Graduate Research

Frances Aunon
Advisor: Jane Simoni
4th year, Clinical Psychology

Overall, I am interested in understanding and addressing health issues among marginalized populations, with specific attention to HIV and mental health, using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. I am currently examining how social network characteristics are associated with antiretroviral adherence and viral load suppression among HIV+ female sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya.

Haley Carroll
Advisor: Mary Larimer
7th year, Adult Clinical

I am currently on Fogarty-Kuskaya fellowship in Peru investigating the relationship between alcohol use and domestic violence in Peru. We are investigating this relationship at a national and individual level in hope of informing interventions at the national and individual level. I am also conducting NRSA-funded research addressing a public health disparity in understanding alcohol use in women by investigating dispositional factors that predict alcohol use in young adult women. I aspire to have a career in Global Mental Health research in aims of increasing availability and access to mental health care worldwide.

Arianne (Ari) Eason
Advisor: Cheryl R. Kaiser & Jessica A. Sommerville
6th year, Social and Developmental

Despite the great strides that have been taken toward understanding intergroup relations in adults, researchers still have far to go in order to facilitate societal level, lasting change, especially given that biases are being reproduced in the younger generation (for reviews see: Aboud, 1989; Hailey & Olson, 2013). My work draws on perspectives from both social and developmental psychology, and uses populations of infants, children, and adults in order to shed light on the processes by which social realities are constructed and reproduced. Thus far I have asked questions related to equality norms and their relation to the development of status-based biases (i.e., how are people who are advantaged vs. disadvantaged evaluated), and questions regarding the development of expectations regarding intergroup dynamics (i.e., should friendships be same-race or cross-race). I hope that by understanding the ways in which infants and children construct and understand their social worlds, can help to more effectively promote long-term societal change.

Sarah Edmunds
Advisor: Wendy L. Stone, Ph.D.
5th Year, Child Clinical

Overall, my research focuses on ways we can identify children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and provide them specialized services as early as possible. Children from lower SES and minority backgrounds receive diagnoses of and services for ASD much later than children from more privileged backgrounds. This delay may affect children for years afterward, given the importance of early intervention to children’s later functional outcomes. One branch of the research I am involved in assesses the implementation factors associated with use of an early ASD screener and evidence-based intervention in WA State communities. We are investigating whether access to these resources differs for children from diverse backgrounds (e.g., race, ethnicity, primary language spoken, SES). My ultimate goal with this research is to facilitate equitable access to high-quality ASD diagnosis and treatment for all children.

Adriana Germano
Advisor: Sapna Cheryan
3rd Year, Social

My research investigates how diversity initiatives can backfire and actually maintain social inequality, rather than help to reduce it. I conduct research both in the laboratory and field using mixed methods to investigate new interventions to reduce social group inequality. In one line of research I am investigating how targeted awards for women can women’s interest and likelihood of applying for much more lucrative awards open to all genders, leaving larger awards to be won primarily by men.

Eric Gomez
Advisors: Cheryl Kaiser, Kristina Olson
3rd year, Social

I am broadly interested in prejudice and social identity. In one line of work, I’m researching how different groups of people engage with various forms of online activism to instigate social change. In another line of work, I am interested in investigating the factors that contribute to prejudice against transgender and gender non- conforming people.

Bryan Kutner
Adviser: Jane Simoni
Ph.D. ‘17

Before coming to UW, I worked in public health for 15 years, offering harm reduction services for drug users and then counseling people while they tested for HIV. I began training HIV service providers in 2001, then focused on training and education in community mental health, supportive housing, reproductive and sexual health, and harm reduction services. My primary research interest is the training of lay workers (counselors, case managers, outreach workers, peers) and their supervisors in resource-constrained environments. I am also interested in social determinants of HIV risk among key populations - and interventions beyond the individual level to promote positive health outcomes. To this end, I am currently studying the influence of stigma toward anal sex on HIV prevention practices during sex and in healthcare settings.

Lizzie Neilson
Advisor: Bill George
5th year, Adult Clinical

My research program broadly explores mechanisms and intervention development around alcohol-involved sexual assault. I investigate these phenomena from an intersectional feminist perspective, with a focus on how individual-difference variables interact with cultural systems that support and enable sexual assault to occur. In one series of projects, I am investigating how gender socialization is associated with emotion regulation, which may then influence perpetration of sexual assault. My other research interests include associations between sexual risk behaviors and sexual aggression, the use of sexual risk behaviors as emotion regulation, and culturally-tailored interventions targeting sexual risk-taking. In addition to my research interests, I aim to ground my teaching and mentorship philosophies in principles of social justice pedagogy.

Jennifer Staples
Advisor: Bill George
Ph.D. ‘17

Broadly, my research focuses on mental and sexual health disparities among marginalized populations. Previously, my work examined negative sexual outcomes among women with a history of sexual victimization. My current research focuses on understanding the role that minority stress plays in health disparities (e.g. alcohol use, suicidality, sexual health) among transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. Long-term, I hope my research and clinical work will inform culturally competent research methodology and treatment with trans individuals.

Joyce Yang
Advisor: Jane Simoni
Ph.D. ‘17

My research is in the development of culturally relevant behavioral interventions in order to reduce mental health disparities experienced by racial and sexual minority populations. I am particularly interested in participatory action research methods with broad social justice advocacy goals. I am also interested in dissemination and implementation science as well as global mental health. In September 2012, I received an NRSA from NIMH to conduct intervention development research to reduce HIV- and disclosure- related distress among individuals living with HIV/AIDS in China.