Meet the Team

Director

Cheryl Ann King, Ph.D., ABPP : Director

Cheryl Ann King, Ph.D., ABPP

Director

Cheryl King is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Michigan. As Director of the Youth Depression and Suicide Research Program, she has provided leadership for multiple federally funded research initiatives focused on developing evidence-based strategies for adolescent and young adult suicide risk screening, assessment, and intervention. These include three current NIMH-funded multi-site studies, 24-Hour Warning Signs for Adolescents, Emergency Department Screen for Teens at Risk for Suicide (ED-STARS) and Electronic Bridge to Mental Health for College Students (eBridge). Dr. King serves as a research advisor and career development mentor to doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career faculty. In addition to her clinical teaching, she has published widely on youth suicide prevention and conducted workshops worldwide on best practices in suicide risk assessment and intervention. She is an author of the recently published book, Teen Suicide Risk: A Practitioner Guide to Screening, Assessment, and Management. In addition, Dr. King has provided testimony in the U.S. Senate on youth suicide prevention and is a Past President of the American Association of Suicidology, the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers, and the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

NCBI Reference List

kingca@umich.edu

Core Faculty

Adam Horwitz, PhD : Clinical Lecturer

Adam Horwitz, PhD

Clinical Lecturer

Adam is a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2017, where he was also a member of the Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Research Program, and returned to the university as a faculty member in 2018 after completing his postdoc at the Rush University Medical Center. Adam's research interests include the identification of cognitive and behavioral risk factors associated with suicidal behavior, the impact of coping on outcomes in response to stress, and the improvement of suicide risk assessment procedures. In addition to his expertise with youth and young adults, Adam also specializes in trauma and suicide risk among veteran populations. 

Cynthia Ewell Foster, Ph.D. : Core Faculty

Cynthia Ewell Foster, Ph.D.

Core Faculty

Cynthia Ewell Foster is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Rackham Graduate School. She directs the University Center for the Child and Family at the Mary A. Rackham Institute at the University of Michigan. Dr. Ewell Foster joined the Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Research Program during her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan Dr. Ewell Foster’s research interests focus on school and community-based interventions to prevent youth depression and suicide. She was an intervention specialist in a federally funded clinical trial of suicidal youth (Youth-Nominated Support Team Intervention at the University of Michigan (NIMH: RO1 MH63881-01A1; King, PI), the Principle Investigator of two foundation-funded community collaborations focused on school-based mental health education, a co-investigator on a CDC-funded suicide prevention trial (Let’s Connect, Links to Enhancing Teen Connectedness, King, PI) and the evaluator/co-investigator on two SAMHSA-funded grants to the Michigan Department of Community Health to support state-wide youth suicide prevention. She is a co- author of the recently published book, Teen Suicide Risk: A Practitioner Guide to Screening, Assessment, and Management. Dr. Ewell Foster is also a clinician and clinical educator. She is a licensed clinical child and adolescent psychologist with expertise in suicide risk assessment and care management, evidence-based treatments for childhood psychopathology, and the development of family, community, and social support systems for youth.

cjfoster@umich.edu
Polly Gipson, Ph.D. : Core Faculty

Polly Gipson, Ph.D.

Core Faculty

Dr. Gipson is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Child/Adolescent Section, at the University of Michigan. Dr. Gipson is a licensed clinical psychologist. She serves as the Director of the Trauma and Grief Clinic and Director of the Frankel Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Program. She is a member of the Youth and Young Adult Depression and Suicide Prevention Research Program. Dr. Gipson’s expertise is in evidence-based clinical practices; trauma- and bereavement-informed assessment and intervention; suicide risk assessment and intervention; and community-based participatory research. Presently, she is a co-investigator and project coordinator of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded randomized controlled community-based effectiveness trial. This community-based project implemented in Flint, MI, is designed to prevent the initial occurrence of suicidal behavior in adolescents at elevated risk due to a recent history of peer victimization (as a bully victim, bully perpetrator or both) and/or social disconnectedness. A mentorship strategy is employed with the primary aim to increase youths’ sense of community connectedness and enhance their overall adaptive functioning. Dr. Gipson was recently awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to further investigate the association between mentoring relationship qualities and youth mental health/adaptive outcomes. Dr. Gipson’s line of research will continue to focus on community-based prevention and intervention strategies for underserved adolescents at elevated risk for suicidal and other adverse psychological outcomes.

pollyg@med.umich.edu
Ewa K. Czyz, Ph.D. : Research Assistant Professor

Ewa K. Czyz, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Ewa Czyz is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2015 and an M.A in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University in 2007. Ewa’s interests focus on questions of how we can best identify and intervene with adolescents and young adults seen in psychiatric settings who are at risk for suicidal behavior. She is especially interested in studying measurement approaches that can potentially detect dynamic changes in risk in addition to the development of individualized interventions for at-risk youth.

ewac@umich.edu

Affiliated and Collaborating Faculty

Rebecca Cunningham, M.D. : Affiliated Faculty

Rebecca Cunningham, M.D.

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Cunningham is Associate Chair for Research and Professor for the University of Michigan’s Department of Emergency Medicine, Director of the CDC funded UM Injury Center, and Professor in Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Cunningham has a distinguished career in researching intentional injury and substance use prevention, particularly of youth and young adult populations. Her focus on brief interventions in the emergency room has helped position the emergency department as a critical location for public health interventions, specifically for violence. She is currently leading two NIH-funded studies on substance abuse: one focusing on the intersection of youth violence and drug use, and one focusing on underage alcohol misuse and associated injury. Dr. Cunningham concurrently continues her work as a practicing Emergency Department physician at the University of Michigan Health System.

Daniel Eisenberg, Ph.D. : Affiliated Faculty

Daniel Eisenberg, Ph.D.

Affiliated Faculty

Daniel Eisenberg is an Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, where he is also affiliated with the Population Studies Center and the Comprehensive Depression Center.  His training is in economics (Ph.D., Stanford University) and mental health services research (NIMH Postdoctoral Traineeship, UC-Berkeley).  His broad research goal is to improve understanding of how to invest effectively in the mental health of young people, particularly college students. He directs the Healthy Minds Network (HMN) for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health (www.healthymindsnetwork.org). HMN's projects include the Healthy Minds Survey as well as technology and media-based interventions. He has collaborated with Dr. Cheryl King on projects focused on access to mental health services among college students, such as the eBridge project.

daneis@umich.edu
Todd Favorite, Ph.D., ABPP : Affiliated Faculty

Todd Favorite, Ph.D., ABPP

Affiliated Faculty

Todd K. Favorite, PhD, ABPP has served as Director of the University Psychological Clinic since 2010. He holds a clinical faculty position in the U-M Department of Psychiatry and the Mary A. Rackham Institute, and is an attending clinical psychologist on the PTSD Clinical Team at the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System. His research interests focus on integration of evidence-based therapies for co-occurring disorders, and the development of online mental health technology to improve treatment access. From a psychological training perspective, Dr. Favorite has a background in psychodynamic as well as cognitive-behavioral methods and views the psychotherapy integration as an important evolution in the practice of psychosocial treatments. He is internationally certified as an advanced trainer for the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System for Psychotherapy (CBASP) and has conducted research and published on the use of this integrative system of treatment for co-existing psychological symptoms. Dr. Favorite currents directs a project funded by the Flinn Foundation that evaluates the uptake and effectiveness of combining online psychotherapy tools with telephone assistance from mental health professionals for individuals struggling with depression and anxiety.

Inbal (Billie) Nahum-Shani, Ph.D. : Affiliated Faculty

Inbal (Billie) Nahum-Shani, Ph.D.

Affiliated Faculty

Inbal (Billie) Nahum-Shani is a Research Assistant Professor in the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on developing and employing behavioral theory and novel methodology to construct adaptive interventions, namely interventions that modify the type, timing, dose, or delivery mode of support in order to address the unique and changing needs of individuals. A more recent focus of her research is on the use of mobile technologies to facilitate the timely delivery and adaptation of interventions, known as Just-In-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIs). Dr. Nahum-Shani is providing leadership for two, five year, federally funded research projects; one seeks to develop new data analytic methods to inform the development of adaptive interventions (funded by NIH/NIDA); and the other seeks to optimize a stepped-care adaptive intervention that integrates mobile-health components in the treatment of obese adults (funded by NIH/NIDDK). As a member of MD2K, one of 11 national Big Data Centers of Excellence awarded by the NIH, Dr. Nahum-Shani works on investigating whether sensor-enabled measures of stress can be used to trigger and adapt the timely delivery of stress-regulation support via a mobile device. Dr. Nahum-Shani’s work also contributes to several projects aiming to advance the health of young adults. This includes being a site- PI of a four site longitudinal study (funded by NIH/NIAAA) seeking to inform the development of an adaptive intervention that targets at-risk drinking in young adults transitioning from college to work; as well as collaborating on the Mental Health for College Students (eBridge) project, and the Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health.

inbal@umich.edu
Alex Rogers, M.D. : Affiliated Faculty

Alex Rogers, M.D.

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Rogers is an Assistant Professor and attending physician in the departments of pediatrics and emergency medicine. He has served as the site Principal Investigator at the University of Michigan for the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) since 2008 and has over seven years of experience with clinical research operations and implementation. Dr. Rogers has been the site PI for multiple PECARN studies and has successfully coordinated trials, both observational and interventional. He has clinical research interests in evaluating and improving the care of children in the emergency department. Dr. Roger’s early research focused on procedural pain in the Emergency Department for the youngest patients undergoing painful procedures. Dr. Rogers is a Site-PI for the ED-STARS study and provides study oversight and implementation in the UM Pediatric Emergency Department.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Claire Hatkevich, Ph.D. : Postdoctoral Fellow

Claire Hatkevich, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Claire Hatkevich is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine/University of Michigan and member of the Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Program. Dr. Hatkevich completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Houston. She worked under the mentorship of Dr. Carla Sharp in the Developmental Psychopathology Lab, and coordinated an adolescent inpatient suicide research protocol for three years. Dr. Hatkevich completed her clinical internship in trauma and adolescent mental illness at University of California, Davis Children’s Hospital. Her research and clinical expertise firmly focus on the study and treatment of suicidal and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in adolescents. Empirically, her research focuses on understanding emotional and interpersonal processes involved in the development of adolescent suicide risk. She is particularly interested in investigating these mechanisms from a developmental psychopathology framework, and in youth who are high-risk, experiencing trauma, and lack access to mental health care.

clhatkev@med.umich.edu
Alejandra Arango, M.S. : Postdoctoral Fellow

Alejandra Arango, M.S.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Alejandra is a postdoctoral fellow with the Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Research Program. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan, where she also worked as a graduate student with YDSP. As a graduate student in YDSP, she primarily worked on the LET's CONNECT project, as a practicum student and through several research projects. Ale combined the LETS CONNECT data with data from the 24 Hour Warning Signs for Adolescents pilot study to author her dissertation entitled, "Proximal and Distal Relations between Interpersonal Conflict, Social Connectedness, and Youth Suicide Risk”. She is interested in community-based suicide prevention approaches and examining the relationship between bullying involvement and suicide risk.

arango@umich.edu

Research Staff

Christina Magness, MSW : Research Project Coordinator

Christina Magness, MSW

Research Project Coordinator

Christina works as the Research Project Coordinator for Cindy Ewell-Foster's Transforming Youth Suicide Prevention in Michigan project. She is a fully licensed clinical social worker in the state of Michigan and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Christina completed an internship and post-MSW graduate fellowship at the University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF), where she worked with children, adolescents, families, and couples facing a wide range of challenges in individual and family therapy. Her areas of special clinical interest include depressed mood, anxiety, parenting challenges, relationship issues, as well as trauma and grief.

Eskira Kashay, BA : Research Assistant

Eskira Kashay, BA

Research Assistant

Eskira works as a research assistant for Dr. Ewell Foster on the Transforming Youth Suicide Prevention in Michigan-2 (TYSP-Mi2) grant, providing research support across multiple projects and supervising undergraduate research assistants. She received her BA in Psychology and Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago. Eskira has a background working in youth homelessness and suicide prevention and is interested in studying the prevalence and social-biological factors of psychiatric and behavioral disorders in vulnerable youth and young adult populations. Eskira will be starting her Master's in Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in the Fall of 2019.

Lisa Carn : Research Staff

Lisa Carn

Research Staff

As Production Manager of the ED-STARS telephone follow-up effort, Lisa Carn directs the interviewing team in the Survey Services Laboratory (SSL) at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR). Lisa's undergraduate concentration was is in the field of linguistics (University of Michigan), and speech arts and sciences (Fresno State University). She has completed most of her graduate coursework at the UofM School of Social Work with a major in clinical practice and a minor in research. Over the course of 25 years at ISR, she has managed numerous data collection projects including physical and mental health studies, research related to well-being in senior populations as well as mental health risk in service members of the U.S. Army. Lisa coordinates the Spanish bilingual team in the SSL and has conducted several of the Spanish language ED-STARS interviews with parents and teens in the first phase of ED-STARS production.

Christina Herbin, MA, LPC, NCC : Research Staff

Christina Herbin, MA, LPC, NCC

Research Staff

Christina is a Research Assistant who works closely with Dr. Gipson to assist with the community-based initiative project funded by the RWJF to explore the impact of mentorship on youth outcomes.  She was a former YDSP Research Assistant while an undergraduate student studying psychology at the University of Michigan. She earned her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and works as a licensed professional counselor in private practice serving adolescents and young adults.  Christina hopes to enhance her clinical and research skills with the goal of pursuing a doctoral degree in a field that will allow her to explore her interests in positive physical and psychological youth development.

Taylor McGuire, BS : Clinical Subjects Coordinator

Taylor McGuire, BS

Clinical Subjects Coordinator

Taylor is a research coordinator at the Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Program. She received her Bachelors of Science in Human Development from Cornell University. Her primary responsibilities are: managing participant incentives, supervising undergraduate research assistants, and offering support across multiple studies. Taylor plans on pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology. She is interested in the comorbidity of mood disorders in adolescents and young adults, specifically related to emotion regulation and cognitions in daily life.

Maureen J. O’Brien, LMSW : Research Staff

Maureen J. O’Brien, LMSW

Research Staff

Maureen is a Project Manager for the ED-STARS study with the Project Design and Management Group at Survey Research Operations (SRO) who assists in the day to day operations of ED-STARS. This includes preparing and distributing production reports, coordinating with study staff, and following up with the study needs.   Maureen’s other duties at SRO include project management for the National Survey for Family Growth (NSFG). Because of her background as a licensed clinical social worker, she serves as SRO’s Clinical Contact Person (CCP), following up with at-risk respondents whose completed surveys trigger safety plans or who are identified by Interviewers as needing immediate follow-up.

Jean (Jeannie) Pletcher : Research Staff

Jean (Jeannie) Pletcher

Research Staff

Jean Pletcher is the Administrative Assistant for the faculty and staff of the Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Programs in the Department of Psychiatry. She started her career at the University of Michigan in 1997 as the assistant to Dr. King in her role as the Psychology Training Program Director. In this role Jean assisted in the program obtaining its first accreditation with the American Psychological Association. She has provided support to Dr. Cheryl King in the submission of many grants throughout the years. Jean’s current primary work is a Procurement Specialist which involves all forms of purchasing including securing contracts for vendors and individual payments.

Research Assistants

Sarah Richman : Research Assistant

Sarah Richman

Research Assistant

Sarah is a rising undergraduate senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Community Action and Social Change. After her undergrad she plans to continue her education in hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. She is interested in psychotherapy for both adolescents and adults, focusing on disorders such as Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Autism, Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. Along with YDSP research Sarah is a part of Active Minds and CAPS in action, both organizations work to support mental health awareness and education for students. Sarah is also involved in Odyssey Online, where she writes weekly articles on mental health, relationships and life in general. In her free time she loves to spend time with her friends, watch movies and draw.

Elizabeth Einig : Research Assistant

Elizabeth Einig

Research Assistant

Elizabeth is a rising third-year undergraduate majoring in Psychology with minors in Applied Statistics and Community Action and Social Change. She is passionate about mental health access for adolescents and reducing harmful stigma. In particular, Elizabeth is interested in studying depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, suicide, and prevention programs. In the future, she hopes to pursue clinical psychology and social work. Elizabeth is grateful and excited to work with the YDSP lab, and hopes to explore interventions for those at risk for suicidal behavior as well as barriers to mental health care. In addition to YDSP research, Elizabeth is involved with Michigan Active Citizens: Alternative Spring Break to learn about and closely engage with social justice topics, particularly LGBTQ+ rights and HIV/AIDS awareness. She is also a member of Active Minds, which supports mental health education on campus. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys traveling, photography, learning German, and playing with her puppy.

Payton White : Research Assistant

Payton White

Research Assistant

Payton is a volunteer research assistant at the Youth Depression and Suicide program. She is currently pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Within the program Payton is currently involved, as a research assistant, with the 24-hour Warning Signs for Adolescents Project, Developing an Adaptive Intervention for Suicidal Adolescents Following Inpatient Hospitalization Project, and the ED-STARS Project. In the future, she plans on pursuing a medical degree and a career in psychiatry. Payton has a passion for promoting mental health awareness in minority communities specifically regarding adolescents.