Graduate Student Alumni



Mary BeckerMary Petrosko Becker, Ph.D.

Mary Becker is a 2015 Ph.D. from the clinical psychology program at the University of Minnesota. She is currently a Behavioral Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the UM Medical School in the Department of Family Medicine. Mary has a longstanding interest in the development and treatment of substance use disorders. Her dissertation  focused on behavioral and brain-based correlates of heavy marijuana use.



Ann Schissel, Ph.D.

Ann is a 2015 Ph.D. from the clinical psychology program at the University of Minnesota. She is currently a postdoctoral resident at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Center City, Minnesota. She is interested in cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness therapy for mood and anxiety disorders as well as developmental influences on psychopathology. Prior to starting graduate school, Ann worked as the Luciana Laboratory coordinator for many years, spearheading the lab’s current longitudinal projects. In collaboration with the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research, her dissertation focused on interactions between life stress and genetic variants in the serotonin transporter polymorphism in conferring risk for depressive disorder in a young adult twin sample.


Jim Porter, Ph.D.

Jim Porter received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology program from the University of Minnesota in 2013. He is a neuropsychologist, employed by Midwestern Neuropsychological Associates in Edina, Minnesota. Jim obtained B.A.s in Psychology and Art  from the University of Minnesota in 2006. As a student, he worked in the TriCAM Laboratory, directed by Prof. Angus MacDonald, before joining the Luciana Laboratory in 2007. Jim is an expert in methodological aspects of MRI data collection and analysis, including the analysis of resting state MRI data. He is interested in the neural underpinnings of cognition, emotion, and their interactions in healthy people and in those with psychopathology and has maintained a longstanding interest in adult neuropsychology.


Dustin WahlstromDustin Wahlstrom, Ph.D.

Dustin received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2009. He is currently a Q-interactive Product Owner at Pearson Clinical Assessment, where he has directed several projects focused on updating the Wechsler assessment batteries for the measurement of intelligence in children and adults. Dustin’s graduate work focused on developmental aspects of Iowa Gambling task performance and on developmental changes in the dopamine system during adolescents. His clinical specialization was in pediatric neuropsychology.


Elizabeth OlsonElizabeth (Liz) Olson, Ph.D.

Liz Olson received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2009. She is currently Instructor in Psychology at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School where she conducts research as part of the Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders Laboratory. Liz’s graduate research focused on neural underpinnings of prosocial behavior and on structural brain correlates of delay discounting behavior in the context of adolescent development. Her dissertation involved behavioral and neuroimaging analyses of longitudinal delay and probability discounting and neuroimaging data, demonstrating within-subject change in delay discounting but not probability discounting over the course of adolescent development. She completed a pre-doctoral internship and a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in adult clinical neuropsychology.

She is currently a researcher in the Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research, where she has expanded her ability to use multimodal neuroimaging techniques as well as behavioral paradigms to examine mechanisms underlying mood and anxiety disorders. She is increasingly interested in the neurobiological basis for alterations in social behavior following trauma exposure.


Kristin VenablesKristin (Sullwold) Venables

Kristin obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2010. She is currently a clinical neuropsychology at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis MN. Kristen’s dissertation work focused on the development of inhibitory control in children, adolescents, and young adults, focusing on go no-go task behavior and its associations with externalizing symptoms. She did her internship at the Medical College of Wisconsin  She conducts neuropsychological evaluations with a wide range of populations.


Catalina HooperCatalina Hooper, Ph.D.

Catalina obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2008. Following an internship in neuropsychology at the University of Iowa, she pursued clinical licensure and is currently a practicing neuropsychology in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Catalina’s graduate work focused on the development of motivated decision making, as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task, in adolescents. Her dissertation was an analysis of brain structural correlates of reversal learning behavior in children, adolescents and young adults. She was instrumental in the design and set-up of the lab’s current longitudinal work.


Suzanne Vrshek-SchallhornSuzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Ph.D.

Suzanne obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2008, supported for three years by a National Science Foundation predoctoral fellowship. She received dual bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology from Florida State University. She completed an APA-accredited predoctoral clinical psychology internship at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center during 2007-2008 and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University in the Department of Psychology, first as the NU project director of the Youth Emotion Project (2008 to 2010), and next as an NIH/NIMH NRSA postdoctoral research fellow (2010 to 2013). She is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. As a graduate student, Suzanne was interested in behaviors mediated by the brain’s serotonin system. For her dissertation project, she directed an ambitious tryptophan depletion study to investigate serotonergic correlates of eating disordered behavior in healthy individuals and in females with anorexia nervosa. Her current work focuses on the etiology of mood disorders, using naturalistic life stress and lab-induced stress to study the main effects of stress and gene-environment interactions on depression and related outcomes.


Karen Hanson Bondi

Karen obtained her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2006. She is currently employed as a staff psychologist at the San Diego VA Medical Center. As a graduate student, Karen’s work focused on the investigation of cognitive impairments in individuals who use and abuse the recreational drug, Ecstasy. Her findings suggested that Ecstasy use was associated with impaired executive functions as well as deficits in verbal learning and memory and in motivated decision-making. However, these characteristics were also observed in individuals who were heavy users of other drugs. Karen completed post-doctoral training and subsequent work as a researcher with Susan Tapert and Sandy Brown at UCSD, where she has continued to investigate neurocognitive deficits in adolescents and young adults as a function of substance use and abstinence.