Current Graduate Students
Laura Nicholson (1st Year)
Laura Nicholson is a doctoral student focusing on child and adolescent clinical psychology. She graduated from DePaul University in 2014 with her B.A. in psychology. She spent two years working as a research assistant at the Center for Community Research at DePaul. She broadly interested in how psychological and environmental stressors influence disordered eating behaviors and obesity. In the Activity Matters Lab, Laura has been involved in evaluating the effectiveness of the Girls in the Game after-school program
Amy Heard (3rd Year)
Amy Heard is a doctoral student focusing on child and adolescent clinical psychology. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2011 with a dual degree in psychology and Spanish. After working for a year in contracts, Amy decided to pursue her passion for psychology and spent two years as a research assistant at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. Her current research examines internal and external factors that may be associated with obesity, including executive function, disordered eating, and food marketing. As a graduate student at Loyola, Amy completed a year-long therapy practicum at the University Wellness Center. She is currently completing both a pediatric neuropsychological assessment practicum and a bariatric surgery assessment practicum at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Dorothy McLeod (3rd Year)
Dorothy McLeod is a doctoral student specializing in child and adolescent clinical psychology. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Harvard University in 2012, and subsequently spent two years working as a Research Assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dorothy's research interests lie primarily in the prevention and elimination of child health disparities, with a special focus on childhood obesity. Dorothy recently defended her thesis, a collaborative project with the CASA lab, which examined measures of acculturation and their relation to child obesity among a sample of Mexican-origin youth. She is now looking forward to continuing this collaboration through additional projects related to overweight among Mexican-American families--including an upcoming examination of neighborhood factors--and is beginning to think about her dissertation! As a graduate student, Dorothy has completed a therapy practicum at the University Wellness Center, and is currently completing an assessment practicum at the University of Chicago Pediatric Neuropsychology Service.
Carolyn Bates (4th year)
Carolyn Bates is a doctoral student specializing in child clinical psychology. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2013. Her research interests include contextual factors that influence health behaviors in pediatric populations, particularly in relation to obesity. As part of the Activity Matters Lab, Carolyn manages the development and implementation of the Space to Grow study, and is involved with continued analysis of data from the Active Summers Matter study. For her dissertation, Carolyn will explore the impact of family chaos and routines on child health behaviors and obesity. As a graduate student at Loyola, Carolyn has completed a therapy practicum at the University Wellness Center, a pediatric neuropsychological assessment practicum at the Alexian Brothers Center for Pediatric Brain, and is currently completing an advanced pediatric psychology practicum at Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago.
Kimberly Burdette (6th year)
Kimberly Burdette is a doctoral student specializing in child and adolescent clinical psychology. As part of the Activity Matters Lab, Kim has been involved in evaluating the effectiveness of the Girls in the Game after-school program on mental and physical health outcomes of its participants. Her research interests involve body image, self-concept, friendship, and obesity-related health behaviors of girls. Kim's clinical interests are focused on pediatric eating disorders and chronic illness, particularly among underserved youth. She is currently a doctoral psychology intern at Stanford Children's Health and the Children's Health Council.
Where Are They Now? Former Graduate Students
Nikki Arola Anderson (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Nikki Arola Anderson received her PhD from Loyola University Chicago in 2016, specializing in child, adolescent, and family issues. She was a member of the Activity Matters Lab from 2010-2016, and her research primarily focused on examining the link between involvement in organized activities and adjustment outcomes among various populations, including urban youth, adolescents, emerging adults, high functioning youth with autism, and affluent youth. Her dissertation focused on predictors and mechanisms of organized activity involvement among urban youth. Nikki completed her internship in clinical child psychology at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. She is currently a first year post-doctoral fellow in pediatric neuropsychology at University of Minnesota Medical School.
Lea Ventura (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Lea Ventura received her PhD from Loyola University Chicago in 2015. She was a member of the Activity Matters Lab from 2009-2015 during which she investigated family, peer, and cultural factors that play a role in the psychosocial wellness and maladjustment of youth from affluent communities. Her dissertation focused on the parent-child relationship and communication about values pertaining to achievement and success within the “culture of affluence” (see STAAC research project description). Lea completed her clinical internship in pediatric psychology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. She is currently a second year post-doctoral fellow in pediatric neuropsychology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.
Amanda Ward (Licensed Clinical Psychologist)
Amanda Ward received her PhD in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago in 2015, specializing in child, adolescent, and family issues. She was a member of the Activity Matters lab from 2009 to 2015, and her research primarily focused on the effectiveness of after-school and summer camp programs in promoting physical health (i.e., physical activity, BMI) and executive function skills. Amanda's clinical interests include pediatric health psychology, neuropsychological assessment, and program quality improvement. Amanda completed her internship in clinical psychology at Stanford Children's Hospital / Children's Health Council and her postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/ Harvard Medical School (HMS). Amanda is currently a licensed staff psychologist within the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at MGH/HMS and conducts neuropsychological, developmental, and educational evaluations for children and adolescents with a wide range of clinical issues.
Edin Randall (Licensed Clinical Psychologist)
Edin Randall received her PhD in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago in 2012. She was a member of the Activity Matters lab from 2006 to 2012 during which she investigated and published on the influence of organized activity involvement, and specifically overscheduling, on adolescent development. She also initiated the development of the Study of Teen Adjustment in Affluent Communities (STAAC) research project, which focuses on understanding the impact of individual, family, and school factors on adjustment in 10th graders from affluent communities. Edin completed her clinical internship at Rush University Medical Center (child and adolescent track) in Chicago and a clinical/research post-doctoral program at Children's Hospital Boston with the Psychiatry Consultation Service. She is currently working as an attending psychologist at Boston Children's Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center.
Rebecca Lieb (Licensed Clinical Psychologist)
Rebecca Lieb received her PhD in clinical psychology from Loyola University Chicago in 2011. She was a member of the Activity Matters lab from 2005 to 2011 where she worked actively on research projects including the impact of activity involvement on emerging adults, a longitudinal program evaluation for Girls in the Game, and participated as a guest student editor for the American Journal of Community Psychology special issue on after-school activities. Dr. Lieb also developed and executed her dissertation research investigating the influence of factors including organized activity involvement on adjustment in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, recruiting over 150 families from across the United States. She completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she did assessments, consultations, and clinical research with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities (autism, ADHD, global developmental delay, intellectual disabilities, genetic disorders, etc.). Dr. Lieb is currently a licensed psychologist in Ohio and is developing an interdisciplinary school success assessment clinic and continuing developmental assessments with children birth to age five at the NeuroBehavioral Health at Akron Children’s Hospital.