Anil Chacko, PhD

Headshot of Dr. ChackoAnil Chacko is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. (2006) in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed his clinical internship at the Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry, the University of Illinois at Chicago and then a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His research interests focus primarily on the development of effective, engaging, and efficient prevention, intervention and service delivery models for youth at-risk for or affected with Disruptive Behavior Disorders.



Headshot of MiAmorMiAmor Aguirresaenz graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Psychology. She has worked for the last eight years with the Department of Children and Families (Devereux Florida) as a facilitator of parenting classes and visitation supervisor for court-mandated parents accused of child abuse and/or neglect. She has conducted research at DePaul University as part of the Summer Research Opportunities Program and the McNair Scholars Program on the relationship between stressful life events and depression among Latino youth. She is beginning her first year in the MA in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness at NYU – Steinhardt. Her research interests include mental health outcomes and interventions for at-risk minority low-income youth and their families, parental interventions, and increasing access to mental health services. MiAmor intends to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. 


Headshot of OrianaOriana Barone is currently a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Her research and clinical interests include clinical psychology, psychopathology, and developmental psychology. Her experiences working with children with emotional and behavioral disorders allowed her to develop a passion for clinical psychology. Outside of NYU, Oriana is a volunteer crisis counselor at Crisis Text Line. Oriana hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in child and adolescent psychology.


Headshot of NinaNina A. Bigio is currently a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology. She is interested in how nature and nurture can affect learning perspectives, self-control, emotional, and social intelligence. She spent two years in a Youth Movement implementing educational games for 7-11 years old children and learned how valuable it is to find ways to bring out their individual spark. Nina aspires to work as a neuropsychologist to help people reveal their potential and adapt to everyday challenges. She is excited to join the FACES community, and learn a lot from everyone.


Mirjam Burger-Calderon HeadshotMirjam Burger-CalderonMirjam graduated with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from New York University. She has worked at Weill Cornell’s substance abuse outpatient clinic and is currently in private practice. Her research and clinical interests include developing effective interventions for externalizing and internalizing disorders in children, as well as neurocognitive and developmental bases of emotion regulation and dysregulation in children. Her research and clinical interests also include the development of effective treatment and intervention for substance abuse and eating disorders. Mirjam intends to pursue a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.


Headshot of AlyssaAlyssa Chimiklis is an Advanced Clinical Psychology doctoral student enrolled in the Queens College Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research and clinical interests include developing effective interventions for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with a particular focus on identifying neurocognitive factors that may influence the development of ADHD and co-occurring learning difficulties. For her dissertation, she investigated the treatment effects of a novel computerized neurocognitive training program in children with ADHD and reading difficulties. Alyssa is also interested in exploring how mindfulness/yoga interventions influence higher order executive functions, as well as academic outcomes. She participated in overseeing a two year pilot study examining the efficacy of a mindfulness/yoga program in children with increased levels of inattention and emotion dysregulation. She earned her B.S. in Communication from Boston University and her M.A. in Psychology from Queens College. For the upcoming 2018-19 year, Alyssa will be completing her Pre-Doctoral Internship at MercyFirst, which is APA Accredited.


Headshot of Tori

Tori Dahl Tori Dahl is a second-year doctoral student under the mentorship of Anil Chacko, Ph.D., in the Counseling Psychology Program in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University. Throughout her professional career, Tori has committed her efforts to working with at-risk children and adolescents from high-poverty communities. In particular, her year serving with City Year, an AmeriCorps program, and being a teaching assistant in Cornell's Prisoner Education Program have informed her research interests, which include: mindfulness-based interventions for children with behavioral problems (ADHD, ODD,CD, etc.), cognitive behavioral therapy, the juvenile justice system, and the school-to-prison pipeline. Her 2016-2017 externship placement is at Harlem Children's Zone, where she conducts neuropsychological assessments and co-facilitates psychotherapy groups for community youth. Tori received her B.A. in Psychology and Near Eastern Sciences from Cornell University, where she conducted psychology research under Steve Ceci, Ph.D., in his Child Witness and Cognition Lab in the Department of Human Development.


Headshot of Rhonda

Rhonda Donoho, M.A., is a doctoral fellow whose research focuses on improving mental health services and outreach in urban minority environments. Her current research in the FACES lab will explore how low-income urban family characteristics and typologies affect treatment outcomes for children with behavior disorders. Aside from her research, Rhonda enjoys clinical practice and neuropsychological testing. Her counseling placements include Pace University, New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Hospital, and Mt. Sinai Hospital. Rhonda earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan and her M.A in psychology in education from Teachers College, Columbia University


Headshot of Noureen

Noureen Faliksher, is currently a sophomore at NYU in the applied psychology program. Her research interests include developing methods to keep low-income and minority students in school, understanding what makes an ideal student and how ideal students can be made, and implementing growth mindsets in children from a very young age. She is also interested in developing techniques or interventions that can aid children with behavioral disorders and their families at school, work, and home. Noureen would also like to understand how mindfulness plays into success in the academic and the career world. After she graduates, Noureen would like to obtain a degree in either educational psychology or child psychology. When Noureen is not in the lab, she enjoys watching shows and movies on Netflix, creatively writing, and spending time with her friends and family. She is looking forward to working with everyone in the FACES lab.


Headshot of MichaelMichael Levy, M.A. is a doctoral fellow in the Counseling Psychology Program under the mentorship of Dr. Anil Chacko. His research is focused on working with children and families who are navigating externalizing and internalizing disorders and the various factors that may impact treatment outcomes in this population. He recently worked for the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University assessing children in schools serving low-income families. Michael also worked for several years as an early childhood educator and has completed several research projects at the New York University Child Study Center. In addition to working with the pediatric population, Michael has also worked extensively with adolescents and young adults. Michael served as the Project Director of an NIH-funded longitudinal cohort study examining syndemic production among sexual minority emergent adults at the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) and has conducted research on various aspects of mental health, substance use, and sexual risk behaviors in this group under the mentorship of Dr. Perry Halkitis. Michael has had several leadership roles in higher education positions, serving as the Columbia University Teachers College Clinical Psychology Masters Program Ambassador from 2012-2014 as well as the Center Coordinator for the New School-Beth Israel Center for Clinical Training and Research. Michael obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from New York University, graduating cum laude and as a University Honors Scholar. He later received his Master's degree from Columbia’s Teachers College in Clinical Psychology. View Michael's CV


Janice Lu is an upcoming senior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She is interested in researching childhood externalizing disorders such as ADHD, ODD, and CD. She has gained an immense range of clinical experience interning as a counselor at NYU Langone’s Summer Program for Kids (SPK). There she followed an evidence-based protocol in order to improve self-esteem and confidence in social, academic, and sport competences of children with externalizing disorders. She is also part of a parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) team at Langone, researching and applying clinical skills to foster the parent-child dyad. During her time in FACES, Janice hopes to explore more regarding Autism Spectrum Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. After graduation, she intend to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Headshot of SarahSarah Peralta is currently a second-year graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness in NYU’s Applied Psychology Department. She aspires to work in a field specifically catering towards adolescent trauma. Sarah has had prior experience working in voluntary runaway shelters for at-risk youth as well as working in an outpatient substance abuse clinic. She is currently completing her internship at the Bereavement Center of Westchester where it provides specialized grief support services to children from the ages of 5 to 17 years old. Her research interests include mental health outcomes and preventive services for at-risk children and adolescents. Sarah intends to pursue a doctorate in Counseling Psychology.


Headshot of AmritaAmrita Ramakrishnan is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at New York University, under the mentorship of Dr. Anil Chacko. Her research interests are primarily in the area of childhood externalizing disorders (ADHD, CD, ODD) and developing interventions/treatments focused on impulsive behaviors. Before NYU, Amrita worked as a post-baccalaureate research associate at the Yale Child Study Center focused on the neural correlates of decision making in children and adolescents with anxiety and depression. She later worked as a Study Coordinator for the ADHD and neuroimaging program at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Amrita obtained her bachelor's degree in Psychology at Stony Brook University, with departmental honors.


Headshot of YasminYasmin Siddiqui graduated from NYU with a B.A. in Applied Psychology. For most of her undergraduate term and a year after graduation, she served as a Research Coordinator for TIPPS at NYU. Her project involved working with schools in India to provide feedback on school systems through quantitative and qualitative research. Her research interests have developed through cross-cultural experience and a passion for integrating research-based evidence in creating interventions. She is looking forward to pursuing a PhD program in cross-cultural research and mental health issues, particularly internalizing behaviors such as depression and anxiety.


Headshot of SuniSuni Shah is currently a sophomore undergraduate student in the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology with a minor in American Sign Language. She is particularly passionate about the field of child and adolescent mental health and hopes to one day become a clinical psychologist. Suni has traveled extensively around the globe and has volunteered in several programs to educate and counsel young children. She is also a Senior Health Educator for NYU Peer Health Exchange, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower young students to make informed decisions about their physical and mental health. She is interested in further studying emotional and behavioral disorders in children either in a hospital or school setting.


Headshot of KasaneKasane Tonegawa is currently a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology. Her research interests revolve around mental health advocacy, the impact of multicultural influences on the manifestation of mood disorders, and the diversity in treatment options. Outside of NYU, she volunteers at a senior home during the summer and has worked alongside graduate students to conduct art therapy sessions for children. Kasane's interest in mood disorders has inspired her to aim for a career in art therapy and to tie the treatment she provides with cultural diversity. She hopes to obtain at least a Master's in therapy and counseling.


Headshot of Michelle(Maria) Michelle Vardanian is a doctoral student under the mentorship of Anil Chacko, PhD, in the Counseling Psychology Program in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Her research interests are primarily in the area of evidence-based practice and minority mental health disparities; especially the stigmatization of mental illness within minority cultures as well as various attitudes/behaviors towards seeking mental health services by minority families. Prior to NYU, Michelle worked as a research associate for The Center for Implementation-Dissemination of Evidence-Based Practices among States (IDEAS Center) at the NYU Child Study Center, where she coordinated and managed the evidence-based training known as the Managing and Adapting Practices (MAP) Program in New York State. During her time there, she assessed the adaptations implemented to the training that may have improved retention rates for participation, and presented her findings at the ABCT Convention in New York in 2016, and later developed the findings into a peer-reviewed article as lead author. Michelle graduated summa cum laude and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from New York University’s College of Arts and Science. In the future, she hopes to develop culturally sensitive evidence-based interventions that will improve attitudes and behaviors towards seeking mental health services as well as improve the quality of evidence-based services available to minority communities.


Headshot of Rachel

Rachel Wong is currently a junior atSteinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development majoring in Applied Psychology with a minor in global public health. She currently works as a suicide crisis counselor and also assists in providing resources to suicide survivors in the ER. Her current research and career interests are in youth and adolescent psychopathology. In the future she wants to pursue a masters and Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a focus in trauma and its impact on externalizing behaviors in youth. She hopes to create more dialogue and awareness among adolescents about mental health and self care, especially in Asian communities.