People | Department of Psychology

People

Director

Dr. Heidemarie Blumenthal recieved her degree from the University of Arkansas under the mentorship of Dr. Ellen W. Leen-Feldner (and Dr. William Levine at the undergraduate level). Dr. Blumenthal's research focuses on the etiology of anxiety and problematic substance use, with an emphasis on the dynamic interplay of anxiety and substance use behaviors. Although her work spans the life course, her primary interest is in co-occurring anxiety and substance use among adolescents, including how anxiety vulnerability may enhance the likelihood of problematic substance use activity as well as how substance use may increase risk for anxiety psychopathology.

As a developmental psychopathologist her work reflects an intersection between traditional developmental and clinical domains, and an integrative, interdisciplinary approach is essential to her program of research. Dr. Blumenthal enjoys teaching undergraduate (PSYC 3620) and graduate (PSYC 5010, 6200) developmental psychology courses at UNT, is the proud sponsor of the UNT H.E.A.T. social service chapter, the faculty sponsor for UNT Psi Chi, and she welcomes undergraduate, post-bachelors volunteer, and graduate student (Behavioral Science primarily) applications.

Curriculum Vitae

Graduate Students

Renee Cloutier, MS

I am a doctoral candidate in my fifth year of the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program working under the guidance of Dr. Heidemarie Blumenthal. I am interested in the developmental and social processes leading to different substance use patterns across adolescence and emerging adulthood. In January 2017 I started a NIDA funded predoctoral fellowship (1F31DA041105) looking at social anxiety symptoms, social context, and use willingness. In addition to my research, I also serve as the chair of the APAGS Science committee. To download my CV click here.

Nathan Kearns, MS

I currently am in the third year of the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program working under the guidance of Dr. Heidemarie Blumenthal- and was recently awarded a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) predoctoral fellowship. My research focuses on etiological mechanisms, interplay, and consequences of trauma, posttraumatic stress, and problematic substance use among at-risk populations (e.g., emerging adults, traumatic injury). In addition to my research, I also serve as a Clinical Research Assistant for the Department of Trauma, Critical Care, and Acute Care Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and as the Student Representative for the Addictive Behaviors Special Interest Group (SIG)within the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT). To download my CV click here.

Megan Douglas, MS

I am a doctoral candidate in my sixth year of the Clinical Health Psychology Ph.D. program. I have been a part of the Teen St.A.R. Research Lab since 2012, but will be leaving Denton to complete my APA clinical internship with the Department of Veteran's Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, CT. After completing my internship I will pursue a clinical research career with a focus on eating behaviors and weight management. To view my CV click here.

Caitlyn Carey, BS

I am currently in my 2nd year of the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program, working under the guidance of Dr. Heidemarie Blumenthal. My research interest is focused on intersectionality and the etiology and interaction between anxiety, depression, and substance use among trauma exposed adolescents and emerging adults. Specifically, I am interested in how intersecting identities (e.g., race, gender, sexuality) can serve as risk markers for trauma exposed populations for problematic substance use. To view my CV click here.

Post-Baccalaureate/Graduate Student Researchers

Jamie Pogue, BA

  • BA Psychology, 2015
  • I am currently working full-time as a Clinical Research Assistant at Baylor University Mecidal Center, and plan on applying for Clinical Psychology programs in the next year.

Hanan Rafiuddin, BA

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Social Sciences, 2018
  • I plan on applying for Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs. My research interests include trauma, race/ethnicity, and mental health disparities. I hope to work with emerging adult populations in either a medical setting or private practice.

Kayla Corley, BA

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Human Development and Family Studies, 2019
  • I plan to complete a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a focus on substance use disorders among adolescents. I hope to earn my LPC and LCDC licenses and help adolescents and young adults in my community.

Caroline E. Lee, BA

  • BA Psychology, 2019
  • I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the coming years. I am interested in studying trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and substance use. I hope that my research can help inform me as a clinician in order to offer the best empirically-based treatments to clients.

Christa N. Herrera, BA

  • Current graduate student in the UNT Clinical Psychology PhD program, Evidence-based Training and Competencies (ETC) Research Lab, under the primary mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Callahan
  • My research and career goals are three-fold: first, elucidating the therapeutic process (i.e., client and therapist variables) and minority trainee experience (i.e., admission, supervision, and cultural competency) to improve client outcomes; second, forming research partnerships with community agencies to improve culturally-informed training and to facilitate access to and utilization of services in underserved communities; third, to provide students with enriching opportunities for research and professional development.

Faraha Hasan, BS, BS

  • Current graduate student in the UNT Counseling Psychology PhD program, Cross-cultural Attachment Research Lab (CARL), under the primary mentorship of Dr. Chiachih DC Wang
  • My research interests are primarily in ethnic identity development, and my clinical/professional interests are focused on providing mental health resources to underrepresented populations.

Angeles Astorga, BA

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Counseling, 2018
  • Next step: I will be working as a full-time Research Assistant with the Studying Alcohol and Related Risks (STARR) Lab at the UNT Health Science Center. My goal is to attend an Industrial Organizational PhD program. I want to research the intersection of mental health and the workplace. Furthermore, I hope to contribute to literature about individuals with mental illnesses (e.g., PTSD, OCD, depression) in relation to their workplace (e.g., influence on work performance, management styles, retention rate).

Sonja Hunter, BS, BA

  • BS Psychology, BA French, 2019
  • Next step: I have been accepted into the Masters in Psychology program at Rutgers University, geared towards cultivating the skills needed to succeed in PhD program. Broadly, I am interested in Theory of Mind and what exactly makes this task easier for some people than others, and understanding what exactly this skill consists of. Building on my honors thesis with Dr. Anthony Ryals and masters work at Rutgers, I next plan to apply to a PhD program in Experimental Psychology.

Lauren B. Stone, BS

  • BS Psychology, 2017
  • Next step: This fall (2019), I will be attending the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Wheaton College. I will be working in the Youth Risk and Resilience (YouRR Lab) under Dr. Sandra Yu Rueger. The purpose of the Youth Risk and Resilience Lab (YouRR Lab) is to add to the scientific literature and share findings with the general public on effective ways to mobilize resources within the family and larger community to prevent and treat depressive disorders in children and adolescents, and alcohol-related problems in adolescents and young adults.

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Daniel Cole

  • BS Psychology, Minor in Sociology
  • My current professional goals are to attend a PhD program in Counseling Psychology. I hope to practice counseling in a private practice, hospital, or university setting. I'm particularly interested in studying identity development, as well as concepts from positive psychology throughout emerging adulthood and adulthood.

Manal Fasih

  • BA Biology, Minor in Chemistry and Psychology
  • My undergraduate research interests mainly include the development of mental illness in adolescence. After graduation I hope to attend medical school to eventually become a physician. I'm currently interested in primary care and surgical specialties.

Andalusia Hinojos

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Human Development and Family Studies
  • After graduation I plan to pursue a Masters in Counseling. My professional interests include anxiety, depression, trauma, and self-injurious behaviors among adolescents, as well as couples and family therapy. I have a particular interest in working with LGBTQ+ adolescents and their families.

Ashlynn J. Smart

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Rehabilitation Studies
  • After graduation I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. My main research interest is child psychology. I would enjoy researching child, adolescent, and emerging adulthood populations. Some goals for my work would include helping children and adolescents with transitional phases in their life or coping with disabilities. Overall, I would love to be a clinical child psychologist after finishing my degree.

Melinda (Mindy) Davis

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Criminal Justice
  • I aim to get my PhD in clinical forensic psychology and work with prison populations and in forensic hospitals as a psychologist. I am interested in the treatment of mentally ill offenders (including treatment development), how trauma contributes to future mental health, as well as the effects of prison on mental health.

Trent C. Harris

  • BA Psychology, BA Human Resource Management
  • I'm currently interested in pursuing a Masters degree targeting my interests in learning, workplace behaviors, social anxiety, and substance use.

Mabel Espinoza

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Public Administration
  • I am currently working towards a Peace Corps Certificate so I can formally apply to the Peace Corps after graduation. I am deciding between focusing on Masters or PhD program applications, and my professional interests include child and adolescent mental health, Hispanic/Latinx communities, race and culture, and traumatic event exposure.

Stephon B Primous II

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Behavior Analysis
  • My goal is to become a Clinical Neuropsychologist and work in the Veterans Affairs Medical Department to help Veterans who have suffered TBIs rehabilitate and recover from their injuries. My current interests include implicit and explicit biases as a function of race, gender and, age; implicit and explicit memory; victims of TBI's, treatment outcomes, and the development of the field of Neuropsychology as a whole.

Emma Kannard

  • BA Psychology, Minors in Counseling and Spanish
  • I plan on applying to Clinical and Counseling Psychology PhD programs and hope to eventually work in a private practice as an LPC. My research interests include social anxiety, social dynamics and relationships, depression, attachment styles, and substance use. I am particularly interested in working with minority populations.

Shana Mathew

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Management
  • I plan on pursuing a Master's in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I hope to work in a professional business setting where I can fully utilize my degrees and have numerous opportunities to grow in a large corporation. Positions incorporating management and human resources interests me the most but I would also like to teach at the community college level.

Ashley (Ash) D Bocanegra

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Criminal Justice
  • I'm currently interested in pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Pediatric Health Psychology. Broadly, my research interests are in multicultural pediatric psych-oncology. I'm particularly interested in cultural inclusion in treatment and religious outlooks on treatment. Overall, I want to help families who have recently had a child in their life be diagnosed with a chronic illness/disease, and I want to focus on the child's mental health as they face their illness, and how they are coping with their situation.

Giselle Gutierrez

  • BS Biology
  • I am a biology major with an interest in psychology on a premedical track. I have been a supplemental instructor for 2 years and am in the midst of a medical internship for a neurologist. I have plans to graduate in 2020 and enter medical school to become a psychiatrist. My research interest are mental illness in teens with a focus on suicide prevention and depression.

Alumni

2019

Brittney Jackson, BS

  • BS Psychology, Minor in Human Development and Family Science, 2019
  • Next step: This summer (2019) I am excited to begin the MBA in Business Management program here at UNT. Upon graduating from the Cohort Program, I envision myself working in the Metroplex, managing a team in the Human Resources department.

Mary Geisinger

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Biology and Chemistry
  • My goal is to pursue a graduate school program in either the medical field or experimental psychology.

Nicole Nielson

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Biology
  • I am planning to pursue a PhD in Behavioral Science. My goal is to conduct research in the private sector with a focus on attention, working memory, and motivation.

Anabel Potts

  • BS Psychology, Minor in Counseling
  • In Fall 2019, I will begin the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at UNT. I'm excited to work on my research focused on bipolar disorder, mood, and nosology at the Mood and Psychopathology Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Camilo Ruggero.

2018

Alisa Payne, BS

  • BS Psychology, Minor in Counseling, 2018
  • Next step: I will be working as a lead teacher at an amazing local preschool and continue my training in the Master of Science in Counseling program at Southern Methodist University this Fall (2019).

Rachel Armour

  • I will be graduating with my bachelors in Psychology Fall 2018. After leaving UNT I plan on pursuing a career in Applied Arts working for technical theatres, museum exhibitions, and related fields.

Michelle Fresnedo, Data Management Coordinator

  • BS Biochemistry, Minor in Biology
  • BA Integrative Studies, Concentrating in Psychology, Anthropology, History
  • My goal is to attend medical school. My interests lie in the fields of cardiology, pediatrics, and family medicine in general.

Stephen Gutierrez

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Counseling, 2017
  • My goal is to attend a Master's program in counseling/therapy. More specifically, I am interested in working with an adolescent population. My interests include how the relationships between depression, suicidality, anxiety, and substance use affect an adolescent population.

Jennifer Sandlin, Recruitment Co-Coordinator

  • BA Psychology
  • I am attending UNT's Master's program in Counseling. My research interests include the etiology and treatment of Non-Suicidal Self Injury, as well as lifelong effects of childhood abuse and trauma. I hope to work in private practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Camille Naval

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Human Development and Family Studies
  • My goal is to attend a Counseling Psychology program, with hope to work with children and adolescents. I hope to work as a counselor in a psychiatric hospital or through private practice. My interests lie in anxiety, stress, and the emotional/social development from birth to young adulthood.

Ennissea Powell

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Human Development and Family Science
  • My goal is to attend a Master's program in Counseling. I aspire to become a counselor working with adolescents and their behavior. More specifically, at-risk youth, depression, anxiety, suicide, and ways to prevent such with coping strategies and skills.

2017

Maris Adams

  • BA Psychology, Minor in Criminal Justice, 2017
  • Next Step: I am currently applying for Clinical Psychology programs with a forensic emphasis. My research interests include juvenile offender competency, as well as risk factors such as family, peer, and community influences.

Darian Chambers

  • BA in Psychology, BA in Political Science, Minor in Arabic
  • I plan to attend a Social Psychology program. My research interests include Altruistic Behavior, Perspective Taking, and PTSD.

Jasmin John

  • BA Psychology, Minor Counseling
  • Next Step: I am currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at UNT. I am on the adult track and plan to focus on minority communities and social justice issues. I hope to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) once I complete my Masters degree.

Sydney McKinnis, BS

  • BS Psychology, Minor in Spanish, 2017
  • I am working full-time at UNT, currently applying to Master's Counseling programs, and my goal is to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

    Brooke Reynolds

    • BA Psychology, Minor in Russian
    • Next Step: I am currently applying for PhD programs in clinical psychology.

    Erik Tristan

    2016

    Alvin Akibar, MS

    • BA Psychology 2013, MS Psychology 2016
    • Next Step: I am currently a doctoral student in the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program working under the guidance of Dr. Yolanda Flores Niemann. I am interested in LGBT and minority issues, including risk for social anxiety and reduced support-seeking behaviors.

    Teah-Marie Bynion, BS

    • BS Psychology, 2016
    • Next Step: I am currently a doctoral student in the Experimental Program at the University of Arkansas in the Anxiety Research Program. My research focuses on parent-child relationships and psychopathology among youth.

    Kinsie Dunham, BS

    • BS Psychology, Minors in LGBT Studies and Development and Family Studies, 2016
    • Next Step: I am currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Program at the University of Montana at Missoula. I am interested in LGBT and minority issues, including risk for social anxiety and reduced support-seeking behaviors.

    Emma Holmes

    • Next Step: After successfully completing the TAMS program at UNT, I am now pursuing my BSA in Neuroscience as part of the pre-med program at the University of Texas at Austin. Next year I will be applying to medical schools to focus on pediatric neurology.

    Laura Jamison, BS

    • BS Psychology, BA Music Performance, 2016
    • I plan on attending a Clinical Psychology program with a research emphasis on anxiety and eating disorders.

      Gabrielle Javier, BA

      • BA Psychology, 2014
      • Next Step: I am currently working as a psychiatric clinical assistant for Denton County MHMR. This year I will be applying to Masters Programs in Counseling Psychology to work with individuals who suffer from non-combat PTSD and anxiety related disorders.

      Patrick Melugin, BS

      • BS Psychology, Minors in Biological Sciences and History, 2016
      • Next Step: I am currently working towards a master's degree in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience at UT Dallas where I am studying synaptic plasticity and alcohol dependence in mice. My goal is to pursue a PhD in neuroscience studying the etiology of clinical depression

      Joslyn Wilson, BA

      • BA Psychology, Minor in Development and Family Studies, 2016
      • Next Step: Currently, I am teaching pre-kindergarten at Children's Lighthouse Learning Center in Frisco and performing group counseling with special-needs children at United Through H.O.P.E. In Fall 2017 I plan to apply for Master's programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling so that I can work with children and families using direct counseling and animal assisted therapy.

        2015

        Catherine Baxley, BS

        • BS Psychology, Minor in Drug Abuse and Addiction, 2014
        • Next step: Catherine is headed to St. Louis University to pursue her doctorate in clinical psychology in the WAGER laboratory.

        Taylor Gleitz, BA

        • BA Psychology, minor in Counseling, 2015
        • Next Step: I am currently in my second year of the Counseling Psychology master's program at Texas Woman's University and a counseling intern at Denton County Friends of the Family, where I do individual and group counseling with survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault. After graduating, I plan to continue counseling and working towards becoming a licensed professional counselor (LPC).

        Emily Kaus, BA

        • BA Psychology, 2015
        • Next step: I am thrilled to continue my education at UNT through the UNT Counseling program to become a Licensed Professional Counselor and eventually work with low-income and homeless individuals.

        Jasmine Thompson

        • BS Psychology
        • I plan to go to a graduate program in psychology, and currently am exploring which sub-discipline I would like to pursue.

        Tori Wheelis

        • BA Psychology, BFA Visual Art Studies
        • I plan on returning to UNT after graduation to complete pre-medical post-baccalaureate coursework and later obtain an MD/PhD. I am interested in studying bias in medical and educational settings.

        Sarah Wilson, BA

        • BA Psychology, Minor in Developmental and Family Studies, 2015
        • Next Step: I plan to attend graduate school with a focus on the treatment of anxiety disorders in children, specifically selective mutism.

        2014

        Angel Huichapa, BA

        • BA Psychology, Minor in Addiction Rehabilitation, 2014
        • Next step: Angel operated an after-school program for youth in Fort Worth and currently is working as a Mental Health Technician and Activity Therapist for both adults and adolescents at Mesa Springs Behavioral Hospital. Angel plans on attending graduate school with an emphasis on at-risk children and teens.

        Katherine Prindiville, BS

        • BS Psychology, Minor in Substance Abuse and Addiction, 2014
        • Next step: Katherine is headed to the University of Texas - Southwestern Medical Center to pursue her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling.

        Deyaun Villarreal, BA

        • BA Psychology, 2013
        • Next step: Deyaun will commence her doctoral studies at the Family Research Lab, University of Texas at Dallas.

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