Research Interests and Activities of Core Faculty

Likely to accept students in 2017: Profs. Barton/Fein (one student to co-mentor), Burke, Chen, Cruess, Eigsti, Park, Monnica Williams. 

Marianne L. Barton. (Clinical Professor; Director of Clinical Training; Director of the Psychological Services Clinic in the Department of Psychology). She is a child clinical psychologist with particular expertise in infancy and early childhood, including developmental psychopathology and treatment of parent-child difficulties. Dr. Barton’s research focuses on the early detection of autism spectrum disorders and the trajectory of outcome in children with ASD.

Jeffrey Burke. (Associate Professor). Dr. Burke’s research focuses on the role of the  disruptive behavior disorders in developmental psychopathology, including their comorbidity with other disorders during childhood and adolescence, as well as associated outcomes in young adulthood. In particular, his work involves the identification of a dimension of irritability within the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder that predicts depression and anxiety in both the short term and over broad developmental periods. Dr. Burke also studies interventions for disruptive behavior problems, including a focus on treatment mechanisms and outcomes, as well as on factors affecting service engagement for behavioral problems.

Chi-Ming Chen. (Assistant Professor). Dr. Chen is interested in translational neuroscience and his research goal is to translate neurophysiological knowledge into interventions for neurological and psychiatric disorders. He employs electrophysiological methods to study sensory processing and cognitive function in non-human primates, healthy participants, and psychiatric patients, with particular interests in hallucinations and cognitive impairments in schizophrenia.

Dean Cruess. (Professor). Clinical Health Psychology; effects of psychological factors (e.g., stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, personality characteristics) on physical health and the underlying physiological mechanisms involIME-at-BIRCved in this process; cognitive- behavioral therapy, stress management and behavioral risk reduction interventions among medical patient populations, particularly individuals with HIV/AIDS or cancer.

Inge-Marie Eigsti. (Associate Professor). Dr. Eigsti’s research examines the interaction between language acquisition and low-level neurocognitive processes. She particularly focuses on language deficits and brain development in autism spectrum disorders, using a combination of functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and behavioral paradigms.

Juliane Fenster. (Assistant Clinical Professor). Dr. Fenster teaches Personality Assessment and the Practicum in Adult Psychotherapy. Her research interests include trauma and its resolution. Dr. Fenster serves on research committees but does not presently serve as a primary research advisor.

Deborah Fein. (Professor; Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor; Division Head). Neuropsychology; particularly, cognitive/social deficits in autistic and other developmentally disabled children, longitudinal development of disabled children and neuropsychological assessment of adults.

Amy Gorin. (Associate Professor). Research examines motivational and environmental factors related to weight control, dietary choices, and physical activity. Current work focuses on understanding and treating obesity within the home environment and developing more effective long-term weight control interventions.

Stephanie Milan. (Associate Professor). Developmental psychopathology and poverty; cultural and relational context of adolescent health; impact of violence on parenting and child development; intergenerational links between maternal and child mental health.

Crystal Park. (Professor). Stress, coping, adaptation, and health; Psychology of religion and spirituality; Stress-related growth and meaning-making in bereavement, trauma, and cancer survivorship. Expressive writing and health behavior change interventions.

Monnica Williams. (Associate Professor). Dr. Williams’ research is focused on culture and psychopathology. Specifically, she studies the phenomenology, assessment and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); ethnic minority mental health and disparities, with an emphasis on the African American experience; PTSD with a focus on racial trauma; and the psychology of racism. Current projects include the clinical assessment of race-based trauma, treatment of sexual obsessions in OCD, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, multicultural education, and interventions to reduce racism.

Research Interests and Activities of Affiliated Faculty

Kimberli Treadwell. (Associate Professor). Clinical child psychology, particularly cognitive processes in anxiety, moderators and mediators of treatment, and efficacy of cognitive-behavioral interventions. Dr. Treadwell is a licensed child-clinical psychologist whose primary teaching assignment is at the Waterbury campus (about 90 minutes from Storrs).

Michelle Williams. (Associate Professor; Associate Vice President for Research). The impact of race and culture on identity formation and development, multicultural psychology with an emphasis on theory and clinical interventions, and trauma adaptation.