Skip to main content

Our team

Lab Director: Autumn Kujawa, Ph.D.

Autumn Kujawa, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research integrates multiple methods, including psychophysiology, neuroimaging, and behavioral measures, to examine emotional processing styles involved in the development and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Dr. Kujawa earned her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University and completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral research fellowship in the neuroscience of mental health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Kujawa has been awarded both a Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation fellowship award and a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator grant, and she has been recognized as a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. When not teaching or in the lab, she enjoys hiking and exploring Nashville with her family.


Samantha Pegg


Samantha Pegg is a second year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area and is working with Dr. Autumn Kujawa. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Miami in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in Biology. Following her time at UM, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Dauten Family Center for Bipolar Treatment Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital for two years. Samantha is broadly interested in studying the underlying mechanisms of mood and anxiety disorders. More specifically, she is interested in the cognitive and emotional processes involved in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Outside of the lab, Samantha enjoys hiking, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.


Emilia Cardenas


Emilia is a second year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area and is working with Drs. Autumn Kujawa and Kathryn Humphreys. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 with a dual degree in Psychology and Art. Emilia then worked as a research coordinator in the Lab for Affective and Translational Neuroscience at McLean Hospital for two years. Emilia is interested in investigating the behavioral and neurobiological impacts of early life relationships and stress on the development and maintenance of depression. After graduate school, Emilia hopes to strike a career balance between research and clinical work. Outside of the lab, Emilia enjoys watching live music, cooking dinner with friends, and reading good books.



Lindsay Dickey, M.Ed.

Lindsay Headshot

Lindsay is a first year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area. Prior to starting the doctoral program, Lindsay completed the Vanderbilt Child Studies program, specializing in the Clinical & Developmental Research Track. She graduated with high distinction from Indiana University in 2014, receiving BA’s in both psychology and political science. She is broadly interested in studying the dynamic relationship between cognitive, affective, and physiological processes in the development and maintenance of depression and anxiety. Particularly, she is interested in individual differences in the cognitive processing of stressful life events, and how this interacts with physiological reactivity, motivation, and emotion regulation. She is currently working under Dr. Kujawa on a project studying neural predictors of treatment response for adolescents with depression, as well as a few projects under Dr. Compas in the Stress & Coping Lab. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and running.


Jennifer Ude

Image from iOS

Jennifer is a second year master’s student in the Biomedical Sciences program and is on a pre-medical track, ultimately hoping to practice in the field of mental health. She graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. After graduation, Jennifer worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Divisions of Rheumatology and Nephrology at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Howard University Hospital. Jennifer is currently working with Dr. Autumn Kujawa to explore her interests in the predictive factors of psychopathology as a function of social stressors and life experiences. More specifically, Jennifer is interested in identifying the neurophysiological correlates implicated in increased risk for psychopathology and defining the utility of these markers as potential therapeutic targets for depressive and anxiety disorders. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, cooking, and retail therapy!


Irena Kesselring

Irena is a first year master’s student in the Child Studies program on the Clinical & Developmental Research Track. She graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia in 2019, with a double major in Cognitive Science, (concentration: Cognitive Psychology) and English. She is generally interested in the factors linked to the onset of anxiety and mood disorders, as well as the role of emotion regulation and neural factors that underlie psychopathology. In her free time, Irena enjoys spending time with friends, cooking, and playing video games.


Andrew Milowsky

Image from iOS1

Andrew Milowsky is a second-year master’s student in the Human Development Counseling program. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University majoring in Rehabilitation and Human Services while also earning minors in Spanish and Psychology. Andrew is interested in investigating the interconnection between emotional regulation and trauma. He also has research interests in suicidality, masculinity, and gender socialization. In his free time, Andrew enjoys playing video games, watching sports and playing with his cats.


Hee Jung Jeong


Hee Jung is a first year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area under the mentorship of Toni Kaczkurkin. She graduated from Korea University in 2017 with a Master of Science degree in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, and has been collaborating with our lab since 2018. Hee Jung is interested in searching for etiology and vulnerability factors of mood and anxiety disorders using neuroscientific, physiological, and behavioral methods. Specifically, she is interested in tracking neural correlates and developmental trajectories in high-risk individuals. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga and walking.


Haley Green


Haley graduated from Vanderbilt in 2018 with a dual degree in Child Development and Psychology. For her undergraduate honors thesis, she oversaw a study examining relations among theory of mind, depressive symptoms, and social competence in children under the supervision of Dr. Judy Garber. She received highest honors, as well as the award for the overall best honors project in the Department of Psychology and Human Development. Haley currently serves as the lab manager for the Mood, Emotion, and Development Lab, and she is applying to clinical psychology Ph.D. programs in Fall 2019. She is interested in examining how early life adversity, caregiving, and parental psychopathology interface with individual differences in emotionality and temperament in young children to modulate risk for internalizing symptoms, with the ultimate goal of applying research findings to improve early intervention efforts. In her spare time, Haley enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with friends and family.


Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Elisabeth Barnett
Anh Dao
Spencer Deng
Lindsey Gordon
Maya Jackson
Rachel Lichtenfeld
Sophia Kekes-Szabo
Sydney Okland
Joshua Pimentel
Alexis Pramberger
Naomi Watson
Michael West

CBT Group Leaders:

Lindsay Dickey, M.Ed.
Haley Green
Lauren Henry, M.S.
Liz Nick, M.S.
Kemar Prussien, M.S.
Rachel Siciliano
Jenn Stewart, M.S.
Allison Vreeland, M.S.