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Current Lab Members

  1. Director
  2. Project Coordinator
  3. Graduate Students
  4. Research Assistants

Director

Dr. Cynthia Huang-Pollock

Dr. Cynthia Huang-Pollock

  • CAL Lab Director
  • Professor of Psychology

(814) 865-8498

clh39@psu.edu

Dr. Huang-Pollock is interested in the cognitive and neuropsychological mechanisms that contribute to the development of severe attention, learning, and disruptive behavior problems in children.

Childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is among the most common reasons for referral to medical, psychological, and school services, and is a significant risk factor for multiple poor outcomes, including academic underachievement and peer relationship problems.

Her current research, funded by NIMH, seeks to identify how children with attention problems acquire new skills, and the degree to which this may explain chronic problems in the acquisition and execution of routine academic and social processes in daily life. She is also interested in understanding the cognitive mechanisms that could explain why ADHD is such a potent risk factor for anxiety disorders and other mental health problems.

Project Coordinator

Caitlin Givens

Caitlin Givens

(814) 863-0250

ceg5565@psu.edu

Caitlin graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Psychology in 2019. As an undergrad, she was a research assistant in Dr. Lauren Ethridge's Brain and Biomarker Lab and a lab coordinator at the Child Trauma Services Program (CTS) lab. At the CTS lab she worked under Dr. Susan Schmidt and Dr. Elizabeth Risch studying Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Currently, she works as project coordinator for the Child Attention and Emotional Development Study and hopes to continue her education and attend graduate school in the future.

Graduate Students

Brandon Bray

Brandon Bray

bab456@psu.edu

Brandon Bray is a sixth-year graduate student in the Child Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Penn State. Brandon is interested in how parents' depression affects the development of child executive functioning and academic performance. Brandon received his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Oregon.

Jason Feldman

Jason Feldman

jpf5339@psu.edu

Jason Feldman is a fourth-year student in the Child-Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Broadly, he is interested in how the neurological and cognitive abnormalities associated with ADHD independently and interactively impact the social and emotional development of afflicted youth.  Jason received his undergraduate degree from New York University, where he studied Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. At the NYU Child Study Center, he worked with Dr. Richard Gallagher investigating the efficacy of using organization, time management, and planning skills as intervention targets for children with ADHD. Prior to coming to Penn State, Jason emphasized gene-environment correlations, peer relationships, and comorbid internalizing/externalizing behaviors as he further investigated ADHD etiology under the guidance of Dr. Steve Lee at UCLA.

Christina Hlutkowsky

Christina Hlutkowsky

cvh5725@psu.edu

Christina Hlutkowsky is a first-year student in the Child-Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Penn State. Her interests center around the cognitive, emotional, and neural underpinnings of psychological disorders throughout childhood development. Christina received her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, where she worked with Dr. Timothy Nokes-Malach and Dr. Cristina Zepeda studying teacher-led cognitive skills in urban classrooms. After graduating, she worked with Dr. Susan Perlman at the Laboratory for Child Brain Development at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh. There, the lab investigated child emotion regulation, focusing on irritability, and executive function development during the preschool years using fNIRS, fMRI, and behavioral measures.

Ali Roule

Ali Roule

azr725@psu.edu

Ali Roule is a second-year student in the Child-Clinical Psychology doctoral program. She is interested in the intersection between cognition and emotion, particularly how externalizing disorders relate to cognitive and social functioning. Ali completed her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College, where she worked with Dr. Christen Deveney on projects examining irritability and its relationship to attention and emotion recognition. Prior to attending Penn State, she was an IRTA in the Section on Mood Dysregulation and Neuroscience at the National Institute of Mental Health, studying the treatment and neurocognitive mechanisms of pediatric irritability. 

Tyler  Warner

Tyler Warner

taw87@psu.edu

Tyler Warner is a second-year student in the Child-Clinical Psychology doctoral program. His research interests focus on how cognitive and neurological differences associated with ADHD manifest in social interactions and relationships. Tyler received his undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Chicago, where he worked with Dr. Lindsey E. Richland  to investigate how gestures and differences in visual presentation affect the comprehension of higher-order relationships and achievement in elementary math classrooms.

Shane Wise

Shane Wise

smw66@psu.edu

Shane Wise is a third-year student in the Child-Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Penn State. His interest is in the cognitive and neural underpinnings of psychological disorders throughout development. Shane received his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, where he studied Psychology and Neuroscience. At the University of Maryland he worked with Dr. Andrea Chronis-Tuscano on research investigating improvements to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and maternal stress in children with ADHD. After his undergraduate studies, Shane worked at Children's National Medical Center researching the efficacy of cognitive training programs for children with Sickle Cell Disorder. Before coming to Penn State, he worked again at the University of Maryland on an fMRI and EEG study of memory in childhood under the guidance of Dr. Tracy Riggins.  

Amanda Zanko

Amanda Zanko

aez32@psu.edu

Amanda Zanko is a second-year student in the School Psychology doctoral program at Penn State. Her research interests focus on the study of psychometrics and school assessment practices for students with neuropsychological disorders, specifically ADHD. Amanda received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the Ohio State University. After her undergraduate studies, Amanda attended Edinboro University’s Educational Specialist program in school psychology. Before coming to Penn State, she completed a school psychology internship at a local school district in northwestern PA and earned her certification in School Psychology.  

Research Assistants

Elaina Cohen

Elaina Cohen

Elaina is a sophomore pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. She’s interested in the emotional and mental development of children. She developed a passion for helping children through working in child care and preschools. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school to continue working with children. Outside of the lab, Elaina is a member of the Penn State Club Ice Hockey team and is the THON Family Relations Chair. In her free time, Elaina enjoys playing piano, watching Netflix, and solving sudoku puzzles.

Haley Hamschin

Haley is a junior from Pittsburgh, PA pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a Human Development and Family Studies minor. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology upon completion of her undergraduate education at Penn State. Outside of the lab, Haley is the State College, PA NEDA Walk Coordinator, is involved in THON, and is a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, spending time with her dog, and watching sports.

Jenna Irons

Jenna Irons

Jenna is a junior pursuing a B.S. in Psychology, with a concentration in neuroscience. She is from Greensburg, PA, which is outside of Pittsburgh. She plans to attend medical school with the goal of becoming a pediatrician. Jenna enjoys participating in the club Remote Area Medical (RAM) where she volunteers in underserved areas to help provide free health care. She also enjoys teaching preschoolers at church, working at her local hospital, and volunteering as a learning assistant for organic chemistry. In her free time, she loves to read, travel, hike, ski, and watch ice hockey (especially the Penguins).

Jackie Li

Jackie Li

Jackie is a junior at State College Area High School interested in pursuing a major in Psychology. She has always wanted to help children in a hospital environment in hopes of becoming a pediatric surgeon. Jackie participates in several extracurricular activities including Debate, DECA, and National Honors Society. She is also the president of HOSA.  Outside of school, she frequently volunteers at the hospital and the local science museum. In her free time, Jackie enjoys teaching elementary schoolers how to code, playing tennis, training for her black belt, and drawing. 

Sophie Wagner

Sophie Wagner

Sophie is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in neuroscience. She is from Hershey, PA, where she first discovered her love for Penn State. Sophie is interested in clinical neuropsychology, specifically pediatrics. After graduation, she hopes to attend medical school and become a pediatrician. Outside of the lab, Sophie is involved in various community service projects and is an undergraduate learning assistant for Chem 202. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, traveling, and playing soccer.