Dr. Jennifer Tackett

Dr. Tackett received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota with minors in statistics, personality, and behavior genetics. She is also a graduate of the Texas Academy of Math and Science and Texas A&M University, and has held previous faculty appointments at the University of Toronto and the University of Houston. She is an associate editor at the Journal of Personality and Perspectives in Psychological Science, and a former associate editor at the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, the Journal of Personality Disorders, and the Journal of Research in Personality. When she isn’t working or engaging in toddler dance party, she enjoys playing piano or indulging her cross-stitch obsession.

Graduate Students

Allison Shields

I am a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program. I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Rice University in 2015, where I also spent two years as a post-bac research assistant in a psychoneuroendocrinology lab. My research interests involve multi-method assessment of child personality and psychopathology. I am interested in incorporating biological, physiological, behavioral, and informant report measures, as well as analyzing the construct validity of these approaches as they relate to dimensional models of personality and psychopathology. In my free time, I enjoy running along Lake Michigan, baking, and exploring Chicago’s art museums.

Cassandra Brandes


I am a second year PhD student in clinical psychology, and I am primarily interested in how biological factors including endocrine function, and personality characteristics such as neuroticism are related to the development of internalizing disorders. Before coming to Northwestern, I completed my B.S. at University of Oregon, where I also worked as a lab manager for two years following graduation. Outside of research, I can be found cooking, biking, and frequenting local comedy/music venues.

Kathrin Herzhoff – currently on predoctoral internship


I am a doctoral student in clinical psychology. I completed my M.A. and B.Sc. in psychology at the University of Toronto. Before transferring to NU, I was a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Houston. In my research, I use personality as a framework for understanding psychopathology in youth. Currently, I am especially interested in understanding gender differences in externalizing psychopathology. Apart from research, I appreciate nature and art, and I like to spend time with my family and friends.

Kathleen Reardon

KWR profile

I am a graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 with a B.S. in psychology. After graduation, I worked as a research assistant for the Pitt Parents and Children Laboratory. My interests include studying the development of antisocial behaviors and severe conduct problems from a developmental psychopathology perspective. When I’m not working, I love spending time with my dog Tilly, and cooking or trying new restaurants!

Avante Smack – currently on predoctoral internship


I am a doctoral student in clinical psychology. I graduated from Spelman College in 2011 with a B.A. in psychology. Before transferring to Northwestern, I was a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Houston where I earned my M.A. My research interests include understanding how race/ethnicity and other cultural factors influence the development and maintenance of externalizing psychopathology with a particular emphasis on relational aggression. When I am not working, I enjoy listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and cooking.

Lab Manager 

Lily Sahaguian

Hello – my name is Lily and I a lab manager at the PADlab. In 2016, I graduated from the University of Colorado in Denver with a B.A. in public health and gained experience in leading multiple lab research projects related to sexual and mental health prevention among low-and middle-income youth. I am particularly interested in developing intervention strategies to prevent HIV/TB sydemic incidences among marginalized populations in remote areas of South Africa. With efforts toward continuing my education at Northwestern University, I hope to achieve these goals. Outside of work, I like to ride my bike around Lake Michigan, travel to hike mountains in site, and paint!

Project Coordinators

CPBS Project Coordinator – Victoria Wee

Hello! I’m Victoria and I’m a senior majoring in psychology. I’m interested in Asian American mental health, the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments, and cultural differences within that. I plan to take a couple gap years before going into graduate school. My hobbies include baking, reading manga, and drawing elaborate doodles on snapchat.

Game Changers Project Coordinator – Machol Benmelech


Hi, my name is Machol Benmelech and I am currently a freshman at Northwestern University studying psychology on the pre-med track. I am interested in positive psychology, especially as it relates to developmental psychology. I plan on pursuing a medical degree, and hope to continue my work with children and adolescents. In my free time I enjoy watching old films and traveling whenever I can.

Illinois Twin Registry Project Coordinator – Kandace Webb

I’m a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in legal studies.  I’m interested in the etiology of externalizing and disinhibitory psychopathology from a biopsychosocial perspective, as well as the risk factors for this behavior, and the implications for interventions during adolescence and adulthood. I plan to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.  In my free time, I enjoy trying new restaurants and watching Law and Order: SVU.

Research Assistants

John Boisi

I am a recent graduate of Northwestern’s Post-baccalaureate Preclinical Psychology program. Prior to that I graduated from Boston College in 2011 and worked in advertising across a range of personal care products until 2016. Currently I am in the process of applying to Psy.D programs to continue a career in Psychology, When not in the lab or working on applications I enjoy eating at Benihana and re-watching shows on Netflix.

Brodey Danielsen

Hi!  My name is Brodey, and I am a sophomore at Northwestern University majoring in psychology while on the pre-med track.  My interests in psychology lie in the realms of child and adolescent development as well as the psychology of gender.  One day I hope to work as a pediatrician or a psychiatrist.  In my free time I enjoy cooking and baking, spending time with friends, and rewatching the greatest Tv show ever (The Office!) on Netflix.

Sarah Dynia

Hello! I am a junior at Northwestern majoring in neuroscience and minoring in Latin. I plan to pursue a career in healthcare. I am especially interested in how personalities develop and how to better apply psychology to areas like service and leadership. For fun, I enjoy spending time with friends, gardening, reading books that weren’t assigned in class, and volunteering.

Kelly Fritz

Hey! I am a recent graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a dual degree in psychology and advertising and a certificate in public relations. I joined the lab to gain research experience for graduate school. Eventually I hope to get a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to focus on the effects of child trauma and to be a child psychologist. I also enjoy walking my dog, drinking tea, and painting.

Margaret Hensley

My name is Margaret Hensley and I am a second year graduate student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program in The Family Institute at Northwestern. I am excited to work in the PADlab to develop my knowledge of research methods and data management. I graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Counseling in December 2015. I worked for Camp STAR, summer treatment program for children with ADHD and related behavioral disorders for the last 3 summers and love working with kids. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, playing sports and reading.

Zhisui (Jessie) Jia

Hello! My name is Jessie and I’m currently a junior at Northwestern studying Psychology and Economics. I’m interested in personality and developmental psychology and plan to attend graduate school after graduation. In my free time, I enjoy exploring great restaurants in Chicago and Evanston and watching movies and K-dramas.

Luke Jokerst

I’m a junior at Northwestern University double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Psychology. I’m a contracted Army ROTC cadet and hope to be a medical service officer specializing in clinical or research psychology. On the civilian side, I hope to attend graduate school and work on developing different treatment methods for mental illnesses, specifically PTSD and mood disorders. I spend most of my free time with friends listening to music and playing cards.

Taylor Kwok

My name is Taylor Kwok and I am a sophomore studying psychology and economics.I am especially interested in the psychological aspects of economic behaviors and decision-making. Although I plan on pursuing a career in business, I am interested in learning more about how behavioral and developmental psychology can influence market decisions. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family (including my 2 dogs!), exploring Chicago, and

Christina Liao

Hello, my name is Christina, and I am a junior studying psychology at Northwestern University. Within the field of psychology, I have a growing interest in factors affecting relationship formation and decision making. After graduation, I plan on attending medical school to fulfill my dream as a dermatologist. During my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, doing music-related activities, and spending time with my family.

Helena Pearce-Reilley
Hey! My name is Helena Pearce-Reilly and I’m a senior at Northwestern University. I’m a psychology major with a minor in Global Health and am currently exploring graduate school options in the field of clinical psychology. I’m primarily interested in mood and affective disorders particularly among children and teens. During my free time, I like to hang out with my dog and listen to music.

Brian Quistberg

Hi! I’m a sophomore at Northwestern majoring in psychology and international studies. Within the field of psychology, I’m most interested in psychopathology and the development of personality. On campus, I’m also involved in the College Mentors for Kids Club. Beyond that, I enjoy playing and listening to music, running, hiking, and photography.


1801 Maple Avenue, Evanston, IL suite 5330
Phone: 847-467-7348