Department of Psychology
University of Houston
126 Heyne Building
Houston, TX 77204-5022
Dr. Sharp trained as a clinical psychologist (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa) from 1994-1997, after which she completed a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychopathology at Cambridge University, UK, 1997-2000. In 2001, she obtained full licensure as a clinical psychologist in the UK. From 2001-2004 she was appointed as a Research Post-doctoral Fellow in Developmental Psychopathology, Cambridge University. In 2004, she moved to the United States to take up an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. She obtained provisional licensure as Clinical Psychologist in Texas in 2008. In 2009, she was appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston.
Her published work reflects her interests in social-cognitive, affective and reward processing as it relates to childhood disorder (most notably antisocial behavior and emerging personality disorder), as well as her interest in psychometrics. She has co-authored two books: An edited volume with Oxford University Press titled Social cognition and developmental psychopathology and a book with MIT Press titled Midbrain mutiny: Behavioral economics and neuroeconomics of gambling addiction as basic reward system disorder.
Assistant Lab Director
Amanda Venta is in her third year of the Child and Family track of the Clinical Psychology doctoral program. She serves as Assistant Lab Manager and Project Leader for a study exploring early markers of suicidal behaviors among adolescents at the Harris County Psychiatric Center. Her primary academic interests are the protective effects of parenting and attachment security, but she has secondary interests in numerous aspects of developmental psychopathology, including personality disorder and suicide. Her master's thesis, entitled "Attachment style as a risk factor for suicide-related behaviors in youth," focused on these content areas and was completed Summer 2012. Amanda graduated cum laude from Rice University in 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and Religious Studies and subsequently served as a research assistant for the Adolescent Treatment Program at the Menninger Clinic. She is the recipient of the University of Houston's Presidential Ehrhardt and Frontier Fiesta Scholarships.
Tessa Long is a Senior at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S. in Psychology and minors in Chinese Studies, Philosophy, and Phronesis. Tessa joined Dr. Sharp's Developmental Psychopathology Lab in December 2012 and is currently a member of the Adolescent Treatment Program (ATP) and the Oxytocin study. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests include ADHD, depression, and self-injury.
Clinical Psychology Graduate Students
Carolyn is a third year clinical psychology doctoral student in the child and family track. She joined the DPL team in August 2010. Currently she is a recipient of the Duncan Fellowship for the 2012-2013 year. She is also working at HCPC as a practicum student on the child and adolescent units. Her current research interests are broadly in the areas of developmental psychopathology with a specific focus on social cognition, emerging borderline personality disorder, and externalizing problems in youths. She also has an interest in treatment outcome, measure development, and the use of functional neuroimaging (fMRI) in psychological research. Her Master's Thesis has been completed, investigating the psychometric properties of the Reflective Function Questionnaire for Youths (RFQY). Carolyn's dissertation will focus on the effects of intranasal oxytocin on social cognition in adolescents with and without BPD.
Tyson Reuter is a third-year clinical graduate student in the child-family track working in Dr. Sharp's developmental psychopathology lab. He graduated summa cum laude with honors from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, receiving his B.A. in psychology and philosophy. He was previously project leader for the NARSAD study and has recently been serving as co-coordinator for the HCPC project. His current external practicum placement is the Menninger Clinic, where he administers interviews to in-patient adolescents assessing borderline personality disorder and attachment. His master's thesis examines the relation between borderline features and teen dating violence, and his broad interests include developmental psychopathology, specifically issues related to aggression and violence in borderline personality disorder.
Allison Kalpakci is in her first year in the clinical psychology program at the University of Houston. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, she began serving as the research coordinator for the DSM-5 Field Trials at The Menninger Clinic. As a graduate student she continues her work at The Clinic through data collection for the treatment outcomes study on the Adolescent Treatment Program. Her primary interests are social cognition and Borderline Personality Disorder. She is also interested in the role of shame in the development and maintenance of this disorder.
Will is a first-year doctoral graduate student in the Developmental Psychopathology lab. He completed his undergraduate studies at Syracuse University and received a second bachelor's from Portland State University. His primary research interests lie in social cognition and depression, with an emphasis on neuroeconomics. He is currently assisting with the HCPC project and Adolescent Treatment Program, and has begun working towards his master's thesis on trust in adolescent depression. Will is a recipient of the University of Houston's Lynn P. Rehm Graduate Student Scholarship.
Students on Internship
Liz Ross, M.A.
Robert Seals, Ph.D.
Heather Pane, Ph.D.
Kelly Green, Ph.D.
Stephanie Kovacs, Ph.D.
Teona Amble, Ph.D.
Zach Lessig graduated from Goucher College in 2008 with his B.A. in Religion and Philosophy. After several years teaching middle school in Fort Bend ISD Zach decided to return to school to study psychology. He is currently attending undergraduate class at the University of Houston with the intent of gaining a greater understanding of the field before pursuing graduate studies in the future. He recently joined Dr. Sharp's lab in the Spring of 2012 and is currently involved with the ATP program under Carolyn Ha. Zach is interested in exploring the psychological impacts of religious thought and mood disorder treatments for adolescents.
Roya Zamani is a junior at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Chemistry. She joined Dr. Sharp's Developmental Psychopathology Lab in May 2012 as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) through the UH Office of Undergraduate Research. Roya is currently involved in a pilot study focusing on analyzing nonverbal cues in the context of a social interactive game. The ultimate aim of this study is to better understand the nonverbal behavior of individuals with borderline personality disorder. Following graduation, Roya hopes to enter medical school to pursue a career in pediatric neurology as her main interests lie in social cognition and cognitive neurology.
Karen Springer completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Management at the University of Houston in May 2012, and plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Karen has been actively involved as a Research Assistant in Dr. Sharp's Developmental Psychopathology Lab since July 2011 and joined Dr. Tackett's Personality Across Development Lab in May 2012. She is also an active member of Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology, and enjoys volunteering in community service projects, festivals, and walks in Houston. Karen's research interests include etiology and treatments of depression, substance-related disorders, and schizophrenia, and wishes to work with adolescents in the future.
Charles Jardin will be joining the Developmental Psychopathology Laboratory as a first year doctoral student in the Fall of 2013 and has received the University Presidential Graduate Fellowship. He will be working jointly with Drs. Sharp and Michael Zvolensky, representing a training collaboration across the two laboratories at UH. Charles is interested in positive and negative reinforcement processes that govern high-risk sexual behavior and its co-occurrence with other psychiatric and medical populations.
Jesse Kaur is a University of Houston senior completing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Biology. Jesse recently joined Dr. Sharp's Developmental Psychopathology Lab in the fall of 2012 and is currently involved in the ATP Project under Carolyn Ha. She is also actively involved in the Psychology Department. Jesse's research interests include developmental, cognitive, and factitious disorders. In addition, she is interested in studying the therapeutic effects of yoga on the levels of GABA inhibiting nerve transmission in the brain. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Jesse plans to pursue a medical degree in Psychiatry.
Haina completed her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in biology at the University of Houston in December of 2012. She is interested in pursuing a career in clinical psychology and her research interests are catered towards the behavioral neurosciences. She recently joined Dr. Sharp’s lab, where she is working as a research assistant for the ATP and Oxytocin projects. She is also working as an assistant in Dr. Tackett’s Personality Across Development lab, and hopes to continue her education through research.