Pediatric Psychology Lab Team Members

  • Lab Director Expand dropdown

    Dr. Catherine (Katie) Peterson

    Dr. Peterson earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in child clinical and health psychology from The George Washington University. She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the Mailman Center for Child Development/University of Miami School of Medicine, followed by post-doctoral fellowship training at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital/Case Western Reserve University.

    Dr. Peterson’s first faculty position was at Case/Rainbow Babies & Children’s, where she helped develop the Center for Survivors of Childhood Cancer, overseeing psychosocial services and conducting neuropsychological testing for pediatric oncology patients and survivors. Following her relocation to Michigan, she served in a similar role providing clinical services in pediatric oncology, bone marrow transplant, and the survivor clinic at Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan. Seeking an opportunity to do more research and mentoring of graduate students, she began her faculty position at EMU in 2013, developing the Pediatric Psychology Lab. Dr. Peterson’s research interests continue to focus on families managing pediatric medical conditions, including food allergy, asthma, chronic headache, and childhood cancer. Student-driven interests are always welcomed: a recent student dissertation on psychological intervention in the NICU setting prompted increasing interest in perinatal mental health when families are coping with infants with medical conditions. The Pediatric Psychology lab continues to focus broadly on the intersection of neurocognitive, psychosocial and family functioning in pediatric medical populations. See the Research Projects tab for more details about current research.


  • Graduate Students Expand dropdown

    Alix McLaughlin

    Alix McLaughlin is a fifth-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at EMU. She graduated with a BA in psychology and Spanish from Butler University in 2014. Her experience with children with a variety of neurological and developmental disorders as a pediatric psychometrist at AMITA Health motivated her to pursue a graduate degree. Her research interests include neuropsychological sequelae of pediatric chronic illness and the importance of multidisciplinary healthcare teams. She completed her master's thesis on associations between anxiety and quality of life in children with food allergy and their parents. She recently proposed her dissertation examining parent psychosocial functioning and infant neurodevelopment in pediatric food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES).

    Stefanie Poehacker

    Stefanie Poehacker is completing her doctoral training in clinical psychology as an intern at Nationwide Children's Hospital. She graduated with her BA in psychology from La Salle University and received her MS. in clinical psychology from EMU in 2014. Her master’s thesis focused on identifying developmental trajectories of externalizing behavior problems in a sample of maltreated children and exploring the effects of early social support and early social competence. Stefanie’s background in trauma research has inspired an interest in pediatric medical traumatic stress following medical events in children and their families. Her dissertation developed an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)-based intervention for mothers of premature infants admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to help mothers cope with premature birth and the NICU experience.

    Kelsey Hill

    Kelsey Hill is a third-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at EMU. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Kalamazoo College in 2015. Prior to attending graduate school, she spent four years conducting clinical research with children and families at Boston Children's Hospital and the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Kelsey's research interests include understanding the psychosocial impacts of pediatric chronic illness on children and families and identifying factors to promote optimal treatment adherence and functioning. She recently defended her thesis examining the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on families managing pediatric asthma and food allergy.

    Zach Colton

    Zach Colton is a 2nd-year master's student in the General Clinical Psychology program at EMU. He graduated with a BS in neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2018. He spent two years working as a psychometrician in Houston, Texas where he discovered his passion for clinical psychology. His research interests revolve around pediatric internalizing disorders with a focus on how environmental factors, such as parental and peer relations, can influence a child or adolescent’s mood outcomes.

    Adam Acker



    Haley Rohde


  • Alumni Expand dropdown

    Tori Humiston

    Tori Humiston graduated from the general clinical psychology program at EMU in 2019. Prior to attending EMU, she earned a BA in psychology from University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her experience working with children who have neurodevelopmental disabilities and chronic medical conditions motivated her to pursue a graduate degree. Her research interests include implementation science, provider communication behavior, adherence, and transition of disease management responsibility. Tori is currently in the PhD program in clinical psychology at University of Vermont.

    Taylor Macaulay

    Taylor Macaulay graduated from the general clinical psychology program at EMU in 2019. Prior to attending EMU, she earned a BA in psychology and a minor in dance from Wayne State University in 2015. Her work as a research assistant at the Transplant Institute at Henry Ford Health System, as well as her work as a research assistant at the Family Resilience Laboratory, inspired her to pursue a graduate degree. Her research interests include pediatric chronic illness and health behaviors, especially eating behavior in diet-treated illnesses. She is pursuing her PhD in clinical psychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

    Lauren Harrison

    Lauren Harrison graduated from the clinical psychology doctoral program at EMU in 2018, with a concentration on pediatric psychology. She graduated with a BA in psychology from Austin College in 2011 and an MA in clinical psychology from University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2013. Her master's thesis examined the role of parental supportive behaviors (accommodations) on frequency of children's illness. Her dissertation examined parental accommodations and measurement of the family impact of chronic pain in two pediatric pain samples, headache and recurrent abdominal pain. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Biobehavioral Pain research lab at Stanford University. 

    Sabah Hassan

    Sabah Hassan graduated from EMU in December 2018 with her bachelor’s degree, and she hopes to attend Physician Assistant (PA) school. She completed her senior honors thesis in the pediatric psychology lab examining parent and physician perceptions of communication about ADHD medications. She was the recipient of the Francis R. Warren scholarship awarded to an undergraduate psychology major. 

    Shelby Wilson

    Shelby Wilson graduated from the general clinical master's psychology program at EMU. She earned her BA in psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2015. She completed a master’s thesis investigating predictors of parental and child psychological distress in childhood cancer survivors and their families. Shelby's research interests include the impact of child special needs, including special health care needs, on the family. She is now employed as a coordinator of ABA services at The Children’s Center in Detroit.

    Sarah Rice

    Sarah Rice graduated from the general clinical master's psychology program at EMU. She earned her BS in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. She worked in private practice for several years and recently entered the PhD program in health psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Morgan Bolen

    Morgan Bolen graduated from the general clinical masters psychology program at EMU in 2015. She earned her BA in psychology from Michigan State University in 2013. She is now in the Ph.D. program at Pacific University in Portland, OR.


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