Our Research

Faculty in social sciences frequently pair with students on innovative research. Read some recent research projects below.


Amy Becker, Ph.D.

This past year, working with Amy Becker, Ph.D., Natalie Bello, a student in CM342 D Media, Culture, and Society, did a thought-provoking project on representations of disability in the Sherlock Holmes series (mental disabilities in the original books, BBC series, movies, etc.). She gave an oral presentation at the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Colloquium. Additionally, Katelyn Barone, a junior and also a student in this class, did a project on representations of power, politics, gender, etc. in the Harry Potter series. Her project was not selected for the colloquium.

Paola Pascual-Ferra, Ph.D.

Paola Pascual-Ferra worked with undergraduate student, Kaitlyn Gallagher, who applied for and received a summer grant in 2015 to support her project “Latina Women in the U.S. Media.” This project was recognized at the Department of Communication’s Honors Dinner where Kaitlyn received an award for this project for work she did as a junior.

Pastoral Counseling 

Jesse Fox, Ph.D.

Jesse Fox began the research group "Meditation and Human Development" in the Pastoral Counseling Department upon his arrival at Loyola in Fall of 2013. The group has since published one study with students serving as coauthors and are currently collaborating with two community partner organizations on the collection of data for two independent studies. In addition, the group has presented their research at several academic and professional venues nationally and internationally.

Gutierrez, D., Fox, J., & Wood, A. (2015). Center, light and sound: The psychological benefits of three distinct meditative practices. Counseling and Values, 60, 234-247.
Fox, J., Gutierrez, D., Haas, J., Briganza, D., & Berger, C. (2015). A phenomenological investigation of centering prayer using conventional content analysis. Pastoral Psychology. DOI: DOI 10.1007/s11089-015-0657-1 (30% to 40% acceptance rate since 2010 per Journal editor, 2015)

Fox, J., & Young, M. E. (2015, October). The psychological benefits of meditation: A review of three distinct forms. Presented at the European Branch of the American Counseling Association, Naples, Italy. (Presented in place of Daniel Gutierrez)

Haas, J., Flythe, W., & Fox, J. (2015). Infusing mindfulness and meditation in counseling pedagogy. Presented at the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Bi-annual Conference, Philadelphia, NY.

Fox, J., Haas, J. (2015, July). Centering prayer: Using phenomenology to provide insight into therapeutic implementation and future investigations of devotional practices. Presented at the Association for Spiritual Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling Bi-Annual Conference, New York, NY.

Gutierrez, D. & Fox, J. (2014, September). Meditation and counseling: What does the research say? Presented at the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling Conference, Quad Cities, IL.

Haas, J., Fox, J., & Gutierrez, D. (2014, September). Infusing prayer and meditation into counselor pedagogy. Presented at the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), Birmingham, AL.

Kari O’Grady

Kari O’Grady works with students in the Center for Trauma Studies and Resilience lab and had a number of presentation and publication collaborations with students from this work. Some prominent Faculty/Student collaborations include two research, training, service trips to Haiti (2010, 2013) in which students went to Haiti, worked in the lab to analyze the data, and co-presented and co-authored on those studies.  Also, PhD student Sondra Matter and Kari went to DR Congo this past summer to conduct training in Pastoral Care and Trauma and conduct research with HEAL Africa, Goma. Some of the data will be used for her dissertation. Recent publications and presentations with students include:

O’Grady, K. A., Orton, J. D., Schreiber-Pan, H., & Wismick, J. C. (2013). Community trauma and the Posttraumatic Transformation Model. International Psychology Bulletin, 17, 45-54.

O’Grady, K. A., Rollison, D. G., Hanna, T. S., Shreiber-Pan, H., & Ruiz, M. A. (2012). Earthquake in Haiti: Relationship with the sacred in times of trauma. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 40(4), 289 – 301.

O’Grady, K. A., Shreiber-Pan, H., & White, K. B. (2015). Cross-cultural counseling: Encountering the liminal space. In E. B.Maynard and J. Snodgrass, Understanding pastoral counseling. Springer Press.

Rollison, D. G., Canner, C. M., & O’Grady, K. A. (2015). Haiti and faith in times of trauma: Posttraumatic growth, meaning, and spiritual transformation after the 2010 earthquake.  Paper presented at ASERVIC in Manhattan, New York.
Snyder, N., White, K.W., O’Grady, K.A., Orton, J.D. (2015). The Center for Trauma Studies and Resilience Leadership.  Paper presented at ASERVIC in Manhattan, New York. Ochu, A., O’Grady, K. A.,  & Conliffe, M. (2015). Cosmology episodes in Liberia and Haiti: Sense-losing and sense-remaking. Symposium paper presented for APA Division 36 Mid-Year Conference.

Dilehay, A. V., Stewart, C. K., Snyder, N. C., Dickonson, G. L., Flythe, W. W., & O’Grady, K. A. (2014). A posttrauamtic investigation of the 2010 Haiti cosmology episode: A 3-year qualitative follow-up study. Presentation at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. Washington DC.

Ralph Piedmont, Ph.D.

Dinesh Braganza, a Ph.D. student, worked on collecting some pilot data for his dissertation, examining the clinical utility of the Core Transformation Technique for promoting psychospiritual growth among a sample of adults in India. Together they are publishing two articles from the data they collected:

Braganza, D., & Piedmont, R. L. (in press). The impact of the Core Transformation Process on spirituality, symptom experience, and psychological maturity in a mixed age sample in India: A pilot study. Journal of Religion and Health.
Piedmont, R. L., & Braganza, D. (in press). Psychometric evaluation of responses on the NEO-PI-3 in a multiethnic sample of adults in India. Psychological Assessment

Ralph is also working with a current doctoral student on an entry into a large encyclopedia, here is the reference for this work:

Piedmont ,R. L., & Toscano, M. E. (in press). Self-report inventories. In The Sage Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
Nicole DiLella graduated from the PhD program in Pastoral Counseling in spring, 2015. She worked with Ralph Piedmont for almost 3 years on a project developing a measure of spiritual struggles relevant to predicting personality impairment. This involvement included her using data from one of the studies for her dissertation. They are presently in the process of writing a paper for publication on their findings.


Jeffrey Barnett, Psy.D., ABPP

Dr. Barnett worked with Kathleen C. Hynes, B.A., on "Boundaries and Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy: Recommendations for Ethical Practice." Additionally, Dr. Barnett worked with Caroline Coffman on both "Confidentiality and its Exceptions: The Case of Duty to Warn" and "Termination and Abandonment: A Proactive Approach to Ethical Practice."

Marianna Carlucci, Ph. D.

As an applied experimental psychologist Dr. Carlucci has a steady stream of students working with me on a variety of projects. However, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is when she gets to work one-on-one with students on research they are passionate about. Coming from a 60,000+ institution, Dr. Carlucci appreciates the luxury of individualized research mentorship. Last year, for example, she worked with an undergraduate student, Angelica Puzio, on a project that investigated media representations of women and attitudes about cosmetic surgery. In addition to being able to explore a topic she was passionate about, Angelica was able to use her knowledge and training when applying to graduate schools. Indeed, her experience allowed her to have meaningful conversations about this research area during graduate school interviews. Angelica is now at Wake Forrest University, conducting research at the intersection of psychology and gender and will be presenting the research we collaborated on at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference. As Angelica put it in a letter she sent Dr. Carlucci after graduation: “I am now at a time in my life where I seek to honor and nurture your guidance through my life and academic career”. These are the research relationships that move me and our students beyond the classroom.

Angelica Puzio (now a PhD student at Wake Forrest University) worked on an independent study project with Dr. Carlucci in 2014 that investigated media representations of women and attitudes about cosmetic surgery with Dr. Marianna Carlucci. In addition to being able to explore a topic she was passionate about, Angelica was able to use her knowledge and training when applying to graduate schools. Angelica will be presenting this research in November 2015 at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference.

Emily C. Mariotti, Master’s student working with Sharon Green-Hennessy, Ph.D.

Emily C. Mariotti

Jessica D. Turral, M.S.  -  PsyD student working with Marianna Carlucci, Ph.D.

Jessica D. Turral, M.S.

Mary Jo Coiro, Ph.D.

Corey H. Molzon, M.S.  -  PsyD student and Mary Jo Coiro, Ph.D.

Corey H. Molzon, M.S.

Theresa DiDonato, Ph. D.

Since joining Loyola’s Psychology department in 2009, Dr. DiDonato has involved over 70 undergraduates in my “Self and Social Relationships” lab, a lab dedicated to learning more about relationships, social interactions, social perceptions, and psychological well-being. While some students serve as research assistants, helping with data collection or providing other forms of research support, a subset of students work alongside her as collaborators, helping to design and implement new projects. She is inspired by how much students transform through the independent thinking, trouble-shooting, and creativity required by scientific research. Under her mentorship, more than 20 students have presented their research at  Loyola’s Undergraduate Student Research and Scholarship Colloquium, and the pride they feel in their research achievements at this event is well-deserved. Of the projects she has completed in collaboration with students, two have been published in professional peer-reviewed journals, two have appeared in undergraduate student journals, and six have been presented at regional or national conferences as posters. Dr. DiDonato loves mentoring undergraduate researchers and take great pleasure in witnessing their intellectual and personal growth throughout the process.

Last year, during her senior year at Loyola, Laura Andrews (now a Ph.D. student at the University of Maine) completed an independent study with Theresa DiDonato, Ph.D. in which she designed and implemented an experimental investigation of the effects of heterosocial competence and perceived mate value on the fear of being single. Her work was presented at Loyola’s 2015 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Colloquium and at this year’s national conference for the Association for Psychological Science.

Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., Beth A. Kotchick, Ph.D., and Christopher Higginson, Ph.D.

Rachel A. Lawson, M.S.  - PsyD student along with Beth A. Kotchick, Ph.D. and Christopher Higginson, Ph.D.

Rachel A. Lawson, M.S.

Rachel A. Lawson, M.S.  -  PsyD student and 2015 Psychology medal recipient along with Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs

Rachel Lawson


Amanda Konradi, Ph.D.

Amanda Konradi supervised undergraduate student Angelica Puzio on an independent study research project during the 2014-2015 academic year. Angelica presented the results of her research project “ Sexual Assault Resource Knowledge: Survey and Analysis” at the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Colloquium and won first place. Dr. Konradi and Ms. Puzio are presently working together on a manuscript on this research that they plan to submit for publication. 

Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

Sally Galena, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Under the guidance and support of Sally Galena, Ph.D., master’s student Betsy Stickel completed her master’s thesis titled “Listeners’ Perception of Gender after Raising Fundamental and formant Frequencies in a biological Male Voice.” Betsy presented her research at the Voice Foundation Symposium in Philadelphia in June 2015, where it was selected as one of the top five student papers. She also presented it at the Acoustical Society of America 5th mini conference in May 2015 where it won second place. Betsy will be presenting a poster on this research at the ASHA conference in Denver, CO in November and she and Sally Galena are presently preparing a manuscript on the topic that they will submit to a peer reviewed journal. Sally Galena also supervised the following master’s students on these research projects that were presented at Emerging Scholars in April 2015:

  • Sarah Councill - The Impact of Theater on Social Skill Development
  • Allison Ortolano - The Impact of Incorporating Music Therapy on Joint Attention Skills
  • Briana Figallo - The Effectiveness of Speech Therapy on Vowel Formant Frequencies in Transgender Male-to-Female Speakers. Briana Figallo is also presenting a poster with the same title at the ASHA convention in Nov. 2015. She has opted to do a thesis for which I am her primary advisor

Lisa Schoenbrodt, Ed.D., CCC-SLP

Last year, Lisa Schoenbrodt, EdD collaborated with a junior, Diana Dautzenberg, who participated in a research study with her in which they evaluated narrative language development improvements in children at risk for language and literacy disorders using parent training. Diana presented a poster session at the LUM Undergraduate Research Colloquium on this research and won first place in social sciences. This research was then presented nationally at the ASHA Schools Conference.

Diana Dautzenberg who won first place at the Undergraduate Research Colloquium. Undergraduate student in Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences working with Lisa Schoenbrodt Ed.D.

Diana Dautzenberg

Diana Dautzenberg and Jennifer Lynds, both undergraduate students in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences working with Lisa Schoenbrodt Ed.D.

 Diana Dautzenberg and and Jennifer Lynds

Samantha Thompson - undergraduate student in Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences working with Lisa Schoenbrodt, Ed.D.

Samantha Thompson

Annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention

Several faculty and graduate students from the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences presented posters and research at the annual ASHA Convention in Philadelphia from November 17-19, 2016. This professional education event for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists brings together more than 12,000 attendees to hear the latest research and gain new skills and resources. View a complete list of Loyola presenters at ASHA.

Brianne Roos, Lisa Schoenbrodt, Donna Pitts, Marie Kerins, and Lena Caesar as ASHA Convention.

Caesar and Kerins with faculty | ASHA Convention

 Lena Caesar and Marie Kerins with graduate students at ASHA Convention.

Caesar and Kerins with grad students | ASHA Convention

Cindy Nichols and Theresa Alexander, poster presentation at ASHA Convention.

Nichols and Alexander | ASHA Convention

Donna Pitts and Laura Kelly, poster presentation at ASHA Convention.

Pitts and Kelly | ASHA Convention

Brianne Roos and Lisa Schoenbrodt, poster presentation at ASHA Convention.

Schoenbrodt and Roos | ASHA Convention