Meghan S. Goyer,  M.A.

I am a third year clinical-community graduate student in the LEAF lab! I completed my B.A. and M.A. in religion at the University of Georgia. My M.A. research explored the potential for ritual structure to be used as a tool for healing, and helped me realize my passion for developing and researching evidence-based preventions and interventions for psychopathology. I then worked in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders lab at Stanford, where I researched the roles of parenting and stress in the development and trajectory of internalizing psychopathology. There I got experience working with a range of biological and behavioral measures, including fMRI. My current research interests surround how identity development impacts risk and resilience in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Specific domains of interest include mindfulness, authenticity, creativity, social connectedness and sense of community, family systems, religion and spirituality, race,  ethnicity, and discrimination. My thesis explores mindfulness, cognitive biases, and depression in emerging adults. I am passionate about finding new solutions to ongoing systemic problems by bridging gaps: Between research and application; academia, community, education, and government; behavioral, cognitive, and biological variables; innovative ideas and scientific methods; and ultimately, between people themselves.

Things I Like: Dogs, rivers and oceans, running, the woods, music – especially bluegrass and especially live, yard games, art, ice cream, my family!

Things I Dislike: Mosquitoes, bad signage, mean people.

Interesting Tidbits: I know how to play the banjo (barely); I used to do aerial dance (trapeze); I went to art school; I am a trained yoga instructor.

Jena Michel, B.S.

I am a first year doctoral student in clinical psychology in the LEAF lab. I received my bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology in my hometown at the University of New Orleans. Upon graduation, I worked for Pamela Cole at Penn State investigating the development of self-regulation in toddlers. My research interests revolve around the roles of parenting and mindfulness in the development of children’s emotion processes.

Things I Like: miniature things, bike riding, solitude, chipmunks, reading

Things I Dislike: fluorescent lights, pretension, sports, high heels

Interesting Tidbit: I sewed my old lab mate’s wedding gown!


Sarah Moran, B.A.

Sarah is a first year Clinical-Community graduate student in the LEAF Lab. Prior to enrolling at GSU, Sarah was a research assistant at the Institute of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and a program coordinator for the Telehealth Outreach Program (TOP) at MUSC. During her time at MUSC, she assisted with various studies and projects focused on psychological flexibility, resilience, evidence-based trauma interventions with underserved populations, and increasing access to mental health services. Sarah‘s research interests are primarily centered around anxiety disorders in underserved and at-risk youth and families and the role of psychological flexibility, gratitude, and resilience as protective factors for mental health concerns. Additionally, Sarah is passionate about disseminating acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions to community settings.
Things I like: my dog-Maya, horseback riding, podcasts, yoga, meditation, cookies (especially chocolate chip), being outside, live music, traveling
Things I dislike: swiss cheese
Interesting Tidbit: I recently hiked my first 14er (mountain that peaks at over 14,000 feet), and I’m hoping to do more in the future!


Dena P. Henry,  M.S.

Dena graduated from Augusta University with her Master of Science in Applied Psychology. Dena has served as the lab coordinator and has assisted on various projects in the lab from inception to completion.

Things I Like: All things related to baking, taking nature walks, planners, fine point pens.

Things I Dislike: Raw onions, wasted energy,

Interesting Tidbits: In 2016 I began a small business making decorated cookies, cakepops and other sweet treats. Also, I am allergic to basil and mint, which appear to be rare food allergies. 

Erinn Bernstein Duprey, Ed.M.

Erinn is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia. She studies the influence of early life stress on adolescent mental health, with a focus on suicide-related behaviors. 


Jessica L. O’Leary, M.A.

Jessica L. O’Leary is a 6th year Ph.D. student in Clark University’s clinical psychology program. Jessica’s research interests center on how to foster resilience, with an emphasis on emotion socialization and particular attention to the role of caregivers. Jessica’s prior work has centered on elucidating the pathways linking parenting behaviors with youth outcomes. Her dissertation study aims to better understand some of the factors that protect urban youth from the deleterious effects of community violence by examining the role of emotion socialization and emotion regulation and considering possible cultural and contextual factors. Jessica’s research compliments her clinical interests. She is specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents, and families with a sub specialization in the treatment of trauma. 

Things I Like: sunshine, grilled peaches, swimming in (warm) bodies of water, traveling and exploring new places, dancing, helping others, and a good laugh

Things I Dislike: driving, peanut butter, and discrimination

Interesting Tidbit: I am a first-generation American and Spanish is my first language.

Alyssa Faro, Ph.D. 

I received my doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Clark University in 2017. While at Clark my research focused on emotion socialization and internalizing symptoms in youth. My dissertation looked specifically at the relationships between parental psychopathology, parental emotion socialization in childhood, social connectedness and internalizing symptoms in young adults. Currently, I am finishing my postdoctoral residency at Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital. As of September 2018, I will be joining the OCD Institute for Children and Adolescents (OCDI Jr.) program at McLean Hospital as a psychologist. My clinical work focuses on behavioral treatments such as CBT, ERP and ACT to help clients live their own meaningful and value-oriented lives.
Things I Like: Dogs, cooking, and sunshine.
Things I Dislike: Brussel sprouts.
Interesting Tidbit: I am working on hiking all 48 of the 4000-footers in New Hampshire.