Julia A. Graber, Ph.D.

Dr. Graber is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and currently serves as the Graduate Coordinator for the Department and as the Developmental Area Director. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. (1991) from Penn State University. Before arriving at UF, she served as the Director of Graduate Training at the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) at Teachers College, Columbia University for 9 years, and as the Associate Director of NCCF for 7 years. NCCF combines research, policy, and practice initiatives in order to address the needs of children and families. Much of her research has focused on changes in adjustment and health related behaviors during the transition into middle school. She has been particularly interested in how young adolescents navigate the social challenges that go along with puberty and has examined the role of stress, family, and peer relationships in adjustment (for example, depression and aggression).

Graduate Alums

Lisa M. Sontag-Padilla, Ph.D. (2009)

Lisa received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology in 2009. Her research broadly focuses on the development of psychopathology, the impact of pubertal timing and pubertal changes, stress and coping, and peer relationships. Lisa received her B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University in 2004. Lisa received national recognition and support for her dissertation research from the American Psychological Foundation/Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (APF/COGDOP, 2006). After completing her doctorate, Lisa was an NRSA Research Fellow in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is now a Research Scientist in Health Policy Research at the RAND Corporation.

Katherine H. Clemans, Ph.D. (2010)

Katherine received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology in 2010. Her research focuses on emotional correlates of moral development and antisocial behavior in adolescence. Katherine received a B.A. in Psychology from Duke University in 2002. Katherine was the J. Hillis Miller Presidential Fellow at the University of Florida as a graduate student. She completed an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University and is presently a lecturer at Amherst College.

Julie Hill, Ph.D. (2015)

Julie received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology in 2015. Her research focuses on the relationship between adolescents’ cognitions and behaviors, specifically in relation to sexual intercourse. Currently she is investigating the developmental trajectory of ambivalent feelings about sexual intercourse during the transition to college. Julie received a B.A. in Psychology from McDaniel College in 2008 and a M.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2010. Julie is presently in a tenure-track position in Psychology at the LaSalle University.

Allison Metz, Ph.D. (2017)

Allison received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology in 2017. Her research interests are on risk-taking behaviors and intervention and prevention programs. In her dissertation, she investigated parenting and how parenting behaviors promote autonomy and self-regulation into emerging adulthood. Allison received a B.A. in Psychology from Clark University in 2008.  Presently, she is a postdoctoral associate with the Department of Psychology and coordinates the iMad project.

Mary Saczawa, Ph.D. (2016)

Mary received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology in 2016. Her research interests are on biological and social risk factors for psychopathology in adolescents. Her Master’s thesis investigated how parenting, routine, and the cortisol/DHEAS ratio moderate the relationship between peer rejection and symptoms of depression and aggression. Her dissertation focused on adolescent social networks and their impact on adjustment. Mary received a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University in 2007. Presently, she is a visiting assistant professor at Lyon College.

Some of our former lab members:

Rachel Werk

Rachel graduated from UF in 2015. Rachel completed her Senior Thesis as part of the University Scholars Program and has presented this work at the Society for Research on Adolescence, and the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. Her research focused on engagement in cancer prevention behaviors among college students. She is pursuing her interests in pediatric oncology as a medical student at Jefferson Medical College.

Drew Singleton

Drew graduated in 2014 and majored in Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience in Psychology. His interests are in a broad range of psychology disciplines, with a particular focus on neurological interactions and development. Drew is currently engaged in work and volunteer activities as he applies to professional schools.

Jessica Slavin

Jessica graduated in 2013, majoring in Psychology and Linguistics. She is interested in developmental psychology, particularly in the areas of child development and language development. Jessica is pursuing graduate training in School Psychology.

Courtney DuBois

Courtney graduated from the University of Florida in 2012 with a B.S. in psychology. She is interested in developmental and clinical psychology dealing specifically with children. Courtney is a Wish Coordinator for Make-A-Wish of Southern Florida and will be starting graduate studies in the fall.

Tanya Aranca

Tanya graduated in December 2011 with a double major in linguistics and speech and hearing sciences. She joined the lab in summer 2010 after taking Developmental Psychology. Tanya is currently an intern for the Department of Neuroscience and Brain Repair and the University of South Florida.

Joe Orovecz

Joe graduated in May of 2011 with a major in psychology and minors in business administration and Italian studies. He joined the lab in summer 2009. Currently Joe is pursuing a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin. He is interested in crisis and suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.

David Young

David graduated from UF in 2009 and worked in our group for a year prior to pursuing graduate training in counseling psychology. He completed his masters at NYU and is now a psychotherapist in a private practice.

Jake MacGibbon

Jake graduated in Agusust of 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He is interested specifically in the area of counseling psychology but finds developmental topics interesting. In the future, he plans to obtain a master’s degree in mental health counseling.

Esther Jean-Baptiste

Esther completed her senior thesis on how parenting has differing effects on Haitian American ethnic minority individuals under the guidance of Dr. Graber in 2009. For a year after she graduated Esther helped run the CBAE project by recruiting and training research assistants, organizing data collection and data entry. Also during that year she presented the findings of her senior thesis at the biannual Society for Research on Adolescence conference in Philadelphia. Esther has completed a Masters in School Psychology at Tulane University and is a research project director at the University of South Florida.

Sarah Lyndon, Post-Baccalaureate

Sarah graduated in the spring of 2008 , with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Education. Prior to her working on her post-baccalaureate, Sarah worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the Adolescent Social Development lab for 2 years. She is presently working on a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Arian Frias

Arian graduated in December, 2008 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in History. Arian was involved most heavily in the APEX study, helping collect data at schools, enter data, and code moral reasoning responses. His main areas of interest include Social and Developmental Psychology, primarily focusing on racism and intergroup relations.

Tiffany Lin

Tiffany graduated in 2009 with a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences. She joined the Graber Lab in 2007 after taking Development Psychology in order to learn more about the research process.

Davin Duval

After completing a senior thesis bases on her work on the APEX study, Davin graduated with a B.S. in Psychology in 2010 with a minor in Spanish. Davin joined the lab in the summer of 2008. Post-graduation she explored her career goals gaining experience in research project management. She is presently a doctoral student in School Psychology at UC Berkeley.