Breanna N. Beard is a 5th year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at Howard University. She completed her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology at North Carolina A&T State University. As a true scientist-practitioner, she is dedicated to translational science and the integration of her research and clinical interests. She is passionate about helping others achieve optimal quality of life in the context of chronic illnesses. She has been trained in both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches that guide her research which generally addresses the socio-cultural and historical realities of lived experiences that ultimately shape daily lifestyle practices and contribute to disparate health outcomes among African Americans. Currently, she is completing her dissertation study that explores sexual health and well-being among African American breast cancer survivors. Breanna will complete her clinical psychology doctoral internship at Duke University Medical Center where she will continue to support individuals struggling with life-altering medical conditions and help them “live their best life.”
Mara Ramírez Ruiz, M.S.
Mara is a third-year clinical psychology doctoral student at Howard University. She completed a Masters in Science in Clinical Health Psychology at Virginia State University. Her research is focused on the cognitive aging process and the role of modifiable lifestyle factors in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias among Latinx and African American adults. As a future clinician, she is interested in helping individuals cope with the psychosocial impact of chronic health conditions by incorporating mindfulness-based interventions and other cognitive-behavioral treatment modalities. Currently, Mara is a certified Neuropsychological Assessment Technician at Howard University Hospital Division of Geriatrics Research Unit. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, visiting her family in Puerto Rico, and going to the beach.
Sanaz Dabiri is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Neuropsychology at Howard University. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Florida. She was born and raised in Iran and now resides in Northern Virginia. Her research focus is on cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease with an emphasis on the biopsychosocial approach. Her goal is to increase the understanding of “hidden” roles of social and psychological risk factors in the cognitive decline of our rapidly aging population. She considers hiking, cycling, going on a quick road trip, and baking an apple cake for her family as some of her myriad interests.
Robert Head is a second-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Howard University. He completed his undergraduate education at California State University Dominguez Hills, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies. As a member of the Health promotion and risk reduction research center (HealthPARC), his research interests are examining bio-psycho-social factors that affect health disparities in the African American community. Specifically examining diet and nutrition effect cardiovascular disease risk factors. Current research projects are centered on the cognitive aging process, examining factors such as eating behavior patterns, systemic inflammation, and executive functioning. Clinically he is interested in working with adolescent and adult populations, particularly around the intersectionality of mental and physical health as well as behavioral health change.
George Daniel, M.S.
George Daniel is an aspiring clinical neuropsychologist and a first-year doctoral student at Howard University, under the tutelage of Dr. Denee Mwendwa and Dr. Thomas Obisesan. He has previously conducted research in cross-cultural neuropsychology at UNC-Wilmington and health disparities in neurological conditions at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, where he earned his Master’s in Science degree. His current research is focused on the promotion of healthy cognitive aging by targeting modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s diseases and other dementias, such as chronic diseases and the lifestyle factors which contribute to them. As a clinician, George aims to reduce barriers to neuropsychological services for underserved communities to better prevent, identify, and treat neurodegenerative disorders in at-risk populations. Outside of work, George is a proud Christian, husband, and community advocate. He takes pride in leveraging his experiences and resources to uplift marginalized, oppressed, and underserved communities at home and abroad, and lives by the saying “Blessings go through you, not to you.”
Folasade Ilori is a third-year neuropsychology doctoral student at Howard University. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research interest is in the mechanism of stress response in the nervous system, specifically the role of individual differences such as perception and personality traits in stress response and restoration. Currently, she is working on her master's thesis, which explores the role of the personality trait, openness to experience in the relationship between perceived stressors and parasympathetic activity.
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