Personnel

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Arigo Headshot 2018Dr. Dani Arigo (Lab Director/Principal Investigator; arigo@rowan.edu)
Dr. Arigo received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Syracuse University and completed her health psychology/behavioral medicine postdoctoral fellowship at Drexel University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the science of health behavior change. Her research focuses on understanding and harnessing social influences on health behaviors, particularly social comparisons (comparing oneself to others). The goal of this work is to improve interventions that promote weight control, physical activity, and chronic illness management.

Current projects emphasize the use of digital health tools to promote health behavior change (e.g., smartphone apps, wearable devices, social media platforms) and how best to tailor these tools for the needs of specific populations. Dr. Arigo has a K23 award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (National Institutes of Health) to develop and test a physical activity promotion app tailored for midlife women with elevated cardiovascular risk. She teaches practicum courses for clinical psychology Ph.D. students; at the undergraduate level, she teaches courses in abnormal psychology, health psychology, personality psychology, and the psychology of gender.

Megan Brown, B.S. (Research Coordinator; brownm9@rowan.edu)
Megan Brown
Megan received her bachelor’s of science degree from Rowan University (2018), with a major in psychological science and a minor in neuroscience. She has research experience as an assistant in a lab that focuses on attention, vision, and individual differences, along with being an investigator on a study examining social physique anxiety in college students. Additionally, she has clinical experience interning at a self-help wellness center for adults with mental illnesses. Her research interests include evaluating interventions for adult psychopathology within integrated care; Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder; and the roles that stress, physical activity, and social comparisons play in mental health. Megan serves as the CHASE Lab research coordinator, with primary responsibility for managing recruitment and data collection for our NIH-funded women’s health studies.

Cole Ainsworth, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
AinsworthCole received his Ph.D. in Health Education and Health Promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2019. His research interests relate to public health, with a particular focus on technology-supported behavior change. Cole has incorporated a specific focus on women’s heath, including the health of older African American women and breast cancer survivors, with the aim of improving physical activity engagement and maintenance. He is also interested in science communication and understanding how technological tools can be used to garner public interest in STEM professions and scientific discovery.

Kristen Pasko, B.S. (2nd year student, Clinical Ph.D. Program; paskok45@students.rowan.edu) KP SBM 3
Kristen received her bachelor of science degree in psychology from The University of Scranton (2017) and then worked as a research coordinator for Scranton’s Clinical Health Psychology Research Team (2017-2018). Kristen is interested in understanding how social influences, specifically through social media platforms, are related to physical activity and other health behavior engagement. Recently, she has specific interest in understanding these social influences on health behaviors in the context of treating cancer and various chronic illness to allow for the best physical and mental health outcomes.

Laura Travers, M.S. (1st year student, Clinical Ph.D. Program; traver22@students.rowan.edu) Travers
Laura received her bachelor of arts degree from Washington & Jefferson College (2017), with a major in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. She then continued on to the University of the Sciences for her master of science degree in Health Psychology (2019), where she was the lab coordinator and research assistant for the Health Behavior Research Lab. Laura is currently interested in understanding the impact chronic pain has on daily life, as well as examining the comorbid relationship of post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

Emily Vendetta (Undergraduate Research Assistant; vendet26@students.rowan.edu) Vendetta
Emily is a junior psychology major at Rowan. She intends to pursue her masters and one day become a school psychologist. Her research interests are health behaviors,  personality development, and behaviors in children.

ALUMNI

Sabrina DiBisceglie, B.S. (Research Assistant/Presidential Summer Fellow)
SabrinaSabrina received her bachelor’s of science degree in psychology from The University of Scranton in 2018. She has provided clinical services in a drug and alcohol outpatient center and has served as a research assistant for Dr. Arigo, working for the Clinical Health Psychology Research Team at The University of Scranton. Sabrina plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on health psychology. Her research interests include social media and the influence it may have on physical activity engagement, including the social media trend #fitspiration.

Darlene Jules (Undergraduate Research Assistant)Jules
Darlene is a junior at Rowan, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Law and Justice. She is interested in pursuing a career in criminology and Forensic Psychology with the US Intelligence Community. Her goal is for experiences with the CHASE Lab to help her develop analytical skills needed to interpret statistical tests, observe trends, and make sound predictions.

Autumn Bowman (Undergraduate Research Assistant) Bowman Website Photo
Autumn is a senior at Rowan, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research interests are reproductive and sexual health behaviors, as well as minority women’s health research (including women of color, and LGBTQ+ women). Her goals after graduation are to continue working in women’s health research before attending graduate school for a Master’s of Social Work, with the hopes of eventually working for Planned Parenthood.