I am a doctoral student in the Clinical Child Psychology program at Penn State University. Currently I am completing my clinical internship at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center / Oklahoma City VA Consortium (’20-’21).
My research interests are centered around the ways in which contextual and individual factors shape diverse adolescents’ substance use and related behaviors, with a focus on strengths that promote resilience. As a predoctoral fellow funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, I have also studied educational outcomes (i.e., educational expectations, school engagement) and links with deviant behavior in adolescence.
Before enrolling at Penn State, I worked with Dr. Leonard Jason at DePaul University’s Center for Community Research, studying factors associated with successful substance abuse recovery in recently incarcerated individuals. At Penn State, I work with Dr. Dawn Witherspoon in the Context & Development Lab, where we utilize innovative methodologies (e.g., activity space, EMA) to examine the nuanced ways in which context and culture shape parenting (e.g., monitoring, involvement in education) and youth outcomes (e.g., substance use and expectancies, academic outcomes) in African American and Latinx families.
For my dissertation (defended August 2020), I conducted two complementary studies examining substance use in diverse rural adolescents. Study 1 advances knowledge about reciprocal associations among marijuana use and school adjustment factors across the transition to high school for Black and White youth. Study 2 examines risk and protective factors for adolescent alcohol misuse and contributes to limited exiting research on rural youth’s neighborhood context.
When not at work, I enjoy listening to live music and spending time outside with my dog.