Graduate Students

Lauren A. Haliczer, M.A.

Lauren Haliczer is a fifth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at UMass. Prior to joining CASL in the fall of 2015, Lauren received her BA from Tulane University, and her MA in clinical psychology from Columbia University, Teachers College. Lauren's Master's thesis examines proximal risk factors (i.e., peer criticism and praise) for nonsuicidal self-injury using a pain endurance proxy measure with young adults. She completed her externship at the Child Mind Institute in NYC delivering CBT and DBT to youth with mood disorders and emotion dysregulation. Lauren's general research interests include interpersonal and emotional factors that play a role in nonsuicidal self-injury and borderline personality disorder, as well as the application of DBT to these conditions.

Sherry Woods

Sherry Woods is a third-year graduate student in Dr. Dixon-Gordon’s lab. Before joining CASL, Sherry received her MS at Western Kentucky University and her BA at Pepperdine University; she also spent 2 years working in the Mechanisms of Affect Dysregulation Lab at Temple University. Sherry’s research mainly focuses on maladaptive emotion regulation mechanisms, particularly nonsuicidal self-injury, and the factors that promote and maintain the cessation of these behaviors.

Grace Cho

Grace Cho is a second-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Katie Dixon-Gordon’s lab at UMass Amherst. She received her BA in psychology and international relations from Boston University in 2009 and her ALM in clinical psychology from the Harvard Extension School in 2017. At Harvard University, she learned about the difficulties of predicting suicidal behaviors during her time volunteering in Dr. Matthew Nock’s lab and observed first-hand the challenges of creating and implementing evidence-based treatments while she worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. John Weisz’s lab. As a clinical graduate student at UMass Amherst, she aims to integrate basic and intervention science as she examines the social and developmental mechanisms underlying suicide risk with the distal goal of translating the knowledge into scalable interventions for suicidal individuals. She is particularly interested in ameliorating mental distress for suicidal individuals who face social, racial, and economic discrimination.

Elle Waite

Elle Waite is a second-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at UMass Amherst, working with Dr. Dixon-Gordon. Before joining the lab, she received her BA in psychology and women’s studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she worked as a research assistant for several labs researching borderline personality disorder and dialectical behavior therapy. She is interested in borderline personality disorder and suicidality, particularly among adolescent populations. Currently, her research is focused on deficits in social learning among people with borderline personality disorder.

Please reload

Research Assistants

Nathan Fitzgerald

Nathan is a psychology major at UMass Amherst, due to graduate in Spring 2020. He has been working in the lab since Fall 2017. He is interested in becoming a physician assistant and hopes to work in a hospital setting. Nathan's research interests include the effects of childhood trauma on the stress response.

Anne Neary

Anne is an undergraduate research assistant and has been working with CASL since 2017. She is a UMass psychology major on the neuroscience track with a Spanish minor. She is interested in a career in clinical psychology.

Blake Ronzio

Blake is a psychology major due to graduate in 2021. She has been working in the lab since Fall of 2018. She plans to get her masters and PhD in Clinical Psychology, and hopes to one day have her own private practice.

Patricia Keeley

Patricia Keeley graduated from Holyoke Community College in the Fall of 2017 with an Associate's degree in English. Upon transferring to UMass in the Spring of 2018, she began pursuing her longtime interest, majoring in Psychology, joining CASL, and beginning work on the Social Work & Welfare Certificate. Her projected graduation date is Fall 2019, after which she will begin pursing an MSW. Her primary interests are interpersonal relationships and sexuality.

Jo-An Colclough

Jo-An is a psychology major due to graduate in 2021. She joined the lab in Fall 2018 and is currently working towards a certificate in Social Work and Social Welfare. After graduating, she plans to get her PhD in clinical psychology.

Nikita Parulkar

Nikita is a senior Psychology major at UMass Amherst who is also pursuing a specialization in Creative Writing, due to graduate in Spring 2019. She joined Dr. Dixon-Gordon's lab this year and will continue working at CASL for the remainder of 2019, while also applying to graduate programs in Clinical Psychology. She hopes to earn her Ph.D. and specialize in treatment methods like DBT. 

Lauren Simpson

Lauren is a Psychology major at Amherst College, due to graduate in 2021. She is also pursuing a certificate in Coastal and Marine Sciences. She joined the lab in Spring 2019. After graduating, she plans to get her masters and PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Elizabeth Eberlin

Elizabeth is due to graduate from UMass Amherst in Spring 2019 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with an emphasis on studying math and art. She joined CASL in Spring 2019 and will continue to work in the lab post-graduation while she applies to Clinical Psychology - PhD programs. She hopes to open a private practice, teach at the university level, and pursue research topics surrounding her interests in mental illness, consciousness, and dreams.

Brenna Manning

Brenna is a psychology major who is also working towards a certificate in Social Work at UMass Amherst. She has been an RA for CASL since Spring 2019 and is due to graduate in Spring 2020. Brenna is planning on attending graduate school for Forensic Psychology in the future, hoping to work with criminal offenders and/or victims of crimes, with a focus on mental illness. 

Claire Chang

Claire Chang is a junior Psychology and Wellness Blogging (through BDIC) double major, due to graduate Spring 2020. She has been working with CASL since Fall 2018. She hopes to one day have her own private practice while also creating and maintaining a blog focusing on all aspects of well-being. 

Tyler Carey

Tyler is a psychology major at UMass with a minor in Political Science and is expected to graduate in the spring of 2020. He joined the lab in the summer of 2019 and plans to stay in the lab for another year after he graduates. Tyler plans to obtain his PhD in Clinical Psychology and hopes to teach in a university setting while researching the underlying mechanisms of severe psychopathologies and trauma disorders. His main goal is to research cost effective alternative mental health treatments for low income and treatment resistant populations. 

Mike Acampora

Mike is a junior psychology major who joined the lab in the Fall of 2019. After graduating, he plans to pursue his Masters and PsyD and open a private practice. 

Michelle Durling

Michelle is a psychology major due to graduate in 2021 who joined CASL in the Fall of 2019. She is working towards a minor in Spanish and a certificate in Social Work. She plans to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist after earning a Masters and Doctorate in clinical psychology. 

Please reload

Lab Alumni

Harsh Patel


Greg Barysky


Brianna Cast-Clifton


Danielle Hart


Patrick McGonigal


Harsh Patel


Mackenzie Swensen 


Selime Salim 


Colten J. Karnedy


Kristina Fushi


Hildy Wen

Marykate Oakley

Thaine Smith


Caroline Ball


Ilhan Braxton

Rubee Sandhu

Lindsey Conkey

Lauren Harnedy

Olivia Gebsky

Wil Schwartz

Cole Stanley

Serena In

Meghana Nair

Mary Koontz




Phone: 413-354-0053

Location: 303G, I, and K  in Tobin Hall
135 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003
Parking: Where to park.