Get to Know Us

Principal Investigator


Dr. Adam Grabell
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
135 Hicks Way, Tobin 123
Amherst, MA 01003-9271

Dr. Adam Grabell’s research focuses on emotion regulation and its relation to cross-diagnostic symptoms of psychopathology in early childhood. Dr. Grabell is particularly interested in the fine details of how the emerging emotion regulation system works and which parts of this system aren’t functioning well in young children on the cusp of persistent mood and behavior problems.

Graduate Students

Katie Gonzalez

Katie is a third year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. She graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology, where she studied neuropsychology and patterns of cognitive decline in individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. She later worked at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she worked in the ADHD and Development Lab and studied executive functioning and risk-taking behaviors in individuals with ADHD. Her research interests lie in early childhood development and different underlying factors that effect mental and physical health outcomes across development. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching horror movies, reading books, and going on hikes.

Zachary Bivins

Zachary is a second year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. He graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Psychology and is originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey! Zachary is interested in investigating emotion regulation, and is particularly fascinated with how our appraisals, beliefs, and other cognitions about emotions (i.e., metaemotions) impact emotion regulation outcomes.

Sarah McCormick

Sarah is a sixth year graduate student in the Developmental Science PhD program at UMass Amherst. She graduated from UMass Amherst in 2013 with a B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience, and spent the following three years working on a project examining the neural bases of emotion processing in infancy and early childhood at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Sarah is interested in how family systems and context promote or inhibit early social-cognitive development. 
Her master’s thesis focused on how household chaos influences associations between neural physiology and internalizing symptoms in early childhood.

Lab Manager

Adrelys Mateo Santana

Adrelys graduated from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in 2020 with a B.S. in Psychology, a certificate in Developmental Disabilities & Human Services (DDHS), and a secondary major in Spanish. She stayed at UMass Amherst to work as the Lab Coordinator for the SEED Lab and expand her knowledge on young children’s emotion regulation across various units of analysis. Adrelys hopes to attend graduate school and pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Outside of research, Adrelys loves translation, photography, and interior design.

Research Assistants

Katherine Edell

Katherine Edell is a fourth year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Commonwealth Honors College. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology with a certificate in social work. She is very interested in counseling psychology and plans on pursuing graduate school after graduation where she will be able to a masters in social work. With that degree, she hopes to work in the field of therapy. Outside of the lab she enjoys writing, baking, and hiking.

Philip Dorfman

Philip is a fourth year student in the Commonwealth Honors College, pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. He plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is particularly interested in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other therapeutic interventions for treating psychological disorders. His research interests include psychopathology in children and adults, as well as the effectiveness of various treatment interventions. Outside of the lab Philip plays for the Ultimate Frisbee team, makes wheel-thrown pottery, and plays the cello.

Caitlyn Calicchia

Caitlyn is a fourth year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Commonwealth Honors College. She is currently majoring in psychology on the neuroscience track and minoring in biology. Caitlyn hopes to attend medical school and become a pediatric physician concentrating in the field of neuroscience. Outside of lab, Caitlyn loves to play piano, bake sweets with her mom, and play outside with her two dogs.

Portteia Davidson

Portteia is a second year student at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has a passion for working with children and is interested in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. In the future, she would like to work in the field of research and therapy for children. In her free time, she likes to volunteer, collect records, and play the violin.

Shriya Agrawal

Shriya is a third year student in the Commonwealth Honors College, double majoring in Biology and Studio Art. She is interested in Developmental and Clinical Psychology, and possibly integrating her passion for art and psychology through art therapy. Her research interests include the cognitive and physiological basis of emotion regulation in children and adults with mood disorders, and the early treatment of such disorders. In her free time, she likes to read, write, draw, and listen to music.

Sherley De La Rosa Mejia

Sherley is a third year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Commonwealth Honors College. She is currently double majoring in Biology & Psychology, and is also on the Neuroscience track. She is also currently on the Pre-Med track and plans to attend medical school. Sherley enjoys working with children and would like to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. She was a member of the Bio-Pioneers cohort and is now a member of the Student Wellbeing Advisory Board (SWAB). In her free time, she volunteers with a bilingual hotline crisis and as an English tutor for Syrian refugees. Some of her favorite things to do are watch Netflix series, read books and listen to music!

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