Current Graduate Students
Laura Nicholson (2nd 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 and then spent two years at the Center for Community Research studying pediatric chronic illness. In the Activity Matters Lab, Laura has been involved in program evaluation for Girls in the Game and Space to Grow, two projects that examine how contexts impact health. In her master’s thesis, Laura will investigate sleep, eating, and exercise during the transition to college. Laura has begun her therapy practicum at Loyola’s University Wellness Center.
Amy Heard (4th 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. With regards to clinical work, Amy is currently completing an advanced child/pediatric therapy practicum at the University of Chicago and works with children with a range of health conditions, including diabetes and cancer.
Dorothy McLeod (4th Year)
Dorothy McLeod is a doctoral student in the Activity Matters Lab studying child and adolescent clinical psychology. Dorothy's research interests lie in the etiology and prevention of childhood obesity, with a particular focus on cultural and contextual influences. Dorothy's master's thesis, conducted in collaboration with the CASA lab, examined links between acculturation and obesity among a sample of Mexican-origin youth. In the next year, Dorothy looks forward to proposing her dissertation, which will develop and test comparative models of childhood obesity development among different racial/ethnic groups. Dorothy's clinical interests are in pediatric psychology, including managing treatment for chronic health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. She has completed a practicum in pediatric neuropsychology at the University of Chicago and is currently completing advanced pediatric psychology practica at both the University of Chicago and Shriners Hospital for Children.
Carolyn Bates (5th year)
Carolyn Bates is a doctoral student specializing in child and adolescent clinical psychology. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2013. Her research explores how children’s contexts influence their physical health, giving particular consideration to health disparities in high-risk populations. As part of the Activity Matters Lab, Carolyn manages the development and implementation of the Space to Grow study. Carolyn's dissertation focuses on delineating the influence of the home environment on obesity and obesogenic behaviors, and proposes a new framework for characterizing the home environment called family entropy. 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 an advanced pediatric/rehabilitation psychology practicum at Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago. She is currently an advanced pediatric psychology extern at Advocate Children's Hospital.
Where Are They Now? Former Graduate Students
Kimberly Burdette (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Kimberly Burdette received her clinical psychology PhD from Loyola University Chicago in 2017, specializing in child and adolescent clinical psychology. As part of the Activity Matters Lab, Kim was 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 focused on 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 completed her internship in clinical psychology at Stanford Children's Hospital / Children's Health Council and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Stanford's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department specializing in assessment and treatment of pediatric eating disorders.
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 second year post-doctoral fellow in pediatric neuropsychology at University of Minnesota Medical School.
Lea Ventura (Licensed Clinical Psychologist)
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 then completed a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. She is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of Pediatric Neuropsychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics.
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 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 Boston Children's Hospital with the Psychiatry Consultation Service. She is currently working as an attending psychologist, doing clinical work and research, at the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Center at Boston Children's Hospital.
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, at which time she worked on research projects examining 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's dissertation research investigated the influence of factors including organized activity involvement on adjustment in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), recruiting over 150 families from across the United States (see Lieb & Bohnert, 2017; Bohnert, Lieb, & Arola, 2016). 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. Dr. Lieb is currently a board certified child and adolescent clinical psychologist in the NeuroDevelopmental Science Center at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio. She is the director of the Autism Diagnostic Clinic, an interdisciplinary ASD assessment clinic, and the School Success Clinic, an interdisciplinary assessment clinic for school-aged children having school difficulties. Her current research interests include investigating the impact of the ADOS-2 E-codes (behavior codes) on the Total and Comparison scores and parents' experience while waiting (often 3-6 months) for an ASD assessment appointment.