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


Sahar Eshtehardi, University of Houston (2021-2022)

Student Advisory Board Members


Advocacy & Service Committee

  • Kelsey Hill, Eastern Michigan University (2022-2023)
  • Rachel Fisher, Oklahoma State University (2022-2023)

Communication Committee

  • Erin Moorman, University of Florida (2021-2022)
  • Karen Dimentstein, Nova Southeastern University (2022-2023)
  • Caitlyn Maye, Texas A&M University (2022-2023)

Membership Committee

  • Alix McLaughlin, Eastern Michigan University (2021-2022)
  • Melissa Engel, Emory University (2021-2022)
  • Jennifer Kelleher, West Virginia University (2022-2023)
  • Mycah Ayala, University of Houston (2022-2023)

Programming Committee

  • Clarissa Shields, Kent State University (2021-2022)
  • Nicole Ruppe, Oklahoma State University (2021-2022)
  • Yael Gross, Lehigh University (2022-2023)

Student Representative



Sahar S. Eshtehardi, M.S. (she/hers)
SPP Student Representative & SAB Chair

spp.studentrep@gmail.com
Sahar Eshtehardi is a fourth-year graduate student in the Health Psychology track of the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Houston. Under the mentorship of Dr. Marisa Hilliard at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Sahar’s research interests center around biopsychosocial factors that relate to treatment adherence and health-related quality of life in adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes and their families. She is also particularly interested in better understanding and addressing health disparities across pediatric populations through intervention implementation and policy change. As the 2021-2022 SPP Student Representative, Sahar serves as the liaison between students and the Executive Board of the Division by serving as a voting Board member. Within the SAB, Sahar coordinates and oversees all SAB-related activities by leading SAB meetings and assisting SAB Committees with their respective responsibilities.

Advocacy & Service Committee


Kelsey L. Hill, M.S. (she/hers)
Advocacy & Service Committee, Advocacy Chair
Kelsey Hill is a third-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 collaborates with the SAB Chair and the Programming Committee to coordinate advocacy training opportunities and develop a virtual database of advocacy resources.


Rachel S. Fisher, M.S. (she/hers)
Advocacy & Service Committee, Service Chair
Rachel Fisher is a third-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, medical decision-making, and sleep. 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 coordinates the service event occurring during SPPAC. At this event, conference attendees donate their service to an organization in the conference location’s community.

 

Communication Committee



Erin L. Moorman, M.S.
(she/hers)
Communication Committee, Podcast Chair

Erin Moorman is a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Child/Pediatric Psychology track of the Clinical and Health Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Florida. She is in the Pediatric Psychology Lab under the mentorship of Dr. David Janicke. Erin’s research and clinical interests include family functioning and psychosocial adjustment and coping in the context of pediatric chronic illness. Additionally, she is interested in the development and implementation of accessible family-based interventions. In her role on the Communications Committee, Erin is responsible for launching the SPP Podcast to disseminate cutting edge research in the field of pediatric psychology in a digestible and accessible format. She is responsible for collaborating with authors of research published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology and other leading experts in the field to contribute to the podcast.

 


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 third-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.


Membership Committee



Melissa L. Engel, M.A.
(she/hers)
Membership Committee, Network of Campus Representatives Co-Chair
Melissa Engel is a fifth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Emory University, under the mentorship of Dr. Patricia Brennan. Prior to beginning graduate school at Emory, Melissa received her MA in Developmental Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on pediatric chronic illness through a developmental psychopathology framework, with particular emphases on psychobiological mechanisms, stress, and resilience. From both a research and clinical perspective, Melissa is especially interested in illnesses that are perceived as unpredictable and uncontrollable yet require daily self-management. As the NCR Co-Chair, Melissa oversees the Network of Campus Representatives program. Through this program, she aims to increase awareness of pediatric psychology on campuses across the country.


Alix M. McLaughlin, M.S.
(she/hers)
Membership Committee, Training Program Dissemination Co-Chair
Alix McLaughlin is a fifth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Eastern Michigan University, under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Peterson. Alix combines her research interests in parent/family functioning and neurocognitive development to inform psychosocial adjustment in pediatric food allergy, chronic pain, and type 1 diabetes. As the Training Program Dissemination Co-Chair, Alix collaborates with Andrea to expand student membership in SPP, and develop and distribute lists of pediatric psychology training in graduate programs, internships, and post-doctoral positions.


Jennifer A. Kelleher, M.S. (she/hers)
Membership Committee, Training Program Dissemination Co-Chair
Jennifer Kelleher is a 3rd 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 understanding what factors improve adherence to treatment recommendations and health behaviors (i.e., nutrition) in youth with cystic fibrosis. She also is interested in what characteristics and environmental factors assist adolescents with chronic health conditions and their families successfully navigate the transition from pediatric to adult health care. As the Training Program Dissemination Co-Chair, Jennifer works with Alix to edit and distribute 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.

Programming Committee



Nicole M. Ruppe, M.S.
(she/hers)
Programming Committee, SPPAC Student Social Chair
Nicole Ruppe is a fifth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Ashley Clawson, Nicole’s research interests include understanding the longitudinal impact of modifiable behaviors and cultural factors on adjustment and coping for adolescents and young adults with chronic medical conditions. Additionally, she is interested in identifying and developing culturally relevant evidence-based treatments for youth with chronic medical conditions. As part of the Programming Committee, Nicole 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.

Clarissa Shields, M.A.
Programming Committee, SPPAC Mentorship Lunch Chair
Clarissa Shield is a fifth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Kent State University. She works under the mentorship of Dr. Amy Sato in the Pediatric Health and Stress Lab at Kent State University. Clarissa's research centers around understanding neuropsychological factors that impact health behaviors (e.g., eating, physical activity) and treatment outcomes among youth with obesity, particularly within health-disparity populations. Within the SAB, Clarissa serves on the Programming Committee, where she coordinates the annual Mentorship Lunch at SPPAC for pediatric psychology trainees. She also actively assists on other SAB-related activities throughout the year.


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.

 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!

MaryJane Campbell, University of Utah, Communication Committee, Student Spotlight Co-Chair

Andrea Fidler, University of Florida, Membership Committee, Training Program Dissemination Co-Chair

Anjana Jagpal, DePaul University, Programming Committee, APA Student Social Chair

 

Kelly Rea, University of Georgia, Communication Committee, Student Spotlight Co-Chair

 

Caroline Roberts, Oklahoma State University, Membership Committee, NCR Co-Chair

Social Media


 

Student Listserv


SPP student members can join the student listserv by emailing SPP.StudentRep@gmail.com

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