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.

Daniel Sebbag, PhD

is the project director for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. Daniel has an extensive background in clinical social work as well as administrative operations in behavioral health and hospital environments. He brings these experiences and skills to his role in ensuring that projects are run efficiently and with operational excellence.

Daniel completed his master’s degree in social work at Yeshiva University and his doctorate degree there in social welfare. His doctoral research focused on the intersection of physical and behavioral health, and improving individuals overall health through behavioral health interventions.

Daniel has practiced as an LCSW for over 10 years, and came to Child Mind Institute from New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he was the project lead in analytics for numerous operational improvement projects. Daniel has also worked on nationwide behavioral health and clinical operations improvement projects while working as a strategist at Cerner, a Health Information Technology company with health-related software, solutions, services and healthcare consulting branches.

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

Lei Cao, MS

is a neuroimaging research associate for the Healthy Brain Network. She primarily works on neuroimaging data processing and analysis. Her responsibilities also include data organization and quality assurance. Under the supervision of Drs. Alexandre Franco and Michael Milham, Lei works mostly with multimodal neuroimaging MRI data (including Structural, Functional and Diffusion Weighted Imaging), but also works on other projects that include EEG, physiological and eye-tracking data.

 

Lei received a master’s degree in Neuroimaging and Informatics from the University of Southern California. After graduation, Lei worked in the McLean Hospital, where her focus was on complex data analysis of multimodal MR data. Her research also involved developing a preprocessing pipeline for non-human primate datasets, characterizing alterations in functional connectivity following drug administration and using a novel time-lagged correlation procedure to remove low-frequency noise from fMRI datasets.

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.

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

Jasmine Paz

is an intake coordinator for the Healthy Brain Network. She serves as a primary point of contact for families interested in participating in the study, answering any questions they have, collecting their background information and setting up appointments. Originally from Houston, Texas, she studied the biological basis of behavior and gained an interest in mental health advocacy during her time at college. Her previous experience includes intake coordination at a psychotherapy private practice, mental health research through the Perelman School of Medicine, and peer counseling during her undergraduate career. Jasmine is passionate about supporting individuals as they begin their journey towards improved mental health.

Maya Stevenson

is an intake coordinator with the Healthy Brain Network. She serves alongside the clinical and research teams to support families interested in participating in the study. Maya joins the Healthy Brain Network after working as a program assistant with the Child Mind Institute’s School and Community Program team, where she co-led behavior and learning disorder treatment groups. Her background includes an interdisciplinary African American studies and sociology degree, complemented by experiences in educational and community activism. Maya’s research experience includes a senior honors thesis, which investigated the impacts of ableism and systemic racism on the effectiveness of university medical leave policies among multiply marginalized students. Her previous work also includes non-profit and advocacy experiences concerning issues of health equity and access. Maya is committed to supporting clinicians and families in creating uplifting opportunities for children’s wellness and joy.

Harlem Evaluation Center

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.

Cindy Gil, MSW

is the site operations 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 oversee the daily operations at the Harlem facility. 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.

Camille A. Gregory

is the research and data supervisor for the Healthy Brain Network. She is primarily responsible for daily protocol operations, supervising research assistant staff, and collaboratively monitoring data quality. In addition to serving as a liaison between research and clinical staff, Camille continues to interface with our participating families, administering behavioral, psychological, and imaging batteries. Prior to this position she worked as a research assistant with HBN for one year, 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.

Diamond Camacho, MA

is a participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for interacting with families, scheduling and follow-up of appointments, 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.

Sierra Carlen

is a social work intern with the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. She is a first-year graduate student at the Silberman School of Social Work. Previously, she worked with parents using the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up intervention, a social-emotional program designed to aid families in implementing sensitive parenting strategies to develop secure attachments, strengthen relationships and contribute to child development. She aims to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who specializes in working with children and families.

Carolyn “CC” Chadwick

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. She assists in conducting participant interviews and collecting data for research.

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.

Gabrielle Denicola, MA

is a psychology extern at the Healthy Brain Network. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at The College of New Jersey. She then completed her master’s degree in educational psychology at Kean University’s PsyD Program in Combined School and Clinical Psychology, where she is currently pursuing her doctoral degree. Gabrielle has received training in psycho-educational assessments, clinical interviewing, and therapy at Kean University. As a doctoral candidate, she has researched trauma-informed care practices in schools and social-emotional learning in children.

Gabrielle has worked in both the school and community outpatient setting, where she has had experience administering psychological assessments and providing counseling to youth and young adults. At the Healthy Brain Network, Gabrielle will be helping complete evaluations. Gabrielle is passionate about helping youth with their psycho-social and academic needs.

Ramon Diah

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where his role includes assisting in the collection and entering of data and scoring 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.

Francesca Fernandez

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where her role includes enrolling participants, and administering and scoring assessments. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychological science at Colgate University. At Colgate, she was a research fellow and research assistant in a behavioral neuroscience lab. Her honors thesis investigated juvenile song birds and the potential for researchers to use them as an animal model for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders by studying the neurochemical processes behind social learning and memory. As an undergraduate, Francesca also gained clinical experience working with children in mental health facilities and familiarity with diagnostic criteria for autism through administering ADOS-2 evaluations.

Francesca is passionate about working to improve diagnostic tools and therapeutic options for children suffering from neurological and mental health disorders. Her research interests include the intersection between psychopathology and behavioral neuroscience. She plans to earn a doctoral degree within the field of clinical neuropsychology in order to improve the outcomes for as many children and families as possible.

Gabriela Fiszbein, LCSW

is an social worker for the Healthy Brain Network. She is a New York State Licensed  Clinical Social Worker. Gabriela obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northeastern University and a Master of Social Work from New York University. Gabriela has experience working as a therapist providing psychotherapy to children, adolescents, adults, families and groups. Gabriela has clinical experience working with a variety of mental health disorders in both outpatient and inpatient settings. In her role at the Healthy Brain Network, Gabriela conducts assessments with study participants and their families.

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.

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.

Kate Hirsch

is a social work intern with the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Elon University, and is currently working toward her master’s degree in social work at New York University. After graduating from Elon University, Kate spent the year working as a Program Assistant at the Child Mind Institute in the Anxiety Disorders Center and the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center, where she primarily assisted with both Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and selective mutism treatment sessions.

 

Kate has spent several summers working at a sleepaway camp as both a counselor and a Divisional Leader of girls between first and sixth grade. In her leadership role, Kate utilized her academic and professional background to support campers experiencing anxiety and panic attacks due to COVID-19. At the Healthy Brain Network, Kate hopes to continue advocating for children’s mental health.

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.

Kait Kearney, MA

is an extern with the Healthy Brain Network and a clinical psychology doctoral student at City University of New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her master’s degree in clinical psychology. Before beginning her doctoral program, Kait was a research assistant at NYU Langone’s Child Study Center in Dr. Regina’s Sullivan’s lab, exploring how early experiences can affect the developing brains of children. As a doctoral student, Kait works in Dr. Sarah O’Neill’s Attention and Neuropsychological Development lab and recently completed her thesis on the impact of prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants and trauma on the trajectories of children’s disruptive behaviors.

Kait has experience working clinically and academically with students who have neurodevelopmental disorders. As an extern she will assist in clinical assessment and research. In her free time, Kait enjoys hiking and traveling.

Dawn M. Kraut, MS

is a school psychologist with New York State certification who works for the Healthy Brain Network. Dawn brings a unique perspective to the team, built upon her experience as a seasoned educator and school psychologist. Throughout her career Dawn has dedicated herself to supporting students’ abilities to succeed academically, socially and emotionally. Her experience includes working in several public schools, both as a teacher and more recently as a school psychologist. She also founded Achievement Learning Center, an after-school supplemental education center in Larchmont, New York. Dawn brings over twenty years of experience in diagnostic and prescriptive intervention implementation. She possesses extensive knowledge about learning disabilities and how they manifest in the school setting, as well as substantial experience with parent and professional collaboration. At the Healthy Brain Network Dawn conducts psycho-educational assessments with study participants. Results from these evaluations are included as part of the comprehensive feedback given to participating families.

Emma Kreutzmann

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network. Her responsibilities include research data collection, data management, assisting clinicians with research assessments, case management and feedback, and ensuring a high-quality experience for research participants and their families.

She graduated from Fordham University at Lincoln Center summa cum laude, where she earned her Bachelor of Science and double majored in psychology and journalism, with a minor in fashion studies. As an undergraduate, Emma gained research experience working with Dr. Elissa Aminoff in the Vision and Memory Lab at Fordham, where she completed her honors thesis about memory in scene processing.

Emma has previously worked with the Child Mind Institute as a Summer Program counselor, Brave Buddies counselor, and most recently as a dual program assistant for the Anxiety Disorders Center and the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center. In addition, she was the lead clinical intern for B.U.D.S., a summer treatment program run by the Program for ADHD & Disruptive Behavior at Columbia University Irving Medical Center for young children who demonstrate mild to moderate disruptive behavior. She also has experience volunteering as a tutor for high school students through the Star Learning Center.

Emma’s research interests include selective mutism, anxiety in preschool- and elementary-aged children, and school refusal. She plans on pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology and a career dedicated to empowering children and families impacted by anxiety and increasing accessibility to early intervention.

Jarett Lee

is a participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network at the Child Mind Institute. He is responsible for participant interaction, family contact, scheduling and follow-up, and data collection and entry.

Jarett graduated from New York University with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Childhood Education/Special Education. As an undergraduate, Jarett worked as a research assistant for the Lab for the Developing Mind at NYU, as well as a student teacher for New York City public schools including the Children’s Workshop School, the Brooklyn New School, and Arts & Letters 305 United. Jarett is passionate about clinical psychology, especially the fields of child psychopathology and child psychotherapy. He plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology to help children and families struggling with mental health and wellness.

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.

Adenique Lisse

is a research assistant with the Healthy Brain Network. Adenique earned her bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies with a minor in psychology at The Pennsylvania State University. She is currently completing a master’s degree in psychology at St. John’s University, with the hope of pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology focused on trauma treatment and research. At Penn State, Adenique completed an honors thesis assessing the role of gender and sociocultural factors in weight concerns in African American youth, which is set to be published in the journal Body Image.

Adenique has experience working as a crisis counselor with youth, adult and senior populations who are experiencing mental health concerns and trauma. She also gained a wide range of research experience through undergraduate research projects focusing on family systems and trauma within military populations. Her experiences have motivated her to expand on research within the mental health field and help those who are underrepresented. As a research assistant with the Health Brain Network, Adenique will assist the research staff with facilitating enrollment and data collection from participants and their caregivers. This role will also include assisting the clinical team with research assessments and conducting interviews.

T’yanna Maheia

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in psychology, from City College University. T’yanna has extensive experience working with young children as a preschool teacher. During that time she worked to aide young children in developing critical cognitive, emotional and social skills. Recently she began working with a multidisciplinary team to assess the developmental progression of children with traumatic brain injuries. T’yanna is currently working on her master’s degree at Northcentral University, studying child and adolescent developmental psychology. Her goals are to purse her doctorate degree in neuropsychology and focus on the neurological impacts of childhood adversity.

Spencer Morenko

is a Research Assistant for the Healthy Brain Network. His responsibilities include assisting research staff with data collection and management, as well as ensuring a high-quality experience for research participants and their families.

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.

Katie Moskowitz

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where her role includes enrolling participants and administering and scoring assessments. Katie graduated from Colgate University Cum Laude while majoring in Psychology. At Colgate Katie was a research assistant in a social psychology lab and she wrote her thesis on personality trait extraversion and self-expansion in individuals. Katie has always been passionate about working with children. She is very interested in child psychopathology, specifically the impact of early intervention and effective experimental therapeutic treatments. Katie hopes to gain clinical and research experience through her role as a research assistant. She plans to earn a doctoral degree in clinical child psychology and pursue a career dedicated to helping children and families.

Abigail Rusnak

is a research assistant for the Healthy Brain Network, where she is responsible for research data collection and entry, enrolling participants, and assisting clinicians with their clinical assessments.

 

She graduated from New York University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in applied psychology and a minor in studio art. As an undergraduate, Abby worked as a research assistant and classroom assistant for the Project for the Advancement of Our Common Humanity (PACH) and was mentored by Dr. Niobe Way. She trained both middle school students and adults in Transformative Interviewing, an intervention aimed at fostering active listening and curiosity while disrupting stereotypes that lead to a crisis of connection. In the classroom, Abby administered both pre- and post-surveys with students and collected qualitative data during daily lessons.

 

Abby has previously worked with the Child Mind Institute as a dual program assistant for the Anxiety Disorders Center and the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center. During her time as a program assistant, Abby was a counselor for both Summer Program and Brave Buddies intensives. She has also worked as a summer camp counselor at Camp Pegasus, a social skills program for children with diagnoses including ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), autism, and learning differences.

 

Abby is passionate about working with children and adolescents and is especially interested in working with interracial and international adoptive families. She plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and aims to focus on improving mental health outcomes for adopted children and help such individuals navigate racial identity and strengthen their interpersonal relationships.

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.

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.

MRI Facilities

Alexia Cole

is an MRI participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for MRI scheduling and preparation, data collection, and ensuring participants and their families feel comfortable throughout their screenings.

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.

Rachel Ross

is an MRI participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for daily operations involving MRI scan visits, overseeing data collection, and facilitating appointments to support study participants and their families.

Rachel graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a research assistant in a Social Psychology Lab, where she studied and applied principles of motivated cognition to health information processing and decision making. Additionally, Rachel spent one of her undergraduate summers interning with the Child Mind Institute’s Summer Program for children with behavioral disorders. Rachel is passionate about mental health and hopes to pursue a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.

Tiffany Small

is an MRI participant navigator for the Healthy Brain Network. She is responsible for scheduling MRI scan appointments, data collection and entry, and support for both the participants and their families.

Tiffany graduated from John Jay College with a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology. As an undergraduate Tiffany worked with children ages 5 to 18 through a placement site as part of the CUNY Services Corps. Tiffany also worked at Applied Behavioral Interventions as a Behavioral Technician, where she found her passion for working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She has worked in both private and non-profit organizations doing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) to teach kids with ASD daily living skills and functional communication skills while monitoring and collecting data on targeted behaviors under the supervision of Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Tiffany enjoys working hands-on with children and being able to help them. Her goal is to become an Occupational Therapist while continuing her work with the ASD population.

Speech and Language Pathology

Jessica Falco, MS, CCC-SLP

is a speech-language pathologist for the Healthy Brain Network. Jessica is responsible for evaluating and diagnosing study participants with speech and language disorders, utilizing a battery of standardized tests. She also provides comprehensive feedback sessions with the parents of participants regarding test results.

Jessica received her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Maryland in 2009 and her master’s degree in communication sciences from Mercy College in 2015. Jessica completed her clinical fellowship in speech-language pathology at NYU Langone’s Cochlear Implant Center, where she provided evaluations for cochlear implant candidacy, as well as post-implantation auditory habilitation. After completion of her fellowship, Jessica continued to work at the Cochlear Implant Center and also lead the music portion of an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP).

In addition to her work with the Healthy Brain Network, Jessica also serves as a clinical supervisor to graduate students in the Communication Sciences Department at Mercy College.

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