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OUR TEAM

DR. SHANNON O'CONNOR

Principle Investigator

Shannon is an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Montclair State University. Shannon completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Michigan State University in 2018 after completing her APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at the UCSD Eating Disorder Center and Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. Shannon then completed a post-doctoral fellowship on the Midwest T32 for Eating Disorder Research at the University of Chicago. Shannon's research interests center on identifying environmental risk factors for eating pathology using genetically-informed designs.

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LEORA HALLER

Clinical Psychology PhD Student

Leora is a fourth-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Montclair State University. As an undergraduate, Leora studied biomarkers and environmental risk factors for depression and psychosis in a non-clinical setting. In the Lowe Lab at Drexel, Leora looked at weight history and weight change in patients with Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa as part of her MS degree in psychology. Leora hopes to pursue research regarding the biobehavioral etiology of motivation and reward valuation in disordered eating.

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FRANCOIS BAN

Lab Manager

Clinical Psychology PhD Student

Francois is a second-year student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at MSU. She has a background in epidemiology from her Master's degree in Public Health at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include disordered eating pathology, weight stigmatization, and body image. Specifically, she is interested in people's relationships with food and how cultural, environmental, and societal factors may influence their eating behaviors.

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CHINWE OSSAI

Graduate Research Assistant

Chinwe is a recent graduate from our clinical psychology master's program. She graduated with a concentration in forensic psychology with the ultimate goal of achieving a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She received her BA degree double majoring in psychology and criminal justice at Rutgers University. She is interested in many areas of research including forensic psychology and the development of eating disorders and how pressures from society and in the home can impact one’s perception of their image.

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NAYELI DUME

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nayeli is a fourth-year student at Montclair State University, majoring in psychology. She is interested in adolescents, anxiety, depression, and minority groups like Latinos and individuals part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Nayeli’s goal is to join a Clinical Psychology
Ph.D. program right after graduating with her Bachelor’s from Montclair State. Her future goals after earning her Ph.D. are to work as a practitioner and later on open up a mental health clinic of her own.

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ISABELLA GONZALEZ

Undergraduate Research Assistant

 Isabella Gonzalez is a sophomore Psychology major with a minor in Spanish. Following undergrad, she hopes to pursue a Master's degree in either industrial organizational psychology or counseling. She became involved in research due to her desire to gain hands-on experience with data and to have an opportunity to apply what she has learned in her courses.

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SAM WURTS

Graduate Research Assistant

Sam Wurts is currently a second-year Master’s student in the Psychological Sciences program at Montclair State University. She is set to graduate in Spring 2024. She received her Bachelor's in Psychology from Montclair State University.  Her research interests are gender and sexuality, stereotype bias, and interpersonal perception.

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AMELIA DE JESUS

Undergraduate Research Assistant

 Amelia is a junior Psychology major at Montclair State University. She aims to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology after completing her Bachelor’s in Psychology. She is interested in focusing on adolescents, anxiety, as well as disordered eating development in sports. She is eager to become more involved in research and gain firsthand experience with the research process.

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CARLO KALISCH-CELLAI

Graduate Research Assistant

Carlo is a first-year Master's Student pursuing an M.A. in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Montclair State University, in the Addictions Counseling tract. He graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick with a B.S. in Labor Studies and Employment Relations with a minor in Psychology. During his undergraduate experience at Rutgers University, he was involved in research concerning NSSI (non-suicidal self-injury) and eating disorders for which he was published as a co-author. His research interests involve co-occurring disorders and environmental impacts on adolescents' and adults' eating behaviors. After completing his Masters at Montclair and obtaining clinical experience, he intends to pursue a Psy.D. or Ph.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology.

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Nichole Sanchez

Graduate Research Assistant

Nichole Sanchez is a first-year student in Montclair State University's terminal Clinical Psychology MA program. She received her
Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Seton Hall University. Her research interests include eating disorders, adolescents, and minority groups, such as the LQBTQ+ and Latino communities. Her
goal after graduation is to go on to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

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BEFED LAB ALUMNI

We are incredibly proud of our lab members who have moved on to other opportunities. We love hearing updates on where you are now! 

Sophia Borrero, BA
Samantha Corrales, MA
Nicole DeSimone, MA
Devan Depue

Emily Ferrer, BA- full-time clinical research assistant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
Jessica Gray
Uzma Hasan

Shannon Marhan, MA- pursuing a Master's of Social Work at NYU
Cornelia Marian, MS, MEd- pursuing a PsyD in Counseling at Holy Family University
Samantha Matthews, MA- pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University
Eftihia Mazis
Alexa Salotti, MA-
pursuing a PsyD in Counseling at St. Elizabeth University

Deja Stith
Victoria Solakov- pursuing a Master's in Child and Adolescent Mental Health  at University College London
Mckayla Williams, BA- pursuing a PsyD in Clinical Psychology at Nova Southeastern University

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