Current Students

Caitlyn Loucas

Caitlyn is a current 5th year PhD student in the Stress and Emotion Lab. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Colgate University in 2011 and worked in the division of Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston before moving to the Developing Brain Research Laboratory in DC. Her clinical training is focused in pediatric psychology and, more specifically, among children diagnosed with cancer and other chronic illnesses. Her dissertation explores the efficacy of a novel stress mindset intervention on psychosocial outcomes, as well as on the relationship between daily stress and cognitive-emotional processes.

Laura Taouk

Laura is a current 4th year PhD student in the Stress and Emotion Lab. She received her BS in Psychology from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), where she worked on developmental research with children and MRI mood research with anxious and depressed adults. Her thesis project explored heightened perceptions of risk and stress mindsets during pregnancy and effects on postpartum mental health outcomes. More broadly, her research interests include stress coping, cognitive processes underlying the development and maintenance of depression and anxiety, and interactions between mental and physical health.

Feven Fisseha

Feven is a current 3rd year PhD student in the Stress and Emotion Lab. She graduated with her BA in Psychology from Cornell University. She worked as a research assistant at the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery and the Child Stress and Emotion Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park before moving to the Neuroimaging Research Program at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Her thesis used multilevel modeling in order to investigate how gender and depression moderate the relationship between poor sleep and social behaviors. Her research interests include understanding the role of stress in the development of mental health disorders and defining resilience in both healthy and at-risk individuals undergoing stressful events.

Diana Cox

Diana is a current 1st year PhD student in the Stress and Emotion Lab. She received her BS in Psychology from the College of William & Mary in 2018. Her undergraduate research focused on the effects of stereotypes, prejudice, and implicit bias, as well as stress in at-risk youth. Diana’s thesis project investigates whether purpose in life moderates the relationship between depression and chronic health conditions. Her current research interests include studying stress as a risk factor for both psychological and physical conditions, and the effects of stress mindsets and minority stress on long-term health outcomes.

Elijah Murphy

Elijah is a current 1st year Master's student in Psychology with the Stress and Emotion La He received his BA in Psychology from American University in 2020 and as a member of the BA/MA program is now a full time graduate student looking to receive his Master's in May 2021. During his undergraduate years, He worked on research about different types of stressors and how stress mindsets will differ among them, as well as how different this would look for identity-based stressors. He also worked on research that studied the effects of different factors on biracial Black-White individuals’ racial identity choices during social interactions. He is currently working on his thesis that developed from his undergraduate research. His current research interests include anxiety and mood disorders, as well as stress, coping & emotion.

Jazmin Nieves

Jazmin is a current 1st year Master’s student in psychology with the Stress and Emotion lab. She received her BS in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020. During her undergraduate years, she worked on research on depression, anxiety, and behavioral health outcomes of students in recovery. She also worked on research on the role of social support in sleep and depression. Her research interests broadly include positive psychology, behaviors and cognitions that promote a flourishing mental health, and the possible effects of these behaviors and cognitions on mood and anxiety disorders.


Annika Hogan

Annika is an undergraduate senior working in the Stress and Emotion Lab and is graduating in December, 2020 with a BA in psychology and minor in public health. She has worked as a research assistant at Assumption University studying the impact of chronic medical conditions on college students, risk-taking in adolescents with cystic fibrosis, and the effectiveness of summer programs in disenfranchised youth. She completed a clinical internship at University of Massachusetts Medical Center’s Emergency Mental Health Unit and a public health internship at The Action Foundation in Nairobi, Keny She is currently working on her honors thesis studying the longitudinal effects of stress mindsets. Her research interests include identity-based stressors, their longitudinal effects on physical health measures, and interventions for chronic health conditions.