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Sarah E. Watamura is the director of the CHaD lab. She is an Associate Professor at DU. After training with Dr. Megan Gunnar at the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development she received her Ph.D. from the Department of Human Development at Cornell University. She has long-standing interests in children's physiologic regulation, their development within care giving contexts, and relations between physiologic regulation and developing physical and psychological stress. She has recently expanded her work to include the unique stressors and buffers that may be important for physiologic stress among families experiencing poverty and among newcomer Mexican-origin families.
E-mail: swatamura@psy.du.edu

Staff Members

Ariel Julian, Project Manager    
 Ariel Julian, Project manager   Ariel Julian is a project manager for the lab. As an undergraduate, Ariel worked as a research assistant in Dr. Deak’s stress lab at Binghamton University. The primary focus was to determine how organisms respond and adapt to psychologically stressful events. After graduation, Ariel was a research coordinator at Mount Siani Medical Center for a project examining the genetic factors of congenital heart defects. In the Watamura lab his main focus is managing and coordinating the Buffering Early Stress Together (B.E.S.T) Study.
E-mail: ariel.julian@du.edu

Allison Stiles, Data Collection Team Leader

Allison received her B.A. degree in Psychology from Bates College in May 2010. After graduating, she joined Teach For America and worked for two years as a fifth grade teacher in Gallup, New Mexico. Allison currently works as a research assistant in the CHaD lab and is assisting with B.E.S.T., a study exploring the function of parental support in safeguarding children from early stress. Her research interests involve working with youth and families from diverse populations, particularly those in low socioeconomic areas. Allison plans to apply to clinical psychology PhD programs within the next two years.
E-mail: allison.stiles@gmail.com

Graduate Students

Marina M. Mendoza, M.A.
Marina Mendoza worked in the lab as a project manager for 2 years. She is now a student in the DU developmental psychology PhD program.  With her research experience she continues to explore relationships between physiologic stress reactivity and care giving environments in low income preschool children. She is also interested in examining the relationships among physiologic stress regulation, physical health, and psychosocial behaviors in children of Hispanic immigrants.
E-mail: mmendoza@psy.du.edu

Eliana Hurwich-Reiss, M.A.
Eliana Hurwich-Reiss   
Eliana Hurwich-Reiss is a student in the clinical psychology PhD program.  Eliana’s primary interests involve research and clinical work with diverse populations, in particular Latino immigrant parents and children.  One of her goals is to help fill the gap in research and service delivery to low-income Latino families. For her master’s thesis she worked on the cultural and language adaptation of a parenting, relationship, and stress and coping psycho-educational intervention designed for low-income Spanish speaking families.  She then conducted a pilot study to assess the preliminary feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of the program with Spanish speaking Head Start families in the Denver area.
E-mail: ehurwich@du.edu

Lisa McFadyen-Ketchum


 Lisa McFadyen-Ketchum

Lisa McFadyen-Ketchum is a graduate student in the developmental psychology PhD program. She has 8 years combined research experience in molecular developmental neuroscience. Lisa is generally interested in risk and resilience in infants and toddlers with a particular emphasis on school readiness. In the Watamura lab she will explore the relationship between physiologic stress reactivity and developmental trajectories in early childhood. Currently she is assisting on an upcoming project examining the role of parents in buffering their children from stress, as well as, investigating the potential cognitive benefits of physical activity in preschoolers. While at DU she hopes to merge her previous work with animal models, and her current training with the goal of generating cross-disciplinary translational research.
E-mail: lisa.mcfadyen-ketchum@du.edu


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