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Welcoming new YCSC community members: July 2023

July 14, 2023

In addition to new clinical trainees and undergraduate summer interns, the Yale Child Study Center welcomes several research trainees each summer. This year, two returning community members were also welcomed back to the department, Elsa Jimenez in June and Ameya Krishnan in July. Bios are included below for these two talented clinicians, along with several new outstanding research trainees – look for more in next month’s announcement!

Sydney Anderson: After graduating from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s in psychology and cognitive science with a concentration in neuroscience, Anderson joined the YCSC as a postgraduate associate in the Sukhodolsky Lab. She is coordinating a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of a comprehensive therapy for irritability in adolescents with autism. During her undergraduate years, she worked as a research assistant in a developmental psychology lab at the University of Virginia and a counselor at APEX Summer Camp at the University of Washington Autism Center. She intends to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology.

Grace Bell: An incoming research fellow in developmental psychopathology and social neuroscience in the Chawarska Lab, Bell graduated from the University of California, Davis with a BS in psychology and a BA in English. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant helping to collect and analyze EEG and eye tracking data investigating the visual hierarchy system and attention. Her senior thesis examined the relationship between microsaccades and pupillary responses in a covert spatial attention paradigm.

Doris Chen: Prior to receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University in May, Chen worked in the Powers Lab as an undergraduate, investigating psychosis risk and the control of hallucinations, as well as in the Affect Regulation and Cognition Lab studying depression risk in children. She recently joined the YCSC as a postgraduate associate working with Emily Olfson, MD, PhD and the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Program. She will be exploring how genetics in anxiety disorders may be used to predict child mental health outcomes.

Sarah Hamilton: Having graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology from Macalester College, Hamilton recently joined the Chawarska Lab in the YCSC. She is serving as a developmental psychopathology and social neuroscience fellow in the Social and Affective Neuroscience of Autism (SANA) Program, with the goal of furthering her understanding of the social and emotional development of young children.

Elsa Jimenez, LMFT: A first generation Afro-Caribbean American who is fluent in English and Spanish, Jimenez is also a second-generation college student. She started her academic career at Bronx Community College where she obtained an associate degree in paralegal. She continued her education at John Jay of Criminal Justice where she earned her bachelor’s in forensic psychology. She later earned a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at Loma Linda University in California. During her 25 years in the field, she has provided mental health services in several states and in different settings, including substance abuse facilities, county department, hospital, group homes, outpatient clinic, in-schools clinic, courthouse, and in-home. Her work is focused on the implementation of evidence-based practices while providing a safe, empathetic, nonjudgmental, and trusting therapeutic environment for children and families to achieve their identified treatment goals.

Ameya Krishnan, LCSW, APRN: Returning as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in the outpatient clinic, Krishnan has been connected to the YCSC in a few different roles since 2014. Her clinical specializations include infant and early childhood mental health, trauma, and substance use disorders. She is interested in integrative treatment modalities, particularly the incorporation of yoga-derived breathwork and meditation practice into clinical care across the lifespan.

Sophia Park: Originally from Toronto, Canada, Park recently graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts in behavioral biology. Throughout her undergraduate career, Park actively engaged in psychology and neurology-based research at both the university's undergraduate and medical campuses. Her involvement ranged from investigating the general public's comprehension of COVID-19 to delving into the biological mechanisms underlying Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Park has joined the Ventola Lab as a postgraduate associate, where she will contribute to the ongoing research regarding autism spectrum disorder treatment.

Marcia Questel, MA: A board certified behavior analyst with a master’s degree in special education (concentration – autism) and a graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis, Questel recently joined the YCSC as a postgraduate fellow in autism clinical research and community wellness with the Jou Lab. Prior to graduate school, she earned her bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology with a focus on developmental disorders. She has a passion for researching executive functioning, Theory of Mind, and emotion regulation. She also serves as content editor for the publication Science in Autism Treatment and the externship co-coordinator for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.

Submitted by Crista Marchesseault on July 13, 2023