Research
Early Childhood and Family Research Lab

Lab Members

Rachel Acereto Rachel-Aceretois a psychology major on the accelerated infant mental health master’s degree track. She will complete her Mills BA in 2015 and her master's degree in infant mental health in 2016. She is currently working in the lab, assisting with graduate student and faculty research. Her interests include developmental psychology, psychopathology, attachment theory, intergenerational transmission of attachment patterns, and the effects of maternal psychopathology on caregiving and attachment. After completing her education at Mills, Rachel plans to work with families in intervention and educational settings. Eventually, Rachel intends to pursue a doctorate in developmental psychology in order to expand research on parental psychopathology and its effects on the attachment relationship.

Rachana Ali Rachana  Aliis a psychology major on the accelerated infant mental health master’s degree track. She will complete her Mills BA in 2015 and her master's degree in infant mental health in 2016. She assists with research projects in the lab and will complete her developmental practicum in the Mills Children's School during fall of her senior year. Rachana is interested in how parent-child attachment relationships lay the foundation for adult reciprocal attachment relationships with their partners or spouses. She plans to use her education in infant mental health to help support healthy parent-child relationships and developmental competence in families at risk, and spread awareness of the importance of attachment relationships in Fiji.

Natalie Brazeau Natalie Brazeau is a graduate student in the Mills Infant Mental Health master’s degree program and will complete her degree in spring 2015. She came to Mills with a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Natalie will complete her community internship at Prenatal to Three, which provides mental health services to at risk families and young children in San Mateo County. She will work with infant-parent dyads in supporting developing relationships, conduct developmental assessments, and implement and evaluate treatment plans and interventions. Natalie's future plans are to work in the San Francisco Bay Area community with at risk parents and their children.

Emma Baumeister Emma Baumeisteris a psychology major on the accelerated infant mental health master’s degree track. She will complete her Mills BA in 2016 and her master's degree in infant mental health in 2017. Emma has volunteered in the lab since she was a sophomore, assisting master’s degree students with their research projects. She will complete her Children’s School practicum in fall 2014, gaining experience with working with typically developing children. While her specific interests in the field of infant mental health are still developing, Emma’s experiences working in research and with young children will help her consolidate her future professional focus. She says, I am thrilled to be moving forward in the program and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Katie Bianco Katie Bianco is a graduate student in the Mills Infant Mental Health Program and will complete her master's degree in May 2015. She came to Mills with a BA in psychology from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Her undergraduate interests included early childhood assessments and intervention, which will be further pursued through her internship at the Center for the Vulnerable Child, through Children’s Hospital Oakland. In this placement she will be conducting developmental assessments for children who are placed in foster homes. Katie's future plans are to apply her infant mental health experience to work with children with special needs.

Elizabeth BurgerElizabeth Burger is a senior psychology major and in the accelerated Infant Mental Health master’s degree program, completing her master’s in 2015. Elizabeth transferred to Mills from the New School for Social Research in New York City where she worked as a research assistant in The Center for Attachment Research. In her junior year, Elizabeth worked in the lab assisting with faculty and master’s thesis projects, including helping to run lab studies and preparing and coding data for analysis. Elizabeth's thesis research examines the intersection of technology and parenting, with a particular interest in the role social media as a form of parent support. Elizabeth plans to apply her infant mental health program experience to intervention in preschool settings after completing her education at Mills.

Peri Champoux Peri Champouxis a psychology major on the accelerated infant mental health master’s degree track. She will complete her BA degree in 2016 and her MA in IMH in 2017, and plans to add a special education teaching credential to her program. Peri brings extensive experience with children with autism to studies at Mills. She has worked providing ABA in home therapy for children on the autism spectrum and continues her work with the Early Start Lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute. In addition to assisting graduate student and faculty research, Peri volunteers at the Early Intervention program at Children’s Hospital Oakland. She plans to use her IMH master’s degree as a bridge to doctoral level study that will prepare her to work as a clinical development psychologist providing assessments for infants and children during early intervention.

Jessica DuncanJessica Duncan is a psychology major who plans to join the accelerated infant mental health master’s degree track. She will complete her Mills BA in 2017 and her MA in infant mental health in 2018. Jessica comes to Mills with years of experience and love of children. She started her work in the lab during her first year at Mills has been assisting with graduate student projects. After completing her master’s degree, Jessica plans to become a doula and continue her education to get her MFT license.

Meredith GabrielMeredith Gabriel is a psychology major who is interested in joining the accelerated infant mental health master’s degree program. She will complete her Mills BA in 2017. Meredith is interested in developmental psychology, specifically attachment theory. She plans to get her doctorate in developmental psychology, with a strong interest in research or teaching. Her lab experience permits her to explore infant mental health and gain research experience by assisting faculty and graduate student projects.

Meghan HinschMeghan Hinsch is a senior Psychology major and the President of the Association of Students at Mills College. Meghan came to Mills as a traditional undergraduate, and will continue to the accelerated Infant Mental Health master’s degree program after completion her BA in May 2014 after four years at Mills. Meghan’s thesis examines the intergenerational transmission of the quality of child-parent attachment relationships in parental intact and separated families. She plans to use her education in infant mental health in child and family advocacy in the courts.

Constance JaramilloConstance Jaramillo Constance Jaramillo is a psychology major on the accelerated infant mental health master’s degree track. She will complete her Mills BA in 2015 and her MA in IMH in 2016. Constance transferred to Mills College as a sophomore from Merritt College where she focused on courses in early childhood education. She worked in the lab during her junior year, assisting master’s degree students with their research. Constance’s thesis will investigate empathy and prosocial behavior in young children in relationship to their attachment security and family risk factors. After completing her Mills program, Constance plans to work in the field with at risk families. She will ultimately use her master’s thesis and extensive field work to apply for a doctoral clinical/developmental program to continue her goals to do research related to children and families at risk.

Shoshie KupfermanShoshie Kupferman is graduate student combining the Mills Infant Mental Health master’s degree program with the Early Childhood Special Education credential program and will complete her dual program requirements in fall 2014. She came to Mills with a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Shoshie's thesis research focuses on parent-child relationships and how they are affected by a child’s special needs diagnosis. Shoshie is an intern at the Parent Infant Program (PIP) at Children’s Hospital, Oakland, working with infants and toddlers with special needs and their families. She works planning a developmentally appropriate curriculum and participates in home-visits. Her thesis research can be found here. Shoshi’s future plans focus on working to provide services to families of young at-risk children.

Kira LewisKira Lewis is a graduate student in Mills Infant Mental Health master's degree program, combining her education with earning a teaching credential in Early Childhood Special Education. She graduated with in BA in Psychology at Mills College in 2013 and will complete her graduate program in fall 2015. Kira worked as an early childhood educator for nine years before coming to Mills, including positions at a domestic violence center and crisis nursery that supported families with trauma. Kira must complete two community internships to fulfill the requirements of her dual program.  She completed her special education internship at a public special education preschool, working with children with autism. She will continue her internship experience working at Early Head Start's Early Intervention program. She also works at a local Oakland family resource center facilitating playgroups and parent education support. Kira's research interests include trauma, attachment, brain development, and culture. Her future goals are to become a licensed psychotherapist working with families who have experienced trauma.

Courtney RegliCourtney Regli is a senior psychology major and move on to the accelerated Infant Mental Health master’s degree program after completing her BA in spring 2014. Courtney currently works as a student teacher in the Mills College Children's School and has been assisting program co-director Dr. Linda Perez on developing early childhood curriculum since 2012. Through this work, Courtney has become deeply interested in early childhood development, particularly in relation to cognitive and emotional self-regulatory behaviors.

Britta ShineBritta Shine is a graduate student combining the Infant Mental Health and Child Life in Hospitals master’s degree programs, and she will complete the dual program requirements in fall 2015. She came to Mills with a BA in Women's Studies from Smith College. Before returning to school to pursue a graduate degree, Britta worked with children with autism and then spent five years as a preschool teacher. Britta will complete her IMH practicum (2014-2015) as an intern at the Infant-Parent Program (IPP) at San Francisco General Hospital, working as a therapeutic shadow for children in preschools in need of intervention. Her research interests include attachment theory, hospitalized infants and young children, and the role of environment in mediating behavior and growth. Britta's future plans are to work with community clinics and outreach programs for under-served populations, helping families to identify developmental strengths and problems that can be addressed through early intervention.

Rachel TissellRachel-Tissell is a psychology major on the accelerated infant mental health master’s degree track. She will complete her Mills BA in 2015 and her master's degree in infant mental health in 2016. Rachel transferred to Mills as a junior from Bellevue College in Bellevue, Washington. She worked in the lab during her junior year, assisting master’s degree students with their research. Rachel’s master’s thesis will examine how trauma, stress, and psychiatric symptoms are related to mothers’ caregiving representations and behaviors, and how these experiences contribute to intergenerational transmission of parenting and development in young children. She plans to continue her education to pursue a doctoral degree in developmental psychology. Long-term, Rachel has her sights set on the screening and diagnoses of mental health and developmental disorders in infancy and early childhood in the context of culture and community.

Liz WalkerLiz Walker (BA Psychology, 2013) is an Infant Mental Health master’s degree student. She came to Mills with an AA from Peralta Community College. Her thesis research examines the role of parent self-efficacy and self esteem in parenting. She plans to become a licensed psychotherapist who works with current and prospective parents to help them examine their childhood experience and current setbacks to implement change that supports successful parenting.

Lauren Lee WrayLauren Lee Wray is a psychology major due to graduate with her BA in fall 2015. She came to Mills as junior transfer student from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, after taking some time off to begin her family. Lauren is especially interested in early childhood attachment and its implications for later in life. She plans to get a PhD program in clinical psychology and is working in the lab to get research experience assisting IMH master’s degree students. Her clinical goals are to work with adolescent girls with PTSD. She would like to implement Equine Assisted Psychotherapy into her practice.

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Contact Information

P: 510.430.3170
F: 510.430.3379
E: imh@mills.edu
Last Updated: 9/30/14