Our Team

Michael Milham, MD, PhD

is the director of the Healthy Brain Network. He is a board-certified adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. He is a research psychiatrist at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, an internationally recognized expert in open science and neuroimaging, and the founding director of the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute. Dr. Milham has been a leader in using open science to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery. Dr. Milham received his PhD in cognitive neuroscience and MD at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Milham completed his general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at New York University. Dr. Milham is the Principal Investigator for the Healthy Brain Network, NKI Rockland Sample, and the Longitudinal Pediatric Rockland Sample.

Lindsay Alexander, MPH

is the research operations director for  the Child Mind Institute.  She provides critical operations support across multiple CMI initiatives including the Healthy Brain Network and the EMR Discovery Science study. Lindsay earned her BA in Psychology from CUNY Hunter College and completed an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the CUNY Hunter College School of Public Health. Her research interests focus on the field of psychiatric epidemiology.

Cindy Gil, MSW

is the project manager for the Healthy Brain Network. Cindy brings an extensive background in clinical operations and administrative management to her role at the Child Mind Institute, where she will ensure that projects are run efficiently and with operational excellence. Prior to this position she was the operations manager for the Healthy Brain Network. She received her Masters of Social Work degree from the Hunter College School of Social Work while working for a behavioral health agency.

Cindy has clinical experience working with adults with mental illness and substance abuse in both residential and clinic settings. Her management and oversight of an Office of Mental Health-licensed Treatment Apartment Program, where she oversaw the delivery of clinical service to consumers through a trauma-informed approach, resulted in her team and program receiving a top tier certification from the Office of Mental Health within the first year of the program’s operation.

Cindy comes to the Child Mind Institute from Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, where she was the senior clinical applications support specialist. Her role focused on staff training and development as well as administrative oversight and implementation of the Cerner Behavioral Health electronic health record, ensuring production and maintenance of quality data and outcomes.

Marijayne “Mj” Bushey

is a research marketing specialist at the Healthy Brain Network.  She does outreach to let parents know that participating in this study

  • can deliver valuable information that may help their child with behavior, development, learning and mental health disorders, and
  • allows families to play an active role in building a world where their children can be happy, healthy and reach their full potential.

Mj is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University. Over the last 20 plus years, she has coordinated and managed research projects at Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Kings County Hospital/SUNY Downstate, and conducted marketing effort analysis for digital marketing gurus Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg.

Data Management and Analysis

Alberto Castro

is an imaging data analyst for the Healthy Brain Network. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering at the Universidad Europea de Madrid. Alberto received his Master of Science in Biomedical Innovation and Development from a joint program at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. In collaboration with the neurointensive care units at both Emory University Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital, he has been developing a patent-pending device to reduce intracranial pressure after intraventricular hemorrhage.

 

Alberto has a special interest in software and hardware systems that can improve outcomes for neurological patients. In his current position at the Healthy Brain Network, his responsibilities include ensuring data quality, conducting analyses, and preparing data for data sharing efforts. Through this work, Alberto hopes to augment his knowledge in neuroimaging and data science to one day create and build more efficient neurological tools.

Minji Kang

is as associate research program analyst for the Healthy Brain Network, where she is responsible for data analysis, development and management. She graduated cum laude from Smith College with a double major in statistics and data sciences and psychology. She has prior experience with psychological research and data science projects from her time at Smith College. Her psychological research focused on false belief understanding in children and intergroup behavior. Her data science experience includes machine learning, data wrangling and data visualization. Combining her passion for psychology and data sciences, she wants to utilize scientific, data-driven methods to make an impact on the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.

Shaida Soroush

is a clinical data analyst with the Healthy Brain Network. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant at the Golshani Lab at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. This research focused on the neural dynamics of spatial learning in mice.

 

Post-graduation, Shaida began working as a research and writing associate at the Human Condition, an online mental health platform. In this role, she contributed significantly to content creation, website development, and market research. Shaida then worked as a medical scribe at the UCLA Health Department of Urology, where she developed technical skills crucial to providing optimal patient care, such as proficiency with EMR systems, data compilation, and database maintenance. Shaida hopes to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical informatics and explore a career in biotechnology.

Yao (Mike) Xiao

is a data analyst with the Healthy Brain Network who works on neuroimaging data processing and analysis under the supervision of Dr. Lei Ai. He also will work on actigraphy data as well as mobile self-assessment data collected from the Mindlogger platform. Before coming to the Child Mind Institute, Yao was a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health for Dr. Kathleen Merikangas. His work focused on visualization, analysis and statistical methodology for ecological momentary assessment data and actigraphy. He works primarily in R and has experience in Shiny app development. Yao has a bachelor’s degree in quantitative science with a concentration in neuroscience from Emory University, and is interested in pursuing graduate studies in the field of biostatistics. He is passionate about mental health, mobile technologies and developing better tools for understanding data and communicating results for both researchers and the general public.

Intake

Alexia Cole

is an intake coordinator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for working with families interested in participation to answer their questions and schedule their appointments.

Alexia graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. There, her studies affirmed her passion for children’s mental health and socioemotional development. During her undergraduate career, Alexia worked as an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity at the Center for Justice, a network of leaders dedicated to advancing racial equity and justice. As a research assistant on a pilot program that brought together local youth and representatives from prominent city agencies, she explored the effects of youth-adult partnership on positive youth development and community connectedness. This experience further piqued Alexia’s interest in helping young people develop the strengths and skills they need to overcome social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Her goal is to obtain a combined school and clinical psychology degree.

Jared Fisse

is an intake coordinator with the Healthy Brain Network. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and marketing from Bentley University. During his time at Bentley, Jared interned at Park Avenue Psychotherapy Associates, where he first interfaced with patients in a clinical setting. Jared also pursued several research opportunities and published a paper on the topic of adverse childhood experiences and mental health outcomes in adulthood.

 

In his role at the Healthy Brain Network, Jared is responsible for screening potential participants for eligibility, maintaining records of children and families inquiring about the Healthy Brain Network, and scheduling clinical intakes. Jared especially enjoys working with children in settings that allow them to become the best version of themselves and plans to one day work in the field of child psychology.

Mariella Williams

is an intake coordinator with the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in cognitive science, with a minor in consumer behavior, at the University of Southern California. During her time at the University of Southern California, Mariella volunteered for a domestic abuse shelter and supported the youth staying there. Additionally, she volunteered at an underprivileged school and helped tutor children struggling with learning disorders. Further, Mariella has worked at two mental health-related start-up companies, improving her knowledge of mental health advocacy and how to increase awareness and resources.

 

As an intake coordinator with the Healthy Brain Network, Mariella is a primary point of contact for all interested families, helping answer any questions regarding the study and providing them with the necessary information to enroll. Mariella enjoys scheduling families for the Healthy Brain Network study because, through these conversations, she can see how truly impactful a cost-free evaluation is for families. Mariella plans to focus her career on expanding education and resources related to children’s mental health and learning disorders, in order to help children live the most fulfilling lives possible.

Harlem Evaluation Center

Camille A. Gregory

is the site operations manager for the Healthy Brain Network. She is primarily responsible for overseeing the daily operations at the Harlem facility. Prior to this position she worked as both a research and data supervisor, and a research assistant with HBN for several years, and has experience in several other academic laboratories at CUNY Brooklyn College, Princeton University, and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology. She is passionate about scientific education and outreach, and her own interests lie in elucidating the neural circuits involved in decision making and motivation across development. Following her time at CMI, Camille plans to apply to a PhD program in neuroscience so she can continue to learn more about the human brain and its development.

Rebecca Neuhaus, PsyD

is a New York State licensed clinical neuropsychologist and clinical training and assessment manager for the Healthy Brain Network. She received her bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University and her doctorate in school psychology from St. John’s University. She holds a Bilingual Extension in which she acquired specialized training in providing culturally sensitive and evidence based psychological treatment for individuals of all backgrounds and ages. Dr. Neuhaus completed post-doctoral training in pediatric neuropsychology at the Center for Attention and Learning at Lenox Hill Hospital. There, she provided neuropsychological evaluations to over 100 low income families and worked with lawyers and the NYC Department of Education to implement services and ensure appropriate placement in the educational system.

Dr. Neuhaus worked as a school psychologist for several years in New York State, in a wide range of settings, including private, charter and public schools. Her experience and knowledge of the school system provides her with valuable insight into helping children with behavioral, emotional and learning challenges succeed. In addition to her expertise in providing comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations, she also has a strong background in educational advocacy, cognitive rehabilitation, culturally sensitive assessment and school-based mental health. As the clinical training supervisor for the study she manages the training of externs, post docs and current staff.

Spencer Morenko

is the Research Coordinator for the Healthy Brain Network. His responsibilities include supervising data collection and management, and coordinating the daily operations of the research assistant team.

Spencer graduated from Pitzer College with a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science and Linguistics. As an undergraduate, he worked as a Research Assistant for a Cognition and Aging study, and wrote his thesis on aging and emotion cognition. During this time, he also worked as a Corps Member for Jumpstart’s early childhood literacy program.

Prior to working for the Healthy Brain Network, Spencer worked as a counselor for an after school education program. As a counselor, he assisted students (Ages 4-12) and their families meet specific educational and behavioral goals. Additionally, he worked as an Emergency Medical Technician here in New York City. As an EMT, Spencer assessed medical and psychiatric emergencies, ensured his patients received appropriate treatment, and provided a calming and reassuring environment.

Spencer is passionate about improving therapeutic treatments for children and young adults struggling with mental illness and learning disorders. His goals include completing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and working to increase accessibility to psychological services.

Miranda Almanzar

is a research assistant with the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in cognitive neuroscience and psychology at the George Washington University. Miranda has cared for children for 10 years as a nanny and a preschool teacher. She is currently working toward becoming a child psychologist and mental health advocate for young children. She is pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood development at the University of La Verne and hopes to pursue a PsyD in developmental psychology. At the Healthy Brain Network, Miranda facilitates enrollment and data collection from participants and caregivers. She also provides support for clinicians by assisting with assessments and conducting interviews.

Sydney Autorino

is a participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. Her responsibilities include facilitating MRI visits, data collection, conducting participant interviews, and scheduling families.

Sydney graduated from Colgate University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychological science with a minor in sociology. As an undergraduate, she worked in a cognitive science lab and wrote her thesis on daydreaming and attentional control. Sydney also has experience as a volunteer teacher’s assistant to children with learning disabilities.

Sydney is passionate about improving access to mental health care, and her research interests include understanding consciousness and exploring new therapeutic approaches to treating mental health disorders. Ultimately, her goal is to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Jennifer Birchler, MS, CAS

is a school psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Jennifer also earned a master’s degree in educational psychology and methodology and a certificate of advanced study in school psychology from the University at Albany, SUNY. She is currently completing her dissertation, the final step in earning a doctorate in school psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY.

 

Jennifer has worked as a school psychologist in public schools as well as in schools for individuals with developmental disabilities. She has experience working in a child protection center, where she completed psychological evaluations of children and adults involved with the child welfare system and provided counseling services. She also led group counseling sessions in a partial hospitalization program. From these experiences, Jennifer brings knowledge of the emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges children and adolescents can encounter. She uses a trauma-informed, whole-person approach when designing interventions and making recommendations to address these difficulties.

Diamond Camacho, MA

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for interacting with families, enrolling participants, and data collection and entry. Diamond received her BA in developmental psychology from Manhattan College and her MA from the City University of New York. She previously worked for the Museum of Modern Art as a sales specialist for educational toys and books. More recently, Diamond interned with Children and Screens where she helped plan virtual workshops addressing contemporary parenting issues related to child and adolescent media use. Diamond has a passion for diverse children’s literature and her future plans include attaining her PhD and contributing to a more socially just world for youth and their families.

Carolyn “CC” Chadwick

is a social work intern for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. She assists in conducting participant interviews and assessments.

CC graduated from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in behavioral neuroscience. During her time as an undergraduate student, she worked as a research assistant at the Memory and Aging Center at UC San Francisco, where she studied geriatric depression and the socio-emotional functioning of adults with various types of dementia. She also volunteered in a neuroscience lab and studied memory impairments following drug and alcohol exposure and subsequent amphetamine addiction.

CC’s interests include learning about mental health disorders and finding individualized treatments as well as studying psychophysiology, or how the brain interacts with the body and vice versa. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree in neuropsychology.

Alessandra D’Amore

is a participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network.

She is responsible for facilitating and scheduling participants, including setting up MRI visits and ensuring the proper collection of data.

 

Alessandra earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from University Institute for Modern Languages (IULM) and her Master of Science in communication of science from University of Trento, both in Italy. She has experience working as a public relations specialist for organizations such as eBay.it, Koch Industries, and Merlin Entertainments. In addition to her professional experience, Alessandra has cultivated her interest in community and pediatric nonprofit associations through numerous volunteer roles over the years. One such volunteer role was at Information Centre for Immigration (CINFORMI) in Trento, Italy, where Alessandra was a tutor for minors seeking asylum. In another role at Surgeons for Little Lives, at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, she was a project coordinator and communications specialist.

 

With her role at the Healthy Brain Network, Alessandra begins a new path in her career, pursuing her passion of advancing the work of nonprofit organizations. She is eager to further develop skills that will allow her to manage projects with a meaningful impact on children’s lives.

Ramon Diah

is a social work intern for the Healthy Brain Network, where his role includes assisting with conducting interviews and assessments. Ramon graduated from Skidmore College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. During his time there he worked as a research assistant in an early learning lab, studying children’s ability to retain new words and how young children organize their early word knowledge as they get older. He attended a meeting of the Cognitive Development Society in Portland, Oregon, where he presented his findings. Since his graduation, Ramon has worked as a research assistant at NYU Steinhardt, where he investigated children’s learning dispositions towards visual media. Ramon’s research interests include cognitive development and decision-making in children and adolescents. His goal is to obtain a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and open his own practice while conducting psychological research.

Jason Dunlap

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where his role is to ensure a high-quality experience for research participants and their caregivers. This involves enrolling participants, collecting imaging data such as electroencephalograms (EEG), and processing participant data.

 

Jason earned a dual Bachelor of Arts in psychology and speech-language and hearing sciences from CUNY Brooklyn College. At CUNY Brooklyn, he was an NIH Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) scholar. His undergraduate research focused on the neurophysiology of second-language acquisition, as he examined patterns of neural activity in bilingual Spanish speakers while they listened to American English phonemes. Following his undergraduate degree, Jason was a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying hearing and speech sciences. His graduate work focused on neuroplasticity and aging, in particular how older listeners use their skills in attention and memory to facilitate speech understanding in noisy environments.

 

Jason’s long-term career goal is to work as a research audiologist. His research interests lie at the intersections of hearing health and mental health, specifically how long-term noise exposure can affect a person’s attention, mood, and development. He plans to pursue a clinical degree in audiology to work closely with patients and communities affected by loud intermittent noise.

Katie Fitzgerald, Ed.M NCSP

is a school psychologist with national and New York State certification who works with the Healthy Brain Network. Katie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Syracuse University and her master’s degrees in applied developmental psychology and educational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. While at Teachers College, Katie conducted comprehensive psycho-educational evaluations, including intakes and feedback, at the Dean Hope Center for Psychological Services. Katie has spent the past five years working in public schools in the greater New York City area as a building school psychologist and Committee on Special Education (CSE) chairperson. From this experience, she brings an extensive knowledge of the most common disabilities seen in schools, how they present in academic settings, and the most effective and practical interventions to help remediate the impacting factors of these disabilities within a school setting.

As a school psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network, Katie conducts psycho-educational assessments and intakes with study participants ranging from children, adolescents and young adults. Results from these evaluations will be included as part of comprehensive feedback and referrals with participating families.

Alexandra Gonzalez

is a participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. Her role involves communicating with families about scheduling, facilitating MRI visits for participants and families, and ensuring proper data collection.

 

Alexandra earned her bachelor’s degree in public health at Montclair State University. While an undergraduate, she joined a nonprofit organization as an intern to support health aides at a pediatric home for medically fragile children. She later became the executive administrative assistant for the same nonprofit. In that role, she assisted with drafting RFPs for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS program. Alexandra enjoys working with children and hopes to pursue a career that involves making a difference in the lives of vulnerable communities.

Laura Eslava Gonzalez

is a research assistant at the Healthy Brain Network. Her role includes assisting with participant enrollment and assessment scoring, as well as sample and data collection. Laura earned her Bachelor of Science degree in behavioral neuroscience from Simon Fraser University with a minor in health science. As an undergraduate, she volunteered with children in hospitals and community clinics. Most recently she worked as a clinic assistant at an addictions and mental health community clinic. Laura is interested in clinical neuroscience as well as forensic psychology and aspires to pursue a doctoral degree in neuropsychology.

Christina Guentert, EdM, MA, NCSP

is a school psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from The College of New Jersey and her master’s degrees in school psychology and applied education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining the Healthy Brain Network, Christina worked as a building school psychologist at an elementary-level charter school in New York City. From this experience, she brings an extensive knowledge of prevention and intervention strategies and special education procedures, as well as expertise in identifying common mental health and learning challenges among youth.

As a school psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network, Christina conducts psycho-educational assessments with study participants including children, adolescents and young adults. She also engages participating families in comprehensive feedback sessions about the results of these evaluations and provides them with intervention strategies and referrals.

Emily Hart, PhD

is a New York State licensed clinical psychologist with the Healthy Brain Network.  Dr. Hart earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Colgate University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. During her clinical internship at University of Rochester Medical Center, Dr. Hart completed rotations in an outpatient clinic, an inpatient unit, and a general pediatrics clinic. Following internship, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House of Hackensack University Medical Center, where she provided forensic evaluations and trauma-focused therapy to children and families affected by abuse and neglect. Dr. Hart has also conducted research on aggressive behavior and social cognition both in young children and emerging adults. She strives to maintain an integrative focus both in her research and clinical work.

As a clinical psychologist for the Healthy Brain Network, Dr. Hart conducts diagnostic evaluations of children, adolescents, and young adults using a combination of interviews, self-report measures, and intelligence and achievement tests. She provides comprehensive reports, feedback and referrals to participating families. Dr. Hart also assists in community outreach efforts related to the project.

Ally Herrnson

is a participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for scheduling visits, and conducting MRI scan visits. At the MRI visit, she ensures proper preparation and set up for participants and their families, oversees the collection of data, and conducts interviews with participants.

Ally graduated from the University at Buffalo with her Bachelor of Science magna cum laude in Psychology. While studying for her undergraduate degree, she worked as a research assistant in her school’s Biological Sciences Lab. Additionally, Ally worked as a medical intern under Dr. Hongbiao Liu for Luna Medical Care, where she shadowed Dr. Liu, attended case management meetings and assisted with maintaining medical records. Ally has also interned with the Child Mind Institute’s Summer Treatment Program for children with behavioral and cognitive disorders. Ally’s undergraduate career combined with her extracurricular experiences have affirmed her passion for improving children’s mental health. Ally has hopes to pursue a doctorate degree in Psychology.

Cindy Huang, MA, MEd

is a psychology extern at the Health Brain Network and a third-year counseling psychology doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication at the University of California, Davis. She then obtained her initial Master of Arts degree in education and an English teaching credential from the University of California, Berkeley. She taught 12th grade English at a public high school in San Francisco for a few years before changing careers into mental health counseling. Cindy then obtained her Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees in mental health counseling at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is currently pursuing her doctoral degree.

 

Throughout her time at Teachers College, Cindy has received training in psychoeducational assessments, clinical interviewing, and various treatment modalities for youth and adults (including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, dyadic/family therapy, parent training, and trauma-informed care). Cindy’s research focuses on improving the mental health and well-being of minority youth and families, specifically examining cultural factors that impact the parent-child relationship in these diverse families.

 

Cindy has experience working in both academic and community outpatient settings with diverse youth and families. As an extern with the Healthy Brain Network, Cindy will be completing psychoeducational evaluations and clinical assessments with youth. Cindy is passionate about providing multiculturally sensitive care to diverse youth and families, empowering families to make well-informed decisions regarding their children’s treatment and care, and promoting mental wellness and positive relationships among youth and their families.

Najé James

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where her role includes enrolling participants, administering and scoring assessments, and collecting data.

Najé also is the lead research assistant on two additional projects She collects follow-up data for the Coronavirus Health and Impact Survey (CRISIS) to assess risk factors for negative mental health outcomes and problematic internet usage during the pandemic, a program which is supported by the Morgan Stanley Alliance for Children’s Mental Health. Najé also coordinates the Healthy Brain Network Pediatric Screening Initiative in Harlem, a collaboration with Harlem pediatric primary care providers to screen children for mental health and learning disorders as part of regular well visits.

Najé received her Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude in psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. As an undergraduate she worked on several research projects focused on Black mental health and presented personal research at a university and national conference. Najé also has volunteered as a co-investigator for a pilot study at Weill Cornell Medicine and has served as a volunteer teacher’s assistant for the Emotional Support Room at the Schuylkill Haven Elementary School, gaining experience working with children with ODD and other disorders. She is passionate about improving Black mental health (especially for Caribbean Americans), targeting negative attitudes towards treatment and improving access to mental health services for persons within the African diaspora. Najé plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Danielle Kahn, LCSW

is a social work supervisor for the Health Brain Network. She is a board certified Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State. Danielle works directly with participants and their parents conducting psychosocial assessments and assisting with data collection. Danielle obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The George Washington University and a Masters of Social Work from New York University. Danielle has clinical experience working with children, adults and families with mental health disorders, trauma, substance abuse, and psychosocial stressors in both community-based and hospital settings.

Julia Keene, LMSW

is a New York State Licensed Social Worker. In her role as a social worker with the Healthy Brain Network, she assists with data collection and conducts psychosocial assessments with youth and their families. Julia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Connecticut, followed by her Master of Social Work degree from Southern Connecticut State University. Julia has enjoyed working in several areas of the social work field including residential treatment, the school setting, outpatient clinics and in-home prevention work. Julia is certified in Functional Family Therapy and has clinical experience working with young children, adolescents and families.

Amna Khan, MA

is a psychology extern for the Healthy Brain Network. She assists in conducting psychoeducational assessments and collecting data for research. Amna received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from CUNY Hunter College and her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and Adelphi University. During her graduate studies, she worked in a suicide research lab that focused on understanding the contextual factors related to suicidal thoughts and behavior. She also worked in an emotion research lab where she gained certification in the Facial Action Coding System and coded the emotional expressions of trauma patients from video footage.

 

Amna is passionate about working with children and families of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Adelphi University.

Amanda Lewis, M.A., M.S., NCSP

is a school psychologist for the Healthy Brain Network. Amanda earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Texas Christian University, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Golden Gate University and a master’s degree in school psychology from St. John’s University. Amanda did a postgraduate internship at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, where she provided psychotherapy, crisis intervention and case management. As part of her third year at St. John’s University, Amanda completed an internship with the Ardsley Union Free School District. During her internship, Amanda conducted comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations, Functional Behavioral Assessments, and Behavioral Intervention Plans, as well as facilitated both group and individual research-based counseling.

As an associate school psychologist, Amanda administers, scores and interprets psychoeducational assessments in collaboration with the team at HBN. Amanda is passionate about family dynamics and understanding parent-child and parent-school interactions. She is also interested in research on how those interactions contribute to a child’s social-emotional functioning and academic success.

Luke Norena

is a research assistant at The Healthy Brain Network. He studied behavioral neuroscience at Connecticut College and then went on to spend time conducting research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center. In these labs, he studied DREADDS technology as well as the molecular biology and neurophysiology of striatal structures associated with goal-oriented behaviors and substance abuse.

 

As a research assistant, Luke will work with other members of the Healthy Brain Network clinical research team to complete interviews and activities for study participants. Luke’s specific interests include the diagnoses and treatment of mental health disorders associated with trauma. He hopes to pursue a doctoral degree with the intention of becoming a licensed clinician.

Mindy Quiroz

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for enrolling participants, administering and scoring assessments, and collecting and entering data.

Mindy graduated from Arizona State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. During her time there, Mindy worked as a research assistant in a developmental psychology lab, studying the neural responses of adolescent romantic couples to help inform prevention and intervention strategies to promote healthy relationships. Mindy also worked as an English teacher in Japan for one year to interact with and learn about children from a different cultural background.

Mindy is currently earning her master’s degree in neuroscience and education at Teachers College at Columbia University. Her research interests include identifying the neural correlates of neurodevelopmental disorders. Mindy plans to pursue a doctoral degree in cognitive neuroscience to better understand the processing networks in children with mental health disorders.

Tenealle Santillon, PD, MEd, MBA, NCSP

is a school psychologist for the Healthy Brain Network. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Nyack College, a dual MBA/MEd from Dallas Baptist University, and a professional diploma in school psychology and a master’s degree in educational psychology from New Jersey City University. Tenealle has extensive training in therapeutic modalities for children and adolescents. She has taught statistics, psychology, and music from the elementary level through to the university level.

At the Healthy Brain Network, Tenealle conducts psycho-educational assessments with study participants. She engages participating families in comprehensive feedback sessions regarding the results of the evaluations and provides them with intervention strategies and referrals.

Olivia Schneider

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. She supports the study team by conducting participant interviews and facilitating data entry and collection.

Olivia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Emory University. During her time as an undergraduate student, Olivia worked as a research assistant at the Marcus Autism Center on a study assessing quality of life parameters in children on the autism spectrum. She is the first of eleven authors of a research poster titled A Preliminary Study of Food Selectivity and Mealtime Behaviors for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Quality of Life. She also served as a first responder and director of recruitment and outreach for Emory’s student-run crisis warm-line.

Olivia enjoys participating in various research endeavors to expand her knowledge base and incite positive change. Ultimately, she wishes to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and to help youth affected by mental health and learning disorders.

Kelly Scolaro, LMSW

 is a social worker for the Healthy Brain Network. She is a board-certified Licensed Master Social Worker in New York State. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from State University of New York at Geneseo and a master’s degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. After graduate school, she completed a certificate program in child and adolescent psychotherapy at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. Kelly has clinical experience working with children, adolescents and their families living with diverse mental health disorders and psychosocial challenges, and has experience working in mental health clinics and schools. As a social worker with the Healthy Brain Network, Kelly conducts psychosocial assessments with youth and their families.

Anna Smith, LCSW

is a social work supervisor with the Healthy Brain Network. She is a a New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She obtained a bachelor degree from Marist College and a graduate degree from Adelphi University, both in social work. Anna has clinical experience working with adults, children and families affected by mental health disorders, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, homelessness and medical conditions across a variety of health care settings. In her role at the Healthy Brain Network, Anna assists with data collection and providing feedback on findings to the participants.

Nicholas Vitaro, MA

is a school psychologist for the Healthy Brain Network. He is a certified school psychologist in New Jersey and New York. He obtained a master’s degree from Montclair State University in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Child/Adolescent Psychology. He comes to the Healthy Brain Network with several years of experience working for a large New Jersey school district as a school psychologist and as a member of the preschool intervention and referral team (PIRT). Nicholas brings an extensive knowledge of special education classification and services and an understanding of how common disorders impact children in academic settings. He has specialized in working with children with significant trauma-related symptoms, ADHD, and anxiety-related disorders. He has experience conducting individual and group therapy for children in outpatient and school settings.

Alexandra Vizents

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where she assists in the collection and entering of data and scoring assessments. Alexandra graduated from New York University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and child and adolescent mental health studies. At NYU, she was a research assistant at a social psychology lab, where she studied racial differences in the susceptibility of adolescents to social media advertisements for junk food versus non-food advertising. She was also a research volunteer at a clinical anxiety and depression lab, where she studied the effect of childhood trauma on NEO-Five Factor personality traits in individuals with primary anxiety disorders.

Alexandra is passionate about individualized psychological treatments to meet the needs of each specific child and address the psychological effects of childhood trauma. She is eager to gain clinical and research experience as a research assistant and hopes to later obtain a doctoral degree in clinical psychology to further improve mental health outcomes for children and adolescents.

Staten Island Evaluation Center

Amy Racanello, MSEd, PhD

is a New York State licensed clinical neuropsychologist and the clinical manager for the Healthy Brain Network. Dr. Racanello holds a master’s degree and advanced certificate in school psychology from Brooklyn College, and she earned a second master’s degree and doctoral degree from the Educational Psychology Department at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Racanello completed her post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Columbia University Medical Center, and she was the DeHirsch-Robinson Fellow at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center. She has extensive training and experience conducting comprehensive neuropsychological assessments and specializes in evaluating individuals with complex learning difficulties, as well as those with behavioral and emotional dysregulation.

Dr. Racanello is a professor of neuropsychology at the School Psychologist Graduate Program at Brooklyn College, CUNY. Her publications focus on fuzzy set psychometrics in social and behavioral sciences, as well as the relationship between chronic otitis media, language development and academic performance. Dr. Racanello is interested in the development of evaluations that effectively assess the neurocognitive underpinnings of mathematics. As Clinical Manager, she conducts evaluations, supervises the Staten Island-based clinical team, and ensures the office runs per research protocol.

Victoria Castagna, MS

is an associate clinical evaluator for the Healthy Brain Network office in Staten Island. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in neuroscience from the College of Staten Island. During her graduate studies, Victoria worked in a neuroscience research lab that focused on understanding the uniqueness of the naked mole-rat. She helped create a novel imaging approach by rendering whole brain samples optically transparent with the addition of a Golgi stain in order to compare the neurons of naked mole-rats to other species.  She is responsible for enrolling participants, conducting and scoring assessments, and assisting in the coordination of daily protocol operations. Victoria is passionate about working with children and pursuing research in order to help those with neurological and mental illnesses.

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