Alumni

Brianna Yund, Ph.D.

Brianna is a currently completing her post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, where she completed her predoctoral internship. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Prior to beginning graduate school, Brianna spent several years working as a data coordinator and psychometrist in the UMN’s department of Pediatric Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience, on a NIH-funded longitudinal study examining the natural history and treatment outcomes of individuals with MPS types I, II, and VI. She also worked on a study examining the behavioral phenotype of children with MPS type IIIA. Brianna is interested in pediatric neuropsychology and her research interests include the study of the unique behavioral and neuropsychological profiles of individuals with rare genetic disorders, as well as characterization of areas of psychopathology risk in children with complex medical diagnoses. Her master’s thesis involved the delineation of the behavioral phenotype of children with 7q11.23 duplication syndrome. Her current work examines the attention and executive functioning profiles of children with neurofibromatosis type 1 and examines potential factors that contribute to executive dysfunction in children with neurofibromatosis type 1.

Natalie Brei, Ph.D.

Natalie graduated from UWM’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program in 2017. She is a Staff Psychologist at Immaculate Heart Counseling Services (https://www.immaculateheartcounseling.org/natalie-brei-bio).  She completed her predoctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she worked in a research lab examining executive function in preschoolers. Natalie’s graduate research interests included examination of factors (language, parenting stress, response inhibition) that affect functioning and response to treatment in children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Her current work during internship focuses on assessment and treatment of children with ADHD, behavior difficulties, feeding and elimination disorders, and exposure to trauma, as well as general clinical concerns.

Christy Casnar, Ph.D.

Christy graduated from UWM with a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. in 2017. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Pediatric Neuropsychology Service at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Christy completed her predoctoral internship in pediatric neuropsychology at the University of Chicago Medicine, and post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Brown University Medical Center and at Children’s National Medical Center. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri – St. Louis while working as an ABA therapist for children with autism. After earning her BA in Psychology and Sociology, Christy worked as a research assistant at Washington University. She also spent two years as a pediatric neuropsychology technician at the University of Chicago. Christy’s graduate research interests are in examining brain-behavior relations in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 and overlaps between characteristics of children with Williams syndrome and those of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Faye van der Fluit, Ph.D.

Faye graduated from UWM with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2014. She is currently a Pediatric Neuropsychologist on staff at Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon. She completed her Pre-doctoral Internship and her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Child Neuropsychology at the Oregon Health & Sciences University. Faye’s dissertation was about autism spectrum symptomatology among verbal children with Williams syndrome.

Kelly Janke, Ph.D.

Kelly graduated from UWM with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2012. She is currently a Pediatric Neuropsychologist and Assistant Professor at Columbia University Medical Center. She completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Long Island Jewish Hospital and her pre-doctoral internship at Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota. Kelly’s dissertation was about pre-academic skills in young children with neurofibromatosis-1 and relations to cognitive functioning.

Shawn Thompson, M.S.

Shawn graduated from UWM with a Masters of Science in Behavior Analysis in 2011. His masters thesis was about functional analytic approaches to understanding repeated question-asking in a child with Williams syndrome. He currently works for Autism Behavioral Network as a line therapist, and is working toward certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He is committed to working with underserved populations of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Frank Gallo, Ph.D.

Frank graduated from UWM with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2009. He is currently a Pediatric Neuropsychologist at Aurora Medical Center. He completed his pre-doctoralinternship at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center and Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His research in the lab focused on social and emotional dysregulation and its relation to executive functions in young children with Williams syndrome.

Michael Gaffrey, Ph.D.

Mike graduate from UWM with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2009. His is currently an Assistant Professor at Washington University. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Kennedy Krieger in Baltimore, MD and Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Washington University in the lab of Joan Luby, M.D. His interest is in understanding the causes and behavioral manifestations of developmental disabilities and other childhood disorders. He received his master’s degree from San Diego State University where he examined the effect of atypical experience on lexicosemantic organization in autism through the use of fMRI. In the CNRL, he examined head circumference trajectories among children with neurodevelopmental disorders suspected of showing an autism spectrum disorder. 

Kirsten Li-Barber, Ph.D.

Kirsten graduated from UWM with a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 2008. She is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at High Point University in North Carolina. She is interested in studying social development in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, parental management behaviors and social development in children, and in examining parent-adolescent relationships in the transition to college. Her dissertation was about parental management behaviors and social functioning in children with Williams syndrome.

Kristin Smith, Ph.D.

Kristin graduated from UWM with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2008. She completed an APA-accredited internship at Texas Children’s Hospital and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Kristin is currently a Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Pediatric Neuropsychologist at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. Kristin’s research interests are in the area of emotional development in children and adolescents with Williams Syndrome. Specifically, she is interested in learning about the development of emotion regulation abilities in this population. In addition, she is interested in studying the treatment of anxiety in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.

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