Lab Members

CARE Lab 2022-2023

Lab Director

Vaishali Raval

Vaishali V. Raval, Ph.D.

Twitter: @VaishaliRaval4


I am a cultural clinical developmental psychologist. To advance scientific knowledge about globally and locally underrepresented groups in psychological science, my program of research contributes to three interrelated areas: i) cultural and contextual foundations of parenting with a focus on emotion processes and how they relate to child and adolescent mental health, ii) global mental health with a focus on contextual understanding of psychopathology and culturally informed mental health training and interventions, and iii) experiences of marginalization and their impact on mental health and well-being. I am deeply committed to teaching and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students. For more, information, see my faculty page.


Current Graduate Students

Pankhuri Aggarwal 2017

Pankhuri Aggarwal, MA

Twitter: @A_Pankhuri

I am interested in studying the applicability of explanatory models of depression and diagnostic classification systems in non-western cultures with a focus on youth in India. My secondary research interests include examining the different models of education and training in health service psychology programs including the recent changes brought due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

McKenna Freeman Photo

McKenna Freeman

Twitter: @McKennaFreeman

My clinical and research interests are focused on children, adolescents, and families from racially/ethnically diverse groups, with particular interest in Latinx populations. Broadly, I am interested in the impact of culture on psychopathology within these groups. More specifically, I am interested in racial/ethnic socialization within families and the impact of stressors such as discrimination. I also have an interest in investigating the cultural values that serve as protective factors for these groups.


Kelechi Uzoegwu

Kelechi Uzoegwu

Twitter: @kelechiuzoegwu

My research is centered around the role of unwanted intrusive thoughts in the etiology and maintenance of psychopathology. Broadly, I research cognitive processes that predict or influence misappraisals (i.e. faulty interpretations) and strategies that support reappraisals of unwanted intrusive thoughts in the context of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. I am also interested in evaluating the efficacy of existing mobile health (mhealth) interventions for intrusive thinking as well as developing accessible mhealth interventions for historically underserved populations.


Nikhil Singh 2020

Nikhil Singh, BA

Twitter: @SinghkNikhil

My clinical and research interests are centered on youth and families from minoritized backgrounds. More specifically, I am interested in studying the cultural contexts of suicidality among Asian/Asian American youth and the implications of these contexts for youth suicide interventions. Concurrently, I have a growing research interest in using implementation science strategies to increase the adoption and sustainment of evidence-based practices in low-resourced domestic and international settings. I am thrilled to explore my interests at Miami University.

 Isabella Tomei

Isabella Tomei, BS

Twitter: @bella_tomei

My research interests broadly pertain to how racial and ethnic identity shapes mental health within the realms of culture and community. More specifically, I aim to research the psychological wellbeing, internalized perceptions, and intersectionality of Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African (MENA) individuals in domestic and international settings. I am also interested in understanding intergenerational trauma, resilience, and coping mechanisms in such communities. Clinically, I aspire to provide culturally sensitive and accessible treatment that will adequately serve historically underserved populations.


Hiba Mukhtar Dedmari 

Hiba Mukhtar Dedmari

Twitter: @HDedmari

Broadly my research interests focus on the influence of religion on emotional health and anxiety development in underrepresented communities. My secondary interests revolve around the relationship between cultural variables (such as gender and religion) and chronic trauma.

Current Undergraduate Students


Sydney Cain    Sydney Cain


Lydia Foy   Lydia Foy


 Destinee Henderson   Destinee Henderson


Meher Khan    Meher Khan   


Carrie Lazaro-Lopez    Callie Lazaro-Lopez


 Natalie Ristic   Natalie Ristic



Valentina Santiago   Valentina Santiago



Tiffany Stewart    Tiffany Stewart


Ke Zhang    Ke Zhang


Undergraduate student research

Undergraduate students in our lab participate in ongoing research projects and pursue their own projects in the form of a departmental honors thesis, or through Miami University awards such as the Dean’s Scholar Award, Doctoral-Undergraduate Opportunities Scholarship, and Undergraduate Summer Scholar Award. Students typically present their honors thesis at national conferences, and many of these honors theses are published in peer-reviewed journals. If you are interested in participating in our research lab, please complete an application.