People

 

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Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, PhD

Lab Director

 

 

Dr. Dennis-Tiwary (Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University) is a Professor in the Psychology Department at Hunter College, The City University of New York, and director of the Stress, Anxiety, and Resilience Research Center and the Interdisciplinary Center for Health Technology and Wellness. Trained in clinical psychology and affective and cognitive neuroscience from a developmental psychopathology perspective, she examines biopsychosocial factors in the development of emotion regulation across the lifespan, and neurocognitive processes underlying novel treatment approaches for anxiety, stress, and addiction, including attention bias modification. She translates this research into the development of clinically-validated digital health tools, including the stress- and anxiety-reduction app Personal Zen. Her work on school-based methods for teaching youth mindfulness-based stress and anxiety reduction is the topic of the documentary film “Changing Minds at Concord High.”


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Hunter College
City University of New York
Google Scholar

E-mail: tracy.dennis@hunter.cuny.edu

Samantha Denefrio

Doctoral Student

 

 

I earned my B.A. in Psychology and Biology from Bucknell University in 2004 and my M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Towson University in 2007. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student at the Graduate Center (CUNY) in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program. My research interests include attention-emotion interactions and identifying biological markers associated with emotion dysregulation in anxiety and mood disorders. In particular, I am interested in how pathological anxiety influences the processing of emotional stimuli and the underlying attentional control processes associated with the development and maintenance of maladaptive cognitive biases.

 

E-mail: samanthadenefrio@gmail.com

Sarah Babkirk

Doctoral Student

 

 

I earned my BS in Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2007, and my Masters in Psychology from The New School for Social Research in 2011. I am now a Ph.D. student at the CUNY Graduate Center in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program. My current research explores the development of emotion regulation in children. In particular, I’m interested in using both behavioral and physiological measures to characterize adaptive emotion regulation strategies throughout childhood.

 

E-mail: sbabkirk@hunter.cuny.edu

Jean Quintero

Doctoral Student

 

 

Jean earned her BA degree in Psychology from Hunter College in 2013. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at the CUNY Graduate Center in the Health Psychology and Clinical Science (HPCS) program. Her clinical interests revolve around the etiology, identification, and treatment of affective disorders, as well as the examination of the neural and psychophysiological correlates of emotion dysregulation in anxiety and depression.

 

E-mail: jeannieq26@gmail.com

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Hyein Cho

Doctoral Student

 

 

Hyein earned her BA in Biology and MA in Cognitive Psychology from San Francisco State University. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is broadly interested in the neural and physiological bases of emotion regulation and affective disorders. Particularly, her interests involve the relationship between maladapative emotion regulation strategies (e.g., worry, rumination, suppression) and affective disorders, and how individual differences in these maladaptive processes are associated with development, maintenance, and exacerbation of anxiety and mood disorders.

 

E-mail:hcho@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Samantha Birk

Lab Coordinator

 

 

I earned my B.A. in psychology from Binghamton University in May 2015, where I worked as a research assistant at Dr. Brandon Gibb’s Binghamton Mood Disorders Institute (BMDI). Aside from being a research coordinator for the Emotion Regulation Lab, I will also be working as an adjunct teaching assistant for the Psychology Department at Hunter College. My research interests involve identifying markers of risk for affective disorders, particularly depression and anxiety. I am also interested in how emotion regulation and relationships affect cognitive and behavioral functioning. I hope to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology to further explore these research interests.

 

E-mail:sbirk1@binghamton.edu

Courtney Louis

Lab Coordinator

 

 

I earned my B.A. in psychology at Hunter College in May 2016 and my goal is to obtain a PhD in clinical psychology. I am interested in the impact of attention biases on cognitive and behavioral functioning. I am also interested in better understanding the neural and developmental underpinnings of diagnostic criteria in the clinical field to improve diagnoses and treatments

 

E-mail:Courtney.louis16@myhunter.cuny.edu

Leona Tan

Post-Master’s Research Assistant

 

 

Leona joined the Emotional Regulation Lab in 2016 with an interest in digital mental health and wellness research using an interdisciplinary approach. Prior to joining the Emotional Regulation Lab, she worked as a research assistant with the Workplace Mental Health Research Program at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. During this time she worked on a range of research projects examining the evidence for interventions that prevent the development of mental illness in the general workplace and in emergency service workers. She has a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and worked as a management consultant in Australia and Malaysia before venturing into academia.

 

E-mail:leona.sw.tan@gmail.com

Aqib Chowdhury

Master’s Student and Research Assistant

 

 

I earned my B.A. in Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2014 and am currently a second year master’s student at Hunter College’s general psychology program. I am interested in developing a deeper understanding of anxiety and mood disorders, particularly in comorbid cases. I firmly believe that being connected to research is integral to any clinical practice. To this end, I seek to gain research experience that will one day inform my clinical work. I am also an research assistant at the Center for Motivation and Change, a position that provides me with exposure to the research and treatment of substance abuse disorders. In the future, I intend to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology.

 

E-mail:aqibc10@gmail.com

David Yap

Master’s Student and Research Assistant

 

 

David joined the Emotion Regulation Lab in September 2016. After obtaining a Bachelors of Art in Anthropology, from McGill University in Montreal, he has taught English in Japan, edited college biology textbooks, worked in education reform, and co-founded an activist printing cooperative. In addition to studying psychology, he is a program manager and teacher at a non-profit called the BioBus, which brings the joy of science to young people all over New York City. David is interested in the intersection of anxiety, stress, and technology in the workplace. After he obtains his master’s degree in psychology, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

 

E-mail: David.Yap@hunter.cuny.edu

 

Karlina Slisane

Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

 

 

Karlina is a graduate of Hunter College and was a member of Thomas Hunter Honors Program with a degree in psychology with a minor in Art History. Her interests include cognitive behavioral therapy and attention bias modification training. More specifically, Karlina is interested in digital mental health methods that may reduce stress and anxiety in at-risk communities. She plans to continue her studies in Neuroeconomics.

 

E-mail:karlinaslisane@gmail.com

Megha Ahmed

Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

 

 

I am a graduate of Hunter College with a BA in Psychology. My research interests include accessibility to treatments for anxiety and stress, specifically in relation to how technology may influence the future of diagnoses and the ability to provide treatments.

 

E-mail:megha.ahmed23@gmail.com

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Isabella Penney

Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

 

 

I earned my B.A. in psychology and German from the University of St Andrews in May 2016. My research interests include the development and improvement of treatment for anxiety and mood disorders, as well as increasing treatment accessibility for adults and children. I am also interested in the role that emotions play in anxiety and mood disorders. In the near future, I plan to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology.

Qin Lin

Undergraduate Research Assistant

 

 

I am currently in my senior year of undergraduate studies at Hunter College. My major is Psychology, and my minors are Legal Studies and German. I am interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms that contribute to pathology, specifically, anxiety and stress disorders. Like my fellow RAs, I hope to obtain a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology. Ultimately, I would like to become a professor.

 

E-mail:qin.lin122@gmail.com