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Elise Betkowski

Sophomore Undergraduate Student

Elise is a second year student at DePaul University, pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Currently, she is interested in behavioral medicine, medication assisted therapy, as well as economic and racial disparities in health.

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Bernardo Loiacono

(6th year Doctoral Candidate)


Bernardo received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from DePaul University in 2016. During his undergraduate studies, he was involved in researching myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in children. Upon graduation, he accepted a research assistant position at the Center for Community Research where he continued his study of ME/CFS in children. Currently, Bernardo is working on his dissertation which explores relations between stress biomarkers and physical activity and sleep in emerging adults and completing his predoctoral internship at Advocate in Childhood Trauma Treatment in Chicago. 

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Tetyana Krutsik

(1st year Doctoral Candidate)

Tetyana received her B.S. in Applied Health Science and Psychology from Wheaton College in 2021. After graduating, she worked as a care coordinator at the DePaul Family and Community Services clinic, helping families in the Oak Park public school district navigate systems and community resources. She also worked as a lab manager under Dr. Charles Liu, examining the impact of COVID-19-related racism on the health of Asian Americans. Tetyana is interested in exploring the role of environmental stressors in the health behaviors and health inequity of children in urban settings.

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Alex O'Donnell

(4th year Doctoral Candidate)


Alex received his B.S. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016 after which he worked as a behavior analysis specialist at Munroe-Meyer Institute's Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his M.S. in psychology from DePaul University in 2020. As a master's student at DePaul, he researched the benefits of natural mentoring relationships on Latinx adolescents' psychological well-being under Dr. Bernadette Sánchez. Alex is interested in combining his research and practical experience with children and families to explore relationship factors which promote healthy behaviors and barriers preventing equitable access to nutrition among low-income communities. 

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Mary Takgbajouah

(3rd year Doctoral Candidate)

Mary received her B.S in Psychology from DePaul University in 2020. She was involved in research on gender based violence and substance use and addictive behaviors during her undergraduate studies. After graduating she worked as a summer research fellow at the University of North Carolina’s Center for Excellence for Eating Disorders on projects looking at binge eating in Black women, the importance of diversity in genetic studies, and comorbidity of eating disorder pathology and alcohol use. Currently, she is interested in exploring the relationship between trauma and addictive behaviors, including substance use and food addiction.

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Paige Patano

(2nd year MS Student)

Paige received her BS in Clinical/Community Psychology with a minor in Adult Development at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in May 2020. During her time there, she was a research assistant in a lab that looked at the social and emotional processes underlying alcohol use and how the rewards of alcohol may predict potential AUD. Through her research and coursework, she developed a broad interest in alcohol research and developmental psychopathology. As a master’s student, Paige is interested in researching the effects of stressful life events on alcohol use, as well as protective factors and risk factors associated with the development of AUD in times of high stress.

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