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Research Team

CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS

Elaine Blank, M.A.

 
Tucker Peck, M.A.
 
Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology
Sleep Research Laboratory
University of Arizona
 

Tucker's academic journey began when he graduated from Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was voted twelfth-most likely to succeed by his classmates.  He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Brown University, where he studied with Professor Mary Carskadon, who was the first winner of the Sleep Research Society's prestigious Mary Carskadon Award for teaching sleep.  However, Tucker feels confident that if the Sleep Research Society had a Tucker Peck award, he would easily have been the first winner.  He then worked for 1.5 years as a psychotherapist on the pediatric inpatient unit at Bradley Hospital in East Providence, and for 1.5 years researched meditation with Willoughby Britton by day and was a professional trivia game show host at night (that's true).  Following a quickly-aborted career as a systems analyst and a consultant, Tucker decided it was time to apply to graduate school (that part isn't true.  Tucker doesn't know what "systems analyst" or "consultant" means.  And that IS true).  In 2008 through what Tucker assumes was a clerical error, Dr. Bootzin accepted him to the graduate program at the University of Arizona to study the effects of mindfulness meditation on sleep.  In his spare time, Tucker enjoys driving, hiking, practicing meditation, and drafting autobiographical paragraphs for websites.

 

Katharine Newman-Smith, M.A.

Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive and Neural Systems
University of Arizona
Email: knsmith@email.arizona.edu

 

Katharine Newman-Smith is a third year doctoral student in both the cognition and neural systems and clinical psychology programs.  Katharine's doctoral advisors include Dr. Richard Bootzin, Sleep Research Lab, Dr. Rebecca Gomez, Child Cognition lab (http://web.arizona.edu/~tigger/index.htm), and Dr. Lynn Nadel.  Currently, Katharine’s interests lie at the junction of sleep, memory, and cognitive development. At present, Katharine runs studies exploring how sleep aides statistical learning in 6-month-old infants, how the state of rest in 17-month old infants differentially affects attention to new information, how sleep or sleep deprivation affects the malleability of memories, and an fMRI reconsolidation study.  Prior to coming to Tucson, Katharine was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. There, she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Joseph Campos (Infant Studies Lab), Dr. Allison Harvey (Sleep and Psychological Disorders Lab) and Dr. Matt Walker (Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab).
 

 

Spencer Dawson, M.A.

Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology
Sleep Research Laboratory
University of Arizona

Spencer Dawson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona. He began his training in sleep as a research assistant at the University of Michigan Sleep and Chonophysiology Laboratory from 2006 to 2010. Since 2010, he has been pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, regularly presenting research at the annual meeting of the Association of Professional Sleep Societies. His research interests include sleep disorders and their treatment, with a special emphasis on insomnia, and how people perceive their own sleep. In addition to his research, Spencer has clinical experience conducting assessments and therapy for individuals, couples, and families in several different settings including the Psychology Department Behavioral Health Clinic, Psychiatry Department Insomnia Clinic, Arizona State Prison Complex – Tucson, Marana Health Center, and the Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER).

 

 

Monica Kelly, B.S.

Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology
University of Arizona
Email: mrkelly@email.arizona.edu

 

I am a clinical graduate student. I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2003 where I obtained my B.S. in Psychology. Following graduation, I worked as a project coordinator for Patricia Haynes, PhD in her Research Examining Sleep and Trauma (R.E.S.T.) Lab developing and investigating efficacy of interventions for patients with comorbid depression, PTSD and sleep disturbances. My current research interests include the relationship between sleep and psychopathology, specifically in the areas of traumatic stress and emotion regulation.

Natalie Bryant, B.S.

Doctoral Student, Cognitive Neural Systems
University of Arizona
Email:  nbbryant@email.arizona.edu

Originally from Normal, Illinois (yes, Normal), I completed my bachelors in psychology in May of 2008 at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. From there I worked in the adolescent substance abuse field, both as a counselor and a researcher, before deciding to continue my education. In the summer of 2011 I worked as a Dement Fellow at Brown University, after which I began my graduate career at University of Arizona. My research pursuits include adolescent circadian changes and memory consolidation, cortisol and declarative memory processing during sleep, and creative insights resulting from sleep. In my free time, I can be seen reading, taking pictures, and playing the entire catalog of Regina Spektor on the piano.

 

 

Christopher Stare, B. A.
Doctoral Student, Cognition & Neural Systems
Psychology
University of Arizona
 

Chris began his academic career at the University of Notre Dame, where he worked under the tutelage of Dr. Jessica Payne studying sleep and emotional memories. During his second undergraduate summer, he was fortunate enough to work as a Dement Fellow studying adolescent circadian rhythms under Dr. Mary Carskadon at Brown University. His following summer was spent studying sleep and memory under Dr. Elizabeth Kensinger at Boston College, and he soon completed his undergraduate thesis on emotional cognitive reappraisal and sleep before heading off to Arizona in 2012.

Chris is currently a third year student in the Cognition and Neural Systems PhD program working with Drs. Lynn Nadel and Rebecca Gómez in addition to Dr. Bootzin. Chris's research interests continue to focus on the effects of sleep on memory and cognition; specifically, he is currently investigating the role of exposure to novelty on the subsequent consolidation of memories during sleep. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games, drinking tasty craft beers, going to  concerts, visiting his lovely girlfriend in NYC, and, between the months of August and January, obsessing over Notre Dame football.

Michael Goldstein, B.A.

Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology
University of Arizona
Email:

Michael graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010.  As an undergraduate, he worked in the sleep research laboratories of Drs. Ruth Benca and Giulio Tononi, using high-density EEG to examine sleep and waking electrophysiology in healthy and clinical populations.  His undergraduate thesis focused on the antidepressant effects of selective slow wave sleep deprivation in major depression.  In addition, he spent time as a research assistant in the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience with Drs. Antoine Lutz and Richard Davidson for a project investigating the effects of long-term meditation practice on brain functioning.  After graduation, he continued to work as a research specialist with Dr. Ruth Benca, further exploring sleep homeostasis in mood and psychiatric disorders.  Michael has also been involved with research projects studying the effects of yoga and meditation practices on well-being in university students and prison populations.  From 2010 to 2012, he served as a volunteer counselor at a teen and family crisis center in Madison, WI, offering counseling services in English and Spanish, and he hopes to use Spanish to enhance accessibility of clinical services in the future.  While at the University of Arizona, Michael is continuing to explore his interests in sleep and meditation research, aiming to better understand the benefits of meditation for sleep disorders and sleep disturbance in psychiatric disorders, as well as to further characterize sleep functioning in humans using a variety of psychophysiological measures.  In his free time, Michael enjoys playing hockey and soccer, training for triathlons, cooking, drinking tea, traveling, maintaining a personal yoga and meditation practice, and smiling every moment possible!                                                                                                                         Erica Wager, M.A.      

Doctoral Student, Cognitive and Neural Systems Psychology
University of Arizona

Email: ewager@email.arizona.edu

Erica completed her B.S. in Psychology and minor in Spanish at the University of Arizona in 2012. She then went on to work as a William Dement Research Fellow at Brown University and Bradley Hospital in the summer of 2012 before pursuing her graduate degree at the University of Arizona. She received her M.A. in Psychology in 2014 from the University of Arizona in the Cognition and Neural Systems program. Her masters was titled: Action affordances among semantically related objects mediates competition in V4. Erica studies visual attention, how caffeine mediates visual attention and sleep and cognition using various behavioral and fMRI methods.

LAB MANAGERS/PROJECT COORDINATORS

Darlynn Rojo-Wissar, B.A.

Project Manager, Divorce, Sleep EAR study,NIH/NICHD

Email: darlynnr@email.arizona.edu

Phone: 520-621-5127

I am a lab manager and project coordinator  for the Divorce, Sleep, EAR study investigating the interaction between sleep, health, and social functioning following  marital separation or divorce. The longitudinal study is a collaboration between Dr.Richard Bootzin, Dr. David Sbarra, and Dr. Matthias  Mehl. I recently graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2014. My research interests include adverse childhood experiences, intimate partner violence, law and policy, psychoneuroimmunology, psychobiology and sleep. My hobbies include playing with my dog, being a Girl Scout leader, and volunteering at Emerge Center against domestic abuse and violence for the children's groups. 

Cody Havens, B.S.

Project Manager, Multi Site Sleep Study
Email: chavens@email.arizona.edu
Phone: 520-621-5127

I graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Psychology and am currently coordinating the Multi Site Sleep Study, which is a study investigating the effects of chronic moderate sleep restriction in older adults aged 60-80 on a variety of psychological and physiological measures. I have had a range of sleep research experience working with Dr. Richard Bootzin, Dr. Mary Carskadon and Dr. Kristen Archbold. I plan on applying to experimental and clinical psychology graduate school programs in Fall 2015. I am interested in general sleep research, including sleep disorders, stress and sleep, the biological control of sleep and the epigenetics of sleep. In my free time I enjoy hiking, traveling and playing video games.

 

PAST PROJECT COORDINATOR, LONG DISTANCE CONSULTANT FOR THE DIVORCE STUDY

 

Kendra N. Krietsch, B.A. 

Past Project Manager, Divorce, Sleep, EAR Study, NIH/NICHD

Email: knk24@email.arizona.edu

I am a recent graduate of the University of Arizona with a BA in Psychology. I used to work as the project manager for the Divorce, Sleep, EAR study investigating the impact of divorce on sleep and social functioining.  My areas of interest are broadly related to the area of pediatric psychology.  Specifically, I am interested in children with chronic and/or terminal illness.  My interest in this area relates to how sleep, stress, nutrition, pain management, and coping influence disease maintenance and recovery.  I am also interested in how to encourage healthy behaviors in children and adolescents, such as good sleep habits, proper nutrition and exercise, and stress management. In my spare time, I love gardening and spending time outside, doing renovations around the house, food science and cooking, traveling, and boston terriers.

 

 

LOCAL UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA COLLABORATORS

John Allen, Ph.D. - Psychophysiology Lab
Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D. - Child Cognition Lab
Lynn Nadel, Ph.D. - Down Syndrome Research Lab
David Sbarra, Ph.D. - Laboratory for Social Connectedness and Health
Matthias Mehl, Ph.D. - Social Interactions, Personality, and Health Lab
Tricia Haynes, Ph.D. - Research Examining Sleep and Trauma Lab (REST lab)
Michelle Perfect, Ph.D. 
Kristen Archbold
Jamie Goodwin
Phil Eichling
Sally Stevens
Fiona Bailey
Ralph Fregosi