Meet the Team

Pictured: Dr. James Córdova, Setareh Rossman, Jenna Rice, Allie Shafran, David Yoo, and Lizzy Engelkamp


James CordovaJames V. Córdova, Ph.D

Curriculum Vita

Dr. Córdova has been at Clark since 2002.  He served as Director of Clinical Training (2005-2010) and Chair from 2013 to 2019.  He is also a Licensed Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and actively maintains a small private couple therapy practice.  The goal of Dr. Córdova’s research program is to increase our understanding of the processes that affect marital/couples health and deterioration, particularly those processes that promote greater relationship, mental and physical health. His work involves the theoretical delineation of those processes, the demonstration of their proximal role in relationship health, and the construction of empirically testable procedures for their therapeutic use. The principal processes addressed in his work include intimacy, acceptance, and motivating the adoption of relationship healthy practices. Dr. Córdova’s current projects include (1) the Relationship Checkup, a relationship health checkup designed to help partners maintain healthy relationships for a lifetime, (2) observing the process of intimacy development in couples’ interactions, and (3) studying the role of emotional skillfulness in relationship health.  Dr. Córdova is currently mentoring five graduate students ranging in progress from 1st year to 6th year in the program.  He teaches undergraduate courses on interpersonal psychology, couples and intimacy, and mindfulness and teaches the Couple Therapy Practicum for the clinical program. 

Dr. Córdova has authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles and three books, including The Marriage Checkup Practitioner’s Guide (2014) and The Story of Mu(2016) co-authored with Mark Morse. 

Dr. Córdova has received research funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.  His recent collaboration with Wright State University on an “Evaluation of a Brief Marriage Intervention for Internal Behavioral Health Consultants in Primary Care” covered a 3-year period (2015-2018) and totaled $317,179. Dr. Córdova is currently also the founder and president of the Clark-based start-up company Arammu, LLC, whose mission is the effective dissemination of the Relationship Checkup and who was recently awarded a $4m contract to train all of the Department of Defense’s Military Family Life Counselors around the world.


Setareh Rossman
Graduate Student

Setareh Rossman is a seventh-year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She received her B.A. in psychology and neuroscience from Wesleyan University and worked as a research assistant at the University of Chicago before coming to Clark. Her research interests include 1) examining therapeutic processes for fostering acceptance in intimate relationships and 2) exploring how clients’ values and spirituality manifest in, influence, and are influenced by their intimate relationships, particularly among individuals who identify as non-religious. Her dissertation examines whether values interventions may be useful for fostering partner acceptance. Her clinical interests include the treatment of relationship difficulties, eating disorders, trauma-related disorders, and struggles with self-aversion and experiential avoidance. In her free time, she enjoys reading, connecting with friends and family, going on walks, and learning to garden.


David Yoo
Graduate Student

David Yoo is a sixth-year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. He has analyzed quantitative and qualitative data to observe the impact of emotionally vulnerable conversations between emerging adults and their parents on emerging adults’ sense of intimate safety with their parents.  


Jenna Rice
Graduate Student

Jenna Rice is a fifth-year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She received her B.A. in psychology from Brandeis University and worked as a research assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital before coming to Clark. Jenna is interested in the behaviors associated with intimacy and acceptance in couples’ relationships, both how they occur naturally and how they can be developed through intervention.



Lizzy Engelkamp
Graduate Student

Lizzy Engelkamp (she/her) is a fourth-year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before coming to Clark. Lizzy is currently studying how couples communicate about pornography use within the context of their relationships. She’s also interested in the intersections of intimacy, faith, and communication in couples’ relationships.


Allie Shafran

Graduate Student

Allie Shafran is a second-year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. She received her B.A. in political science and post-baccalaureate in psychology from CUNY Hunter College. Additionally, she worked as a Research Coordinator at Columbia University before coming to Clark. Allie is interested in examining the intersection of dyadic intimacy and communication, gender, and caregiving.




Levi Ask

Graduate Student

Levi Ask is a first-year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program.