ra A. Hope, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology

Dr. Hope received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University at Albany-State University of New York in 1990 and joined the department at UNL in the same year.  She is currently Professor and Graduate Chair. Her current research interests focus on two primary areas: (a) anxiety disorders (particularly social anxiety disorder) and (b) mental health impacts of stigma and discrimination. Dr. Hope is the director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, one of the specialty services within the Psychological Consultation Center. The current research focus is on disemination of evidence-based treatment, particularly using technology and other innovative approaches.  Another area of interest is understanding the gender effect in anxiety. The research on stigma and discrimination is primarily focusing on the work through Trans Collaborations, our joint community-based collaborative with the transgender and gender non-conforming communities, Richard Mocarski at the University of Nebraska-Kearney and our collaborators at University of South Dakota and University of Alabama.  See the Trans Collaborations website ( for more details about this work.  Dr. Hope teaches classroom and practicum courses on cognitive-behavioral therapy, a senior level course on clinical psychology, and an undergraduate course on the psychology of diversity. Dr. Hope is a licensed clinical psychologist and maintains a small private practice.




Michelle Capozzoli
Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Shelley graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and has research interests in anxiety and neuropsychology. She is interested in information models of anxiety and has examined an attention bias modification program for social anxiety. In addition, she is interested in chronic symptoms and functional impairment following mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and their relationship with psychopathology. Along these lines, she is investigating predictors of return-to-work following multidisciplinary rehabilitation for mTBI.



Todd Caze

Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Todd graduated from Judson University and the University of Oklahoma. His research interests are how anxiety impacts the assessment, management and rehabilitation of sports-concussion. Particularly, he is interested in how anxiety is manifested and measured once athletes concuss and how does that impact the constellation of symptoms.  Todd is currently investigating what anxiety measure is most appropriate for screening in concussion and reviewing what the literature has to say about concussion and anxiety sequelae.


Chandra Bautista
Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Chandra graduated from the University of Arkansas and is interested in understanding socially anxious individuals' cognitive and affective responses to social feedback. Specifically, she is investigating how individuals with high and low levels of social anxiety respond to a range of positive and negative social cues.  Additionally, Chandra is interested in understanding the impact of Internet usage and computer-mediated communication on the development and maintenance of social anxiety disorder. 


Zach Huit
Graduate Student
 Research Interests:

Zach graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is broadly interested in the role of family and social environments in development. More specifically, he is interested in how family and relational structures impact the development of LGBTQ+ individuals and ways in which that can be used to inform services for LGBTQ+ communities. He is also very interested in how familial and social environments impact victims of child maltreatment.


Natalie Holt
Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Natalie graduated from the University of Kentucky and is broadly interested in mental health issues for LGBTQ individuals. She is specifically interested in the delivery of culturally-responsive mental health services to TGNC communities and the use of community-based participatory research. Natalie is currently investigating mental health providers' experiences and competencies for working with TGNC clients.

Andrew Jeon
Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Andrew graduated from the University of Oklahoma and his primary research interests lie in understanding how mental health, stigma, and the law interact in the context of discrimination. Specifically, he has recently been investigating the psychological effects of discrimination on individuals in an employment context as well as how social anxiety and depression are perceived by others.  He is investigating factors such as emotion regulation, social distance, and perception of mental illness and how they affect individuals in their daily lives.  Andrew is also interested in research in mental health public policy within the context of international law. 

Pete Meidlinger
Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Pete graduated from the University of Minnesota and his primary research interests are in understanding minority stress processes in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. He is particularly interested in how openness about sexual orientation can affect individuals’ wellbeing. Pete has been investigating the relationship between concealment and disclosure cross-contextually and their relationship to mental health and high-risk behavior.

Allura Ralston
Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Allura Ralston graduated from Temple University and is interested in a range of issues related to anxiety disorders and understanding mental health disparities. In particular, she is interested in using technology (telehealth, mhealth) to provide treatment and interventions for rural and minority populations.





Vincenzo Roma

Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Vincenzo graduated from San Diego State University and California State University, Sacramento. His research interests are aimed at understanding the personal and social sources of resilience and risk for anxiety and depression. His interests are two-fold: (1) the role of cognition, affect, and coping styles as personal sources of risk and resilience and (2) how cognition affect, and coping contribute to the understanding of social risks of marginalization due to minority status. Vincenzo’s most recent work has focused on studying factors influencing attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Additionally, his recent research has examined a structural model of how maladjustment (e.g., personality and intolerance of uncertainty) influences active coping (e.g., individual and social) and measures of distress. 

Grant Shulman
Graduate Student

Research Interests:

Grant graduated from West Virginia University and is interested in studying the gender effect of anxiety psychopathology, especially behavioral avoidance. His minor research interests revolve around health anxiety as a barrier to treatment for preventable disease. Currently, Grant is examining perceived controllability measures for a reliable gender effect to use in conjunction with a behavioral approach task of a fearful object in a young adult population.




Kristin Anderson, Ph.D. 2014
Research Interests:

Kristin graduated from Bowling Green State University and is interested in understanding the mechanisms of effective treatments for anxiety disorders and improving treatment accessibility, implementation, and retention. She is also interested in understanding and reducing the stigmatization of individuals with mental illness, in part as a method of increasing treatment accessibility. Kristin has recently been investigating the relationship between perceived stigma of clients with mental health problems, disclosure of mental health problems, and social anxiety. She has also examined the unique factors that contribute to societal rejection of individuals with social anxiety disorder compared to other mental illnesses. 



Brandon Weiss
Ph.D. 2013

Research Interests:

Brandon graduated from the University of Houston and his research interests focus on the nature, assessment, and treatment of anxiety disorders (particularly social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder), technological applications to treatment, and minority mental health. His dissertation is a federally funded, randomized controlled trial examining the feasibility of delivering a social anxiety treatment protocol via videoconferencing, with the ultimate goal of increasing access to care among rural populations. Additional research endeavors have included examining worry content in sexual minorities, heterosexist bias in commonly used measures of social anxiety, psychometric properties of assessments with older adults, and culturally sensitive cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for immigrants.


Milena Stoyanova
Ph.D. 2013

Reseach Interests:

Milena graduated from Whittier College and she is on post-doc at the Seattle VA as of Fall 2013. Her research interests include the nature and treatment of anxiety disorders, with a special focus on gender. Specifically, her program of research has focused on examining women’s greater risk for anxiety disorders. She has investigated factors such as gender roles, men’s tendency to underreport experiences with anxiety, courage, exposure to gender specific discrimination, and the role of disgust to examine the gender effect in anxiety. Additionally, Milena is interested in treatment for anxiety disorders, with a focus on enhancing exposure exercises to facilitate long term fear reduction. 


Prior Alumni:
Tim Emge
Luis Morales Knight
J. Suzanne Singh
Nathan Miller
Carmen McLean
Sarah Hayes
Cynthia Kraus
Robin Chang
(with Alan Tempkins, Ph.D.)
Michel Bonin
Elizabeth Moore
Lindsay Ham
Cate Hazeldine-Jones
Tami DeCoteau
Peter Norton
Melanie VanDyke
James Burns
Leslie Cohn
David Washington
(with Mario Scalora, Ph.D.)
Valerie Meier
Karen Sigler
Louis Laguna
George Thorn
Dirk Elting