Graduate Alumni

Anton Petrenko, Ph.D.

Thesis: Does Infant Negative Affect Moderate the Impact of Parenting on Effortful Control? A Test of the Differential Susceptibility Hypothesis
: 1
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 3
Conference Presentations: 9

Anton 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 other child temperament factors. Specifically, Anton is interested in how parenting behaviors observed during challenging lab tasks impact children's effortful control development, and whether these relationships are mediated by other factors. Clinically, Anton is interested in treatment of children's internalizing and 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.

Meghan Kanya, Ph.D.

Thesis: Contextual Stress and Infant Emotion Regulation: The Buffering Effect of Positive Parenting
Publications: 2
Manuscripts in Preparation/Under Review: 2
Conference Presentations: 14

Meghan 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.

Erin Edwards, Ph.D.

Internship: University of Minnesota Medical School
: Inhibited Temperament and Overcontrolling Parenting: An Examination of Longitudinal Bidirectional Associations
Thesis: Maternal Anxiety and Infant Fear: Indirect Links through Parenting Behaviors
Publications: 2
Conference Presentations: 7

Erin 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.

Jacob Holzman, Ph.D.

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
: The Relation between Self-Focused Attention and Post-Event Processing: State Anxiety as a Potential Mediator
Publications: 8
Conference Presentations: 9

Jacob 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.

Nicole Burt, Ph.D.

Internship: University of Arizona School of Medicine
Dissertation: Direct and Interactive Effects of Infant Frustration and Parenting on Toddler Compliance: A Test of Differential Susceptibility
Thesis: Maternal Relationship Adjustment and Parenting: Implications for the Development of Infant Frustration
Publications: 4
Conference Presentations: 12

Nicole graduated from Northern Illinois University with her doctorate in child clinical psychology in the spring of 2017 after completing an internship at the University of Arizona School of Medicine. She is currently working at Gentry Pediatric Behavioral Services, Arizona Psychology Training Consortium as part of a one year post-doctoral residency program. Nicole was born and raised in Tempe Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. She attended Arizona State University and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Summa Cum Laude. Nicole was actively involved in several research labs as an undergrad and she also worked at The Center for Autism and Related Disorders as a senior therapist.

Nicole joined the clinical psychology doctoral program at NIU and the Emotion Regulation and Temperament Lab in August of 2011, and has been actively involved in research and clinical work since. Broadly, Nicole is interested in the development of temperament, and the extent to which temperament and environmental factors contribute to the development of psychopathology during childhood. In particular, her research has focused on the role of various aspects of the home environment (e.g., parenting, parent emotion regulation, and parent relationship adjustment) in the development of infant frustration. Additionally, her more recent work has focused on the implications of frustration for child development, including risk for externalizing related difficulties. Nicole is also passionate about research examining efficacy of clinical treatments, and is currently involved in a project investigating the effectiveness of an intensive exposure-based treatment for selective mutism. Clinically, Nicole is committed to the application of evidence-based interventions (e.g., parent management training, CBT approaches, exposure-based treatment, PCIT) within a multidisciplinary team in her work with children, families, and adults. Although she enjoys working with children and adults presenting with a range of disorders, she is particularly interested in the assessment and treatment of externalizing problems (e.g., oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD), anxiety, and autism spectrum disorders during childhood. After completing her training at NIU, Nicole plans to pursue a position that allows her to be active in both research and clinical settings.

Lauren Laake, Ph.D.

Internship Site: Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital
Dissertation: Language Development at 24 months: Contributions from the Growth of Infant Positive Affect and Maternal Quality of Speech During a Wordless Book Task
Thesis: Infant Temperament and Early Language Acquisition: Considerations within a Cross-Disciplinary Framework
Publications: 6
Conference Presentations: 13

Lauren graduated from Northern Illinois University with her doctorate in child clinical psychology in the spring of 2017 after completing an internship at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital. Since completing her internship, Lauren has continued to work at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital as part of a one year post-doctoral residency program focused on psychiatry consultation.

Lauren is from Centerville, Ohio, which is a suburb of Dayton. She studied Psychology at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio, and received a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in 2008. After college, Lauren moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend Richmont Graduate University where she earned a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, with an emphasis in child and adolescent therapy. While in Atlanta, Lauren completed an internship at an acute care psychiatric hospital where she gained experience working and interacting with patients ages 5 and up experiencing a vast array of difficulties. These experiences, specifically with younger children, led to Lauren's pursuit of further graduate study. Lauren's current research interests also grew out of her experiences working with children and she is particularly interested in aspects of early childhood development that contribute to the emergence of children's emotional and behavioral difficulties. In addition to her clinical experience and research interests, Lauren has engaged in various teaching roles, specifically for statistics courses, which she plans to further develop during her doctoral training by obtaining additional teaching experience.

In August 2010, Lauren joined the Department of Psychology and the Emotion Regulation & Temperament Lab at NIU as a clinical psychology graduate student. Since joining the lab, Lauren has been working on projects that examine how parents and non-parents respond to infant distress. Lauren is also working on a project investigating the relationship between infant positive affect and parenting practices. Lauren's additional research interests include the relationship between parenting practices and the development of self-regulatory behaviors in infants and young children. Clinically, Lauren is interested in the assessment and treatment of behavior disorders such as ADHD and Conduct Disorder.

After completing her doctoral training, Lauren plans to remain actively involved in research while also engaging in teaching and child clinical work.

Kate Oddi, Ph.D.

Internship Site: University of Minnesota Children's Hospital
Dissertation: Examining the Longitudinal Relations between Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Infant Positive Emotionality in the First Year Postpartum
Thesis: Perceived Parenting and College Student Sensitivity to Infant Distress Cues
Publications: 6
Conference Presentations: 18

Kate graduated from Northern Illinois University with her doctorate in child clinical psychology in the spring of 2016 after completing an internship at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital. She then spent two years working at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital as part of a post-doctoral residency in pediatric psychology/pediatric neuropsychology. Kate is now working as a pediatric neuropsychologist at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Kate grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan, a city located about 30 minutes Northwest of Detroit. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan and received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Psychology in 2008. After completing her B.A., she spent the following year working as a research associate in the Self and Social Motivation Laboratory at the University of Michigan where she gained additional research experience prior to pursuing graduate training in clinical psychology.

Kate joined the Department of Psychology and the Emotion Regulation & Temperament Lab at NIU as a clinical psychology graduate student in August 2009. Shortly after arriving at NIU, she began actively pursuing her research interests, which are primarily focused on the contributions of parent characteristics (e.g., maternal depression) to the development of emotion regulation and temperment throughout infancy and toddlerhood. She has also conducted research on parenting, executive functioning and self-regulation. Clinically, Kate has obtained experience implementing empirically-supported treatments, primarily with children and adolescents, in a variety of settings, including a university-based outpatient clinic, elementary and middle schools and a private practice. She has also conducted psychodiagnostic and neuropsychological assessments of children with a variety of presenting issues including ADHD, LDs, ASDs, traumatic brain injuries, developmental and seizure disorders, brain tumors and other types of pediatric cancer.

After obtaining her doctorate in psychology from NIU, Kate plans to pursue a career in a medical setting, providing assessment and therapy services to children as well as consultation services to other professionals.