The 2012 APA Dissertation Research Award recipients

Forty-six graduate students received funding for their research.

The American Psychological Association (APA) congratulates the outstanding graduate students who have been awarded 2012 APA Dissertation Research Awards. These awards are made annually by the APA Science Directorate to promising graduate students to assist with the costs of their dissertation research. Students may apply for funding of up to $5,000.  (See the award website for additional information.)

Out of 177 applications this year, four students with the highest rated proposals received awards of $3,250, and 42 students received awards of up to $1,000. Listed below are the names and dissertation projects of each of the winners.

Recipients of Awards of $3,250


Kathleen Arnold, Washington University in St. Louis

Kathleen Arnold, Washington University in St. LouisThe Enhancing Effect of Retrieval on Subsequent Encoding: Understanding Test-Potentiated Learning

Kathleen Arnold’s dissertation is focused on understanding underlying mechanisms and limitations of test-potentiated learning, or the enhanced encoding that occurs following a previous retrieval attempt. This research has implications both for a better basic understanding of the role of retrieval in learning and memory and for applied educational uses of testing.

Kathleen graduated with a BS in psychology from Furman University. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in Kathleen McDermott’s lab at Washington University in St. Louis. After graduating, she will continue her training as a post-doctoral fellow with Elizabeth Marsh at Duke University.


Matthew Calamia, University of Iowa

Matthew Calamia, University of IowaThe Internal Structure of Apathy and its Correlates in a Neuropsychological Patient Sample

Apathy is prevalent in many neurological disorders. In his dissertation research, Matthew Calamia aims to develop an empirically based model of apathy symptoms. He is also examining how symptom factors of apathy relate to cognitive functioning, functional impairment and caregiver distress.

Matthew received his BS in psychology from Louisiana State University in 2007. As an undergraduate, he attended a summer research program at the University of Iowa for underrepresented students. He returned to Iowa the following year as a clinical psychology graduate student. He is supervised by Kristian Markon and Daniel Tranel.


Laura Castro-Schilo, University of California, Davis

Laura Castro-Schilo, University of California, DavisExplorations of Multitrait-Multimethod Data: Trait Relations with External Variables, Model Identification, and Modeling Change in Personality among Mexican-Origin Children

Laura Castro-Schilo’s dissertation research is focused on the application and development of multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) models for psychological data. Models for MTMM data help assess the validity of constructs and account for unwanted biases, but existing models have several limitations. As part of her dissertation, Laura is developing and testing a new MTMM model that deals with the shortcomings of its predecessors.

Laura is a PhD candidate in the Quantitative Psychology program at the University of California, Davis, where she works under the supervision of Keith Widaman and Kevin Grimm. Prior to graduate school, Laura graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton.


Callie Dunn, University of Florida

Callie Dunn, University of FloridaHuman Strategies in the Computer-generated Arena, A Virtual Morris Water Maze Task: Associations with Performance and Structural Neuroimaging in Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Callie Dunn’s dissertation utilizes a computer-based human analogue of the Morris Water Maze (MWM) called the Computer-generated Arena. In this project, she plans on developing a reliable rating protocol to identify spatial search strategies used on the virtual MWM with an eye toward potentially developing this paradigm as a behavioral marker of preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Analyses will focus on examining whether less effective strategies are associated with clinical features of mild cognitive impairment and early AD and with hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes.

Callie received her undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University before beginning the doctoral program in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida in 2009 under the mentorship of Russell Bauer.

Recipients of Awards up to $1,000

Thomas Armstrong, Vanderbilt University
Normative and Pathological Effects of Aversive Learning on Spatial Attention

Lisham Ashrafioun, Bowling Green State University
Craving, Prescription Opioids, and Chronic Pain

Amanda Barkley-Levenson, Oregon Health and Sciences University
The Role of Neuropeptide Y in Binge-like Drinking in Mice

Stephen Becker, Miami University
Social Functioning and Comorbid Mental Health Problems in Children with ADHD

Jocelyn Belanger, University of Maryland
The Psychology of Martyrdom

Laura Berner, Drexel University
Self-regulatory Control of Eating: An fNIR Study of Bulimia Nervosa

Tiffany Brannon, Stanford University
Two Souls, Two Thoughts, Two Self-Schemas: Positive Self, Social, and Academic Consequences of Double Consciousness in African-Americans

Janelle Caponigro, University of California, Berkeley
Imagining the Future: Memory and Prospection in Schizophrenia

Erika Carlson, Washington University in St. Louis
The Validity of Meta-Perceptions as a Measure of Personality

Harold Chui, University of Maryland
Therapist Affect and the Psychotherapy Process

Crista Crittenden, Carnegie Mellon University
Acute Stress Reactivity in Asthma

Anita Cservenka, Oregon Health and Sciences University
Emotional Processing and Brain Activity in Youth at High Risk for Alcoholism

Andrea Dennison, Texas A&M University
Bilingual Education, Acculturation, and the Psychological Health of Mexican-heritage Preadolescents

Youssef Ezzyat, New York University
The Influence of Event Perception Mechanisms on Episodic Memory Formation

Gina Fernandez, George Mason University
Developmental Differences in MAPK Activation Following Single-Trial Nicotine Conditioned Place Preference

Angela Garrison, Western Michigan University
Testing a Model of Maladaptive Perfectionism and Depressive Symptoms: The Roles of Emotional Disclosure, Emotion Regulation Strategies, Adult Attachment, and Shame

Dylan Gee, University of California, Los Angeles
Amygdala-Prefrontal Function and Clinical Course among Adolescents and Young Adults at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis

Stephanie Groman, University of California, Los Angeles
A Multidimensional Analysis of Dopamine Receptors: Implications for Addictions

Noah Gubner, Oregon Health and Sciences University
Effects of Nicotine and Varenicline on Ethanol Reward Behaviors and Neuroadaptation

Suk Won Han, Vanderbilt University
Functional Fractionation of the Stimulus-driven Attention Network

Jacqueline Hersh, Duke University
Can Computers Assist Treatment: Virtual Reality as a Possible Cue Exposure Technique for Use with Adolescent Substance Abusers

Kevin Holmes, Emory University
Language as a Window into the Mind: The Case of Space

Abbey Hughes, University of Kansas
Glutathione as a Predictor of Neuropsychological Impairments in Patients with Relapsing Remitting, Secondary Progressive, and Primary Progressive MS

Vanessa Juth, University of California, Irvine
The Dyadic Cancer Experience: Adjustment of Adolescent and Young Adult Patients and their Caregivers

Anya Kogan, University of Arizona
Prefrontal EEG Asymmetry and Communication Patterns during Discussions of Disagreements in Romantic Partners

Beatrice Kuhlmann, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
To Use or Not to Use?  Influences on Older Adults’ Encoding Strategy Use

Cheri Levinson, Washington University in St. Louis
Social Evaluation Fears and Eating Behaviors

Brian Littleton, Western Michigan University
African American Men’s Health: Regulating Race-Related Stress through Cognitive Flexibility

Brett Marroquin, Yale University
Interpersonal Emotion Regulation: Regulatory Influences of Close Relationships on Depression

Luis Medina, San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego
Culture and Cognition: The Relationship between Self-Construal and Cognitive Fluency

Kristin Miserocchi, University of Kentucky
Therapist White Privilege Attitudes and their Effect on Client Outcomes and the Therapist-Client Therapeutic Relationship

Melissa Monsey, Yale University
Epigenetic Regulation of Chronic Stress and Fear Memory Formation

Yi Mou, University of Missouri
Abstract Matching: Six- and Ten-Month-Old Infants' Intermodal Representations of Ratio

Brendan Murray, Boston College
The Effects of Emotion and Encoding Strategy on Younger and Older Adults' Associative Memory

Anjali Rameshbabu, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Self-Regulation of Saturated Fat Intake in Blue-Collar Workers: A Randomized Intervention Study

Crystal Reeck, Duke University
Neurocognitive Mechanisms Underlying the Interaction of Emotion and Executive Control

Millie Rincon Cortes, New York University
Pathway to Pathology: Early Life Trauma and Amygdala Dopamine

David Scheinfeld, University of Texas at Austin
From Battlegrounds to the Backcountry: Boots Back on the Ground: A Study of the Relationship between Masculine Norms and Therapeutic Outcomes for Male Military Veterans Attending an Outward Bound Course

Kaycie Tayler, University of Virginia
Reactivation of Neural Ensembles during the Retrieval of Recent and Remote Memory

Erin Ward-Ciesielski, University of Washington
Brief Skills-based Intervention for Non-Treatment-Engaged Suicidal Individuals

Marta Wnuczko, University of Toronto
Foreshortening Leads to Overestimation of Angles and Slants

Jessica Wong, University of Chicago
Global and Local Levels of Metamemory in Older Adults