Graduate Research Associates


Antonia Caba, MPH.

Graduate Research Associate

Antonia is a first-year doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences with a concentration in Health, Wellbeing, and Prevention. She earned her Master of Public Health degree at Yale School of Public Health in 2020.  Her research interests include sexual and gender identity development and sexual and gender minority youth health and wellbeing. At CARHD, Antonia assists with the strategic planning process and provides support for additional projects. 

Affiliated Projects:


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Ciara Collins, M.A.

Graduate Research Associate

Ciara is a doctoral candidate in the Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) department with an emphasis in Prevention and Early Intervention. She earned a Master’s degree in HDFS with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Connecticut in May 2015 and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She joined the Center’s research team in the Summer of 2015 and currently serves as project manager for the Evaluation of Local Head Start/Early Head Start Programs. Her research interests include: well-being for children and youth in foster care, training for kinship caregivers and non-kin foster parents, and family dynamics of foster care.

Affiliated Projects:


 

Jennifer Dealy, M.A.

Graduate Research Associate

Jennifer Dealy, MA is a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences.  She is the project manager for the After School Program Evaluation Project for the CARHD.  Her research interests include socio-emotional regulation and co-parenting methods in high conflict dyads and socio-emotional intervenes for at-risk youth.

Affiliated Projects:


 

Kate Dibble, M.A.

Graduate Research Associate

Kate is a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences and joined CARHD’s research team in the Fall of 2015. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Connecticut in 2013 and her Master’s degree in Psychology with a specialization in Health Psychology at Central Connecticut State University in 2015. Her main research interests include pediatric and young adulthood cancer and how the illness changes the family dynamic. She aims at identifying and helping families who require extra assistance whilst at treatment – such as transfusions, surgery, and other therapies related to the disease. Her duties at CARHD include data cleaning and analysis and paper composition, among other tasks.

Affiliated Projects:


 

Eleanor Fisk, B.A.

Graduate Research Associate

Eleanor is a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Middlebury College and spent a year teaching preschool, both in Vermont, prior to entering the PhD program at UConn. Her recent interests include early childhood education and care settings and how they influence young children’s social emotional development. At the Center, she assists with the Evaluation of Local Head Start/Early Head Start Programs.

Affiliated Projects:

  • Evaluation of the Local Head Start/Early Head Start Program

Joy Heafner

Joy Heafner, PH.D.

Graduate Research Associate

Joy earned her PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a researcher/practitioner currently doing her dissertation on feminist applications to . Joy previously earned a Master’s degree in psychology from the University of Chicago, where she studied the effects of language on decision-making. Upon joining the Center staff in 2013, Joy began evaluating programs designed to improve attitudes between police officers and youth. Joy currently serves as the Project Manager for the evaluation of an initiative to improve kindergarten attendance for at-risk youth.

Affiliated Projects:


Abagail Horton, B.A.

Graduate Research Associate

Abbey is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Sciences Department. Before coming to UConn, she attended the University of Alabama and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her research interests include social and emotional skill development and peer interactions during early and middle childhood as well as adolescence. In the center, Abbey’s duties include administrative work, assisting with the evaluation of the 21st Century After-School Programs, and assisting with the promoting resilience in stress management (PRISM) project at Uconn’s Lab School.

Affiliated Projects:


Morica Hutchison, M.A.

Project Manager

Morica (Rica) is a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences with a concentration in Prevention and Early Intervention. She earned a Master’s degree in HDFS with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Uninversity of Connecticut in May 2017. She currently is the project manager for the After School Program Evaluation Project for the CARHD.  Her research interests include mindfulness-based interventions to bolster emotion regulation and distress tolerance in at risk populations, specifically substance abusing youth and young adults.

Affiliated Projects:


Gonul Hilal Kuskul, M.A.

Graduate Research Associate

Hilal is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Sciences Program. She obtained her BA in Psychology and MA in Social Psychology at Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. She has almost two decades of experience running applied and research projects and working with NGOs in Turkey with under-resourced families. Her research interest is parenting (specifically fathering) in the context of poverty and in relation to gender ideology. She works for the parent education program in the center.

Affiliated Projects:

  • Parent Education Program

Hyanghee (Hailey) Lee, M.A.

Graduate Reserach Associate

Hailey earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences specializing in Couple Relationships. She joined the Center’s research team in the Fall of 2012. Hailey currently serves as the Project Manager for the evaluation of the UConn People Empowering People project and the Police and Youth Interaction programs. Her research interests focus on family relationships, including couple relationships, measures to assess family functioning, and cultural difference in family relationships.

Affiliated Projects:


An image of Alex Reid.Alexander Reid, Ph.D.

Graduate Research Associate

Alex earned his PHD in Human Development and Family Sciences specializing in Parenthood. He joined the Center’s research team in the Fall of 2014. His duties included assisting on the evaluation and report preparation for Connecticut’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers and State-Funded after school programs and the evaluation of the UConn People Empowering People project. Alex received his master’s degree in Experimental Psychology at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in 2014. His research interests focus on family dynamics and parental behaviors related to mental health outcomes (e.g., depression, self-esteem) in adolescents and emerging adults. Additionally, Alex is a proud adjunct faculty member in CSUN’s Psychology Department where he teaches undergraduate psychology courses during summer.

Affiliated Projects:


Jonelle Reynolds, Ph.D.

Graduate Research Associate

Jonelle earned her PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences. She joined the Center’s research team in the Fall of 2014. She received her master’s degree in HDFS with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy at Oklahoma State University in 2014. Her research interests include parent-child relationships and prevention and intervention programs for foster families. Her duties at the Center included data analysis and report preparation with the Evaluation of the Supportive Housing for Families (SHF) program.

Affiliated Projects:


Rachel Taylor, M.A.

Graduate Research Associate

Rachel earned her Masters in Human Development and Family Sciences. She earned a B.S. in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. Her research involves peer relationships and the development of character strengths. She is also strongly interested in quantitative methodology, specifically in meta-analysis and the analysis of longitudinal data.

Affiliated Projects:

  • Divorce Parenting Education

Lexi Tomkunas, B.A.

Graduate Research Associate

Lexi is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Sciences Department. Before coming to UConn, she attended Rollins College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in both Philosophy and Psychology, and she then taught kindergarten in Miami, Florida. Her research interests include school based interventions, social and emotional skill development in early and middle childhood, and resilience in early and middle childhood. In the center, Lexi assists with the evaluation of the 21st Century After-School Programs.

Affiliated Projects:

  • Evaluation of After School Programs

    Lindsay WestbergLindsay Westberg, M.A.

    Project Manager

    Lindsay is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Sciences department. She joined the Center in the summer of 2015, and has become the project manager for the Supportive Housing for Families partnership with The Connection Inc. Lindsay’s area of specialization is prevention and early intervention, with specific interest in resilience in children exposed to diverse hardships and program evaluation.

    Affiliated Projects:


     Mackenzie Wink, M.A.

    Graduate Research Associate

    Mackenzie is a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2016. Her interests include social and emotional skill development, social and emotional learning programs, empathy development, and school interventions. Her duties at the center include administrative work and assisting in the evaluation of the 21st Century After-School Programs.

    Affiliated Projects:


     

     Yuan Zhang, M.A.

    Graduate Research Associate

    Yuan is currently a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology from the Shanxi University in China, and Masters’ degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University, California. Yuan’s research interests include parent-child relationship, identity development in Immigrant families. Her duties at the center are data collection and management, as well as participant information management.