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PACE Research Team

Meet the team members that are running the lab!

Dr. Scott Leon

Scott Leon is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches and mentors in the undergraduate and graduate psychology programs. Dr. Leon earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University Medical School in June, 2002. During his graduate studies, he developed research interests in mental health services evaluation. Dr. Leon’s published work has primarily focused on the mental health and placement outcomes of youth in the child welfare system.


Learn more about Dr. Leon’s work here.

Graduate Students

Brynn Huguenel

Brynn Huguenel is a fifth year doctoral student in the PACE lab from the clinical psychology program at Loyola. After receiving her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Boston College in 2012, Brynn worked in the Schizophrenia Neuropharmacology Research Group at Yale University Medical School for three years. Her research interests include risk and resilience factors of mental health outcomes in children with abuse or neglect, as well as treatment or program evaluation.

Thesis: Fear of Missing Out: A Moderated Mediation Approach to Social Media Use pdf

Lauren Hindt 

Lauren Hindt is a fifth year graduate student in the doctoral program in clinical child psychology at Loyola University Chicago. Lauren earned her Bachelor's degree in child psychology, along with minors in neuroscience and public health, from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2014. Her research interests include strengthening families and supporting children at risk for social and emotional difficulties from underserved populations, with an overarching goal of improving health equity and reducing disparities. Lauren's current research involves children and families in the context of the foster care system and parental incarceration.


Thesis: Impact of Visitation with Incarcerated Fathers on Behavioral Adjustment among Children in the Foster Care System pdf

Nathan Lutz

Nathan Lutz is a third-year graduate student in the doctoral program in clinical child psychology at Loyola University Chicago. Nathan earned his Bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in neuroscience from Miami University in 2015. For the next two years, Nathan worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in a lab that focused on the complex health needs of youth in the child welfare system. Nathan spent most of his time working on a project that developed an intervention to aid adolescents who were aging out of the system. His research interests are centered around continuing to evaluate and develop interventions for this population, and he is also interested in learning about the effects of various forms of maltreatment and how to lessen their impact throughout one's childhood.

Jenny Osborne


Jenny Osborne is a second-year graduate student in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Loyola University. Jenny graduated from Elon University in 2016 with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Strategic Communication. Jenny then worked as a contractor for the Children's Bureau in Washington D.C., where she curated content on the Child Welfare Information Gateway, wrote publications, and designed content for National Foster Care Month. Jenny's current research is focused on the emotional transition of children into fictive kin and kinship care and developing protective measures for youth aging out of foster care. 

PACE Lab Alumni

Grace Jhe Bai: Class of 2018

Thesis: The Protective Effect of Kinship Support on the
Adjustment of Youth in Foster Care pdf


Dissertation: Child Maltreatment and Psychosocial Functioning

Among Foster Care Youth: Self-Concept as a

Mediator and a Moderator pdf


Anne Fuller: Class of 2017

Thesis: Sexual Behavior Problems in Child Welfare:
Predictors of Reliable Change pdf


Dissertation: Social Support and Well-Being Among Foster Care
Youth: Self-Concept as a Mediator pdf


Alison Stoner: Class of 2014

Thesis: Predictors of Mental Health Outcomes Among
Foster Care Children Receiving Community-Based
Services pdf


Dissertation: Closing the "Revolving Door": Identifying
Predictors of Time to Rehospitalization in a Sample
of Psychiatric Inpatient Youth pdf


Amy Lyons Usher: Class of 2012

Dissertation: Measures of Executive Functioning and Their
Relation to Functional Outcomes in a Sample of
Youth with Attention-Deficit/hyperactivity
Disorder (add) pdf

Jeff Sieracki: Class of 2010

Thesis: Measuring Mental Health Improvement Among Children

Receiving Community-Based Services in a System of Care;

An Idiographic Approach pdf

Dissertation: In Whose Best Interest? Using an Experimental
Vignette to Assess Factors Influencing Placement
Decisions in Child Welfare pdf


Brittany Lakin: Class of 2008

Dissertation: Burnout in Children’s Residential Treatment Center

Staff: A Look at the Organizational Context Using a

Person-Job Fit Model


Jessica Snowden-Patel: Class of 2007


Nicole Hodgkinson

Nicole Hodgkinson is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Loyola University. Nicole graduated from Whitman College in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Nicole worked as a research assistant at the VA Puget Sound Health Care system studying chronic pain management before transitioning to a direct service role providing mental health crisis response for youth in King County, many of whom were involved with the foster care system. Nicole’s current research interests include improving psychosocial outcomes for children in the Child Welfare System through program evaluation and intervention development.

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