Senior Research Associates

+ Gwyne White

Gwyne White has been a member of SECD lab since September 2010, receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers in 2016. Dr. White begins a postdoctoral fellowship at the Brenner Center at the William James College outside Boston, Massachusetts in August 2016, having completed a year as Predoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, majoring in psychology, sociology and legal studies. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked as a project coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital evaluating the impact of mental health on academic achievement and at Shriners Hospitals for Children exploring preventive interventions for post-traumatic stress in burn injured children.

Dr. White’s research has primarily focused on social-emotional learning and preventive intervention programs for at-risk youth. She has a particular interest in understanding the role of self-efficacy as a factor for the prevention of risk and promotion of resilience in academic achievement. Her dissertation explored the role of self-efficacy on the relationship between mental health risk and academic achievement for low-income, Hispanic high school students.

Dr. White’s intervention work has focused on at-risk children and families. She has worked in schools running leadership skill groups for at-risk middle school girls (Girls Leading Outward), and conducted individual and family therapy with youth involved in the NJ Department of Child Protection and Permanency. Dr. White also trained for two years at the NYU Child Study Center where she implemented a skills-based intervention for children diagnosed with ADHD. She provided treatment at a Child Advocacy Center in Newark, NJ using an innovative model of treatment that that integrated Play Therapy into TF-CBT. Finally, Dr. White has also been trained in a variety of psychological, neuropsychological and forensic assessment methods, including providing mental health services for children, adolescents, and families across inpatient, outpatient and medical inpatient settings

+ Cesalie Stepney

Cesalie Stepney has been a member of SECD lab since September 2011, receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 2016. Dr. Stepney begins a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine in their Leadership Education in Adolescent Health program in August 2016, having completed a year as Predoctoral Fellow at the Yale School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree at Brown University, majoring in psychology, and a Master’s of Education in Risk and Prevention from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked as a project coordinator at the NYU Child Study Center, on a school-based, family-focused intervention for middle school students with asthma.

Dr. Stepney’s research has primarily focused on social-emotional learning and the development, implementation, and evaluation of school-based prevention programs for at-risk youth. She has a particular interest in understanding development using a risk and resiliency framework. Her dissertation explored the potential protective role of ethnic identity on academic achievement for low-income, Hispanic high school students. While at Yale, she has been working with the Child Health Development Institute (CHDI) on a research project evaluating the dissemination of evidenced-based trauma interventions throughout community agencies in Connecticut.

Consistent with her research interests, Dr. Stepney’s intervention work has focused on children and families from underserved backgrounds. She has worked in schools running leadership skill groups for at-risk middle school girls (Girls Leading Outward), and conducted individual and family therapy with youth involved in the NJ Department of Child Protection and Permanency. Dr. Stepney also trained for two years at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic where she used CBT with children, adolescents, and adults diagnosed with anxiety disorders and OCD, as well as with military veterans with PTSD in individual and group therapy. While at Yale, Dr. Stepney worked extensively in schools, working with at-risk high school students as part of the Community Support Services Team at Riverside Education Academy. Dr. Stepney also provided mental health services for children, adolescents, and families at the West Haven Mental Health Center.