Who We Are

The members of the Culture, Community, and Mental Health lab include both graduate and undergraduate students. All students are involved in both the ongoing lab research, as well as the development of their own substantive research programs.

Esteban V. Cardemil

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
ecardemil@clarku.edu Curriculum vitaeCardemil border
Dr. Cardemil received a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1993 and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and 2000, respectively. He was subsequently at Brown University, where he completed his predoctoral internship in 2000, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship. He is currently Associate Professor in the Frances L. Hiatt School of Psychology at Clark University, where he has been since 2002.

Current Doctoral Students

Tamara Nelson
Tamara Nelson received her B.S. in Psychology and Exercise Science from Rutgers University and her M.P.H. in Epidemiology from San Diego State University. Prior to attending Clark, Tamara worked as a Research Associate in the research and evaluation department at the Boston Public Health Commission. Tamara’s current research interests are in the area of understanding cultural influences on mental health disparities, particularly values such as strength and self-reliance.

Kristen Keefe
Kristen-KeefeKristen Keefe received her B.A. from Boston College in Psychology with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Prior to attending Clark, Kristen worked as Project Coordinator at the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at the Cambridge Health Alliance.  Currently, Kristen’s research interests include mental health disparities and minority mental health.  She is particularly interested in better understanding disparities affecting patients’ engagement in aftercare following inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.

Jessica L. O’Leary
Jessica-picJessica O’Leary earned her BA in Child Development and Sociology from Tufts University. Following graduation, she taught middle school students in Los Angeles as a Teach For America corps member. During that time, she earned her MA in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University and developed an interest in examining the risk and resilience of children and adolescents.  Her Master’s work explored the role of guilt and shame in explaining the association between parental emotion socialization practices and youth outcomes.

Current Undergraduate Students

Naysha Shahid
N Shahid2Naysha Shahid is a senior at Clark University, majoring in Psychology and concentrating in Race and Ethnic Relations. Her research interests include racial/ethnic minority mental health, help-seeking, and depression. She is currently conducting a mixed-methods honors thesis investigating the experiences of African American female college students enrolled at predominately white institutions. Her thesis, which is supported by the Herman A. Witkin award, will be examining the relationships among culturally specific stressors, coping, on mental health.

Hannah Kotzen
Hannah Kotzen is Senior at Clark University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish. She is interested in social work with a focus in children who cross the border alone from Central and South America. She is currently helping Monica Sánchez with her research exploring how perpetrator trauma affects seeking treatment for substance abuse/addiction in Latino men.

Amy Gao
Amy Gao is a junior at Clark University who is interested in understanding racial/ethnic minority mental health and cultural influences on help-seeking behavior, as well as barriers to receipt of services in the mental health system. She is currently helping Kristen Keefe with her study exploring experiences of patients who are in the process of transitioning to aftercare outpatient services following an inpatient psychiatric stay.

Eriberto Mora
Eriberto MoraEriberto Mora is a sophomore psychology major at Clark University whose research interests include religiosity, mental health, immigration, and family relationships among Latinos. He is currently working closely with Oswaldo Moreno investigating how religiosity might partly explain the Immigrant Health Paradox among Mexicans in the Southwest U.S.


Recent Doctoral Students

– Monica Sanchez, Ph.D., 2016, currently at Boston VA
– Oswaldo Moreno, Ph.D., 2015,
currently at Brown University Medical School
– Rachel Zack Ishikawa, Ph.D., 2013
, currently at Cambridge Health Alliance
– Ingrid Sarmiento, Ph.D., 2012, currently at McLean Hospital
– Alisha Pollastri, Ph.D., 2010, currently at Mass General Hospital
Tatiana M. Davidson, Ph.D., 2010, currently at Medical University of South Carolina
– Rahael Kurrien, Ph.D., 2008, currently at St. Luke’s Medical Center
– Ellen O’Donnell, Ph.D., 2008, currently at Mass General Hospital
– Saeromi Kim, Ph.D., 2007, currently at the UCLA Counseling Center

Recent Undergraduate Students

– Naysha Shahid, B.A., 2015, currently working at Massachusetts General Hospital
– Jennifer Tejeda, B.A., 2014
, currently at Y.O.U. Inc, in HR
– Matt Thompson, B.A., 2014, enrolled in Biology MA program at Clark
– Camille Adeoye, B.A., 2013, enrolled in CDP MA program at Clark
– Maria Campos, B.A., 2012, completed MBA at Clark University, currently at Chevron in HR
– Natalia Jaramillo, B.A., 2010, currently working towards Ph.D. at UCSB
– Victor Figuereo, B.A., 2010, currently working towards Ph.D. at Northeastern University
– Robert Rosales, B.A.,. 2010, currently working towards Ph.D. at Boston College