Lab Director

Sarah R. Black, Ph.D.

Sarah Black is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Orleans. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University, and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Her research interests lie broadly in the area of developmental psychopathology, with particular interest in the mechanisms by which normative hormonal, social, and environmental events of childhood and adolescence can be disrupted and lead to increased risk for depression. She is further interested in how parenting, parental psychopathology, and stress may interact with biological processes to leave children and adolescents especially vulnerable to psychopathology across the lifespan. In her free time, Dr. Black enjoys cooking, exploring the New Orleans theater scene with her husband, and wrangling her two cats, Allie and Curtis.

Contact: sblack1@uno.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Graduate Students

Lauren Aaron, M.A.

Lauren holds a B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina State University, and an M.A. in General/Experimental Psychology from the College of William & Mary. Her research interests focus on the effects and experiences of poverty and environmental risk on children and families, and she has published work on how having a parent incarcerated in jail or prison uniquely impacts children in middle childhood. Lauren is especially interested in methodological considerations of measuring and analyzing poverty and risk. She is a first-year doctoral student and heads the behavioral coding team in the BE-RAD lab. In her non-academic time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her two children, teaching a variety of fitness classes, and exploring the cultural experiences of New Orleans.

Contact: laaron2@uno.edu

Curriculum Vitae

David R. Brabham, B.S.

David obtained a B.S. in psychology from the University of Washington. He spent time during and after his undergrad researching children’s academic attitudes and self-concept in Dr. Dario Cvencek’s lab at UW’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. He is currently a doctoral student in UNO’s applied developmental psychology program, where he works under Drs. Sarah Black and Laura Scaramella. His research interests include parent-child physiological attunement, as well as parenting consistency's associations with child behavioral outcomes. When he’s not working he enjoys music, sports, and arguing about each of those.

Contact: drbrabh1@uno.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Miranda L. Evans, M.S.

Miranda received her B.S. with honors from Oglethorpe University in 2017. While in undergrad, Miranda did independent research on peer and parental relationships and how they can be protective in stressful situations. Her current research interests are how individual differences and stressful experiences contribute to the development of psychopathology, particularly internalizing disorders. Miranda is excited to be working in the BE-RAD lab because it is an opportunity to learn more about research she is very interested in and work with great people! In her free time, Miranda likes to explore New Orleans and see theater.

Contact: mlevans1@uno.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Rachel M. Kaplan, B.A., B.S.

Rachel graduated summa cum laude with honors from Salem State University in 2016, with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Philosophy. Her primary focus is on behavioral endocrinology in relation to child and adolescent psychopathology. Specifically, she is fascinated by the intersection of puberty, hormones, and the symptomology of affective disorders. Rachel joined the BE-RAD Lab in early 2019 to investigate cortisol reactivity and affective disorders in children. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology and intends to apply her knowledge to both the clinical and research realms of psychology. Rachel’s non-scholarly interests include nature walks, referential humor, and tasting as many of the fantastic culinary creations that New Orleans has to offer (and trying to fulfil her insatiable sweet tooth). When she has free time, she enjoys spending it with her husband and two dogs.

Contact: rmkapla1@uno.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Research Coordinator

Sarah Butt, M.S.

Sarah earned her B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Mississippi in 2017. She earned her M.S. in Psychology from the University of New Orleans in 2019. Currently, she is a Registered Behavioral Technician in Applied Behavioral Analysis serving the New Orleans area. She is excited to be a part of the BE-RAD lab and research attunement in parent-child dyads. She is interested in researching assessment and intervention of behavioral and mood disorders in school-aged children. Her non-academic interests include exploring New Orleans, kayaking Bayou St. John, and hanging out with her many pets and houseplants.

Contact: sbutt@uno.edu

Research Assistants

Ryan French

Ryan is an undergraduate student at the University of New Orleans currently working toward his B.S. in psychology. He has plans to pursue a master's degree related to the research of child development. His interests are studying the diverse ways mental illness manifests in children and adolescents. He is excited to be working in the BE-RAD lab and gaining meaningful experience that he will use as a future psychologist. In his free time he likes playing board games and learning more about human sciences.

Contact: rmfrench@uno.edu

Mariah McGowan

Mariah is currently a Psychology student in her final year of undergraduate studies at the University of New Orleans. Prior to her studies at UNO she received a Degree in American Sign Language Interpreting and in the future she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She would love to find a way to merge her passions of sign language and psychology. Mariah is extremely excited to be a part of the BE-RAD team this semester and is happy to have the opportunity to gain experience and insight into the inner workings of a lab. In her free time, Mariah enjoys reading novels, dancing, and spending time with her dog.

Contact: mamcgowa@uno.edu

Trang Pham

Trang is a University of New Orleans alumnus who holds a B.S. in Psychology. She works in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis providing interventions for children in the New Orleans Metro Area. In the future, Trang hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. Her research interests include learning about developmental patterns and the environmental effects that influence behaviors in youth. Trang is grateful to be a member of the BE-RAD lab where she will gain beneficial knowledge about the research process. In her free time, she likes to explore the different streets of New Orleans with friends.

Contact: ttpham17@uno.edu

Tyler Ramsey

Tyler is a current undergraduate at the University of New Orleans, and will receive a B.S. in psychology in 2020. He is aiming to go to graduate school in 2021 for a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology. His psychological interests vary from studying the process of the brain to how to make an effective workplace system for employees. He is excited to be part of the BE-RAD lab to gain experience and be a part of the startup of the lab. He enjoys music, exercise and going to music festivals with friends in his free time.

Contact: tcramsey@uno.edu

Gabrielle Sheets

Gabrielle is currently an undergraduate at the University of New Orleans and is working towards a B.S. in psychology. She hopes to achieve an M.D and become a physician. She has a variety of psychological interests including the environmental factors surrounding development of affective disorders. She is excited to work with the BE-RAD lab and learn about the innerworkings of psychological research. In her free time, she enjoys creating art and spending time with her friends and family.

Contact: gmsheets@uno.edu


Maria Z. Tahir, B.S.

Maria is a post-baccalaureate student at the University of New Orleans. She obtained a B.S. in psychology from UNO in 2019. She is interested in studying the interactions between human sexuality and psychopathology, especially within marginalized communities. In the future she plans on pursuing a M.S. in clinical psychology with a focus on human sexuality. She is very grateful and excited to be a part of the BE-RAD lab! In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at NAMI, hiking with friends, reading, watching horror movies, and creating art.

Contact: mtahir@uno.edu