Current Students

Laura Taouk

Laura is a PhD candidate in the Stress and Emotion Lab. She received her BS in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where she worked on a multisite (UCSD-UCLA) study examining positive and negative valence domains in anxiety and depression. Her thesis project examined heightened risk perceptions and stress-is-harmful mindsets during pregnancy as possible risk factors for elevated (prenatal or postpartum) anxiety and depression symptoms. Laura’s research interests generally relate to cognitive and other latent factors that may increase or decrease vulnerability to emotional disorders. Her dissertation explores demographic, contextual, and mental health correlates of perceived (identity) invisibility, as well as potential sources of risk and resilience, among Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Americans. 

Feven Fisseha

Feven is a PhD candidate in the Stress and Emotion Lab. She graduated with her BA in Psychology from Cornell University. She worked as a research assistant at the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery and the Child Stress and Emotion Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park and Neuroimaging Research Program at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Her thesis used multilevel modeling in order to investigate how gender and depression moderate the relationship between poor sleep and social behaviors. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on exploring first generation college students' experiences and responses to stressors.

Diana Cox

Diana is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Stress and Emotion Lab. She received her BS in Psychology from the College of William & Mary in 2018. Her undergraduate research focused on the effects of stereotypes, prejudice, and implicit bias, as well as stress in at-risk youth. Diana’s graduate research interests include studying stress as a risk factor for both psychological and physical conditions, and the effects of stress mindsets and minority stress on long-term health outcomes. Her dissertation project examines the efficacy of an expressive writing intervention for improving the mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ youth.

Alice Cohen

Alice is a 2nd year PhD student in the Stress and Emotion Lab. She received her BA in Political Science from Carleton College. Her thesis project explores the impact of interpersonal goals on social anxiety, and the efficacy of a brief meditation intervention in increasing compassion for others. She has also conducted research on the role of autonomous interpersonal styles in individual behavior during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Her current research interests include developing interventions to increase healthy stress mindsets and exploring effective interpersonal coping strategies.

Tu Do

Tu is a 2nd year Master’s student in psychology. She received her BA in Psychology from University of Minnesota in 2021. Before going to AU, she worked on research on international students’ mental health and research on adolescents with autism. Her research interests broadly include stress and coping mechanisms of international students.

Eva Freites

Eva is a 2nd year Master’s student in Clinical Psychology. She received her BA with a double major in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2020. As an undergraduate, she conducted research exploring open vs. closed questions in intake sessions of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Eva’s research interests broadly include the cognitions involved in depression & anxiety, sociocultural factors in psychopathology, and the development of psychotherapeutic interventions.

Shriya Srinivasan (she/her/hers)

Shriya is currently a junior at American University pursuing a BA in Psychology. She has been a research assistant in the Stress and Emotion Lab for one semester in order to explore her interest in psychological research. In the lab, she ran participants and analyzed actigraphy data in a study observing the relationship between sleep and everyday social functioning. Her research interests include anxiety, sleep, and mental health among minority groups.