Laura Hennefield, PhD

Dr. Laura Hennefield is an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine and Director of the STARK project. She completed her doctoral work in social cognitive development in the Department of Brain and Psychological Sciences at Washington University in St Louis in 2015, and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry in 2021. Her research program focuses on how children acquire knowledge and form expectations about the future (optimism). She also studies how early-onset psychopathology, such as depression and suicidality, intersect with these basic social and cognitive processes. Outside of the lab, Laura enjoys practicing aerial trapeze and exploring St Louis with her partner and preschooler.

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Ethan Fleuchaus, MA

Ethan joined the EEDP team in 2018 after completing his Master of Arts degree in psychology at the University of Cincinnati. Specializing in children’s cognitive development and learning, he is interested in working with kids to further the behavioral sciences and spread enthusiasm for STEM research in general. Ethan has substantial experience conducting research with children in schools, museums, and academic psychology labs. Ethan’s roles on STARK include collecting behavioral data from children, EEG administration, coordinating and managing data collection and processing, and overseeing and training undergraduate research assistants.

Brittany Haus, MA, LPC

Brittany received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Missouri State University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  Brittany has over 5 years of clinical experience working with children and families in residential and outpatient settings. As a Clinical Research Coordinator, Brittany’s role on STARK includes overseeing the administration of clinical interviews and lending her clinical expertise to the project as needed.

Christina Chen

Christina recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned her B.A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology with minors in Music and Biology. As an undergraduate, she has worked as a research assistant on several studies in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Emergency Department and Dr. English’s Emotion and Relationships Lab. Christina is the study coordinator and primary contact for STARK, and she will also be conducting clinical interviews.

Uchechukwu Agali

Uchechukwu is a recent graduate of Harris-Stowe State University, where they earned their B.S. in Biology. As an undergraduate, through BP ENDURE, they worked in Dr. Rogers’ WUNDER lab. They also work with children teaching after-school STEM enrichment programs.

Mentors and Collaborators

Joan Luby, MD

Thomas Joiner, PhD

Katherine Luking, PhD

Research Assistants

We are fortunate to have an amazing team of undergraduate research assistants.

Lab Alumni

Here is a list of former post-bacc research team members and where they are now:

  • Cristal Giorio (current Cognitive Psychology & Language Science PhD student at Penn State)
  • Allison Hollender (incoming Clinical PhD Student)
  • Meghana Kunam (current medical student at Midwestern University)
  • Nasreen Moursi (current Clinical PhD Candidate at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)

Here are some of our former undergraduate research assistants in the field:

  • Alyssa Green
  • Lauren Dandridge
  • Monica Lu
  • Laura Talpey