Kaitlyn May is a 5th year doctoral candidate in the Educational Psychology and Neuroscience program at the University of Alabama. Her research with Dr. Rajesh Kana focuses on social cognitive skills in autism, such as executive functioning, theory of mind, and pragmatic language.
Alexis Brewe is a fourth-year doctoral student working with Dr. Susan White in the Clinical Psychology - Child concentration. Her research interests include the emotional and behavioral profiles of youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), psychosocial interventions that target comorbid psychopathology and their underlying mechanisms (e.g., emotion regulation) for youth with ASD, and the application of implementation science to make psychosocial interventions more accessible and useful to families.
McKayla Kurtz is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Child Psychology program at The University of Alabama working with Dr. Rajesh Kana. McKayla is interested in pediatric neuropsychology. Her research interests focus on the relationship between the brain and behavior in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). McKayla is also interested in looking at the efficacy of early intervention methods and their impact on the brain.
Grace Lee is a fifth year doctoral student in the Clinical Child concentration. Her research focuses primarily on psychosocial interventions targeting social impairments in youth with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly those integrating creative and/or performance-based skills (music, art, etc.). Her doctoral dissertation includes developing and implementing a telehealth-based intervention program targeting social motivation in school-age children with ASD.
Allison is a third-year graduate student working with Dr. Theodore Tomeny in the Research on Autism and Families (RAF) Lab. Allison completed her MA in psychology at The University of Alabama and her BA in psychological science at Gustavus Adolphus College. She is interested in investigating the mechanisms of social skills intervention variables, including family, peer, and teacher knowledge/understanding of and responses to ASD and peer reciprocity.
Maria Gurganus is a first year in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at The University of Alabama. She is Graduate Assistant for the Cognition, Brain, and Autism Lab and is the project coordinator for Dr. Rajesh Kana’s reading comprehension study, BrainREAD. Previously, her research focused on evidence based treatment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, impulsivity and attentional difficulties of individuals with substance use disorders, and physiological and psychological effects of early childhood violence.
Meagan Beckerson is a second year graduate student in the Clinical Child Program. She received her B.S. in both psychology and biology from Murray State University. She then completed her M.A. in Experimental Psychology at the University of Tennessee. For her thesis project, she utilized fNIRS to measure changes in neural connectivity associated with the development of cognitive flexibility during childhood. Meagan is currently interested in the neural bases of social and executive function deficits in children diagnosed with ASD, as well as measuring changes in these factors over development and post-intervention. In her spare time, Meagan loves running, cycling, art, and traveling.
Z Winters Derevjanik is a second year graduate student in the Educational Neuroscience concentration of The University of Alabama's Educational Psychology program. They are focused on learning neuroimaging techniques to aid their future research at UA.
Rachel is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Child Concentration working with Dr. Theodore Tomeny. Rachel is most interested in how having a child with ASD or another neurodevelopmental disorder impacts caregivers and siblings. More specifically she is interested in development of empathy and prosocial behavior amongst typically developing siblings and coping amongst caregivers during the diagnosis process.
Josh Golt is a third year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program, working with Dr. Susan White. His research interests include child and adolescent autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, he is interested in development and dissemination of emotion regulation interventions and the impact that emotion regulation has on other psychiatric and behavioral problems.