PEOPLE

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

Graduate Research Assistant

Leora is a second-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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SHANNON MARHAN

Graduate Research Assistant

Shannon is a second-year student in the Clinical Psychology Master's program. She has a concentration in children and adolescents. Shannon aspires to be a therapist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. She is interested in the relationship between body image and the fear of weight gain in individuals with varying levels of disordered eating. She is also interested in studying genetic and environmental risk factors for eating disorders and how those risk factors can shape prevention and treatment strategies.

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CORNELIA MARIAN

Research Assistant

Cornelia is a first-year Lab Research Assistant in the BeFed Lab. She is interested in eating disorders in the general population as well as eating disorders in sport and fitness. She received a BFA in ID (Rochester Institute of Technology) MS in ID (Philadelphia University) and expecting an M.Ed. - Advanced Teaching with a goal of being a prospective applicant to the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology.

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SAMANTHA MATTHEWS

Graduate Research Assistant

Sam is a first-year student in the Clinical Psychology Master’s program with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. Prior to coming to Montclair, she studied Biological Sciences and Psychology at Rutgers University. Sam is interested in the biological and genetic factors that underlie the development of eating disorders, and how that understanding can be utilized to treat patients more effectively. She hopes to be a practicing psychologist in the future who also has the ability to contribute to research in the field.

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VICTORIA SOLAKOV

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Victoria is a senior at Montclair State University, majoring in psychology with a Criminal Justice minor. She is interested in pursuing a master's degree in either clinical neuroscience or clinical psychology, with the ultimate goal of achieving a PhD in Clinical Psychology so she can be a professor. She enjoys researching the effects of depression and anxiety on children or adolescents because she believes it motivates individuals' actions later in life and is an important target for intervention. She is also interested in the conjunction of Psychology and the Criminal Justice system and wants to research the recidivism rates of juvenile delinquents and ways to deter criminal behavior. However, she has an open mind to any future research interest.

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EFTIHIA MAZIS

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Eftihia is a junior at Montclair State University, majoring in Psychology. Eftihia's next steps would be applying to a doctoral degree program in Clinical Psychology and becoming a licensed therapist for children to young adults.
She is specifically interested in how an individual's home life can impact their mental health, whether supportive or harmful, and how perception can play a factor. She is also interested in researching eating disorders and the connectivity of having underlying symptoms of depression or anxiety and how these could affect an individual.
Her current favorite Psychology book is Perception: How our bodies shape our minds by Dennis Proffitt and Drake Baer.

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EMILY FERRER

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Emily is a third-year undergraduate student with a double major in Psychology and Justice Studies at Montclair State University. She is interested in abnormal psychology, eating disorders, child development, and neuropsychology. Her future goals are to go straight into a Clinical Psychology PhD program after she graduates from Montclair and work specifically with adolescents who are struggling with eating disorders/behaviors. She also aspires to teach as a professor at a University in the far future. In her free time, Emily likes to spend time with her dog, Rummy, go on hikes, and travel!

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DEJA STITH

Graduate Research Assistant

Deja is a first-year student in the Clinical Psychology Masters' program with a concentration in Child/Adolescent Psychology. Deja received her dual Bachelor's of Science from Rutgers University in Psychology and Criminal Justice. Deja is interested in children who have experienced trauma and the creation of trauma-informed systems and therapy to combat their experiences. She hopes to receive her PsyD in Clinical Psychology and use her expertise in a hospital setting and hopefully one day, academia as a professor.

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SAMANTHA CORRALES

Graduate Research Assistant

Samantha is a first- year student in the Clinical Psychology Master’s program with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. As an undergraduate, she studied Psychology and Justice Studies at Montclair State University. Samantha is interested in criminal assessments and preventing false confessions in wrongful convictions. She is also interested in understanding the underlying biological factors of adolescents in prison settings. Samantha plans on pursuing an education in a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology to continue researching about various topics of the field.

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ALEXA SALOTTI

Graduate Research Assistant

Alexa is a first-year student in the Clinical Psychology Master’s Program at Montclair State University. She has a concentration in Child & Adolescent Psychology, as she is highly interested in looking at mental health within youth populations. Following her Master’s, Alexa plans on going straight into either a PsyD or PhD Clinical Psychology program. When she is not at the lab or in class, Alexa is a Pre-K teacher at an Early Learning Center in Cranford, NJ.

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CHINWE OSSAI

Graduate Research Assistant

Chinwe is a first-year student in the clinical psychology masters program with a concentration in forensic psychology with the ultimate goal of achieving a PhD 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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