoral fellow, Drexel University
Efrat Eichenbaum, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2014 Dissertation Title: Post Traumatic Growth and Rehabilitation Outcomes in Traumatic Brain Injury Internship: Minneapolis VA Medical Center Recent Position: Postdoctoral resident, Minneapolis VA Medical Center
Alexandra Nelson, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2012 Dissertation Title: Empowerment, social support, and fertility-related quality of life among women using internet-mediated support for infertility Internship: University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill Recent Position: Clinical psychologist, Child & Family Psychological Services, Inc. / Integrated Behavioral Associates
Sara Levine Kornfield, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2010 Dissertation Title: Maternal-Fetal Attachment, Temporal Orientation and Locus of Control: Implications for Prenatal Care Behaviors and HIV Risk Reduction during Pregnancy Internship: Northport VA Medical Center Recent Position: Clinical psychologist and postdoctoral research fellow, University of Pennsylvania Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness
Danielle K. Clauss, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2009 Dissertation Title: Psychological distress following miscarriage and stillbirth: an examination of grief, depression and anxiety in relation to gestational length, women's attributions, perception of care and provision of information Internship: Walter Reed Army Medical Center Recent Position: Clinical Psychologist, Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Christina Psaros, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2008 Dissertation Title: Psychological processes involved in adherence to ART and prenatal care utilization among HIV infected, pregnant women Internship: Behavioral Medicine Track at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School Recent Position: Staff Psychologist in the Behavioral Medicine service at Massachusetts General Hospital and Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School
A. Kyle Possemato, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2007 Dissertation Title: An internet-based expressive writing intervention for kidney transplant recipients Internship: SUNY Upstate Medical University (Adult Track), Syracuse, NY Recent Position: Clinical Research Psychologist at the Center for Integrated Healthcare Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Syracuse, NY
Faith Dyson-Washington, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2006 Dissertation Title: The relationship between optimism and work-family enrichment and their influence on psychological well-being. Internship: University of Delaware, Center for Counseling and Student Development Recent Position: Clinical Psychologist, private practice, Philadelphia, PA.
Ellen Moore Boohar, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2005 Dissertation Title: Impact of timing of alcohol use initiation and depressed mood on risky substance use among urban minority adolescents Internship: UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ (Behavioral Medicine Track) Recent Position: Clinical Psychologist, Springfield, PA
Jennifer Nesbitt Fernandez, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2005 Dissertation Title: An evaluation of brief adaptive inferential feedback training: assessing the gains of training individuals to provide a specific type of social support. Recent Position: Director of Clinical Training/Supervising Psychologist at Hugh S. Smith, Ph.D. & Associates, P.C.
Maria Graf, PhD Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2004 Dissertation Title: Written emotional disclosure: what are the benefits of expressive writing in psychotherapy? Internship: Health Psychology Intern at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, WI Recent Position: Clinical Psychologist at the Dean Clinic in Madison, WI M.S. Graduates
Victoria Grunberg, MS Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2016 Thesis Title: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Infants, Parental Stress, Couple and Family Impact: How Family Resources May Attenuate the Stress Recent Position: PhD student at Drexel University
Kimberly Konka, MS Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2016 Thesis Title: Perceptions of social feedback when exercising at fitness facilities during pregnancy
Carrie Grady, MS Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2014 Thesis Title: Attitudes and Perceptions Concerning Pregnancy among Adult Women with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes Recent Position: MSW student at the University of Pennsylvania
Mitra Khaksari, MS Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2013 Thesis Title: Barriers to Treatment for Fertility Problems Recent Position: Senior Research Program Coordinator at Johns Hopkins University and Adjunct Faculty Member at Anne Arundel Community College
Kate McSpadden, MS Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2011 Thesis Title: Parentless mothering: Factors contributing to finding positive aspects in parenting after the death of both parents Recent Position: Cancer Research Training Award Fellow at the National Cancer Institute
Kathleen O'Malley Sharafeddin, MS Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2009. Thesis title: An examination of the association of breastfeeding self-efficacy, breastfeeding duration, and postpartum depressive symptoms in new mothers Recent Position: Psychology Associate at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Corrie O'Brien Mariello, M.S. Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2008. Thesis title: Exploration of the association between perfectionism and depression, anxiety and eating disorder symptoms in female college students
Anne Vorndran Hedrick, MS Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2007 Thesis title: Adolescent depression: gender differences and risk factors Recent Position: Senior Academic Counselor, OU Scholars Program
Rebecca Desrocher, MS Program and year: Masters of Science in Psychology, 2004 Thesis Title: Relationship between depression and memory following traumatic brain injury Recent Position: Assistant Director, Traumatic Brain Injury Program at Health Resources and Services Administration/HHS