People

Faculty

Dr. Jennifer Tackett

JLT

Dr. Tackett completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with minors in statistics, behavior genetics, and personality at the University of Minnesota. She is a graduate of the Texas Academy of Math and Science and of Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to UH, she completed her clinical internship at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center and was a tenured member of the faculty at the University of Toronto. Her research is grounded in an interest of the many personality characteristics that exist early in life and their influence on behavioral development. The list of things she enjoys is long, including (but not limited to) her family, camping, jazz music, West Texas, reading fiction, frozen pizza, Texas wildflowers, and her Crock-Pot

Graduate Research Assistants

Shauna Kushner, M.A.

Shauna Kushner

Shauna is a doctoral candidate in Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. Using temperament and personality trait frameworks, her research centers on illuminating factors and developmental processes that contribute to maladjustment. More specifically, she is interested in how personality interacts with psychosocial factors, such as stress and social support, to predict the stability of internalizing and externalizing disorders throughout development. Beyond the lab, she enjoys spending time with her Boston Terriers, biking around Toronto, watching terrible movies, and karaoke.

Kathrin Herzhoff, M.A.

Kathrin Herzhoff

Kat is a doctoral student in clinical psychology under the supervision of Dr. Tackett. Her primary research interest lies in the development of a personality construct called Openness-to-Experience and its effect on behavioral competencies and problems in childhood and adolescence. Kat’s secondary research interest lies in assessment issues regarding personality and behavioral problems in childhood. She joined the Tackett Lab as an undergraduate RA in Toronto in January 2008 and currently helps manage our lab in Houston. When Kat is not working, she enjoys exploring the world--most recently Texas--with "deals of the days" by going on horseback, helicopter, or roller-coaster rides with her friends and family

Kathleen Reardon, M.A.

Kathleen Reardon

I am a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 with a B.S. in psychology. After graduation, I worked as a research assistant for the Pitt Parents and Children Laboratory. My interests include studying the development of antisocial behaviors and severe conduct problems from a developmental psychopathology perspective. When I’m not working, I love spending time with my dog Tilly, and cooking or trying new restaurants!

Avante Smack, M.A

Avante Smack

I am a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program under the supervision of Dr. Tackett. I graduated from Spelman College in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation, I worked at Covenant Community Inc. a residential life stabilization program in Atlanta, Georgia. My interests include understanding how culture influences the development of psychopathology in internalizing and externalizing disorders. When I am not working, I enjoy listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and cooking.

 

Project Coordinators and Team Leaders 

Lizbeth Cantu- CPBS Project Coordinator 

Lizbeth

I am an undergraduate student at the University of Houston, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Italian. I wish to go to graduate school for Clinical Psychology, and some of my interests include psychopathology, personality, and the influence of cultures in psychology. I enjoy watching movies, shows like Criminal Minds, and relaxing in long car trips.

 

Janelle Elias- Child Tester

Janelle Elias

All my life I had dreamed of becoming a lawyer. After spending almost three years studying political science at the University of Texas at Austin I decided to move back home to Houston to pursue a new career path- medicine. I am now a pre-med student at the University of Houston double majoring in Psychology and Nutrition.  From these two disciplines I plan to obtain a more holistic outlook on medicine and be the kind of future physician that understands that our well-being is pertinent to what we put in our bodies- mentally and physically. Physiological psychology and psychopathology peak my interest but when I am not studying I run a small, at-home cake design business.

Rima Malkan- Project F.A.D Project Coordinator 

Rima

I am a senior at the University of Houston majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Anthropology and Corporate Communications. My psychological interests include forensic psychology, psychopathology, the effects of personality on behavior, neuroscience, cognition, and the physiological processes of the brain. I have always been interested in the forensic sciences and my passion to help others has led me to pursue a degree in psychology. Upon graduation, I hope to continue studies in a graduate program and eventually a doctorates program, focusing on forensic psychology. I hope to aim my research in neuroimaging and the physiology of brains of people such as serial killers and those with neurological disorders . For now, I am excited to work with Dr. Tackett's lab to see how personality and behavior affect developing children. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching movies, hanging out with my friends, and outdoor activities!

Jessica Medina- CPBS Spanish Team Leader

Jessica

My name is Jessica Medina. I am currently an undergrad at the University of Houston. Psychology is a subject that has always interested me. I especially love learning about abnormal, forensics, and social psychology. But overall my heart is set on abnormal psych with an emphasis on psychological disorders such as bipolar, post-traumatic stress, schizophrenia, personality disorders, etc. And so my goal is to get into UH's clinical doctoral program in hopes to one day have my own practice. Aside from school I'm a laid back person, I enjoy relaxing on my time off, hanging out with friends, baking, working on arts and crafts, watching movies/TV shows, or just playing with my dog Otis!

Tanveer Otal- Texas Twin Project Project Coordinator

Tanveer

Tanveer Otal was born and raised in Houston, Texas from parents of Indian descent. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Houston. Tanveer is a junior working towards completing her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Health. Upon graduation, her goal is to continue on to graduate school to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Tanveer’s areas of research interest include: emotional self-regulation, maladaption, and addiction. Outside of schoolwork she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, yoga, dancing, shopping, and playing with her kitten, Billy. Tanveer is very passionate about the study of psychology and is super excited to be a part of this lab.

Taylor Walker- Data Manager

Taylor

My name is Taylor Walker and I am a junior at the University of Houston pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Biology. I plan to graduate with my Bachelor's in December 2014 and, soon after, pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. I am very excited to be a part of the Personality Across Development Lab as I feel it will give me a good feel of real-life Psychology and help me to gain experience and further my career in the field.

Research Assistants

Arielle Aranzamendez

Arielle

My name is Arielle Aranzamendez. I was previously a pre-nursing student at the University of St. Thomas and transferred over to the University of Houston in Fall 2013.  Currently, I am an undergraduate student at the University of Houston working on a Psychology major and a Human Development and Family Studies minor. I work part-time as an assistant at a Montessori school and have previously volunteered at the daycare the Houston Area’s Women’s Center. After graduation, I would like to pursue a degree in Developmental Psychology and focus my research on the impacts of domestic violence and other traumatic experiences on children. In my free time, I enjoy art, poetry, and studying history.

Kardelen Dogan

Kardelen

Hi, my name is Kardelen. I was born in Ankara, Turkey and moved to U.S when I was 10. I’ve lived in Houston since then.  I started college as biochemistry major in UT Dallas but transferred to UH a year later. One of the best decisions I’ve made in my life was to change my major to psychology. Right now, I’m an undergrad majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology. After I graduate, I plan to pursue a graduate degree in a clinical psychology program, preferably in California. My interest started after I took a clinical psychology course. In my free time, I enjoy spending quality time with my family or making puzzle. I love to travel around the world and hope to go to New Zealand one day.

 

Allison Engstrom

Allison

My name is Allison and I was born and raised in Galveston, Texas. I am a Senior at UH and will be receiving my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies in the Summer or Fall of 2014. After graduation, I intend to earn a Master's degree in Social Work or Clinical Psychology, pursuing a PhD soon after that. I hope to work in a high school or middleschool setting as a Psychologist or a counselor for a period of time during my career, later opening a private practice for adolescents as my experience grows. I am fascinated by the teenage mind and would like to discover new and more efficient ways for parents and teachers to communicate and guide teens through the critical and sensitive periods of development that they encounter. I am honored with the opportunity to work in the Personality Across Development lab will be benefited with the experience I need to fulfill my dreams.

Raquel Lara

Raquel

My name is Raquel Lara and I am currently a Junior at the University of Houston pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. I started out as a double major in Journalism and Psychology at New York University. I transferred to the University of Houston my sophomore year and decided to focus on my main interest—psychology. I am so glad that I made the decision to be a part of such a great University. After I graduate, I plan on continuing my education to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology. I am extremely excited to be working with the Personality Across Development Lab, as I think it's a great opportunity to learn more about Clinical Psychology and hone in on my field of interest. Outside of academics, I enjoy spending time with family, watching movies, and baking.

Laura Lynch

Laura

Hi, my name is Laura Lynch, and I am a senior in the Psychology department and will be getting my bachelors degree, with a business minor, in December 2014. After which, I plan to continue my education in graduate school for Psychology, I am undecided in which field I would like to focus. I am very excited to be a part of the Personality Across Development Lab as I hope it will help me decide which field I would like to study in graduate school, and will allow me experience in this career field. I am currently a part time preschool teacher and a nanny. In my spare time, I love to volunteer at the Humane Society, go camping, and spend time with my friends and family.

Marinna Melchor

Marinna

I am currently an undergraduate attending the University of Houston majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Development and Family Studies. Since I was a little girl I have always had hope in becoming a psychologist because I have a passion to help and understand others. I plan to further my education in a graduate program focusing on Clinical Psychology with a main interest in children and adolescents.  Outside of school I intern at the Children's Assessment Center where I spend time observing and interacting with child victims of abuse and traumatic events. I look forward to working in Dr.Tackett's lab to learn about personality and its connection to child behavior.

Ramsha Patel

Ramsha

I am a senior (undergraduate) student at the University of Houston, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration. Areas of interest include neuroscience, developmental psychopathology, personality types and its effects on behavior. I am glad to have gotten the opportunity to work in Dr. Tackett’s lab to learn more about personality and behavior, and gain clinical as well as research experience. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, sewing, singing, and spending time with family and friends.

Sandra Olmo Ruiperez 

Sandra

My name is Sandra Olmo Ruipérez. I was born in Cuenca, Spain, and I moved to the U.S. a few years ago. I have lived in Houston, Texas, since then. I am an international transfer student. I started off as a Computer Engineering major, but I changed my major to Psychology and followed my vocation. I haven't decided my minor, but I am very interested in sociology. I am very excited about working in the Personality Across Development Lab, it is a wonderful opportunity, I am very grateful. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking and Pilates.

Caroline Ryan

Caroline

My name is Caroline Ryan and I was born and raised in Houston, TX. I am a junior at the University of Houston. My major is psychology and my minor is studio arts. Following the completion of my undergraduate studies, I hope to continue my education at a graduate school where my goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Along with being interested in psychology, art is another one of my passions - specifically, I enjoy painting. I am looking forward to gaining valuable experience through my participation in the Personality Across Development Lab.

Sharyl Wee

Sharyl

Hi, my name is Sharyl and I just graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in May 2014. I have an interest in the personality, learning and development of children and adolescents and hope to pursue graduate school in educational psychology or child clinical psychology in the near future. I am excited for the opportunity to be part of the Personality Across Development Lab, knowing it'll be a invaluable learning experience. Academic interests aside, I love to sing, perform and learn to play new musical instruments.