Team Members

Lab Director:

resarch team pic Brandy Piña-Watson is from a small city in the south Texas gulf coast region: Port Lavaca (go Sandcrabs!). She received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Texas A&M University in 2014 (Whoop!). She is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Counseling Psychology program within the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University.  Dr. Piña-Watson’s research focuses on developing an understanding of how individual factors, family dynamics, culture and society impact Latinx adolescent and emerging adult depression, suicidality and well-being with a particular focus on the Mexican descent population.  Her research takes a holistic and resiliency approach acknowledging the complexity and intersection of various identities and contexts that may contribute to well-being and mental health disparities. In her spare time, Dr. Piña-Watson enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching Netflix, cooking, making arts & crafts, reading, and doing any activity outdoors that involves water and sunshine.

Graduate Students:

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Ashley Martinez hails from Kansas and is an alumna of the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!), where she earned her B.A. in Psychology in 2014. Before moving to Texas, Ashley was a volunteer counselor and trainer for two years at a crisis & suicide hotline connected with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She was also an active research assistant for Dr. Charlene Muehlenhard. She previously served as the lab manager for the Latina/o Mental Health & Resiliency Lab. Her research interests include nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicidality, and help-seeking behaviors, particularly with adolescents and emerging adults. In her “free time,” she enjoys singing loudly, watching YouTube videos, and trying new local restaurants with friends.

TTU Counseling Psychology Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson

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Abigail Cruz received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas in 2015. Before returning to Texas, Abigail was a research assistant for Dr. John Murphy and conducted independent research as part of the Undergraduate Scholar program at UCA. She currently acts as the lab manager for the Latina/o Mental Health & Resiliency Lab for Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson. Her research interests include examining the influence of familial, cultural, and resilience factors on depression, suicidality, and well-being in adolescents and emerging adults. Abigail’s favorite pastimes include cuddling with her pug, Bert, kayaking, reading, and exploring different music genres.

TTU Counseling Psychology Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson

IMG_5740Daisy Aceves is from a Southeast Los Angeles city in California: Huntington Park. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Chicana/o Studies from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Before coming to Texas Tech, she was an MBRS-RISE scholar, a MHIRT trainee, and actively involved in three labs: the Applied Psychology and Psychology-Law (APPL) lab at CSUDH, the Collaborative Adolescent Research on Emotions and Suicide (CARES) lab at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and the Cultural and Mental Health lab at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include mental health disparities, resiliency and familial factors in coping with a mental illness, and caregiver burden among Latinxs. Some of her hobbies include snowboarding, swimming, and attending concerts.

TTU Counseling Psychology Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson

PWLGabriela Manzo is from Orange County, CA. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior with minors in Education and Civic & Community Engagement from University of California, Irvine. During her time at UCI, she pursued various research involvements including research assistantships at the UCI Culture, Relationships, and Health Lab as well as the UCI Family Lab, and as a MHIRT Trainee. She has also worked in community mental health clinics as a clinic intern, a psychiatrist interpreter, and as an outreach intern. Her research interests focus on better understanding how familial, sociocultural and resiliency factors impact depression and general well being in Latino/a adolescents and emerging adults. Her hobbies include spending time with her son and fiancé, cooking, home design/decor, and exploring nature.

TTU Counseling Psychology Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson

Iliana PicIliana Gonzalez is a native Houstonian and graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S. in Psychology. As an undergrad, she was involved in research in the Culture, Risk, and Resilience Lab and the Anxiety and Health Research Lab Substance Use Treatment Clinic (AHRL). After UH, she was a research coordinator at Baylor College of Medicine/Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Her research interests include suicidal ideation and self-harm behaviors in Latino adolescents. In her spare time, Iliana enjoys going to new restaurants, visiting art museums, and reading. 

TTU Counseling Psychology Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson

image1Alexis Arevalo received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Texas. While at UNT, Alexis volunteered in the suicide and crisis hotline and learned interventions to reduce individuals’ suicidal ideation and distress. Alexis also worked for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for a few months before entering into graduate school. His research interests revolve around the connections between suicidality, cultural values (e.g., familism), and religiousness. However, when not working on research or clinical work, he enjoys playing soccer, ping pong, reading, or going out to the movies.

TTU Counseling Psychology Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson

PPhoto for Labarker Donner is from Bedford, Texas and received a B.A in Psychology from the University of North Texas in 2014. At UNT Parker served as a research assistant for Dr. Joshua Hook and helped with his research on positive psychology, humility, and religion/spirituality. His research interests include religion/spirituality, religious coping, health outcomes, and stress. Parker enjoys spending time with his wife and son, cooking, camping, following BYU sports, and reading nonpsychology related texts.

TTU Counseling Psychology Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson

mandrila

Mandrila Das received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Texas in 2009 (Go Longhorns!). Before beginning graduate school, Mandrila was a part of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders lab at Northwestern University. Her research interests include depression, eating disorders, yoga, and cross cultural factors among adolescents and young adults. Mandrila loves yoga, puppies, traveling, and lots of sunshine!


TTU Counseling Psychology Faculty Advisor: Dr. Steven Richards

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

kassKassidy Cox is is a senior research assistant from Allen, TX, and will be graduating  in December 2017. She is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Addiction Disorders and Recovery Studies with plans to attend graduate school to receive her Ph.D. in the near future. She is a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and Order of Omega honors society. In her free time, she enjoys repeatedly watching the same shows on Netflix, playing with her husky, Memphis, and reading. 

Aundrea Garcia is a third year aundreaundergraduate student at Texas Tech University and is from El Paso, Texas. She is pursuing a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies. She plans to attend graduate school to receive a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She also works part time at Dion’s restaurant. In her spare time, Aundrea enjoys watching Netflix, spending time with friends and family, and swimming.