Student Advisory Board

Student Advisory Board

Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a group of students who are chosen to represent the student membership within Division 54. The SAB is made up of four committees: Advocacy & Service, Communication, Membership, and Program Committees. This board works with the Student Representative to promote student interests in division programming, structure, and training, and to encourage other students to get involved.

Meet the new members of the SAB who began their terms January 1, 2022.

Student Representative

Perry Catlin, Marquette University (2023-2024)

Student Advisory Board Members

Advocacy & Service Committee

  • Kelsey Hill, Eastern Michigan University (2022-2023)
  • Rachel Fisher, Oklahoma State University (2022-2023)
  • Samantha Scott, University of Denver (2023-2024)
  • Ariel O. Blakey, Boston University (2023-2024)

Communication Committee

  • Karen Dimentstein, Nova Southeastern University (2022-2023)
  • Caitlyn Maye, Texas A&M University (2022-2023)
  • Ashley Lahoud, Kent State University (2023-2024)

Membership Committee

  • Jennifer Kelleher, West Virginia University (2022-2023)
  • Mycah Ayala, University of Houston (2022-2023)
  • Amanda Flagg, SUNY University at Albany (2023-2024)

Programming Committee

  • Yael Gross, Lehigh University (2022-2023)
  • Isabelle (Isa) Sereno, Northeastern University (2023-2024)
  • Ellison (Ellie) Choate, Palo Alto University (2023-2024)

Student Representative

Perry A. Catlin, M.S. (he/him)
SPP Student Representative & SAB Chair
Perry Catlin is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Marquette University. Perry’s research program focuses on understanding the psychosocial aspects of pediatric chronic illness management, and identifying factors that influence shared decision-making processes and outcomes. He is also interested in bringing attention to the underlying mechanisms that lead to health disparities, and addressing these issues via community-academic partnerships. As the 2023-2024 SPP Student Representative, Perry chairs the Student Advisory Board (SAB) by coordinating and overseeing all SAB-related activities, and supporting SAB members with their respective duties. In addition, Perry is a voting member of the Division’s Executive Board, where he assists with planning SPPAC and the APA convention, and advocates for programing and services that address trainee needs.

Advocacy & Service Committee

Kelsey L. Hill, M.S. (she/hers)
Advocacy & Service Committee, Advocacy Chair
Kelsey Hill is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Eastern Michigan University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Peterson, Kelsey’s research combines her interests in child and adolescent development, health disparities, and psychosocial adjustment to chronic illness. She is particularly interested in applying a multisystemic lens to understanding barriers to optimal self-management and psychosocial functioning in pediatric allergic diseases to inform intervention development and policy change. As the Advocacy Chair on the new Advocacy & Service Committee, Kelsey is creating a student needs assessment for SPP trainees to inform student-led advocacy initiatives, co-hosts trainee listening sessions, and is developing strategies to disseminate and engage trainees in advocacy opportunities.

Rachel S. Fisher, M.S. (she/hers)
Advocacy & Service Committee, Service Chair
Rachel Fisher is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State University under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Mullins. Rachel’s research interests center around investigating family adjustment to pediatric medical conditions, and she has specific interests in health care communication and decision-making. Rachel has primarily applied these interests to the childhood cancer and disorders/differences of sex development populations. In her role on the Advocacy & Service Committee, Rachel co-coordinates the outreach and service programming occurring during SPPAC.

Samantha Scott, MA (she/her)
Advocacy and Service Committee, Advocacy Co-Chair
Samantha Scott (she/her) is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at the University of Denver under the mentorship of Dr. Jena Doom. Her research program focuses on developmental psychoneuroimmunology, depression, and resilience in healthy adolescents and in those with chronic illness (i.e., type 1 diabetes, cancer). Samantha is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. In her role on the Advocacy and Service Committee, Samantha works to coordinate advocacy training opportunities.

Ariel O. Blakey, MA (she/hers)
Advocacy and Service Committee, Service Co-Chair
Ariel Blakey is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Boston University under the mentorship of Dr. Kristin Long. Ariel’s research interests center around optimizing psychosocial outcomes and improving access to equitable care for medically complex pediatric patients of underserved and marginalized backgrounds. Ariel's current research specifically investigates the role of social determinants in disease management and overall quality of life amongst pediatric patients with sickle cell disease. In her role on the Advocacy & Service Committee, Ariel assists with planning and executing the off- and on-site service events occurring during SPPAC.


Communication Committee

Karen Dimentstein, MPH, MS (she/her)
Communications Committee, Podcast Co-Chair
Karen Dimentstein is a third-year clinical psychology PhD student at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Under the mentorship of Dr. Jessica Valenzuela, Karen’s research and clinical interests focus on disparities in type 1 diabetes treatment, adherence, and outcomes. She is also interested in public health, health promotion, and health policy. Karen serves on the Communications Committee, where she assists with gathering and disseminating innovative pediatric psychology research for the SPP Podcast.

Caitlyn E. Maye, B.S. (she/hers)
Communication Committee, Student Spotlight Chair
Caitlyn Maye is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Texas A&M University, under the mentorship of Dr. Idia Thurston. Caitlyn is interested in utilizing community-based interventions to examine health disparities in children with chronic health conditions, with specific interests in sleep disparities. She is interested in examining multisystemic factors that impact health behavior change and sleep in children with chronic health conditions. As the Student Spotlight Co-Chair, Caitlyn helps organize calls for nominations for Graduate and Undergraduate Student Spotlight Award, reviewing applications, and assisting with selecting an outstanding student for this award. Through this role, she hopes to increase highlighting students from diverse racial/ethnic and program backgrounds.

Ashley Lahoud, MA (she/hers)
Communication Committee, Podcast Co-Chair
Ashley Lahoud is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Kent State University in Ohio. She works under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Flessner in the Pediatric Anxiety & Allergy Research Clinic. Ashley’s clinical and research interests focus on the impact of social factors (i.e., friendship, family support) and policies (i.e., restaurant, school, state, community) on a child’s anxiety, social functioning, and quality of life, particularly within food allergy populations. Furthermore, she is interested in the discrepancy in health care access, utilization, and outcomes among families of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. Ashley serves as a Podcast Co-chair. In her role she aims to feature new research in pediatric psychology on The Pediatric Psychology Podcast and highlight the current initiatives of Division 54.


Membership Committee

Jennifer A. Kelleher, M.S. (she/hers)
Membership Committee, Training Program Dissemination Co-Chair
Jennifer Kelleher is a 4rd year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program (clinical child psychology training area) at West Virginia University, under the mentorship of Dr. Christina Duncan. In graduate school, Jennifer’s research has focused on treatment adherence (i.e., nutritional adherence) and transition of care in adolescents with chronic health conditions. She also is interested in what characteristics and environmental factors assist children and their families successfully cope with or adjust to a chronic health condition. As the Training Program Dissemination Co-Chair, Jennifer edits and distributes training resources, including lists of graduate programs, internship sites, and post-doctoral fellowships with opportunities in pediatric psychology.

Mycah L. Ayala-Brittain, B.S. (she/her/hers)
Membership Committee, Network of Campus Representatives Co-Chair
Mycah Ayala-Brittain is a fourth-year graduate student in the School Psychology doctoral program at the University of Houston, under the mentorship of Dr. Sarah Mire. Mycah’s research interests broadly surround cross-system collaboration between medical and school settings to improve screening, diagnosis, and service delivery for children with neurodevelopmental disorders and co-occurring health conditions. Similarly, her clinical interests include family-based behavioral interventions targeted towards young children with disruptive behaviors and complex medical conditions. As the Co-Chair of the Network of Campus Representatives (NCR), Mycah co-leads and oversees the NCR program with Melissa to increase awareness of pediatric psychology across disciplines across the country.

Amanda M. Flagg, MA (she/hers)
Membership Committee, Network of Campus Representatives Co-Chair
Amanda Flagg is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the University at Albany (SUNY) under the mentorship of Dr. Betty Lin. Broadly, her research interests focus on the significance of early experiences, including adversity, stress, the in-utero environment, and caregiving behaviors on child development, physiological reactivity, and health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. Clinically, Amanda enjoys providing culturally responsive, evidence-based therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapies and family-based interventions among pediatric populations and those with complex medical or comorbid developmental conditions and associated emotional and behavioral difficulties to promote psychosocial adjustment. Amanda particularly values conducting neurodevelopmental evaluations and assessments to further understand presenting symptomologies and to provide focused recommendations. Amanda co-leads the National Campus Representatives (NCR) program which is aimed to increase awareness of and enthusiasm for pediatric psychology across the United States.

Programming Committee

Yael Gross, M.A. (she/hers)
Programming Committee; APA Student Social Chair
Yael Gross is a fourth-year graduate student in the School Psychology program at Lehigh University, under the mentorship of Dr. Patricia Manz. Yael works on research projects evaluating cross-system collaboration to support infants and toddlers receiving Early Intervention services, as well as studies evaluating the health and functioning of children with ADHD and youth undergoing stem cell transplant. Yael’s research and clinical interests focus on supporting children and adolescents with chronic health conditions and considering the home-school-healthcare collaboration, specifically as these practices relate to school reentry following hospitalization. As part of the 2022-2024 Programming Committee, Yael is responsible for organizing the American Psychological Association Social Event at the APA convention.


Isabella (Isa) Sereno, MA,
Programming Committee, Mentoring Chair
Isabella (Isa) Serenois a Ph.D. Candidate in Counseling Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She previously earned a master’s degree in Counselor Education, Clinical Mental Health Track, from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Isa is currently a Fellow for the Behavioral Health Integrated Resources for Children (BIRCh) Project in partnership with UMass Boston, UMass Amherst, and Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance hospital where she is training in the Child and Adolescent Assessment Inpatient Units. Isa completed her previous clinical training at Boston Children’s Hospital/Martha Eliot Health Center. Isa’s research experience includes investigations into the psychological needs of advanced-cancer patients and their caregivers at the Massachusetts General Hospital. For her dissertation, she is exploring the coping strategies and barriers to engagement among underrepresented minority caregivers of infants and toddlers during long-term post-acute hospitalizations. She is also an active member of SPP’s Caregiver Wellbeing SIG. Isa looks forward to serving as the Mentoring Chair for the Student Advisory Board (SAB) by seeking ways to promote trainee professional development through successful mentorship matches.


Ellison S. Choate, B.S. (she/her)
Programming Committee, Networking Chair
Ellison (Ellie) Choate is a third-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at Palo Alto University. Ellie works under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Simons in the Biobehavioral Pediatric Pain Lab at Stanford University and the mentorship of Dr. Robert Friedberg in the Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth at Palo Alto University. Ellie’s research centers around pediatric chronic pain and evaluating person-specific factors to understand what treatment is most effective and enhance treatment matching. Within the SAB, specifically the programming committee, Ellie is responsible for organizing the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference Student Social Event, which is a social event with the aim of connecting trainees across the organization.


We would like to recognize the students who have completed their two-year terms and rotated off the SAB in January. Thank you for your excellent work and valuable contributions to the SAB and SPP students and trainees!

Sahar S. Eshtehardi, M.S., University of Houston, SPP Student Representative & SAB Chair


Melissa L. Engel, M.A., 
Emory University, Membership Committee, Network of Campus Representatives Co-Chair

Alix M. McLaughlin, M.S.,
Eastern Michigan University, Membership Committee, Training Program Dissemination Co-Chair

Erin L. Moorman, M.S.,
University of Florida, Communication Committee, Podcast Chair

Nicole M. Ruppe, M.S.
, Oklahoma State University, Programming Committee, SPPAC Student Social Chair

Clarissa Shields, M.A., Kent State University, Programming Committee, SPPAC Mentorship Lunch Chair


Social Media


Student Listserv

SPP student members can join the student listserv by emailing

Graduate Programs, Pre-doctoral Internships, and Fellowships in Pediatric Psychology

Check out our training resources page for lists of APA-accredited graduate programs, APA-accredited internships, and fellowships with an emphasis on pediatric psychology.

APA/APAGS Statement

SPP and the SAB would like to encourage its student members to join the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS). There are many benefits to individual student members, including periodicals focused on graduate student issues, research grants, travel funding, reduced conference registration, scholarships, and the opportunity to serve professional psychology at the national level through APA/APAGS governance.

Learn more about APAGS