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Personnel

The lab includes graduate students in the PhD and MS programs. 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 for Fall 2020. All applicants who are invited to interview will be interviewed by Pamela Geller, PhD. We are also open to accepting undergraduate student volunteers as research assistants.

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller, PhD

Pamela Geller, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University, and research associate professor of obstetrics/gynecology in Drexel’s College of Medicine. She is currently the Director of Clinical Training and serves as the program director for Drexel's PhD program in clinical psychology. Geller has studied women’s health issues for over 25 years. She received her MS and PhD in clinical psychology from Kent State University and completed a NIH postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. Her work focuses on the psychological aspects of events surrounding pregnancy and childbirth, such as infertility, pregnancy loss, and postpartum depression. Geller is co-founder and co-director of Mother Baby Connections, an intensive outpatient mental health program at Drexel for pregnant and postpartum women experiencing anxiety and depression and their infants. With a visiting professorship in neonatology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she and her colleagues are addressing the experiences of mothers with an infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with ongoing projects relevant to parental distress and adjustment, and nurse education. Geller is an active member of an interdisciplinary National Perinatal Association work group that developed guidelines for psychosocial support services for NICU parents. She chairs the Perinatal Loss Exam Development Committee for the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (formerly National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses). She and Drexel colleagues created the education curricula, Psychological and Medical Aspects of Pregnancy Loss (recipient of an e-ERA award from the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics; Available at: mededportal.org/publication/10240). Geller is an editor of the Health Psychology volume of the Handbook of Psychology (2013), as well as Women’s Health Psychology (2013), both published by Wiley. She has presented her work nationally and internationally and has been featured on BBC Radio programs.
Email: pg27@drexel.edu

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Mona  Elgohail, PhD

Mona Elgohail, PhD

Mona Elgohail, PhD, is a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellow within the College of Nursing and Health Professions under the mentorship of Barbara Posmontier, PhD and Pamela Geller, PhD. Elgohail's clinical and research interests are in reproductive and perinatal mental health. She received her BA in Neuroscience & Behavior from Barnard College, Columbia University; and her MS and PhD in clinical psychology from Drexel University under the mentorship of Pamela Geller, PhD. She completed her predoctoral internship in clinical health psychology at Rush University Medical Center. Since founding the Muslim Fertility Project in 2016, Elgohail has launched multiple award-winning international research studies focused on the psychosocial needs of Muslim women experiencing infertility. Most recently, she was awarded the Steiner Young Investigator Award from the North American Society of Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology (NASPOG). Her research was featured in the "Agent of Change" series in Drexel University's College of Arts and Sciences' ASK magazine, and her clinical work with war-torn Syrian refugees was highlighted in a personal interview as Drexel's 2019 "Rad Grad". Elgohail is also passionate about policy and advocacy related to unserved and underserved populations. She co-founded the Diversity Advocacy Committee of the Drexel Psychology Department and was a steering committee member of a new nonprofit: American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association (AMENA-Psy). In 2016, she collaborated with the White House on a project to improve women’s reproductive health, and was elected to a two-year term as the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Member-at-Large for Diversity. Through her advocacy on Capitol Hill, she facilitated the introduction of the Pregnant Women in Custody Act (HR6806 [PDF]) into Congress; this legislation promotes pre- and post-natal care for pregnant women in custody as well as a federal ban on shackling pregnant incarcerated women.
Email: mona.elgohail@drexel.edu

Doctoral Students

Victoria Grunberg

Victoria Grunberg

Victoria is a fourth-year clinical psychology PhD candidate, 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 earned a MS in Psychology from Drexel (2016) where she examined psychological adjustment for families of children requiring neonatal intensive care. Her doctoral research examines how family psychosocial factors (e.g., parental mental health, parenting style, resources) contribute to NICU child neurocognitive and socio-emotional development. She is currently completing practicum rotations at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Sleep Clinic, Mother Baby Connections Program, and providing peer supervision at Drexel Psychological Services Center. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, hiking, yoga, and spending time with family and friends.
Email: vag47@drexel.edu

Ariana Albanese

Ariana Albanese

Ariana is a third year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program, with a concentration in health psychology. She earned a BA from Harvard College in 2015 and worked as a Research Coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Cardiac Psychiatry Research Program from 2015 to 2017. Ari is both clinically and academically interested in women’s health psychology, with a particular focus on the impact of maternal self-efficacy on key mental health, relationship, and development outcomes for mothers and their children. She is currently undertaking a project to better define and measure this construct with the ultimate goal of creating effective clinical interventions that target maternal self-efficacy to improve outcomes for mothers and children. She is currently completing practicum rotations at Cooper University Hospital as a member of the Behavioral Medicine Consultation-Liaison team, and the Drexel Psychological Services Center as a member of the Diagnostic Assessment Team.
Email: ama482@drexel.edu

Ali Hartman

Ali Hartman

Ali is a second year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. She received her BA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015, and worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of California, San Francisco from 2015-2018. Ali's research examines sleep amongst women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, including those with infertility. She is currently completing a practicum rotation at the Drexel University Psychological Services Center. Outside of the lab, Ali enjoys traveling, cooking, snowboarding, and exploring Philadelphia.
Email: arh347@drexel.edu

Master's Students

Navy Spiecker

Navy Spiecker

Navy is a first-year student in the MS in Psychology program, and intends to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology upon graduation. She received her BA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2019. Navy's research interests include a focus on the intersection between infertility and mental health, with additional interests in anxiety/mood disorders and schizophrenia. Outside of the lab, Navy enjoys playing music, reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Email: ncs68@drexel.edu

Research Assistants

Thu Bui

Ojiugo Igwe

Vanessa Smith

Collaborators

Chavis A. Patterson, PhD

Director of Psychosocial Services, Division of Neonatology
https://www.chop.edu/doctors/patterson-chavis-a

Lab Alumni

PHD GRADUATES

Mona Elgohail, PhD

  • Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2019
  • Dissertation Title: An Internet-based Intervention to Reduce Depressive Symptoms in Muslim Women Experiencing Infertility
  • Internship: Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Drexel University Women’s Health Psychology Lab/Mother Baby Connections

Emily Stasko, PhD

  • Program and year: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in health psychology, 2018
  • Dissertation Title: Sexting and Fertility: An Intervention on Sexual Communication and Empowerment
  • Internship: Southwest Consortium Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology, Albuquerque, NM
  • Recent position: PCMHI Postdoctoral Fellowship position in Clinical Psychology at the Portland VA medical Center, Portland, OR. , Portland VA

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
  • Post-doctorate Fellowship: Drexel University Women’s Health Psychology Lab/Mother Baby Connections
  • Recent Position: Assistant Professor at Holy Family 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
  • Post-doctorate Fellowship: Postdoctoral resident, Minneapolis VA Medical Center
  • Recent Position: Clinical Psychologist, Consultation/Liaison Service, North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis

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
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship: Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Pennsylvania Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness
  • Recent Position: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Center for Women's Behavioral Wellness, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

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

MS 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: Branch Chief, Bureau of Health Workforce (HRSA)