Scientific Minds



Lab Director

Karin grew up in southern Connecticut and attended Yale University where she completed an undergraduate degree in English. From there, she worked for several years for a community health and education agency in NY where she got her first real taste of the field of psychology. In 2001, Karin went to graduate school at Columbia University and worked under the mentorship of George Bonanno, completing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2008. Karin stayed on at Columbia for a two year post-doctoral fellowship, under the mentorship of Geraldine Downey and Eshkol Rafaeli. She has been on the faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences, as part of the Clinical Psychology Program at Kent State University since 2010. Karin currently lives in Akron, OH with her husband, two daughters and their dogs. 






5th Year Graduate Student

Pallavi is a fifth year graduate student in Clinical Psychology. She graduated from Creighton University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2016 where she worked as a research assistant under Dr. Alicia Klanecky. Pallavi’s research as an undergraduate focused on understanding the associations between emotion regulation and substance use, by examining the role of drinking motives. Pallavi continued to examine the use of maladaptive regulatory behaviors for her Master’s thesis at Kent State University. Currently, she is continuing to focus on examining the transdiagnostic use of maladaptive regulatory behaviors to understand the onset and maintenance of affective disorders. Her dissertation is focused on understanding individual differences in fear learning and extinction predicting the use of avoidance and impulsive regulatory behaviors in daily life using an in-lab fear conditioning paradigm and experience -sampling. Pallavi hopes to continue this line of work in her future research.




5th Year Graduate Student

Stanley is currently a fifth year graduate student in Clinical Psychology. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a B.Soc.Sci. in Psychology in 2015 where he completed an honors thesis investigating mindfulness and emotion regulation in the context of depression under the mentorship of Dr. Shian-Ling Keng. After graduating, Stanley worked as a research assistant at the National University Health System (Singapore) examining novel pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in the treatment of depression. Broadly, Stanley is interested in examining basic cognitive and affective processes, as well as their interaction, in emotion regulation and psychopathology. To achieve this goal, he adopts a multimethod approach utilizing laboratory behavioral experiments, experience-sampling, psychophysiology, and linguistic analyses. Stanley’s current research projects at Kent State primarily focus on the role of language (e.g., emotion word use, pronoun use) in emotion regulation and how it relates to psychopathology.




3rd Year Graduate Student

Ben is a third year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Kent State University. After graduating from KSU in 2018 with a B.A. in psychology, he continued to work as a research assistant in the Clinical Affective Science Lab, eventually being promoted to Project Coordinator of an NIH grant with the aim of modeling risk for psychopathology in individuals who recently experienced a traumatic injury. After a couple of years working as a research assistant and project coordinator, Ben decided to continue his research in the Clinical Affective Science Lab as a graduate student. His research interests include emotion processes, with an emphasis on disgust and its associated pathologies (i.e. obsessive-compulsive disorder). Ben also has an interest in evolutionary approaches to understanding the etiology and development of psychopathology.


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2nd Year Graduate Student

Brittany is currently a second-year graduate student in Clinical Psychology. She graduated from Ohio State University in 2018 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. After her bachelor’s degree, Brittany received a master's degree in Experimental Psychology at Villanova University where she primarily studied early life stress and sex differences in stress resilience within rodent models. Brittany then worked as a research coordinator at the Cleveland Clinic while working part-time as an adjunct professor. Brittany has always been interested in how experiences throughout the lifespan shape risk and resilience in the development of psychopathology. Her current projects within the lab focus on the role of positive and negative early life experiences in shaping emotional reactivity in adulthood.


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2nd Year Graduate Student

Emily is currently a second year graduate student in Clinical Psychology. She graduated from the University of Mississippi with a B.A. in Psychology in 2019, where she completed a senior honors thesis under Dr. Stefan Schulenberg that examined correlates of posttraumatic stress in a hurricane-exposed community sample. Following graduation, Emily worked as a research assistant at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Institute for Trauma Recovery as part of the AURORA Study. Broadly, her research interests include risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology after stressful life events–and, in particular, what factors might contribute to greater wellbeing and effective coping. She is also interested in how individual differences in interpretation might impact emotion regulatory processes.




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Savanah is the Project Coordinator for the Resilience and Adaptation to Injury (RAI) study. She graduated with her BA in Psychology in May 2021 and became Project Coordinator soon after. During undergrad, she started working at Townhall II Crisis Helpline as a volunteer and she continues her work there but now as a supervisor. Savanah will be applying to social work master's programs this year with hopes of working with victims of crime in the future.



Katie is a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters program at Kent State University. She received her B.S in Psychology from Kent State in 2017. She enjoys research based around mood and anxiety disorders.



Matt is a post-baccalaureate research assistant who graduated from Kent State University with a B.S. in Psychology in 2020. His current research interests focus on genetic predispositions/biological behaviors associated with depressive disorders. Matt's future goals focus primarily on clarification between pursuing either Behavioral Neuroscience or Clinical Psychology in possible future graduate school endeavors.