Graduate Students (& other inspirational people)


      NAMI walk: May 18, 2013                         Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD                     Master's Degree Ceremony 
 Greg Epstein, Danielle Denenny,                 Thomas Tsuji, Danielle Denenny,             Dr. Schiffman and Emily Kline                       Eryn Bentley, Emily Kline,                  Dr. Schiffman, Emily Kline, Sabrina Ereshefsky,
  Sabrina Ereshefsky, Dr. Schiffman       Camille Wilson, & Shana Golembo-Smith
   Liz Thompson & Caroline Demro                                                           

       Danielle Denenny, Camille Wison, Eryn Bentley,
       Dr. Schiffman, Sabrina Ereshefsky, & Emily Kline                                                                   


Dr. Jason Schiffman (with Jacob and Chloe Schiffman), Sabrina Ereshefsky,                  Eryn Bentley at the Mental 
Emily Wald, Caroline Demro, Eryn Bentley, Greg Epstein, Liz Thompson,                      Health Matters Panel event
Emily Kline, Danielle Denenny                                                                                                  2014   
            Mental Health Awareness week, May 6, 2014

Dr. Schiffman is accepting students to the Clinical Program at UMBC for 2017. 

Current Graduate Students

Thomas Tsuji - 8th year
Thomas' thesis is on premorbid social functioning and adult diagnostic outcome in a schizophrenia high-risk cohort. Thomas is also interested in assessment and treatment of schizophrenia and the prodrome. He has gained experience working with children and adolescents, and more recently, adults with severe mental illness. In his spare time he enjoys traveling and hopes to visit all 50 states one day, and flashmobs!

Sabrina Ereshefsky - 7th year
Sabrina’s master’s research was focused on the associations between severity of psychosis-risk symptoms and parent-rated tangible manifestations of executive functioning in youth and young adults at risk for psychosis.  Sabrina also serves as an RA on the Maryland Early Intervention Program, working on outreach and education for providers and families. Sabrina is completing her clinical practicum with Kennedy Krieger Institute's Neuropsychology Outpatient and Concussion clinics. In her free time, Sabrina enjoys following the San Antonio Spurs, playing some friendly games of ping-pong and other Baltimore City Social Sports, creating/enjoying art of many media (i.e., photography, collage, painting, drawing), and flashmobs!

Caroline (Schimunek) Demro - 5th year
Caroline is in her fifth year of graduate school and a doctoral candidate. Her dissertation aims to identify whether neurotransmitters such as glutamate are related to psychosis-risk using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, an MRI technique that allows for the quantification of metabolites in specific regions of the brain. She also completes diagnostic assessments for the lab's research studies. Caroline is completing her clinical practicum this year at the Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Caroline enjoys hiking, baking, vacationing with family, and flashmobs!

Eryn Bentley - 4th year
 Eryn is in her fourth year of graduate school.  Eryn's research interests include stigma in serious mental illness and early intervention for psychosis.  Her     master's research was focused on creating an audience targeted contact mental health video to increase help-seeking intentions and combat stigma on the UMBC campus.  Eryn also serves as an RA on the Maryland Early Intervention Program, working on outreach and education for providers and families.  Eryn is currently completing her clinical practicum with Kennedy Krieger Institute's Child and Family Therapy Clinic.  In her free time she enjoys cooking, listening to music, avidly following Baltimore sports teams, and flashmobs!

Nicole Andorko - 3rd year
Nicole is a third year student. She currently works as a research assistant for the University of Maryland's System Evaluation Center, completing a program evaluation for a state-wide intervention working to decrease homelessness in individuals with serious mental illness. Her research interests include examining the health behaviors of individuals with psychosis-like experiences utilizing mobile, ecologically valid tools. She is completing her clinical externship at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital in the Weigh Smart, pediatric obesity clinic. In her free time, Nicole enjoys cooking, trying new types of food, traveling, city living, and flashmobs!

Zachary "Zak" Millman -3rd year
Zak is a third-year graduate student in the clinical psychology program at UMBC. He is serving as a research assistant in Maryland's collaborative Early Intervention Program (EIP). The EIP provides assessment and clinical care for individuals who may be the early stages of psychosis. Zak's role is to assist in the conduct of research within the EIP. Zak is interested in the etiology of severe mental illness. Specifically, he is interested in biological and cognitive responses to psychosocial stress among youth at risk for psychosis, and the role these processes play in the onset and course of illness. Zak enjoys running, cooking, laughing, riding bikes, attending live music, and flash mobs!

Pamela Rakhshan - 2nd year
Pamela is a second-year graduate student in the clinical psychology program at UMBC. She graduated from Colgate University and later worked in NYU School of Medicine's First Episode Psychosis lab. Pamela is interested in the development of assessments and services for individuals at risk for psychosis. She is working as a research assistant in the Early Intervention Program (EIP). Pamela enjoys reading, running (poorly), exploring new food, and flash mobs!

Former Graduate Students

Elizabeth Thompson - on internship
Elizabeth (Liz) is a sixth year doctoral candidate in the child clinical track of the Human Services Psychology Program at UMBC. She is currently completing her internship at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University (within the child clinical track). In her past role as a research assistant, Liz conducted diagnostic and psychosis-risk interviews with young adults, adolescents, and families  through the Maryland Early Intervention Program's Strive for Wellness Clinic. Her research interests surround understanding early symptoms and distress experienced by youth at risk for psychosis. Liz is currently collecting data for her dissertation, a project investigating the utility of a psychosis-risk screening measure for identifying help-seeking college students at clinical high risk for psychosis.  Outside of the lab, Liz enjoys running, spending time with friends and family, exploring new places, and flashmobs!

Camille Wilson - on internship
Camille is currently on internship as a neuropsychology intern at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Her dissertation project is focused on understanding how adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders perceive and interpret questions about psychosis risk. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing tennis, spending time with her family, and flashmobs!

Danielle Denenny - graduated with her Ph.D. 2016
Danielle is a graduate of the YouthFIRST lab. She was Director of YouthFIRST’s Stigma Division. Her dissertation on the impact of social contact and psychosis simulation interventions for stigma of serious mental illness was funded by a 2012 Mental Health Foundation “It’s OK to Talk About It” Grant Award. Danielle is also the director and producer of “Breaking Taboo: college students speak candidly about mental illness,” YouthFIRST’s lab’s first film production, which was co-directed by labmate Eryn Bentley. Danielle and Eryn are currently collaborating on developing and validating new measurement tools for implicit stigma.  Danielle started her graduate studies under Dr. Schiffman in Honolulu, Hawai’i where she learned to sail and zoomba. She now works in Los Angeles in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, the Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS), and the Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program (CHAMP). Danielle enjoys flashmobs!

Elizabeth Connors - graduated with her Ph.D. Spring 2014
Elizabeth Connors is at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, School Mental Health Program. Her Master's Thesis examined rates and predictors of community-based care within a system of care, and her dissertation was a randomized trial of common elements training in school mental health care (looking specifically at clinician knowledge, attitudes, and practice). Elizabeth enjoys home decor sewing, practicing yoga, and flashmobs!

Emily Kline, Ph.D. - graduated Spring 2015

Emily Kline is a proud graduate of the youthfirst lab. She received her PhD in 2015 after writing a dissertation on screening for emerging psychosis in young people. She is currently on faculty in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she conducts research relating to risk, resilience, and intervention with adolescents and young adults. She is also a clinician and clinical supervisor at Massachusetts Mental Health Center. 

  She, too, enjoys flashmobs!