Please scroll down to see profiles for our lab directors, current graduate students, lab member emeriti, and partner labs.
I am Professor of Psychology with particular research interests in clinical health psychology, specifically, in the area of cardiovascular health psychology and the influence of religiousness/spirituality on health. Relatedly, I am interested in how sense of meaning and purpose (M/P) can be used to increase adherence to health behavior regimens, particularly physical activity and exercise, as well as how M/P may influence cardiovascular reactivity to psychological stress.
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences. As a health psychologist, my research addresses the ways in which psychological factors engender resilience and protect against health risks associated with disadvantaged social status (low socioeconomic standing, racial minority). This work utilizes multiple methodologies, including national longitudinal survey data and laboratory assessments of emotion regulation and physiological reactivity and recovery to stress.
Current Graduate Students
Christianne Biggane is currently a 3rd year doctoral student. She graduated in 2015 with Bachelors’ degrees in Nutritional Sciences and Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, she worked with electroencephalography (EEG) and psychophysiology equipment to examine the fear response. She is interested in the intersections of nature, mindfulness and exercise with mental health. Her thesis examines the psychophysiological response to stress following nature exposure. She enjoys backpacking, yoga, lingering in coffee shops, cycling, and live music
Christina Rush is a 3rd year doctoral student. Christina received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, and her Master of Arts in psychology from American University in Washington DC. She has been involved in cardiovascular and cancer research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and Georgetown University. Her current research interests include strengths-based areas of human functioning such as grace, mind-body medicine, and components of religion and spirituality, such as meaning and purpose, that contribute to well-being in medical patients as well as healthy populations. Whenever possible she savors time with her husband and family, and loves coffee, exercise (especially yoga and dance!), hiking, and travel.
Katie Schneider is a 2nd year doctoral student. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Kalamazoo College. Prior to her graduate studies she worked on adult inpatient units at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and on pediatric inpatient units at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where she also assisted a clinical health psychologist in research. Katie utilizes a biopsychosocial-spiritual framework to conceptualize health in both clinical practice and research. Her primary research focus is the connection between health and existential aspects of human experience (i.e., meaning, purpose, and spirituality). In her spare time Katie enjoys yoga, traveling, hiking, and she cherishes time spent with her fiancé and puppy.
Lab Member Emeriti
Lacey Clement, PhD
Dr. Lacey Clement is a Behavioral Medicine postdoctoral fellow at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, SC. She received her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology in 2018 from University of Colorado Denver, and she completed her predoctoral clinical internship in Behavioral Medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from University of Colorado Denver and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. Her clinical and research interests include understanding factors that influence well-being for patients living with serious and complex medical illnesses, with a particular interest in spiritual/existential factors. She is also interested in program/intervention development and evaluation for patients with life-threatening illnesses, as well as for medical providers who work with this patient population. In her spare time, she enjoys nature trails with her dog, exploring new coffee shops, and photography.
Stephanie Hooker, PhD, MPH
Dr. Stephanie Hooker completed her clinical psychology internship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL and is now on a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Stephanie earned her BAS in Psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2009, her MS in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University in 2011, and her MPH in Applied Biostatistics from the Colorado School of Public Health at the Anschutz Medical Campus in 2015. Stephanie’s research interests include theories and techniques of health behavior change, with an emphasis on maintenance in healthy behavior. Specifically, she is interested in better understanding long-term maintenance of physical activity, and the relationship of existential/spiritual factors (i.e., meaning in life, connectedness) to health and quality of life. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and friends; hiking; biking (aka “marauding”); coffee; and quilting.
Megan McGugan recently completed her clinical psychology internship at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Pediatric Psychology and Pediatric Neuropsychology. She is currently working on her dissertation “Prayer and Sleep’s Effects on Cardiovascular Reactivity and Self-Regulation Among Christians,” and will graduate this year. Megan received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cedarville University, and her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver. Her research interests include studying how religion/spirituality within close relationships may impact health. Megan enjoys music, nature, chai tea, trying new foods, and cooking with her husband.
Kaile Ross will be completing her clinical psychology internship (summer of 2018) at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Health in Denver, CO. Afterward, she will be starting a clinical postdoctoral position at Salud Family Health Centers working in integrated primary care. Kaile received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN and her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver. Prior to starting graduate school, she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in smoking cessation research and at the University of Washington in infectious disease research. Her current research interests include health behaviors, quality of life, and self-care in folks with chronic illness as well as health policy research related to integrated behavioral health and primary care. In her downtime, she enjoys the Colorado Great Outdoors via running, skiing, and hiking, as well as reading way too many science-fiction books.
Jennalee Woolridge, PhD
Dr. Jennalee Wooldridge is currently a post-doctoral fellow at University of California San Diego and VA San Diego. Jennalee completed her clinical internship at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, in the Behavioral Medicine Track. Her primary faculty adviser was Dr. Krista Ranby. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Neuroscience and in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology, with an emphasis in Mental and Physical Health Research from San Diego State University. She is interested in understanding the interaction between physical and psychological factors as they relate to health behaviors and outcomes in couples and in populations with chronic conditions. In her spare time Jennalee enjoys running, yoga, hiking and spending time with her cats Jack and Annasophia.
We frequently partner with these faculty and their labs:
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