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Katya Fernandez (B.S., Duke University; M.A. and Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis) was a graduate student in the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory from August 2008 to June 2014. Her current research interests the development and validation of novel assessment techniques for mood and anxiety symptoms; a recent example of an assessment tool that she has been working on is TelEMA, a low-cost, web-based telephone assessment platform for conducting ecological momentary assessment research (click here for more information on TelEMA). Katya is also interested in the initiation and maintenance of romantic relationships and friendships in socially anxious individuals, particularly using longitudinal data and informant reports. She completed her predoctoral internship at VA Central Iowa Health Care System in Des Moines. As of August 2019, Katya is a research scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership.
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Julia Langer (B.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. and Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis) was a graduate student in the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory from August 2009 to July 2015. Her research interests include the psychoevolutionary model of social anxiety and the relationship between social anxiety and positive affect. The psychoevolutionary model of social anxiety disorder conceptualizes social anxiety as a strategic submissive response to concerns about social status. She is interested in whether gaze avoidance may function as one of these indicators of submissiveness for individuals with higher social anxiety. She is also interested in investigating how people with higher social anxiety experience positive emotions and how these experiences can be increased to create more enjoyable social experiences. As of August 2016, Julia is a staff psychologist at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Hospital.
Cheri A. Levinson (B.A., University of Kentucky; Ph.D.., Washington University in St. Louis) was a graduate student in the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory from August 2008 to July 2015. She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the University of North Carolina Center of Excellence in Eating Disorders. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship in the Washington University in St. Louis Department of Psychiatry. Cheri’s current research focuses on understanding the high levels of comorbidity between anxiety and eating disorders and on developing novel interventions for the eating disorders. She is particularly interested in extending exposure therapies to the treatment of meal time and weight related anxiety in anorexia nervosa. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville. You can learn more about her work at www.louisvilleeatlab.com.
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Michelle H. Lim (B.A., University of Melbourne; B.A. (Honors), Swinburne University, MPsych, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; Ph.D., University of Melbourne) was postdoctoral research fellow from June 2011 to June 2013. Michelle's research interests include examining cognitive biases in psychopathology, subclinical psychotic symptoms, decision-making processes and emotional regulation processes. She is also interested in how subjective loneliness can impact social functioning. Michelle utilizes ecological momentary assessment tools and cognitive assessment tools in her studies. While at the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory, Michelle ran studies examining the relationship between subclinical paranoia and social anxiety disorder with emphasis on overlapping cognitive biases that characterize the two populations. Michelle is a senior lecturer in clinical psychology and the leader of the Social Health and Wellbeing (SHAW) Laboratory at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia.
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Marilyn Piccirillo (B.A., Washington University in St. Louis; M.A., Temple University; Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis) was a graduate student in the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory from August 2015 to July 2020. She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle Division and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Washington, Department of Psychology for the 2020-2021 year. Her research focuses on stress-based disorders and phenomena, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and suicidality. She uses experiential sampling and person-centered statistical methods to model group and individual-level psychological processes and is particularly interested in examining how these models could guide psychological assessment and treatment.
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Chavez Rodriguez (B.A., Washington University in St. Louis) was a Lab Technician in the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory from September 2021 to August 2022. Before beginning work as a Lab Technician, he worked as a research assistant and contributed to projects related to social anxiety disorder, ecological momentary assessment, fear of positive evaluation, and interpersonal relationships. Currently, Chavez is interested in anxiety and stress-related disorders, with particular attention to social anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as methods for facilitating individualized treatments. He is also interested in the ways in which social determinants of health, such as access to care, stigma, and other factors, interact or interfere with assessment and treatment of mental health complaints. In his spare time, Chavez enjoys following Detroit sports teams, video games, and soccer.
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Erik Shumaker (Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis) was a graduate student in the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory from August 2006 to August 2012. His professional interests include assessment and psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress, assessment of perfectionism, the relationship between social anxiety and perfectionism, and how maladaptive traits predict responses in stressful situations. For his dissertation, he investigated the relationships between perfectionism dimensions and performance on a computer task. He has presented at the annual conferences for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Association for Psychological Science. In his free time, Erik enjoys watching and playing sports, listening to music, and watching movies. He completed his internship at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson. As of January 2016, Erik is a staff psychologist at the San Francisco VA Health Care System.
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Natasha Tonge (B.A., Swarthmore College; M.A., Washington University in St. Louis) entered graduate school in August 2013. Before joining the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory, she spent two years working as a research assistant with the Center for Autism Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. While there, she primarily worked on studies using computer-based behavioral measures, eye-tracking and self-report measures to quantify individual differences in social motivation. Currently, Natasha is interested in using EMA (ecological momentary assessment) tools to measure how anxious traits change over time, and she is also interested in studying social impairment across psychological disorders. In her spare time she enjoys reading, illustration, video games, board games, and fencing. She completed her predoctoral internship at the Minneapolis VA in 2020 and she is a postdoctoral fellow at the VISN 5 MIRECC in Baltimore, MD.
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Jaclyn Weisman (B.A., Northwestern University; M.A., Washington University in St. Louis) was a graduate student in the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory from August 2012 to July 2017. Her research interests include cognitive and behavioral processes in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders. Specifically, she is interested in the diminished positive affect that characterizes social anxiety disorder and comorbid conditions such as major depressive disorder. In the future, she hopes to develop interventions aimed at increasing positive affect and enhancing the efficacy of exposure. Jaclyn examined the relationship between goal types and content and participant performance and experience during a public speaking task. Additionally, she was a collaborator on a review paper examining social anxiety disorder from a life-course perspective and a paper examining the trajectories of positive and negative affect in a community sample of hip fracture patients. Jaclyn enjoys working out, cooking, dancing, and cheering on Boston sports teams. As of September 2019, Jaclyn is an assistant professor at the Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago.