Lab Members

Amanda L. Roy, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

I received my Ph.D. in Community Psychology with emphases in Developmental Psychology and Quantitative Methods from New York University in 2010. I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Community and Prevention Research division of UIC's Psychology Department. My research focuses on two lines of inquiry. The first of these examines neighborhood and environmental factors and their relationship to individual health and development. My second area of work focuses on the influences of economic inequality and societal perceptions.

Kassie Gillis-Harry

Project Coordinator

I am excited to be joining the team in the EDH Lab! I received my B.A. with a major in Psychology and minor in Sociology from Montclair State University. As a former research assistant in the Risk and Resilience Lab at Loyola University, I have experience in researching the effects of community violence on youth of color in the south and west sides of Chicago. I have been galvanized to make a difference in low-income neighborhoods and promote child welfare using a psychology skillset. In my free time, I can be found going to live music shows, hanging with friends and family, and cuddling with my dog, Valentina. 

Andrea Daviera

Graduate Student Research Assistant

I am a doctoral student in the community and prevention research program. I focus my research on the determinants and consequences of youth exposure to community violence, with a particular emphasis on understanding how youth develop resilience in chronically violent neighborhoods. I am also interested in addressing community needs and helping community members feel empowered to make positive changes in their neighborhoods. For fun, I love to paint and try to volunteer for social justice organizing when I can.

Alysa Miller

Graduate Student Research Assistant

I am a doctoral student in the Community and Prevention Research Psychology program at UIC. I received my BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2013, and my MPH with a concentration in Community and International Health from New York University in 2016. My previous research explores the impact of food and beverage marketing on adolescent health, particularly in underserved groups and communities, and considers the relevant public health implications. Currently my research interests primarily focus on the influence of environmental and social factors on health decision-making in adolescents and racial/ethnic minority groups. Outside of my research, I enjoy traveling and trying new foods, spending as much time as possible with friends and family, watching college football, and hanging out with dogs at the animal shelter!

Marbella Uriostegui

Graduate Student Research Assistant

(Bio Coming Soon)

Teresa Borowski, M.A.

Graduate Student Research Assistant

I'm a third-year graduate student in the Community and Prevention Research program. My research focuses on the promotion of social and emotional competence across the lifespan, particularly through the use of dance and other art forms. I'm passionate about using art to empower youth and communities and create social change. In my free time I love dancing, painting, cooking, and crafting.

Taylor Lay

Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

I am currently a Visiting Teaching Associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a teaching fellow at UIC, I teach first-year students about psychological concepts and theories (e.g., Introduction to Psychology and Abnormal Psychology). I also proctor exams, create course content and continue to do research in the discipline. This work encourages me to pursue my doctoral degree and continue working in an area that I am highly passionate about. In conjunction with my teaching fellowship, my post-baccalaureate research in the Environment, Develop, and Health Research lab focuses on low-income, minority high school students and their perceptions of happiness. I am especially interested in their thoughts regarding their family and friends, and their communities.  


Moreover, as a part of a long-term college readiness program sponsored by JP Morgan & Chase, I tutor 40+ at-risk Latino & African-American males from under-resourced high schools in Chicago. Working one-on-one with these students allows me to lead sessions tailored to their goals, their strengths, and their hopes for success. My experiences with this group of high school students have taught me how to better recognize and address the needs of students by understanding their perspectives.

Sammi Villasanta

Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistant

I am a recent UIC graduate with a Bachelor's in Psychology and a minor in Religious Studies. In addition to assisting with data collection, monitoring, and analysis in Dr. Roy's lab, I will also be serving as a Post Baccalaureate Teaching Fellow at UIC in the Fall. My research interests include the role that environmental factors can play in the stigmatization of mental illness. I am specifically interested in how culture, immigration, and generational factors play a part in the treatment and perception of mental illness for children raised in the United States. I plan to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and am currently looking into programs for marriage and family therapy. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, polymer clay sculpting, and creative writing.

Eugenia Ortiz

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate student at UIC majoring in General Psychology with a minor in Sociology. My research interests involve higher education achievement and the effects that culture, immigration status, and race have on that success. During my final year at UIC for my capstone project, I will be investigating the effects of immigration status, specifically those with DACA, on the mental health of college students compared to those who are U.S. citizens. I am passionate about helping those fighting mental illness, especially vulnerable groups, and hope that future researchers such as mine can help bring additional resources for these individuals. I plan to pursue my Master's in Higher Education to help future generations achieve academic success. In my free time, I enjoy exploring new places in the city, spending time with friends and family, baking, or on Netflix.

Denise Fiesta

Undergraduate Research Assistant

(Bio Coming Soon)

Lab Alumni

Ashley Isaia

Katie Bessette

Vickie Eickelberg

Sophia Plocher

Lindsay Bynum, Ph.D.

Melissa Uribe

Tito Ponce

Eugenia Ortiz

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate student at UIC majoring in General Psychology with a minor in Sociology. My research interests involve higher education achievement and the effects that culture, immigration status, and race have on that success. During my final year at UIC for my capstone project, I will be investigating the effects of immigration status, specifically those with DACA, on the mental health of college students compared to those who are U.S. citizens. I am passionate about helping those fighting mental illness, especially vulnerable groups, and hope that future researchers such as mine can help bring additional resources for these individuals. I plan to pursue my Master's in Higher Education to help future generations achieve academic success. In my free time, I enjoy exploring new places in the city, spending time with friends and family, baking, or on Netflix.

Eugenia Ortiz

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