Graduate Students

Meaghan Brown

Meaghan Brown, B.A.

Meaghan Brown is a fifth year doctoral student from Dedham, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in Counseling and Health Psychology from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. During her time at Emmanuel, she worked in Dr. Jacqueline Alfonso Barry’s HEALTH lab on projects related to undergraduate substance abuse. She also completed an honors thesis examining differences in firearm ownership rates between Iceland and the United States and its effects on gun violence. After her undergraduate studies, Meaghan became a research technician at the National Center for PTSD within the VA Boston Healthcare System working with Drs. Michelle Bovin and Brian Marx. There she worked on a multi-site study validating a brief measure of PTSD in a veteran primary care population. While at the VA she focused her independent research projects on military sexual trauma (MST) and criminal activity associated with prior trauma exposure. Her current research interests include studying the intersection of trauma and externalizing behaviors, with an emphasis on prevention within jail, prison and other at-risk populations.


Ivy Chen

Haomin (Ivy) Chen, B.A.

Ivy Chen is a third year doctoral student from Suzhou, China. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Wellesley College in 2021. She worked in two psychiatric hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai, where she discovered her passion for clinical psychology. Her safety guard experience in inpatient units and counseling experience at a rape crisis center have inspired her to study externalizing disorders to develop effective intervention methods that are both client-centered and address societal/familial needs. She is enthusiastic to study how psychotherapy research translates to practice, and how research can help practitioners provide more effective therapy and serve people with disadvantaged backgrounds, such as women in rural areas and incarcerated individuals. 

USF Awards/Grants:
Presidential Doctoral Fellowship
Stephen & Phillip Deibler Memorial Scholarship, USF Psychology Department: $1000, April 2022


Lauren Fournier

Lauren Fournier, M.A., A.B.D

Lauren Fournier is a sixth year doctoral student from Chicago, IL, and is currently completing her doctoral internship. She received her B.A. in Psychological & Brain Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis in 2017, where she worked with Dr. Deanna Barch on the Human Connectome Project. Lauren is broadly interested in the ways in which traumatic brain injury (TBI) may relate to the development of different facets of psychopathic traits, aggression, violence, and criminal offending behavior. Additionally, Lauren is interested in the relationships between mental health problems, TBI, and criminal justice-related outcomes, such as recidivism.

USF Awards/Grants:
Student Government Conference Presentation Grant, USF Student Government: $500, November 2019


Bailey Hall

Bailey Hall, M.A.

Bailey Hall is a fourth-year doctoral student originally from Arlington, Virginia. She received her B.A. in Psychological Sciences from The College of William & Mary in 2020, where she completed her honors thesis researching cognitive correlates of synesthesia under the guidance of Dr. Peter Vishton. She also completed an internship at the Capital Defender’s Office of Northern Virginia working as a mitigation investigator. She received her M.A. from USF in 2023. Her thesis investigated defendant psychopathic traits and mock juror decision-making in a capital case.  Bailey is interested in the neuropsychological correlates of criminal behavior, psychopathy, how layperson perceptions of mental health evidence influence legal outcomes, and inequities in the United States criminal legal system more broadly. 

USF Awards/Grants:
Stephen & Phillip Deibler Memorial Scholarship, USF Psychology Department: $1000, April 2021
Student Government Conference Presentation Grant, USF Student Government: $500, November 2021


Stephanie Hruza

Stephanie Hruza, M.A., ABD

Stephanie Hruza is a sixth year doctoral student originally from Saint Louis, MO, and is currently completing her doctoral internship. In 2016, she received her B.A. from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY with a neuroscience major and mathematics minor. Before coming to USF, she completed the Psychology and Social Behavior Post-Baccalaureate program at the University of California, Irvine and worked in Dr. Elizabeth Cauffman's Development, Disorder, and Delinquency Lab on the Crossroads study. Stephanie is interested in exploring the role of diminished empathy in the development of psychopathic traits and antisocial behavior.

USF Awards/Grants:
Presidential Doctoral Fellowship
Student Government Conference Presentation Grant, USF Student Government: $500, November 2019


Alora McCarthy

Alora McCarthy, M.A., ABD

Alora McCarthy is a fourth year doctoral student at USF. She has received her master's in psychology from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, where she wrote her thesis on the gun-aggression link posed by the weapons effect, receiving praise from aggression and weapons effect researcher Dr. Arlin James Benjamin, Jr. himself. After her master's degree, she worked for the Oklahoma State Department of Health as a program assessment and evaluation specialist, where she was involved in collecting, managing, analyzing, and interpreting data for a variety of public health programs and grants and often presented her evaluations at conferences and to the public, field experts, and legislative bodies. From her work in public health, she feels strongly about the role of prevention and the importance of applying research to societal problems. Combined with a passion for criminal justice reform, she is interested using sociocultural perspectives to study violence, with clinical interests in psychological evaluation, diversion programs, and recidivism reduction. She is also interested in furthering research on gun violence.

USF Awards/Grants:
2023 Dr. Sylvia Carra research fellowship: $2500
2023 Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research award
USF Conference Presentation Grant (11/2021): $500
Stephen & Phillip Deibler Memorial Scholarship (04/2021): $1000


Kendall Smith

Kendall Smith, B.A.

Kendall Smith is a first year doctoral student, originally from Melbourne, Florida. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Criminology from USF in 2021. Before enrolling as a doctoral student, Kendall worked as the lab manager in the CJRP lab and helped to coordinate activities related to the USF Reentry Project. She also worked in Dr. Christine Ruva's Psychology & Law lab, where she studied bias in jury decision making, and continues to volunteer as a graduate research assistant. She is broadly interested in inequities in the criminal legal system, externalizing behaviors, and issues related to diversity and bias among system involved populations.