Graduate Students

Anton Petrenko, M.S.

Anton.PetrenkoAnton grew up in Yorba Linda, a suburban town in Southern California. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation, Anton worked as a behavior therapist for children with autism and other developmental delays. Anton then attended California State University, East Bay and graduated with a M.S. in Counseling Psychology in 2011. He worked as a therapist for elementary-school aged children struggling with emotion regulation difficulties from 2011 to 2015. This applied experience, in combination with research conducted on parenting behaviors at the University of California, Berkeley, set Anton on the path to research emotion regulation development in Dr. Bridgett’s lab at Northern Illinois University. 

Anton joined the Emotion Regulation and Temperament lab in August 2015. He is interested in studying children’s effortful control development in the context of parental behaviors and child temperament. Specifically, Anton is interested in how parenting behaviors elicited during challenging lab tasks interact with children’s temperament on development of effortful control and emotion regulation. Clinically, Anton is interested in treatment of children’s externalizing behavior problems from a systemic perspective. 

After earning a doctorate degree, Anton plans to pursue a career that will allow a combination of teaching, research and clinical practice. 

Thesis: Does Infant Negative Affect Moderate the Impact of Parenting on Effortful Control? A Test of the Differential Susceptibility Hypothesis
Publications
: 0
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 0
Conference Presentations: 3
Contactantonspetrenko@gmail.com

 

Meghan Kanya, M.A.

Meghan KanyaMeghan grew up in Northville, MI, a suburb in the Metro Detroit area. She attended Michigan State University and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science (with High Honors) in Psychology. Meghan was involved in several labs throughout her undergraduate years. She worked in the Knowledge in Development (KID) Lab under Dr. Judith Danovitch researching the cognitive processes behind how children receive, use, and choose to give information. During her time in Dr. Danovitch's lab, Meghan completed two independent projects including her senior honors thesis examining children's understanding of the ways negative emotions influence others' behaviors. Additionally, she worked in the Clinical Psychophysiology Lab under Dr. Jason Moser exploring child and adult cognition and emotion regulation using EEG. Meghan also had the opportunity to work in the Child Emotions Lab under Dr. Emily Durbin investigating early emotional and temperamental predictors of childhood psychopathology, where she first developed her interest in child temperament.

In August of 2013, Meghan joined the Emotion Regulation and Temperament Lab as a clinical psychology graduate student. She is interested in studying the links between risk factors in the home environment and child temperament. Specifically, she is interested in the maternal characteristics that may moderate the influences of risk factors on child temperament. Currently, she is working on a project examining the relationship between maternal executive functioning and parenting practices. Clinically, Meghan is interested in the assessment and treatment of internalizing and externalizing disorders in children.

After completing her doctorate, Meghan hopes to continue her involvement in both research and clinical practice settings.

Thesis: Contextual Stress and Infant Emotion Regulation: The Buffering Effect of Positive Parenting
Publications: 1
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 2
Conference Presentations: 10
Contact: kanyamj308@gmail.com

Erin Edwards, M.A.

Erin EdwardsErin graduated from St. Olaf College in 2010, with majors in psychology and biology and a concentration in neuroscience. She subsequently worked as a full-time research assistant in Dr. Nathan Fox’s Child Development Lab at the University of Maryland. She joined Dr. David Bridgett’s Emotion Regulation and Temperament Lab at NIU in 2012, where she studies the complex relationships between maternal characteristics (e.g., internalizing problems, emotion regulation), child temperament (e.g., behavioral inhibition, fearfulness) and child outcomes (e.g., anxiety).

Clinically, Erin has conducted neuropsychological and psychodiagnostic assessments with children and adults for a variety of presenting issues, including anxiety and mood disorders, attention and executive function difficulties, behavioral problems, autism spectrum concerns, learning problems and cognitive deficits. She has also gained experience providing empirically-supported treatment to children, families and young adults in university-based outpatient, private practice and school settings. Erin is currently completing an internship at the University of Minnesota Medical School, with rotations in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Department of Pediatrics. Upon obtaining her doctorate, Erin plans to pursue a clinical position will allow her to apply her knowledge of typical and atypical child development processes in both therapy and assessment settings.

Internship: University of Minnesota Medical School
Dissertation: Inhibited Temperament and Overcontrolling Parenting: An Examination of Longitudinal Bidirectional Associations
Thesis: Maternal Anxiety and Infant Fear: Indirect Links through Parenting Behaviors
Publications: 2
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 3
Conference Presentations: 7
Contact: erin.shishilla@gmail.com

Jacob Holzman, M.A.

Jacob HolzmanJacob was born and raised in Mendota, Illinois, which is a rural town located an hour and a half southwest of Chicago, Illinois. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of Iowa in 2011 with a double major in Psychology and Sociology and minor in Human Relations. Jacob was actively involved in several labs during his undergraduate career. He worked in the Iowa Child Psych Lab under Dr. Grazyna Kochanska where he was involved in several longitudinal projects examining contextual (e.g., parenting) and individual (e.g., temperament) factors that contribute to developmental trajectories. Jacob completed an Honors Thesis examining the convergence between maternal report and laboratory observations in the measurement of child fear. In addition, he worked in the Iowa Depression and Clinical Research Center under Dr. Michael O’Hara where he was involved in meta-analytic review on the relationship between social support and depression.

Jacob joined the Emotion Regulation and Temperament in December of 2013 in order to further refine his research experience and interests. Broadly, he is interested in contextual (e.g., maternal psychopathology) and individual (e.g., psychophysiology, neuropsychology, self-regulation) factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of psychopathology with a particular emphasis on fear-related conditions. Since joining the lab, Jacob has been involved in several projects examining the convergence between cardiovascular, behavioral, and neuropsychological indices of self-regulation. In addition, he is interested in examining relationships between maternal characteristics (e.g., anxiety, self-regulation) and the expression and regulation of fear. Clinically, Jacob has obtained experience implementing empirically-supported treatments for a variety of clinical concerns (e.g., social anxiety, PTSD, depression) in a variety of settings (e.g., university-based clinic, behavioral health hospital). In addition, he has conducted neuropsychological assessments of children and adolescents for a variety of conditions, such as ADHD, autism, intellectual disability, anxiety and learning disabilities.

After completing his doctoral training at NIU, Jacob intends to pursue a position that will allow him to remain actively involved in research while also engaging in clinical and teaching work.

Internship: Texas Child Study Center, Dell Children's Medical Center, University of Texas
Dissertation: Examining Cross-Lagged Relations between Behavioral Inhibition and Inhibitory Control during Early Childhood: Predicting Subsequent Internalizing and Externalizing Problems
Thesis
: The Relation between Self-Focused Attention and Post-Event Processing: State Anxiety as a Potential Mediator
Publications: 4
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 7
Conference Presentations: 9
Contact: jacob.b.holzman@gmail.com