People

Anil Chacko, PhD

Anil Chacko is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. (2006) in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed his clinical internship at the Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago and then a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His research interests focus primarily on the development of effective, engaging, and efficient prevention, intervention and service delivery models for youth at-risk for or affected with Disruptive Behavior Disorders.

 

Students

MiAmor Aguirresaenz graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Psychology. She has worked for the last eight years with the Department of Children and Families (Devereux Florida) as a facilitator of parenting classes and visitation supervisor for court mandated parents accused of child abuse and/or neglect. She has conducted research at DePaul University as part of the Summer Research Opportunities Program and the McNair Scholars Program on the relationship between stressful life events and depression among Latino youth. She is beginning her first year in the MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness at NYU – Steinhardt. Her research interests include mental health outcomes and interventions for at-risk minority low-income youth and their families, parental interventions, and increasing access to mental health services. MiAmor intends to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. 

 

Madhavi Challa is currently a freshman at NYU pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Her interests include mental health, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, and psychopathology. Her experiences with her peers in high school allowed her to discover a passion for child and adolescent mental health and clinical work. Outside of the classroom, Madhavi enjoys creative expression through dance as well as participating in a collegiate A Cappella group. In looking forward to her professional career, Madhavi hopes to work with children and adolescents as a therapist.

 


Alyssa Chimiklis
Alyssa Chimiklis is an Advanced Clinical Psychology doctoral student enrolled in the Queens College Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research and clinical interests include developing effective interventions for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with a particular focus on identifying neurocognitive factors that may influence the development of ADHD and co-occurring learning difficulties. For her dissertation, she is investigating the treatment effects of a novel computerized neurocognitive training program in children with ADHD and reading difficulties. Alyssa is also interested in exploring how mindfulness/yoga interventions influence higher order executive functions, as well as academic outcomes. This year she is overseeing a pilot study examining the efficacy of a mindfulness/yoga program in children with increased levels of inattention and emotion dysregulation. She earned her B.S. in Communication from Boston University and her M.A. in Psychology from Queens College.

 

Tori Dahl Tori Dahl is a second-year doctoral student under the mentorship of Anil Chacko, Ph.D., in the Counseling Psychology Program in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University. Throughout her professional career, Tori has committed her efforts to working with at-risk children and adolescents from high-poverty communities. In particular, her year serving with City Year, an AmeriCorps program, and being a teaching assistant in Cornell's Prisoner Education Program have informed her research interests, which include: mindfulness-based interventions for children with behavioral problems (ADHD, ODD,CD, etc.), cognitive behavioral therapy, the juvenile justice system, and the school-to-prison pipeline. Her 2016-2017 externship placement is at Harlem Children's Zone, where she conducts neuropsychological assessments and co-facilitates psychotherapy groups for community youth. Tori received her B.A. in Psychology and Near Eastern Sciences from Cornell University, where she conducted psychology research under Steve Ceci, Ph.D., in his Child Witness and Cognition Lab in the Department of Human Development.

 

Tiffany Davis is currently a junior at NYU pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology. Her research interests include child developmental psychology, educational psychology, and mental health. She has been eager to work with kids since she was a teaching assistant in high school. Since then, she has worked as a research assistant in multiple labs, one of which dealt with kids who were diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. She has also worked as an intake counselor at a youth developmental agency in New York City. Tiffany later hopes to pursue a Ph.D.in Clinical Psychology and is interested in the prevention of mental disorders. 

 

Rhonda Donoho, M.A., is a doctoral fellow whose research focuses on improving mental health services and outreach in urban minority environments. Her current research in the FACES lab will explore how low-income urban family characteristics and typologies affect treatment outcomes for children with behavior disorders. Aside from her research, Rhonda enjoys clinical practice and neuropsychological testing. Her counseling placements include Pace University, New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital. Rhonda earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan and her M.A in psychology in education from Teachers College, Columbia University

 

Katie Fogarty is a recent graduate from NYU Gallatin with a concentration of Transformation through Education. She is passionate about her Child Adolescent Mental Health Studies minor which gave her the framework for clinical experiences like the NYU Summer Program for Kids. Katie is a PCIT intern at the Child Study Center and a member of Dr. Aronson's lab studying the executive function benefits of mindfulness meditation on children in a classroom setting. She is also a research assistant in Dr. Chacko’s NYU FACES lab where she and other members implement a neurocognitive training study for children with ADHD and is working on a systematic review of mindfulness meditation and yoga as treatments for children with ADHD. She will be applying to Child Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs this fall in addition to maintaining her research assistant positions and having a blast using her behavior management skills babysitting.

 

Kelly Goss is a second-year master's student in the General Psychology program with the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at New York University. She also earned her B.A. in Global Liberal Studies with minors in Psychology and French from New York University. Kelly is a Research Assistant with the FACES lab and is interested in work centered on child/adolescent behavioral and anxiety disorders, narrative psychology, family therapy, and interpersonal relationships. She is currently working on a master's thesis, which explores the literature on narratives of parents of children with ADHD as well as children's narratives of living with ADHD. She looks forward to applying to Ph.D. programs in Clinical Psychology this fall.

 


Annlady Jorge is currently a senior in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development pursuing her B.S. in Applied Psychology. Her clinical and research interests involve children with ADHD and other disruptive behavior and anxiety disorders. She has explored these domains in a clinical setting at the NYU Child Study Center, NYU SPK and as a current undergraduate intern at KPCPC, under the supervision of Dr. Steven Kurtz in addition to joining the FACES Lab. Annlady is interested in pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology with a child emphasis.

 

Michael Levy, M.A. is a doctoral fellow in the Counseling Psychology Program under the mentorship of Dr. Anil Chacko. His research is focused on working with children and families who are navigating externalizing and internalizing disorders and the various factors that may impact treatment outcomes in this population. He recently worked for the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University assessing children in schools serving low-income families. Michael also worked for several years as an early childhood educator and has completed several research projects at the New York University Child Study Center. In addition to working with the pediatric population, Michael has also worked extensively with adolescents and young adults. Michael served as the Project Director of an NIH-funded longitudinal cohort study examining syndemic production among sexual minority emergent adults at the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) and has conducted research on various aspects of mental health, substance use, and sexual risk behaviors in this group under the mentorship of Dr. Perry Halkitis. Michael has had several leadership roles in higher education positions, serving as the Columbia University Teachers College Clinical Psychology Masters Program Ambassador from 2012-2014 as well as the Center Coordinator for the New School-Beth Israel Center for Clinical Training and Research. Michael obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from New York University, graduating cum laude and as a University Honors Scholar. He later received his Master's degree from Columbia’s Teachers College in Clinical Psychology. View Michael's CV

 

Gabi MacNaughton is a rising senior at NYU, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Both her research and clinical interests focus on children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and disruptive behavior disorders, as well as children with ASD. She has explored these areas of interest through her time spent as a classroom volunteer in a residential mental health facility for children and adolescents, through her position as a job and social skills coach for teens with autism, as well as through her internship at KPCPC, which was completed under the supervision of Dr. Steven Kurtz. She has now joined the FACES lab to continue her exploration. Gabi plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and would like to work with children and adolescents in a clinical setting.  

 

Caitlin Mimnaugh, M.A., is currently a data analyst at Morgan Stanley researching demographic trends related to retention and work productivity specifically. Caitlin has been in this role for the past three years. Before this, Caitlin graduated with an M.A. in Psychology from Adelphi University where she also worked as an Independent Researcher, analyzing the effects of technology on various attributes. Caitlin received her BA from Manhattan College where she majored in Communications and double minored in English and Psychology. Caitlin is primarily interested in pursuing her doctorate in Counseling Psychology.

 

Brenda Pulgarin graduated with a B.S in Applied Psychology and Global Public Health from New York University. She is currently on the premed track, with a desire to obtain a medical degree in Neuropsychiatry. She is currently working as a Patient Coordinator at Weill Cornell Medicine and is applying to medical school. While continuing with her research of children with ADHD, Brenda's research interests also include studying the pathophysiology of major mental illnesses in children and adolescents and developing effective screenings and interventions to treat these illnesses.

 

Amrita Ramakrishnan is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at New York University, under the mentorship of Dr. Anil Chacko. Her research interests are primarily in the area of childhood externalizing disorders (ADHD, CD, ODD) and developing interventions/treatments focused on impulsive behaviors. Before NYU, Amrita worked as a post-baccalaureate research associate at the Yale Child Study Center focused on the neural correlates of decision making in children and adolescents with anxiety and depression. She later worked as a Study Coordinator for the ADHD and neuroimaging program at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Amrita obtained her bachelor's degree in Psychology at Stony Brook University, with departmental honors.

 

Maryam Rani recently graduated from New York University with Bachelors in Psychology. She is currently applying to medical schools and has a long-term goal of becoming a pediatrician. She has a special interest in working with children and has previous experience teaching children at preschools through Jumpstart, an early education organization. Before starting medical school, Maryam desires to gain experience working in a medical setting such as a hospital or a non-profit organization working with children.

 

Suni Shahis currently a sophomore undergraduate student in the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology with a minor in American Sign Language. She is particularly passionate about the field of child and adolescent mental health and hopes to one day become a clinical psychologist. Suni has traveled extensively around the globe and has volunteered in several programs to educate and counsel young children. She is also a Senior Health Educator for NYU Peer Health Exchange, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower young students to make informed decisions about their physical and mental health. She is interested in further studying emotional and behavioral disorders in children either in a hospital or school setting.

 

Zoe Siegel is currently a senior at NYU pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology and Global Public Health. Her research interests involve women and children facing mental health stigma. She has traveled to Tanzania to tutor preschool children and Uganda to work with the minister of health on primary care interventions. Zoe is currently a member with Columbia’s Global Mental Health Program assisting in various projects surrounding the collaborative with the World Health Organization. Zoe hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Health Policy specifically looking at the role of mental health and cognitive science.

 

Page Spears is a Senior Undergraduate student at NYU pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology with a minor in American Sign Language. She has been passionate about working with children since she started babysitting in middle school. Page hopes to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology. Specifically, she is interested in evidence-based practice as it is used to treat internalizing and externalizing disorders.

 


Stephanie Thomas
received her BA in Psychology, with minors in Chemistry and Biology, from Alfred University. She has since worked with a child on the Autism Spectrum as a child care provider and paraprofessional. Stephanie's interests include the social-emotional development of children, with a particular interest in the practice of play therapy and mindfulness. Currently, she is conducting post-bacc research at the FACES Lab as she prepares for a graduate program in Clinical Psychology.

 

Elysha Clark Whitney is a junior in New York University's Applied Psychology undergraduate program, with a minor in history. Her primary areas of interest are the cognitive and social-emotional development of children with neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has had the opportunity to work with children on the Autism spectrum through volunteering at LearningSpring School and an internship conducting ABA therapy at the Manhattan Children's Center. Elysha also works with preschoolers from families of low socioeconomic status, as part of her work with the NYU L-FELD research team.