Graduate Students

Courtney Wade, M.Ed.


Courtney entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at NC State University Fall 2019 after graduating with a Master's in Counseling (2019, NCSU) and a BA in Psychology from George Washington University (2014). Courtney completed her Master's internship at the NC State University Counseling Center, focusing on addictive behaviors. 

Courtney's research currently focuses on evaluating the implementation of randomized-control trials and mental health assessment in jail settings.

Eva McKinsey


Eva entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University in the fall of 2019. Between the time that Eva completed her B.A. in Political Science from Colorado College in 2017 and began the program here at NCSU, she conducted research in a variety of settings from the Congressional Research Service to a Community Psychology lab at the University of Hawaii. Her current research is focused on the impact of trauma education in the criminal justice context and the examination of heterogeneity among individuals involved in terrorism.


Samantha A. Zottola, M.A.


Samantha entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University in the fall of 2017. She has a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Cleveland State University and has spent time working as a Psychometrist for a Juvenile Court in Ohio. There she conducted testing for delinquency, competency, bindover, and child custody evaluations. Her research interests include the impact of mental health status on the validity of violence risk assessment and assessing risk in populations for which there are few established measures. She is also interested in improving access to treatment and treatment outcomes in incarcerated populations.

Sarah E. Duhart Clarke, B.S.


Sarah entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University in the fall of 2018. Prior to coming to NC State, Sarah received her B.S. in Psychology from Western Oregon University, conducted research on psychiatric forensic inpatients at Oregon State Hospital, and assisted on various research studies on characteristics and treatments of substance use.  She is also currently a public health analyst in the Behavioral Health Division at RTI International, where she conducts studies on the effectiveness of state-level policies, as well as various aspects of opioid use and treatment within the opioid overdose epidemic. Her research interests include violence risk assessment, public policy effects on crime and substance use, and how to improve individual outcomes for justice-involved adults.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Christine Brugh


Christine Brugh is currently a postdoctoral research scholar with the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences at North Carolina State University. She completed her PhD July 2019 in the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at NC State. Her dissertation research examined subpopulations of terrorism involved individuals, which identified likely correlates of terrorism involvement. She has published work on the characteristics of women involved in jihadism-inspired terrorism and contributed to a systematic review of the extant terrorism literature. Dr. Brugh is currently involved in projects on lone actor terrorists, state-level correlates of terrorism, identifying foreign influence campaigns on social media, and designing experimental procedures to test rigor in analysis.

Dr. Sam Cacace


Sam Cacace graduated with her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Washington State University, and now works as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar with the Center for Family and Community Engagement. She received her Bachelor's in Arts in Psychology from North Carolina State University, and a Master's in General Psychology from North Carolina Central University. Her current research focuses on psychosocial variables that impact health and wellness in military service members and veterans, and her research interests include cohesion, interpersonal relationships, stigma, transactional leadership, group dynamics, and psychometrics.

Graduate Student Alumni

Joel Cartwright


Joel K. Cartwright graduated in July 2018 with his PhD in Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University. After separating from the U.S. Army, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology followed by a Master of Science in Psychology from North Carolina State University. Dr. Cartwright is now a research psychologist in the Court Systems Research Program of the RTI International Center for Courts and Corrections Research. Dr. Cartwright’s research efforts focus on the assessment of criminogenic risks and behavioral health needs in justice-involved adolescents and adults with specific emphasis on military populations, veterans, and adults with mental illness.

Betty-Shannon Prevatt


Betty-Shannon Prevatt graduated from the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University in May 2018. She received a Master’s in Clinical Psychology in 2001 from East Carolina University and has worked in various settings, including owning a private practice focused on reproductive mental health. Dr. Prevatt is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Meredith College.  Prevatt’s current research interests broadly focus on developing evidence-based interventions for improving maternal mental health. She is particularly interested in examining the needs and experiences of mothers who belong to marginalized groups.

Evan M. Lowder


Evan Marie Lowder joined the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI in 2017 after completing her Ph.D. in Psychology from North Carolina State University. Her work has focused broadly on strategies to reduce offending and improve behavioral health outcomes among justice-involved adults, with specific focus on adults with serious mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders. Her research has been published in journals including Law and Human Behavior, Assessment, and Psychiatric Services. Her current research concerns opioid overdose and overdose prevention strategies, risk and needs assessment among justice-involved adults, and the design and implementation of targeted interventions for justice-involved adults with behavioral health disorders.

Candalyn B. Rade


Candalyn B. Rade is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Penn State Harrisburg. Dr. Rade earned her M.S from the Psychology in the Public Interest program and her Ph.D. from the Applied Social and Community Psychology program, both at North Carolina State University. Dr. Rade takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research that draws from community psychology, social psychology, and criminal justice. Her research focuses on (1) successful community reentry after justice system involvement, including barriers to reentry, stigma toward formerly incarcerated persons, and access to community-based services; and (2) assessment and treatment for justice-involved adults with serious mental illnesses. Dr. Rade teaches in the undergraduate psychology program and the Community Psychology and Social Change graduate program at Penn State Harrisburg.

Jessica K. Morgan


Jessica Morgan is now a research psychologist in RTI International’s Military and Family Risk Behavior Research Program. Dr. Morgan earned her Ph.D. at North Carolina State University in Applied Social and Community Psychology. Her research interests include the facilitation of posttraumatic growth, resilience, and grit in the military, as well the evaluation of pre-deployment and post-deployment training. In addition, she is interested in veterans’ experiences of readjustment to civilian life and the range of veterans’ experiences on the combat stress continuum. Dr. Morgan is currently working on evaluations of heart rate variability biofeedback-assisted resilience training and stellate ganglion blocks to reduce posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Kiersten L. Johnson


Kiersten graduated in May 2016 with her PhD in Psychology in the Public Interest program at North Carolina State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology (magna cum laude) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011. Her primary research interests relate to the study of substance use, violence, and victimization among adults with mental illnesses. She received her master’s degree in May of 2014. For her thesis, Kiersten conducted latent class and multivariable analyses to examine concordance and discordance of drug use indicators in adults with schizophrenia. Her doctoral research explores the violence and victimization overlap among adults with mental illnesses. She is now employed at RTI International.

Anne M. Williams


Anne was a second year masters student in the Psychology in the Public Interest program at North Carolina State University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Duke University in 2011. Before beginning her graduate studies, Anne worked as a project assistant at the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. Currently, she works as a graduate research assistant in the Forensic PsyPI Lab researching jail-to-community treatment programs for Wake County Jail inmates with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Anne’s other research interests include the psycho-social outcomes of food insecurity and community action coordination around public health issues.

Robin P. Telford


Robin received her PhD from the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida in May 2014.  She received her Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology at Marymount University, and her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University at Buffalo.  She completed her dissertation titled “Physical and Mental Health Status of Adults with Serious Mental Illness Participating in a Jail Diversion Intervention” which is focused on exploring the differences in mental and physical health status between adults with serious mental who are and are not justice-involved.  Robin coordinated the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Mental Health Disparities in the United States project, and is a visiting student in the Forensic PsyPI lab. Additionally, her research interests include: (1) physical and mental health comorbidity; (2) justice-involved adults with SMI; (3) jail diversion and reentry programs; (4) violence and victimization; (5) access to resources; (6) longitudinal data analysis; and (7) missing data.