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 vulnerabilities for mood and anxiety disorders and develop more targeted interventions. 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 was recognized as a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science and has been awarded research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, and Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD). When not teaching or in the lab, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and exploring Nashville with her family.
Kaylin Hill, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral scholar in the NIH T32: Development of Psychopathology: From Brain and Behavioral Science to Intervention Training Program, primarily working with Drs. Autumn Kujawa and Kathryn Humphreys at Vanderbilt University. Kaylin’s research utilizes multiple methods, including psychophysiology, behavioral measures, and self-report/structured interviews, to examine cognitive and affective processes. Kaylin is most interested in assessing intergenerational risk factors and the rigor of commonly used methods to support assessment and identification of vulnerability factors for mood disorders. Kaylin graduated summa cum laude from Butler University, earned her Ph.D. from Purdue University, and completed her clinical internship at the University of Notre Dame. Outside the lab, Kaylin enjoys adventuring and spending time with her family.
Graduate Students and Staff:
Sam Pegg, M.S. is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area and works under 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, friends, and her dog, Tater.
Emilia “Emili” Cárdenas, M.S. is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area and works under Dr. Autumn Kujawa. Emili graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 with a dual degree in Psychology and Art. Emili then worked as a research coordinator in the Lab for Affective and Translational Neuroscience at McLean Hospital for two years. Emili is interested in advancing translational neuroscience to promote resilience in vulnerable children and families. Specifically, she is interested in using multimodal methods (e.g., ERPS, heart rate variability, behavior) to investigate predictors of caregiving behavior and postpartum health. When Emili is not in the lab, she enjoys hiking, cooking new recipes, and listening to live music.
Lindsay Dickey, M.Ed. is a third-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 understanding how individual differences in these processes contribute to heterogeneity within depression. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and running.
Lisa Venanzi, M.Ed. is a second-year doctoral student in the Clinical Science area and is working with Dr. Autumn Kujawa. She received a B.S. in Psychology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, then moved to Nashville and completed a M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Vanderbilt. After receiving her Master’s, she worked as a lab manager for Dr. Gavin Price, where she learned additional skills necessary to pursue her research interests. Lisa is broadly interested in the development and maintenance of neural predictors of suicidal behaviors in adolescents, with a long-term goal of applying these findings to improve treatment efficacy and response. Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, and taking varied classes through Nashville Community Education (most recently, 14th century German Longsword).
Maya Jackson is a second-year master’s student in the Human Development Counseling program on the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track and the Project Coordinator for the Pregnancy to Parenthood Study. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Psychology and a minor in Spanish, receiving the Peabody College Willis D. Hawley Award for her commitment of service to others. As an undergraduate student, Maya was a research assistant in the Mood, Emotion, and Development Lab from 2018-2020. She is interested in studying the impact of early adversity on children’s development and mental health disparities in diverse populations. In her free time, Maya enjoys crocheting, watching anime, and trying out different food recipes.
Maddie Politte-Corn is a second-year Master’s student in the Child Studies program on the Clinical & Developmental Research track. She graduated summa cum laude and with distinction in the major field from Cornell College in May 2020, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Applied Statistics. In 2019, she worked at the Centre for Emotional Health in Sydney, Australia as the Bryan International Fellow in Adolescent Well-Being, where she worked on a number of projects, including her Honors thesis, examining the impact of social media use on adolescent/young adult mental health. In Dr. Kujawa’s lab, she has become fascinated with leveraging ERPs to study social-emotional processing as it relates to risk for internalizing problems and will be applying to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs to further pursue this interest. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, creating indie playlists, watching baseball (go Cards), and going for walks/runs.
Alex Argiros is a first-year master’s student in the Child Studies program on the Clinical & Developmental Research track. She graduated summa cum laude from San Diego State University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies through the Weber Honors College. As an undergraduate, Alex volunteered in a research lab studying family-based preventative interventions for child and adolescent anxiety and depression. She is broadly interested in studying the underlying mechanisms of internalizing disorders and effective preventions for children and adolescents. More specifically, she is interested in how parenting can alter emotional development and contribute to the development of internalizing disorders in at-risk youth. In her free time, Alex enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, and photography.