lizAs an undergraduate, I worked for Dr. Sona Dimidjian as a research assistant in the CREST Program and specifically on her study examining the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for women with a history of depression during pregnancy and postpartum. Dr. Dimidjian’s work and my experiences in her lab began my interest in mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches and their ability to decrease distress and mental health symptoms and promote well-being. I also learned about the gap that exists between research and practice and became interested in working toward bridging it by truly integrating rigorous scientific research and compassionate practice.

My undergraduate research experience was instrumental in my receiving a two-year job as a clinical research assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital following graduation. From there, I was accepted as a doctoral student with Dr. Lizabeth Roemer in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Here, my research continues to focus on mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches, mechanisms of change, and the dissemination and implementation of these approaches in diverse contexts. This interest extends to my clinical work, and I am currently completing a clinical practicum at the Women’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Partial Hospital Program at Butler Hospital, Alpert Warren Medical School, Brown University.

My research experience as an undergraduate with Dr. Dimidjian truly laid the foundation for my current work and began my interest in integrating excellence in science and practice in the service of helping people live the lives they want to be living. This foundation will continue to serve me well as I continue my graduate training and all future endeavors.