Graduate Students

G. Nathanael Schwarz

nathaniel_dsc_6232-2Nathanael is a clinical psychology doctoral student that is currently on internship. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia. As a research assistant at the Early Development Lab at University of Virginia, he assisted in a study investigating relations between spontaneous pretend play and theory of mind skills in typically developing children and also investigated pretend play as a potential strategy to regulate emotions. At the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, he assisted in a study investigating the effects of social support of a romantic partner on cognitive performance under stress. Nathanael is interested in the intersection of cognitive (attention and executive functioning) and emotional difficulties consequences for everyday functioning in youth with neurodevelopmental disorders (including Williams syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, Autism, ADHD).

Nathanael’s current work involves investigating relations between inhibition, emotion regulation and adaptive functioning in youth with Williams syndrome. He is also interested in the measurement of executive functioning in youth with lower cognitive functioning (including as measures of treatment outcome) and is currently investigating the correspondence of executive functioning performance and parent rated executive functioning behaviors in youth with Williams Syndrome. Additionally, he is interested in using advanced statistical methods for cross-sectional and longitudinal data to investigate questions of typical and atypical development.

Kristin Lee

Kristin is a clinical psychology doctoral student currently in her sixth year. She received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from Vassar College. As an undergraduate, she spent several summers interning at the University of Hawai’i Neuroscience and MRI Research lab. After earning her BA, Kristin continued to work in this lab as a research assistant where she worked on projects examining the brain structure and cognitive functioning of typically developing children and adolescent marijuana users. Additionally, Kristin worked on a project that examined the use of a working memory training program for participants with human immunodeficiency virus. Kristin received a masters in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Hawai’i. Her thesis investigated the influence of having a family history of substance use disorders on cortical morphometry in typically developing children.

Kristin is interested in pediatric neuropsychology and her interests involve investigating the cognitive functioning and pre-academic abilities of young children with genetic disorders. She current work involves examining psychosocial functioning in young children with Williams syndrome. Kristin also works on a follow-up study examining the cognitive and psychosocial profiles of school-aged children with neurofibromatosis type 1.

Dani Glad

Dani is a clinical psychology doctoral student currently in her fourth year. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. As an undergraduate, Dani worked on an observational research study in the field of behavioral ecology. Prior to beginning graduate school, Dani spent over two years working at a neurology clinic, developing and expanding her interests in psychology, specifically in neuropsychology.

Dani is interested in pediatric neuropsychology and her research interests involve examining the neuropsychological profiles of children with various neurodevelopmental disorders. She is currently investigating the effectiveness of a telehealth group, PEERS®, for improving peer relationships for teens with NF1. She has also examined adaptive behavior and social functioning in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 and the stability of challenges in these areas over time as well as relations with cognitive and executive functioning. Additionally, she has worked on a study examining the cognitive and psychosocial profiles of young children and adolescents with neurofibromatosis type 1.

Sara Pardej

Sara is a clinical psychology doctoral student currently in her third year. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Cognitive Science with a minor in Family Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As an undergraduate, Sara was a research assistant in the Child and Family Health Lab and the Adult Imaging and Memory Lab (AIM). Sara was a McNair scholar and her project focused on the rates of executive dysfunction in a typically developing sample using two D-KEFS tasks.

Broadly, Sara’s interests lie in pediatric neuropsychology. More specifically, she is interested in the impact of neurodevelopmental disorders as they relate to neuropsychological constructs like executive function and attention. She is also interested in expanding her research to include EEG as a brain imaging technique.

Brianna Young

Brianna is a clinical psychology doctoral student currently in her second year. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from San Jose State University in San Jose, California. Prior to beginning graduate study, Brianna worked as a project coordinator and research assistant in a clinical trial at SJSU, which examined the acceptability, feasibility and efficacy of tele-behavior therapy for youth and adults with tic disorders. Additionally, she has experience working in applied behavior analysis with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders as well as facilitating quantitative electroencephalography with children and adults in a neurofeedback clinic.

Brianna’s primary research interests include early detection and intervention strategies for children with neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorders and Williams syndrome. She is currently working on a community-based clinical trial to examine the acceptability and feasibility of Behavioral Play Therapy for young children with Williams syndrome who struggle with anxiety and specific phobias.