Department News

Student Updates Jill Plevinsky was invited to participate on a panel at a workshop sponsored by the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The workshop is titled Ensuring Quality and Accessible Care for Children with Disabilities an Complex Health and Educational Needs and will be held in December in Washington, DC. The goal of the workshop is to highlight barriers and promising solutions for improving care and outcomes for children with such complex needs, and speakers will address elements that may vary by geographic context and diverse populations including children with a broad range of disabilities.  Jill Plevinsky recently presented a poster on adherence to medication in adolescents and young adults with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) at the annual meeting of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition in Washington, DC.

Welcome Dr. Cathy Mavrolas!
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Cathy Mavrolas will join the faculty in the Department of Psychology starting in the Fall quarter of 2015.  She will be taking over the position of Director of Clinical Training.  Dr. Mavrolas obtained her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University.  

Department Awards The 2014-2015 Department awards and award winners have been updated- Congratulations!

Open House Scheduling
 The Fall University-wide Open House for prospective students will take place on Saturday, November 15, 2014 and the Spring University-wide Open house will take place on Saturday, March 21, 2015.  More information is available here.

Department Colloquium Schedule  The full schedule for the Department Colloquium presentations will be updated throughout the year; see below for details. 

Upcoming presentations Dr. Kosson will be giving a workshop presentation at the upcoming Illinois Psychological Association -- the workshop is entitled: "Working Effectively with Individuals Recovering from Traumatic Relationships with Psychopathic Individuals" and will be held on Saturday, November 8th.  He will also be presenting a Grand Rounds for the Psychiatry Department at Northwestern University (downtown campus) on November 12th, 2014.

College of Health Professions 2013-2014 Awards Ceremony The College of Health Professions (CHP) recently held the annual awards ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of Navy Pier.  Here are some pictures of some of the department's students from the event: Picture 1 Picture 2  Congratulations to award winners!  Lower on this page is a complete list of this year's award winners. 

Healthy Families
The Healthy Families clinic continues to see patients and serve as a training clinical practicum at its location in the Rosalind Franklin University Health System building in North Chicago, IL.

Psychology Department Offers Services at Student-Run Interdisciplinary Clinic 
The RFUMS psychology department has developed a program to offer mental health services at the student- run Interprofessional Community Clinic (ICC), which offers collaborative, team-based care for free to underserved members of the community. Dr. Kenneth Kessler is the psychology advisor to the clinic and Ashley Makulowich and Amanda Suttle are psychology representatives on the ICC panel. The ICC includes student volunteers and faculty from the psychology, medical, pharmacy, podiatry, and physical therapy professions. Ashley was awarded the Franklin Fellowship to initiate a series of monthly psychoeducational support groups on specific mental health topics co- led by a psychology student and a student from one of the other disciplines, which will be implemented at the ICC in 2014.

Biofeedback Training
  The department recently invited Dr. Harry L. Campbell to train us on some recently acquired biofeedback instruments that will be used at the Healthy Families Clinic.  We had a great time and learned a lot!  Some pictures from the event.

Welcome Dr. Steve Miller!
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Steven Miller will join the faculty of the Department of Psychology starting in the Fall Quarter of 2013.  Dr. Miller completed his doctoral training at Loyola University-Chicago, and has held faculty appointments at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago, and at California State University, as well as teaching the Statistics II course at Rosalind Franklin. 

Another Perfect Performance on the National Counselor Exam! The fourth class has graduated from the Masters in Clinical Counseling Psychology program, and once again of those required to take it, 100% have passed the National Counselor Exam required for licensure as a Professional Counselor. Congratulations to Dr. Kessler and the Counseling Class of 2013! That makes for a perfect record four years in a row!

Department Colloquium Schedule

September 24th, 2015

Daphna Ram, Ph.D. -- Center for Community Research, DePaul University
Somebody That I Used to Know?  Exploring the Use of Attachment Figures After You've Lost Them
Thursday, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Room 1.702

October 22nd, 2015

Elaine Cheung, M.S. -- Northwestern University
Simple-Minded or Socially Savvy?  An Examination of How Social Exclusion Influences Emotional Intelligence
Thursday, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Room 1.702

November 12th, 2015

Nader Amir, Ph.D. -- San Diego State University
Cognitive Bias Modification: A Mechanism Driven Approach to Treatment of Anxiety
Thursday, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Room 1.792

Further details about 2015-2016 colloquium presentations are TBA- stay tuned!

Faculty News

Dr. Arthur Cantos recently presented an invited workshop on "Formulation based treatment of perpetrators of intimate partner violence," as well as an invited address on "Treatment outcome with male perpetrators of intimate partner violence: Beyond power and control" at the recent VII meeting of the "Asociación  Psicologica Iberoamericana de Clinica Y Salud (APICSA)" held at La universidad nacional de Cordoba, in Argentina. Dr. Cantos has also been appointed as the APICSA representative in the United States of America. La Asociación Psicológica Iberoamericana de Clínica y Salud is an association with the goal of bringing together psychologists and other Iberoamerican professionals who work or study in the Clinical and Health Psychology field from a cognitive behavioral perspective.

Dr. Rachel Neff Greenley is in year 3 of her Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America randomized clinical trial to improve oral medication adherence in youth with inflammatory bowel disease. She was invited to present preliminary findings showing significant improvements in youth medication adherence as a function of intervention at the 2012 Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Conference on December 16, 1012 in Hollywood Beach, Florida.

Dr. Rachel Neff Greenley
received the 2012 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science College of Health Professions Outstanding Clinical Research Award.

Dr. Kenneth Kessler recently joined the Illinois Professional Counselor Licensing and Disciplinary Board.

Dr. Kristin Schneider served as the lead Guest Editor for a special issue on “Depression, Obesity, Eating Behavior and Physical Activity” which was published in 2012 in the Journal of Obesity.

Dr. Kristin Schneider and colleagues will be conducting a clinical seminar on using Behavioral Activation for depression with comorbid psychiatric and medical conditions at the Society of Behavioral Medicine annual meeting on March 20, 2013 in San Francisco. For more information check out the SBM website at

Michael Seidenberg, Ph.D.
is a co-investigator on a new four-year NIH grant, " Neuropsychological Progression of New Onset Epilepsy". The project is conducted with collaborators from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It will examine the ten year followup of psychiatric and social outcome in a cohort of children who were initially diagnosed with epilepsy between the ages of 8-18 years of age.

Dr. Scot Hill has recently published a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry and gave an invited talk at the University of Illinois Chicago Neurobehavioral Seminar describing neuropsychological impairments in schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder. This work summarizes recent findings from the Bipolar and Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes (B-SNIP) collaboration. Additionally, he is a co-author on a recent paper in Schizophrenia Research which found that peripheral vasopressin but not oxytocin relates to severity of acute psychosis in women with untreated first-episode psychosis.

Lawrence Perlmuter, Ph.D. was appointed to the Health Psychology Research Council of the American Psychological Association for three years and the Research Council of APA will be presenting its Symposium on Health at the meeting of APA in 2013 in Hawaii.

  • Lawrence Perlmuter will be Chairing the two-hour symposium on "Family and Intergenerational Effects on Health and Functioning". His presentation is entitled: "Early Experience with Minor Illness And Family Disease History".
  • Among the presenters in the symposium will be Stephanie Leung who will speak on "Intergenerational Effects of Orthostatic Hypotension".
  • Others on the program include Angelle Sander of the TIRR Memorial Hermann Brain Injury Research Center in Houston who will discuss "The Impact of Family Functioning and Health Beliefs on Outcomes Following Brain Injury."
  • Carolyn Tucker of the University of Florida in Gainesville addresses " The Influence of Parents On Children's and Adolescent’s Health Behaviors".
  • Anne Kazak, Editor of Health Psychology, and faculty member of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia serves as Discussant.

Alumni News

Sherrie All, PhD, a graduate of the Clinical Psychology doctoral program, has established the Brain 401K Investment Club, a group that collectively pursues "brain fitness." 

David Charles, M.S.
, is currently doing his internship at St. Vincent Hospital of Indianapolis.  He is waiting to hear back from post-doctoral sites, and recently applied for a grant from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. 

Lawrence Sweet, PhD, a 2002 graduate of the Clinical Psychology program, was recently appointed as the inaugural Gary R. Sperduto Professor of Psychology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia.  Dr. Sweet formerly taught at Brown University, and currently conducts research on the application of functional neuroimaging markers. 

New First Author Publication
Brook, M., & Kosson, D. S. (in press). Psychopathic offenders are deficient in cognitive empathy: Evidence from a laboratory measure of empathic accuracy. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Lisa Hale, PhD, a 2004 graduate of the Clinical Psychology program, is recognized as a winner of Thinking Bigger Business magazine’s 2011 25 Under 25 Awards Program. Dr. Hale’s clinical practice, Kansas City Center for Anxiety Treatment, was chosen from over 1000 nominees as a small business (under 25 employees) representing significant achievement, vision for the future, innovation, and contribution to the Kansas City area community. As highlighted in the magazine’s write-up, “Hale developed a business model based on treatments tailored to scientific evidence and patient need, without the limitations of managed care.”

Karen L. Cassiday, PhD, an alumnus (1990) and Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, appeared on the Animal Planet channel about animal hoarding and the psychological profiles of those people. Dr. Cassiday was also interviewed about this issue on The Today Show on NBC, Nightline on ABC and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here to see more information about the animal hoarding program on Animal Planet.

Student News

Recent First Author Student Publications: 

Kay, C. D., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Woodard, J. L., Nielson, K. A., Smith, J. C., Hazlett, K. E., Figueroa, C. M., & Rao, S. M. (2014). Intraindividual variability in motor timing and structural brain volumes in elders at risk for Alzheimer's disease. Manuscript submitted to Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society for publication.
Recent and Upcoming Student Conference Poster Presentations:
  Kay, C. D., Forde, I., Walker, D., Seidenberg, M., Woodard, J. L., Nielson, K. A., Smith, J. C., Durgerian, S., & Rao, S. M. (June, 2013). Impact of smoking and apolipoprotein E-epsilon 4 on episodic memory performance of healthy elders. Poster presented at the 11th Annual American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) Conference, Chicago, IL.

Kay, C. D., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Smith, J. C., Woodard, J. L., Nielson, K. A., Lancaster, M. A., Matthews, M. A., Kandah, C. C., Hazlett, K. E., Figueroa, C. M., Sugarman, M. A., Norman, A. L., & Rao, S. M. (February, 2014). Motor timing intraindividual variability and brain volumes in healthy aging and mild cognitive impairment. Poster presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS), Seattle, WA.

Goldstein, D.S., Sworowski, L.A., Matthews, M.A., & Novitski, J.I. Cross-Validation of Failure Rates, Sensitivity and Specificity and Predictive Power Findings on the REY-15, TOMM, VSVT, WMT, and CVLT-II Among Criminal Defendants Using a Compensation-Seeking Sample. Isaac Ray Forensic Group. Planning to present at the International Neuropsychological Society Conference in Waikoloa, HI (February, 2013).

Kay, C. D., Song, W., Kandah, C. C., Seidenberg, M., & Woodard, J. L. (February, 2013). Discriminability of transient and enduring remote famous names in Alzheimer’s disease. Poster presentation at the 41st Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Waikoloa HI [submitted]. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, TBA.

Kay, C. D., Seidenberg, M., Kandah, C. C., Matthews, M. A., Lancaster, M. A., Durgerian, S., Nielson, K. A., Smith, J. C., Woodard, J. L., Smith, J. C., Figueroa, C. M., Hazlett, K. E., Hantke, N. C., Sugarman, M., Norman, A. L., & Rao, S. M. (February, 2013). Fine motor variability, APOE-ε4, and longitudinal memory outcome in healthy elders. Poster presentation at the 41st Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Waikoloa HI [submitted]. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, TBA.

Matthews, M.A., Mitchell, E.H., Novitski, J.I., Sworowski, L.A., Rogers, T.L., & Goldstein, D.S. The Relationship Between Intelligence and Effort in Test Profiles of Criminal Defendants. Isaac Ray Forensic Group. Planning to present at the International Neuropsychological Society Conference in Waikoloa, HI (February, 2013).

Matthews, M.A., Novitski, J.I., Sworowski, L.A., & Goldstein, D.S. Sensitivity and Specificity of Response Latencies from the Victoria Symptom Validity Test and WAIS-III Digit Symbol Incidental Recall as Embedded Measures of Effort Among Criminal Defendants. Isaac Ray Forensic Group. Planning to present at the International Neuropsychological Society Conference in Waikoloa, HI (February, 2013).

Mitchell, E.H., Matthews, M.A., Novitski, J.I., Sworowski, L.A., & Goldstein, D.S. Increasing the Positive Predictive Power of the Rey Fifteen Item Test in Criminal Defendants Through the Use of Alternative Scoring Methods and Sample-Relevant Cutoff Scores. Isaac Ray Forensic Group. Planning to present at the International Neuropsychological Society Conference in Waikoloa, HI (February, 2013).

Novitski, J.I., Matthews, M.A., Sworowski, L.A., & Goldstein, D.S. Sensitivity and Specificity of Commonly Available Embedded Effort Measures in a Sample of Adult Criminal Defendants. Isaac Ray Forensic Group. Planning to present at the International Neuropsychological Society Conference in Waikoloa, HI (February, 2013).

Recent Student Conference Paper Presentations:
  Stephanie Leung & Victoria Bangieva
Society for Behavioral Medicine
Mood and Blood Pressure Regulation in Response to Orthostatic Challenge in Children

Student Grants:
  Drew Fowler received the Canyon Ranch Institute Healthy World Scholarship.  He'll be sent to the Healthy Schools and Communities stay at the Canyon Ranch in Tuscon, AZ in July.

Melissa Lancaster obtained an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31) for her dissertation project entitled: Longitudinal White Matter Changes in Individuals at Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Molly Mishler Thomason was awarded Honorable Mention for the Society of Pediatric Psychology Marion and Donald Routh Student Research Grant
Life Outside of RFUMS:

Congratulations to William Hochberger who was married in July 2013 and to Erica Hynes Christian who was also married in July 2013.

Congratulations to Dana Gonzales who was married in July 2012 and to Sarah (Knight) VanMoffaert who was married in September 2012.

Amitha Gumidyala completed the Rock and Roll half marathon in Las Vegas in December to support the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Department Awards and Honors 2014-2015

CHP Dean's Award for Scholarship - Awarded to the student with the highest GPA 
  Ph.D. Program Jami Socha-Phegley
  M.S. in Clinical Counseling Program Megan Ott
CHP Dean's Award for Research - Awarded to a graduating doctoral student who has demonstrated outstanding research
  Ph.D. Program Amitha Gumidyala
CHP Clinical Education Award - Awarded to one graduating student in each clinical program for outstanding performance in the clinical training site
  Ph.D. Program Lauren Zaluda
  M.S. in Clinical Counseling Program Lindsey Bugno
Christine Louro Award - Recognizes the student who most highly reflects dedication and competence in both the science and practice of psychology
  Ph.D. Program Chelsey Wilkes
Kriszta Szabo Award - Recognizes the student who makes a contribution to issues of cultural diversity and sensitivity
  Ph.D. Program
Hillary Gorin
  M.S. in Clinical Counseling Program  Amanda Suttle
Excellence in Research by a Doctoral Student - Awarded to the early doctoral student who shows the greatest promise in research
  Ph.D. Program Jill Plevinsky
Excellence in Research by a Master of Science Student - Awarded to the Master of Science student who shows the greatest promise in research
  M.S. in Clinical Counseling Program Scott Klappa