2014 Cohort

Lara Barbir [lbarbir@radford.edu] received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Virginia in 2012 and her M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2014 from Virginia Commonwealth University. She collaborated with faculty members on publishing several articles concerning individuals with disabilities, and completed her internship at a community outpatient clinic, where she provided individual counseling and psychotherapy to clients.  Lara's passion for counseling and psychotherapy led her to continue on to receive a degree at the doctoral level, the training of which she hopes will prepare her for a long-term career at a VA Medical Center.  She completed her first practicum at the Community Health Center of the New River Valley in Christiansburg and is currently placed at Virginia Tech's student counseling center.  Lara's research interests include mindfulness, positive psychology, trauma, and suicide prevention. In her spare time, Lara enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, music festivals and concerts, Shaun T's Insanity workouts, dancing, reading, playing piano, and spending time with family, friends, and her two cats

Stephen Casazza [scasazza@radford.edu] earned his Bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University in 2010 where he researched perceived stress in college students and had the opportunity to work with conflict resolution groups in a clinical setting. He then went on to pursue his Master’s degree in clinical/counseling psychology from Radford University in 2012. During his time in the Master’s program, he assisted in research investigating the effects of synthetic marijuana on depression and anxiety, as well as learning and memory under the advisement of Dr. Pamela Jackson. In addition, he completed his second year internship at an inpatient psychiatric hospital, working with individuals who suffer from severe and persistent mental illness. After completing the Master’s program, Stephen entered Radford University’s Doctor of Psychology program in counseling psychology in 2014. In his first year, he completed his practicum at a local community health center, providing services to underserved populations in the rural community.  He has also been working with fellow students and Dr. Tracy Cohn on research investigating attitudes and behavioral intentions college students hold toward those in the LGBT community, and more specifically focusing on bisexual individuals. Stephen is currently in his second year in the PsyD. program and is completing his practicum working with  college students at Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center, as well as Radford University’s Student Counseling Services and Center for Assessment and Psychological Services.  After completing his degree, Stephen hopes to work in a university counseling center and eventually work toward a position as a training director at such a site. In his free time Stephen enjoys gardening, cooking, and traveling to new and different places with his fiancée, Becki as well as spending downtime with his furry roommate, Oliver.

Alissa Goldstein [agoldstein2@radford.edu] is originally from Phoenix, AZ. She obtained a Bachelor's degree from Northern Arizona University, where she majored in Women's Studies and minored in Public Relations. She lived in Israel for one year and taught English to Israeli immigrants. After she returned to the states, she worked in nonprofit and medical administration for 7 years. In 2014, she obtained a Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University, where she completed a thesis assessing counselors' attitudes toward transgender clients. Her research interests include gender identity in therapy, positive psychology social media interventions, and interventions for caregivers. She has counseling experience in community mental health and public schools, and is currently in practicum at the Salem VA Medical Center working in both geropsychology and neuropsychology. Alissa hopes to work in cognitive rehabilitation in the future.

Emily Ludwig [eaquilina@radford.edu] received her M.S. in Clinical-Counseling Psychology from Radford University in 2014. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Christopher Newport University in 2012. During her time in Radford’s master’s program she worked as a student clinician in a program designed to help individuals with mental illness connect with community services and manage legal issues. During her first year in the PsyD program she worked in a community health center within the behavioral health department working with underserved populations in the area. She is currently doing her practicum in a psychiatric hospital setting. Her research interests include veteran and rural issues. During her second year in the program, she and another cohort member published a research article regarding heterosexual attitudes and beliefs toward bisexual individuals and geographic differences. Following graduation Emily hopes to work in a rural setting with underserved populations.

Anna Vandevender [avandevender@radford.edu] earned her B.A. in Psychology from Concord University in 2012. She then moved to South Carolina to attend the University of South Carolina Aiken, where she earned her M.S. in Applied Clinical Psychology. While in Aiken, Anna worked as teaching assistant for an introductory psychology class and as graduate assistant conducting Social Security Disability and private insurance evaluations in a private practice setting. She also completed a practicum placement at an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment facility, where she observed and co-facilitated a women’s intensive outpatient treatment group. Prior to graduating from USCA, Anna defended her thesis, The Impact of Childhood Experiences on Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Functioning: Does the Past Dictate the Future? Anna’s current research interests include issues relating to trauma, rural mental health, substance use disorders, and attachment-related issues. Anna enjoys cooking with her fiancé, spending time with her dog and cat, hiking, crocheting, and traveling.