Who We Are

James Cordova

James V. Córdova, Ph.D

Click Link for Vita

The goal of Dr. Córdova’s research program is to increase our understanding of the processes that affect marital/couple health and deterioration, particularly those processes that can be manipulated to promote greater relationship, mental, and physical health. Dr. Córdova’s 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 manipulation. The principal processes addressed in Dr. Córdova’s work include intimacy, acceptance, depression, and motivating the adoption of relationship healthy practices. Dr. Córdova received a B.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1989 and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington at Seattle in 1992 and 1996, respectively. He has been at Clark since 2002.


JustinJustin Laplante
Graduate Student

Justin Laplante is a seventh year graduate student in Developmental Psychology. He is finalizing his dissertation investigating the effect of a meditation practice on romantic relationships. He is also teaching, overseeing undergraduate independent projects and honors theses, and on the job market.  Justin’s research interests include the impact of meditation on interpersonal relationships, religious and spiritual identity development across the lifespan, and cultural factors influencing Buddhism across the world. He has all together too many plants. 




EmilyEmily Maher
Graduate Student

Emily is a fifth year graduate student in the clinical psychology department. Her research interests center around the utility of mindfulness and acceptance-based practices, and the integration of these practices with everyday life. Her dissertation research focuses on the development of a brief meditation program for postpartum women. Emily’s coffee habit represents a constant strain on her graduate student salary.



Taylor Dovala

Graduate Student

Taylor is a fourth-year doctoral student in clinical psychology. Her research interests lie at the intersection of positive psychology and intimate relationships. She is interested in how relationships affect well-being, and how interventions can be used to capitalize on couples’ strengths and buffer against later stressors. Her current line of research involves adapting a brief couple intervention to fit the specific strengths and stressors of same-sex couples. Clinically, Taylor operates from an Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) model. She currently sees clients at the Rhode Island Hospital Partial Hospitalization Program. In her free time, she enjoys yoga and all things succulents. 



IMG_5313Nick Canby
Graduate Student

Nick Canby is a third year graduate student in the clinical psychology department. Nick is interested in the relational context of mindfulness interventions and meditation practice, especially concerning teacher and therapy group/ community relationships and the impacts that meditation practice has on others who do not practice meditation.


Setareh Rossman
Graduate Student

Setareh Rossman (née O’Brien) is a second 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. Setareh is interested in studying relational spirituality, or spirituality as experienced in the context of intimate relationships, among nonreligious adults.