Johanna Jarcho, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology,
Principle Investigator

Johanna's research program bridges the areas of development and social affective neuroscience to study links between brain function and social-cognitive processes that evolve during adolescence.  She uses developmental psychopathology as a theoretical framework to examine how such processes manifest in typically developing adolescents and adults, and those with, or at risk for, psychopathology.  She aims to isolate the neural mechanisms that healthy, anxious, and at-risk adolescents engage during social evaluation.  Her goal is to use brain-based models of risk and resilience to inform the development of prevention and intervention strategies that mitigate childhood anxiety before it becomes a chronic, costly, and difficult to treat adult illnesses.  Johanna comes to Stony Brook after a postdoc at the NIH.

Tessa Clarkson, PhD Student

Tessa is in her second year of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D program. She is interested in studying the underlying neural mechanisms of cognitive flexibility and social behavior. She is also interested in developing targeted interventions for children and adolescents with impairments within these domains. She is co-mentored by Dr. Johanna Jarcho and Dr. Matt Lerner.

Sarah Bannon, PhD Student

Sarah is a 4th year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Stony Brook University. Broadly, Sarah's research focuses on the individual risk factors and novel treatments for intimate partner violence perpetration. Additionally, she has conducted research on intimate relationship processes and their connection to health and relationship outcomes over time. Currently, she is working on a number of projects aimed at identifying potential neurobiological precipitants of aggression and violent behavior (e.g., traumatic brain injury and emotion dysregulation). Her research advisor is Daniel O'Leary, Ph.D. 

Megan Quarmley, PhD Student

Yvette Karvay, Masters Student | Research Coordinator


Yvette Karvay is a Master's student at SBU in the Psychology Department. She is involved with intimate relationship research in Dr. O'Leary's lab, a think tank at the Dance and Somatic Learning center that uses dance as therapy for Parkinson's patients and their caregivers, and is a part of Camp Kesem. Her hopes for the future are to pursue a PhD in clinical and counseling psychology, focusing on anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

Samantha Sommer, Research Coordinator

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Sam graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and Magna Cum Laude honors. She is interested primarily in child anxiety and how individualized interventions help those succeed in emotional and social development and lessen severity of symptoms. She is also a research coordinator in the Social Competence and Treatment Lab under the direction of Dr. Matthew Lerner and works with kids, teens, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Alison Pellecchia, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alison is an undergraduate at Stony Brook University, double majoring in Psychology and Sociology. She is very involved in the campus community and hopes to further pursue the field of psychology after graduating.

Christine McIsaac, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Christine is an undergraduate Stony Brook student, majoring in Psychology and Biology with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She is an EMT at her local fire department, a camp counselor for Camp Kesem at Stony Brook, and a Peer Program Advisor at the Office of Student Involvement and Organizations. She aspires to go to PA School after graduating. 

Hung-Wei Chen, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hung-Wei (Bernie) is an undergraduate Stony Brook student, majoring in psychology, B.S., with concentrations in computer science and biology. He is the Vice President for Psi Chi International Honor Society, Stony Brook Chapter, and an intern working at the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) on campus. His research interest in the lab includes using neural imaging techniques to study psychopathology. After graduating, he sets his heart on pursuing a Ph.D. in the clinical area, focusing on how personality shapes mental health and how it affects social engagement and cognition, and the vulnerability of experiencing peer victimization.

Alexandra Perez, Undergraduate Research Assistant


Alexandra Perez is an undergraduate student at Stony Brook University majoring in Biology with a minor in Africana Studies. She is involved with several organizations on campus, including being a Teaching, Learning & Technology consultant. After graduation, she is looking forward to pursuing a medical degree.

Alexa Rockwell, Undergraduate Software Programming Assistant

Alexa Rockwell is an undergraduate Stony Brook student, majoring in Computer Science. She is a full stack developer, entrepreneur, gardener, and boxer. She advocates for reforming the educational system, and she plans on using her skills either in industry or pursuing Law School. Her personal website.

Alexander Tairbekov, Undergraduate Software Programming Assistant

Alexa Demanuel, Undergraduate Research Assistant


Alexa is an undergraduate Stony Brook student, majoring in Biology with a minor in Studio Art. She is an award-winning artist, a volunteer EMT for Stony Brook Fire Department, and is currently shadowing a urologist affiliated with St. Charles Hospital. After graduating, she intends on pursuing medical school with the intention of becoming a surgeon. 

Madison Thornton, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Madison Thornton is an undergraduate student at Stony Brook University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She has past clinical experience in working with children and adults at Stony Brook University Hospital Occupational Therapy outpatient facility. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Psi Chi Honor Society, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. She aspires to receive her master's in Occupational Therapy after graduating. 

Nicholas Leonetti, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nick is an undergraduate here at Stony Brook double majoring in Psychology and Philosophy. He aspires to go to graduate school in some field of Psychology after he graduates.

Maliah West, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Maliah is an undergraduate student, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric and a concentration in Africana Studies. She is currently an intern at the Stony Brook Child Care Center and loves working with children. She hopes to continue on to graduate school after graduating.

Kate Bartolotta, B.A., Research Assistant

Kate Bartolotta is graduating in August 2017 with a B.A in Psychology and a concentration in Anthropology. She has past research experience in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis at the Lourie Center at Stony Brook Medicine.  Recently, she returned from Madagascar where she conducted research in the field on tuberculosis. She wants to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology with research interests regarding health disparities and health behaviors.

Aydan McCoy, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Aydan is an undergraduate at Stony Brook University, pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. In addition to working in the Cognitive and Affective Psychophysiology Lab on campus, he serves as a private Self-Direction Counselor for an apraxic/autistic member of the community. After graduating in May of 2018, he hopes to begin working towards a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Jordan Sternbach, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jordan is an undergraduate Psychology student at Stony Brook, majoring in Psychology, with concentrations in biology and chemistry. He also works as a Teaching, Learning, & Technology Consultant on campus, and upon graduating, hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in the clinical field of Neuropsychology.