Meet the FAR Lab Members

FAR Lab group photo

The Fear and Anxiety Research (FAR) Lab consists of various graduate and undergraduate members here at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). The FAR Lab currently consists of the following members:

Dr. Ellen Koch

Principal Investigator, PhD
Dr. Koch is the Associate Dean for Budgets and Facilities at Eastern Michigan University and the Primary Investigator for the FAR Lab. 


Joseph Tu 

Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology PhD
Joseph is a current doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at EMU. Before joining the FAR Lab, Joseph studied women with ADHD at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted research on risky sexual behavior at Alliant International University, and evaluated evidence-based treatments for youth with traumatic history at Five Acres. His current interests include implementation science, the network approach to psychopathology, and treatments for trauma and anxiety.


Ashton Clark

Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology PhD

I am in my third year of the clinical psychology doctoral program and serve to help manage the lab. I have been working in research labs for over 10 years now. My research interests surround improving exposure interventions for specific phobia, agoraphobia, and PTSD.


Julie Wojtaszek

Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology PhD 

Julie is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program. She has a master’s degree in clinical psychology from EMU. She also has a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and significant experience serving in various program and operational leadership positions in different areas of healthcare such as managed care, hospital operations, and community mental health. She recently completed a study involving the development and evaluation of anxiety training for pediatricians. Her primary research interests are around social anxiety, and future research will focus on the development, implementation, and evaluation of related interventions.


Joe Brown

Undergraduate Student, BS

I’m a third year honors undergraduate student pursuing a degree (BS) in both psychology and criminal justice/criminology. My research interests are in affective, anxiety, and psychotic disorders as well as community psychology. I am working on projects within the FAR lab on the use of augmented reality exposure therapy in treating anxiety and other psychological disorders.


Karla Sundbaum

Undergraduate Student, BA

A fourth year neuroscience undergraduate student with a double minor in human biology and psychology. Her research interests surround clinical neuroscience and psychopathology in younger populations. Karla is a fourth year member of the cheer team and is currently applying to graduate school.

Mitchell Luttermoser

Undergraduate Student, BA

Mitchell is a second year bachelor's student at EMU studying psychology, having previously received an undergraduate degree in music performance. Mitchell's primary research interests exist in the realms of how music affects identity development and cognitive processes, as well as how different management styles influence innovation and efficiency in the workplace. Outside of his studies, Mitchell enjoys playing music, lifting weights, cooking, and reading.


Austin James Avison

Graduate Student, MS

Austin Avison is a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University's Fear and Anxiety Lab, pursuing a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (expected graduation: Spring 2024). He holds a Master of Arts in Comparative Religion (Psychology concentration) from Western Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Religious Studies from Grand Valley State University. Austin's academic journey includes roles as a graduate instructor, research assistant, and clinical practitioner. His research focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and the psychological interplay of religion, society, and culture. His academic contributions include several conference presentations, two publications, and various honors.


Crystal Lim

Graduate Student, MS

I made my way to MS in Clinical Behavioral after completing my BS in Behavioral Science from Western Michigan University. I am interested in the mechanisms of contextual variables behind fear and anxiety disorders. I seek to study the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other third-wave evidence-based behavioral interventions and their implementation within community mental health settings. Beyond academics and work, I enjoy exploring trails, kayaking, and baking!


Alex Boskovic

Graduate Student, MS

Alex Boskovic is currently enrolled in the Clinical Behavioral Masters program at Eastern Michigan University. Alex completed his undergraduate Bachelor's degree at Oakland University from the College of Arts and Sciences with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Criminal Justice. He currently works as a behavior technician providing applied behavioral interventions to children with autism spectrum disorder. Alex hopes to pursue his BCBA and LLP and ultimately work as a clinician providing clinical interventions for neurological disorders. His primary research interests are in cognitive-behavioral therapy and ways to improve the safety and efficacy of behavioral health care settings. During his free time, Alex enjoys socializing with friends and spending time outdoors.


Jess LaRoy

Undergraduate Student, BS

Hello! My name is Jessica LaRoy and I am a senior at Eastern Michigan University. I am a neuroscience major with a psychology minor and am also on the women's rowing team. I am intrigued by brain injury rehabilitation, as well as sensation and perception.


Trista Shuttleworth

Undergraduate Student, BS

Hello, I am Trista Shuttleworth and I am a senior at Eastern Michigan University. I am an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Criminology. My interest is in clinical and forensic psychology.


Taran Green

Undergraduate Student, BS

I'm a junior here at Eastern, currently pursuing my Bachelors in psychology, with a minor in social work, and I am a technical assistant here at the lab. I spend most of my free time either hiking, playing video games or spending time with friends. I'm also a Marine Corps veteran.

Silvia Verhofste

Graduate Student, MS

Silvia is currently in her first year in the clinical behavioral masters program at Eastern Michigan University. Prior to this, she earned her bachelor's degree in biology at Iowa State University. Her primary research and clinical interests include early intervention and diagnostic services for children with autism.


  • McKendra Cramer
  • Ayesha Syeda
  • Reilly Chabie
  • Michelle Fernando 
  • William Dalian
  • Jordan Sieja
  • Lance Roehl
  • Arturo Peña
  • Noah Perrin
  • Kaitlyn McCarthy
  • Dana Manning
  • Erin Neis
  • Krithika Prakash
  • Rachael Les

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