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I am a Developmental Scientist and a licensed Clinical Psychologist dedicated to promoting health and well-being in children, youth, and families. I grew up in a small town in Indiana and am proud to be among the growing ranks of first-generation college graduates.  After obtaining my BA in psychology at Indiana University, I travelled to the desert where I completed my doctorate in clinical psychology under Dr. Laurie Chassin at Arizona State University and then onto Los Angeles to intern in community mental health at Pacific Clinics. I came to North Carolina in 1996 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Carolina Consortium on Human Development before joining the faculty in the Department of Psychology in 1997. Over the past twenty years, I have mentored many undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and junior faculty. My research has long focused on developmental pathways to substance use and disorder, particularly for children of drug-involved parents. Through this work, I have collaborated with quantitative methodologists (Dr. Patrick Curran and Dr. Dan Bauer) to apply innovative methods for longitudinal data analysis and integrative data analysis. Most recently, my research has expanded to focus on positive youth development and processes that may promote resilience, most specifically the development of gratitude in children. My work currently focuses on applying findings from developmental science to the creation of programs that support families in raising grateful children and in coping with the challenges of parental drug addiction.  (For publications, you can find me on Research Gate, PubMed Central, or ORCID).

2011-2019Director, Carolina Consortium on Human Development, UNC-CH
2011-2018Director, Center for Developmental Science, UNC-CH
2004-current Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Health Services Provider, North Carolina (License # 3007)
1997-current Assistant to Full Professor, Clinical Psychology & Affiliated Faculty,
Developmental Psychology & Neuroscience, UNC-CH
1997NICHD Postdoctoral Fellow, Carolina Consortium on Human Development,
Center for Developmental Science, UNC-CH
1996Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Arizona State University
1996APA-approved Clinical Internship, Pacific Clinics, Pasadena, CA
1991B.A., Psychology with Honors, Indiana University
Current or Recent GrantsFunderDates
Long-term Effects of Parents’ Efforts to Foster Children’s Gratitude on Health, Well-Being and Character Development (PI)John Templeton Foundation3/16-9/18
Peer Mechanisms in the Internalizing Pathway to Substance Abuse (PI)National Institute on Drug Abuse9/14-9/18
Harmonizing substance use and disorder measures to facilitate multistudy analysis (co-I)National Institute on Drug Abuse9/13-5/19
Human Development: Interdisciplinary Research Training (PI)Eunice Shriver National Institute on Child and Human Development5/10-4/21
The impact of affect regulatory mechanisms and binge eating on drug recovery (mentor)National Institute on Drug Abuse5/14-4/19
Planning Grant for UNC Center for Addiction and the Family (PI)NC-Tracs UNC5/18-10/19