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Alumni

The Psychology Department welcomes all alumni/ae from our program (or those from other departments who have careers in psychology). Whether you graduated a year ago or several decades past, we look forward to hearing from you.

Volunteering and Mentoring Students

  • Are you interested in being a guest speaker in a class or on a panel (e.g. about graduate training, career options, your research)?
  • Would you like to mentor a psychology student in an internship at your organization?
  • May students contact you if they are interested in learning about your career and work?

If so (or if you have other ideas), please complete this brief alumni interest form or contact the chair of the psychology department, John Philbeck.

Alumni Updates/Class Notes

If you have news to share (jobs, promotions, publications, personal news), please complete our announcements form. We would love to hear from you!

2018 Updates

Sapana Donde, PhD '09, published four peer-reviewed journal articles on sexual assault, based on her dissertation. These articles were published between 2015 and 2018 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and Violence Against Women.

2017 Updates

Diana Alvarez Carrillo, BA ’15, is moving to Spain to study culinary tourism at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian after two years working in the digital advertising industry in London.

Azadeh Aalai, BA ’01, earned a PhD in social psychology. She currently holds a full time tenure track position at Queensborough Community College and is an adjunct for the MA program in psychology at NYU. She is presently the recipient of an NEH grant to explore complicity and collaboration during the Holocaust.

Elsa Alaswad, BA ’10, is a medical student at University of Colorado School of Medicine. She plans to pursue a residency in neurosurgery.

Emily Alexander, BA ’16, works as a clinical research assistant in a nicotine addiction research center at the University of Pennsylvania. She works on a longitudinal, adolescent e-cigarette study and a clinical trial of smoking cessation counseling to prevent weight gain.

Natalie M. Alizaga, PhD ’17, is now a postdoctoral fellow within the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco.

Angelica Alston, BA ’10, has been working for the past six years with Interfolio, Inc (a higher education technology company) in Washington, D.C., since graduating. She intends to later pursue her graduate degree in the social work/counseling field.

Natalie Anderson, BA ’12, is currently in her fourth year at Catholic University's clinical psychology PhD program. She conducts research on mindfulness-based interventions in underserved at-risk populations, and teaches CBT to undergraduates.

Mary-Kathryn Aranda, BA ’00, says “my psychology studies at GW have been an advantage to me in my role as a senior communications manager. I spend a lot of time thinking about my audience, what motivates them, so I can create and give them the information they seek!”

Elena Auer, BA ’16, is currently pursuing a PhD in industrial-organizational psychology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

Elaine Belansky, BA ’89, is an associate professor at the Colorado School of Public Health. She directs the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center and conducts community-engaged research with schools to optimize social-emotional, cognitive and physical health outcomes.

Trina Bell-Adams, BA ’97, has her master’s degree in counseling and post-master’s in clinical counseling. She is currently working as a professional school counselor in Prince George's County Public Schools. Trina is also an NCC and LCPC.

Kate Berger, BA ’07, founded The Expat Kids Club, a private psychology practice supporting expatriate children. She works with individual families and corporate clients in the global mobility sector, and has been recently featured in the BBC and Financial Times.

Karen Berman, BA ’74, is chair and artistic director of the Georgia College & State University Theatre and Dance Department dedicated to social justice issues.

Peter Berman, PhD ’75, has been living in Northern California since 1975. He retired from the VA Medical Center and Stanford after 42 years of service. He presently maintains a private practice in Palo Alto, Calif., and enjoys traveling.

Samantha Broadhead, BA ’07, is a school psychologist in New Hampshire and currently pursuing her PhD in school psychology.

Elizabeth Chavez, BA ’10, continued her studies and received a master’s of science in industrial/organization psychology. Elizabeth now works as an HR assistant for Amazon.

Marisa Cordon, BA ’16, is currently pursuing a master’s in public health in maternal and child health at GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Pooja Dave, BA ’03, recently completed her postdoctoral fellowship in health psychology at University of Chicago Medicine and will be joining the faculty at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance this fall.

Thomas DeVries, BA ’12, was recently promoted to captain in the United States Marine Corps. He accomplished two deployments to Okinawa, Japan, and Bagram, Afghanistan. He is currently serving as a company commander at a Logistics Regiment in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Anand Dharawat, BA ’01, is helping 8 billion people become vegetarian for peace of mind, peace on earth and purity of heart and body. Anand's experience shows that without vegetarianism, there cannot be peace of mind or any peace at all, so the choice is clear.

Erin Dickson, BA ’14, now lives in San Diego, Calif. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from University of San Diego, School of Law in May 2017, and awaits her bar results to practice as an attorney in California.

Paige Dingess, BA ’13, is a PhD student in the graduate neuroscience program at the University of Wyoming studying the effect of dietary fat on structural plasticity in the prefrontal cortex. She is set to graduate in May 2018 and will be in search of her next adventure.

Alison Dundore, BA ’17, is back at GW to pursue her master's in speech language pathology.

Jaclyn Escudero, BA ’12, is a returned peace corps volunteer (Cameroon 2012-2014) and is currently pursuing a master’s of public health degree in global health at the University of Washington.

Amir Faghfoory, BA ’02, MS ’04, is a psychiatrist in private practice in Santa Monica, Calif., where he works with patients on medication management, therapy and hypnosis. “Please give my best regards and a big hug to Professor Woodruff, who was my professor for several courses,” he writes.

Scott Falk, BA ’96, is working as the director of performance improvement, quality and safety for the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania. His credits his psych background from GW as invaluable to his career work and development.

Sharon Fisher, BA ’82, is a licensed clinical social worker and practices at Aspire Counseling in Gaithersburg, Md.

Vicki Fowler, BA ’68, worked in the Department of Psychology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 25 years. She retired in 2007 and is still living in that area.

Sarah Friedman, PhD ’75, is a research professor at the GW Psychology Department. Her current research is on communication between deployed parents and their children.

Michele Galen, BA ’78, is using her GW psychology training and pulling all of this together through her work as a certified executive coach and board member after a successful career across law, journalism and business (global healthcare).

Amy Geller, BA ’92, works in private practice, providing mental health services to teens, adults and couples. Amy facilitates an adoption support group for teens and young adults.

Emma Geller, BA ’10, finished her PhD in cognitive psychology at UCLA in June 2016 and is now in her second year at UC San Diego as an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Psychology.

Joseph Gersten, BA ’92, opened his own firm in Las Vegas, Nevada, and practices mainly in the area of criminal law. He also recently joined the faculty of the Lee School of Business at UNLV as a visiting lecturer in business law.

Alan Gibson, BA ’70, MPA ’73, has been retired from the Justice Department  for about five years now. Alan is enjoying retirement and doesn’t plan to go back to work.

John Glenn, BA ’89, is a former GW baseball player that majored in psychology. He is now a trial lawyer who represented a client against General Electric where the jury awarded his client $70,455,000 in damages.

Joel Goldberg, BA ’12, currently works at the National Science Foundation's headquarters in Alexandria, Va, where he also lives. His job is to manage the Science360 News website, produce videos about new scientific research and secure digital content partnerships.

Danielle Guttman-Lapin, BA ’08, is living in Houston with her husband, W. Blaine Lapin, BA ’08. She is working as a school psychologist in Aldine Independent School District in Houston, Texas.

Lance Harris, BA ’83, has spent 27 years happily married and 35 years in sales. Lance says his degree helped him along the way. He is semi-retired now, and watching his oldest daughter finish up her PsyD. His youngest daughter is a new UCLA graduate.

John Harris, BA ’68, retired from a career in advertising and publishing and is now living in Victoria, British Columbia.

Roberta Headley, MA ’66, takes classes at Osher Lifelong Learning, tutors with Literacy Delaware and sings in a choir. She has seven grandchildren.

Sarah Hedlund, PhD ’94, says “I recall moving to D.C. to attend GW and never dreamed that I would become a professor here someday.” She now teaches in the PsyD program at GW and sometimes imagines her younger self wandering through campus.

Matt Hitchins, PhD ’17, successfully graduated in summer 2017 and remains in D.C. He is now a research consultant at Gartner, a world leading research and advisory service.

Xiaoming Hu, BA ’09, earned his MSW from UC Berkeley and currently works for the Department of Psychiatry – Alliance Health Project at UC San Francisco, providing comprehensive outpatient mental health services to the LGBTQ and HIV affected communities in San Francisco.

Natalie Hughes, BA ’64, owned and operated an antiquarian bookshop "Bookhouse" from 1973 until a year ago, in Maryland and then on N. Emerson Street in Arlington, Va. She married Edward Hughes, BA ’54.

Amanda Hynds, BA ’01, began attending law school last fall after having owned a business. Amanda currently consults, while attending law school full time, to a medical-legal company. She says her bachelor's degree in psychology has been paramount in her career. “Thank you.”

Jennifer Kaminsky, BA ’12, is currently a second-year medical student at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, N.Y.!

Michael P. Kirsch, BA ’82, currently serves as chief operating officer at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), based in Washington, D.C. In this role, he leads the 1,000 person Professional Services Division.

Shannon Lane, BA ’97, Shannon will become director of the Master of Social Work program at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut in 2018. Her book Political Social Work: Using Power to Create Social Change (with Dr. Suzanne Pritzker) will be released in January 2018.

W Blaine Lapin, BA ’08, is currently living in Houston, Texas, with his wife Danielle Guttman-Lapin, BA ’08. He is completing a Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital.

Emilie Larson, BA ’64, has lived in Vienna, Va., for many years and retired a couple of years ago. She is obsessed with removing invasive alien plants from local parks.

Heather Lavine, BA ’91, works as a clinical therapist for a pediatric psychology practice called Childhood Solutions located outside Philadelphia.

Dana Litt, PhD ’10, recently accepted an associate professor position in the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center where she will continue her federally funded work related to adolescent substance use prevention.

Marie Loop, BA ’04, received her MBA from Case Western Reserve University and MSc in security studies from University College London. She recently accepted a new position with Pinkerton in Palo Alto, Calif.

Shereen Mahmood, BA ’07, is practicing rheumatology at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y.

David Mandelbaum, BA ’69, is working parttime in private practice in Wilmington, Del. He went to Penn State for graduate work and was a psychology professor at Elmira College. David relocated to Delaware in 1982.

Aaron Moffett, BA ’99, is currently in Toronto serving as the head coach for Team USA at the 2017 Invictus Games created by Prince Harry. The Invictus Games is the Paralympic-style competition for 550 Wounded Warriors from 17 countries competing in 12 sports. He was profiled in the November edition of CCAS Spotlight.

Salvatore Moretti, BA ’72, came to GW from Fordham, since he refused to undergo its special physics program. After attending New York Law School, he wrote Uppie's Shangrila and High Horses, Cold Feet.

Paige Morrow, BA ’17, is currently working as a pre-kindergarten teacher, child care specialist and behavioral aide in the Washington, D.C., area.

Michael Nemerof, BA ’08, has been assisting homeowners with claims against their insurance company after Hurricane Irma. Michael is an associate attorney in the Property Department at Shaked Law Firm in Aventura, Fla.

Ellen O’Boyle, BA ’74, MA ’77, MBA ’83, stayed at GW after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology to earn a MA and MBA. Ellen lives in Annapolis and still works for EPA where she has been for close to 40 years.

Jennifer O'Brien, BA ‘06, MA ’14, graduated from GW in 2006 with a BS/BA in psychology and women's studies, and an MA in philosophy and social policy in 2014. Jennifer recently joined the Middle East Children's Institute as director of development.

Ronald O'Day, BS ’82, retired from the USN and began a second career in Oregon Public Education. He taught for five  years then became a building principal and later a district superintendent.

John Opfer, BA ’95, is a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. His research examines the development of mathematical thought from the perception of numerosity to algebraic reasoning.

Marilyn Paul, BA ’81, is a clinical associate professor of social work at Adelphi University and a clinical social worker in private practice in NYC.

Jill Plevinsky, BA ’10, began her predoctoral residency in pediatric psychology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in July. She will graduate with her PhD in clinical psychology from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in June 2018.

Stephanie Rahill, BA ’95, is an assistant professor in school psychology at Georgian Court University. She became a faculty in school psychology after about 10 years of practice as a school psychologist.

James Randall, BS ’16, went on to pursue an MPH in the epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health after obtaining his degree from GW. He is currently working remotely with the GW Hospital on several surgical research projects.

Larry Raskin, BA ’63, has been in Louisville, Ky., for more than 40 years. Larry is the owner of Psychology Resource Group, close to Fort Knox. He sees the children of our military families. Dick Walk was Larry’s mentor and he took abnormal psychology from Thelma Hunt. He earned his PhD from McGill in 1966.

Christopher Reiss, BA ’77, is continuing on the road as a lifelong learner. Chris has earned a BA, MA, PhD, MBA, LLM, EdD, DLitt and is a DMA candidate.

Steven Richfield, BA ’81, credits his experience in the psychology department at GW, and at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, as a vital foundation for his later career as a professional psychologist. His GW professors saw a talent and passion that he had a hard time identifying at the time.

Jennifer Rikard, BA ’92, is the director of Counseling & Psychological Services at San Diego State University. She has developed online intervention programs that focus on substance use. The programs are used on over 600 campuses worldwide.

Brandi Rima, PhD ’11, is an associate professor of psychology at Bronx Community College, CUNY.

Nancy Rinzler, BA ’86, lives in Atlanta, Ga. She is a wife, a mom to two teenage daughters, rescues and fosters homeless animals.

Kerry Robert, BS ’02, went on after graduating to receive her MS in counseling psychology from Northeastern University. She was a senior organization development consultant for seven years and is now the VP of people operations at Velir in Somerville, Mass.

Laurie Roberts, BA ’86, published The Great Hoop of Life: Emotions on the Wheel, co-authored with her mother, Paula Underwood, BA ’58, MA ’76. This book details Iroquois understanding of how emotions work.

Rachel Rutfield, BA ’13, received her MS and CAGS degrees in applied educational psychology from Northeastern University. She now works as a school psychologist in an elementary school in the Boston area.

Carol Sacks, PhD ’89, has been working as a clinical psychologist and team supervisor for Arlington County Behavioral Healthcare division since 1993. She enjoys supervising 11 clinicians on the best way to serve seriously mentally ill individuals.

Jesse Sargent, PhD ’09, is a professor at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C. He recently received a grant to examine the brain response (EEG) to symmetry perception and its relationship to visuo-spatial working memory.

Erika Schnure, BA ’07, is currently a meeting planner with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). She is also working on her thesis for the master's in sports administration program at Northwestern University. She lives just outside Chicago.

Patrick Smith, BA ’68, is enjoying his seventh year of retirement on his IA farm with winter breaks traveling the country in an RV after 33 years work in mental health with a five-year break as a VT country innkeeper. “Training in psychology at GW and OU facilitated all of this,” he writes.

Swati Srivastava, BA ’00, completed her PhD in applied social psychology and consults in organizational psychology research. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband Rohit Srivastava, BBA ‘01, MS ’01, and daughter.

Heather Staufenberg, BA ’98, currently works as a law enforcement psychologist for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department doing both clinical and consulting work, having completed her doctorate in 2009.

Rebecca “Becky” Turner, PhD ’87, is owner of Turner Consulting Group in San Francisco where she provides executive coaching, and team and organizational development in technology, healthcare and financial services. She loves time with family, hiking and travel.

Dana Visalli-Gold, BA ’98, is the founder of a functional skills training program for families who have members with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Optimal Beginnings, LLC. The company has been around for 10 years and is thriving.

Tara Ward, BS ’12, is currently a business development specialist for a Private Wealth Management Team at UBS Financial Services Inc.

Tobie Waxman, BA ’85, graduated from GW with a double major in psychology and dramatic arts in 1985. Today she has her own law practice specializing in family law and medical malpractice.

Deanne Weber, PhD ’99, has been working for Porter Novelli as a senior vice president in their Strategic Planning and Research Department since graduating from GW. She is married with two children and lives in Gainesville, Fla.

Adam Woods, PhD ’10, is an assistant professor of clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida. His lab is currently carrying out the first NIH-funded Phase III clinical trial for non-invasive electrical brain stimulation!

Donna Zubris, PhD ’94, conducts developmental, cognitive and diagnostic assessments of children as an independent contractor in Long Island, N.Y. She has recently joined a private practice in Commack, N.Y.