Where are they now?

Kayla Brown

Kayla received her Bachelor of Science in General Science with minors in Spanish and Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. During her undergraduate studies she was a research assistant, in Dr. Kristin Buss’s emotional development lab on the TIKES project. Kayla’s areas of interests are how childhood trauma affects the family system, stress and anxiety in children and the development of anxiety as it relates to temperamental factors. 



Courtney received her B.S. in psychology with honors at Appalachian State University, and her M.A. in psychology at Western Carolina University.  While in undergraduate school, she was involved in an anxiety sensitivity lab, and in graduate school, she was involved in a stress, violence, emotion regulation, and adjustment lab.  Her interests focus on stress and emotion regulation in the work environment, mitigating factors, and quality of life across the lifespan.  

See Courtney's CV

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Elizabeth Allen

Elizabeth joined the CAT lab after receiving her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Women's Studies from Bucknell University in 2013. As a research assistant with the CAT lab, she oversaw the ANTS infant study and assisted with other projects. She's currently a graduate student at Penn State in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies working with Dr. Chad Shenk. She plans on pursuing a research career examining the relationship between childhood trauma and subsequent risk behavior in hopes of informing and implementing effective interventions

Liz Davis

Liz worked as a Post-Doc for the CAT Lab during part of her time at Penn State. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine in 2009. Her research focuses on understanding how emotion regulation relates to adaptive outcomes (e.g., learning) and maladaptive outcomes (e.g., anxiety) in childhood. Her research aims to identify regulatory strategies that children can use to effectively alleviate negative emotion, and to identify individual differences in children’s biology and social experiences that determine whether they can regulate emotion effectively. She is also interested in identifying mechanisms responsible for effective emotion regulation (e.g., attentional focus) to explain why certain emotion regulation strategies attenuate negative emotion and distress. Ultimately, this program of research will provide an empirical basis for interventions aimed at improving children’s emotion regulation abilities and mitigating risk for maladaptive outcomes.


Anthony DeCaro

Anthony graduated from Penn State in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a Minor in Business. Anthony is currently a developing Ground Transportation Specialist, developing his own branch of Limousine company out of the Short Hills Hilton in New Jersey. He is currently invested in successful networking strategies, a healthy work attitude, and social comfort ability. Anthony is still looking forward to future grad school endeavors. Specifically, he is interested in helping diagnose and treat those with mental hindrances. At PSU, Anthony was also a member of Psi Chi (Psychology Honors Society).


Gina Ranieri

Gina graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology; Neuroscience with a minor in Spanish. She is currently looking at Medical School options that suit her interest in the cognitive factors of development. In the meantime, Gina plans to volunteer at a Hospital to gain exposure to the medical field. During her time at PSU, Gina was also the Vice President of the Club Cross Country team.


Elizabeth Allen

Elizabeth received her honors B.S. in psychology with distinction from the University of Delaware. During her time there, she worked in a lab that focused on intervening in the lives of children with early difficult experiences. Her senior thesis examined the relationship between participating parents and the parent trainers delivering the intervention curriculum. Her interests have been in child development, specifically of empathy and sustained attention, as well as family intervention programs.

View Elizabeth's CV

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Hannah Gross

Hannah Gross is currently a senior at Penn State University, majoring in Psychology. She is interested in child care, as well as child psychopathology and counseling. After graduation, she plans to receive a Master’s degree in Elementary School Counseling, and provide support for young children in a school and/or at a private practice setting. In addition to being a research assistant at the CAT lab, Hannah is involved in THON as a “Rules & Regulations” committee member.


Chris Danilo

Chris received his B.S. in Psychology from Penn State University while working as a research assistant in the Human Electrophysiology Facility. Chris' interests have been in Intelligence, Cognition and Consciousness, and the accuracy of imaging/behavioral research techniques. Currently his focus is on the interactions between Emotional Affect, Intelligence and Personality, and the neuro-ethical repercussions of treatments.

View Chris's CV

Elise Heidorn

Elise is an alumnus of The Pennsylvania State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience in May 2013. Aside from being a Research Assistant at the CAT Lab, she was a Teaching Assistant for a Physiology Lab and a Clinic volunteer at the University Health Services. When she is not at school, Elise is a part-time waitress and volunteer at St. Luke’s University Hospital. She plans to attend medical school after graduation.


Christina Brown

Christina Brown is a Senior at Penn State University Majoring in Psychology with a focus on Neuroscience. She is a member of the Gamma Sigma Sigma service sorority. She is also currently observing an occupational therapist with the State College Area School District, and is applying to Masters of Occupational Therapy programs for the fall of 2014.

In 2014 Christina received honorable mention for the Mona Shibley Memorial Scholarship to recognize outstanding psychology undergraduates!


Amanda Perkins

Amanda is a Senior at the Pennsylvania State University. She will be receiving her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Business in December 2013. She has been around children all her life from babysitting. She is interested in the child temperament and child development aspect of children. She plans on going to graduate school to become a child life specialist.


Arichanah Pulenthiran

Arichanah is currently a Sophomore at Penn State University majoring in Bioengineering with a minor in Psychology. Previously, Arichanah has worked at the Hillman Cancer Center and the University of Pittsburgh and she plans to continue her interest in behavioral psychology with children at the CAT Lab. She also enjoys teaching Indian Classical dance to children at a dance camp every summer as well as competing at national dance competitions during the school year.


Jacquelyne Berrier


Jacquelyne Berrier is currently a Senior at Penn State University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Special Education. She is involved with Active Minds, a national orgnization which tries to address stigmas associated with mental disorders. She also is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and a member of Psi Chi. She plans to attend graduate school and receive her M.Ed in Secondary School Counseling.

In 2014 Jackie was awarded the Mona Shibley Bird Memorial Scholarship to recognize outstanding psychology undergraduates!


Natalie Long

Natalie is currently a junior at Penn State University.  She is majoring in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience, and minoring in Psychology.   She is a member of the Penn State Sailing Club, and she has been actively involved in THON since her freshman year.  Natalie hopes to eventually find a career that incorporates all her interests of biology, psychology and working with children.   She plans on attending graduate school, and possibly pursuing her PhD in Neuroscience


Amy Hoenstine

Amy is currently a Senior at Penn State University.  She will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in May 2014.  In addition to working with the CAT Lab, Amy is a research assistant for the Classroom Peer Ecologies Project with Dr. Gest.  She is most interested in research psychology and developmental psychology, particularly early social and personality development.  After graduation, Amy plans to attend graduate school.


Jenna Haven

Jenna is currently a Senior at Penn State University. She will be receiving her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Human Development Family Studies minor. In addition to being a research assistant at the CAT Lab, she is a member of Penn State’s Women’s Chorale and volunteers as the Family Relations chair for THON. Jenna is also a part-time waitress and bartender at Ruby Tuesday’s. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school.


Renee Abney

Renee Abney is currently a senior at Penn State University where she will receive a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a focus on Neuroscience. She is inspired by her younger brother to better understand the molecular level of the working mind. Outside of being a member of the CAT Lab, Renee dances for Urban Dance Troupe and is an active member of the NAACP. Renee aspires to be a future leader of the community. After graduation she will continue her education by attending a physician assistant program and hopes to find a way to combine cognitive neurology research into her career choice.

Kelly Berthold

Kelly is pursuing her Bachelors of the Arts in Psychology. She is primarily interested in the study, prevention, and treatment of affective and behavioral disorders in children, adolescents, and adults; positive psychology; and the promotion of healthy physical and mental lifestyles. Outside of the CAT lab, Kelly volunteers for Tides, a support program for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. When she's not attending school, she is working as a freelance professional in the entertainment industry. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school to earn a PhD.


Ami Patel

I am a Junior studying Neurobiology and Neuropsychology. I am a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority.  I hope to attend medical school and would like to work with children in the future.  My hobbies include tennis and dance.