Current Team at Rowan University

Smiling middle-aged woman with brown curly hair and glasses.

Dr. Katherine (Kaite) Gotham

Director, SEAHLab; Principal Investigator

Kaite received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan. In the Rowan University Psychology Department, Kaite teaches undergraduate courses and mentors junior researchers across many stages of their training. She also trains health professionals on autism assessment as a co-developer of a commonly used autism diagnostic tool, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2). Kaite's professional goal is to translate SEAHLab findings into meaningful ways to promote quality of life in the autistic community. She loves to spend time with her daughters (two human, one canine), and is an avid consumer of fiction, KDrama, and carbs.

Contact: gotham@rowan.edu

Curriculum Vitae

A smiling white woman in her early 20's with glasses and long brown hair.

Erin McKenney

3rd Year Clinical Psychology PhD Student

Erin graduated from Lafayette College with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and anthropology & sociology. She completed her undergraduate honors thesis on how access to communication devices in childhood relates to wellbeing in adulthood for nonspeaking people. She's passionate about learning from the neurodiversity movement and accessibility initiatives and applying this knowledge to research.  Outside of the lab, Erin enjoys baking, dancing, and learning to paint.

Contact: mckenn84@students.rowan.edu 
Curriculum Vitae

Young white woman with black hair smiling and standing in front of a white wall.

Robyn Himelstein

2nd Year Clinical Psychology PhD Student

Robyn graduated from Haverford College where she majored in psychology and minored in neuroscience. During and after college, she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Aaron T. Beck, contributing to research on the cognitive model of schizophrenia. She also served as a Behavioral Health Technician, working one-on-one helping provide therapy to children on the autism spectrum. She is thrilled to be a part of the Social, Emotional, and Affective Health Lab. In her spare time, Robyn enjoys playing tennis and pickleball, and spending time with her family, friends, and golden retriever, Louie.

Contact: himels13@students.rowan.edu

Close up of a young white woman’s face who is smiling directly at the camera. She has short wavy brown hair and is wearing a blue button up shirt.

Claudia Cucchiara

Full Time Research Assistant

Claudia joined SEAHL after graduating from Loyola University New Orleans with her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. During her undergraduate education, she previously volunteered in a clinical psychology lab where she studied predictors of PTSD severity. She is enthusiastic about studying psychopathology, especially mood disorders. After gaining additional experience in research, she plans to pursue a PhD in Counseling Psychology and ultimately work as a therapist. In her free time, Claudia loves practicing aerial dance and watching anime. 

Young Mexican woman with a pale complexion with dark red hair and gray and pink striped shirt with 2 gold necklaces.

Pricila Sanchez Rojas

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Pricila joined us as a first-year student at Rowan University. She is currently a second-year student with a major in psychology, a minor in law and justice, and a Certificate of Undergraduate Study in forensic studies. She is pursuing a career in forensic psychology. Pricila is a part of the START research as a research assistant and the psychopathy and crocheting club. Outside of school, Pricila takes an interest in volunteering for Century 21 as an interpreter, exercising, and hanging out with friends and family. 
 

Puerto Rican male smiling with a black beanie on and large beard standing next to a white wall wearing a blue shirt.

 Emanuel (Manny) Avila

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Manny is currently a sophomore, who joined us in Summer 2022. His major is Psychology. Manny is part of the U-RISE fellowship program at Rowan, which is a competitive, NIH-funded program to support biomedical research trainees from underrepresented backgrounds throughout their undergraduate careers. Manny has 7 dogs and loves to watch anime. He also collects swords. Currently, he is engaged and looking forward to being married.

 21 year old brown male wearing a black graphic t-shirt, smiling.

Elisha Sotrah

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Elisha joined SEAHL in Summer 2022 prior to his senior year. He's majoring in biology with a minor in psychology. He has worked previously in the Ecological Diversity Group (EDGe) Lab and is excited to grow his  lab experience with the SEAHL team. His academic and career goals are primarily aimed at getting into medical school and ultimately practicing Psychiatry. Elisha's hobbies include watching scary movies, rewatching The Office, spending time outdoors, and listening to and learning to play music.

External Team Members

Headshot of young White-Hispanic man with short black hair wearing a purple shirt and tie.

Zachary Williams

Vanderbilt University MD/PhD Candidate

Zack Williams is an MD/PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University. He is also an affiliate of the Vanderbilt University Frist Center for Autism and Innovation and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. He is also openly autistic, having been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of four. Zack received his bachelors in Psychology from Yale University, where he was heavily involved in autism research at the Yale Child Study Center. As a future psychiatrist, Zack is passionate about improving the mental health and well-being of autistic adults, and much of his work with Dr. Gotham has been focused on improving the measurement of depression and related constructs in the autistic population. Current projects in the SEAHL lab include a large-scale study to comprehensively characterize depressive symptoms in autistic adults and a longitudinal study that examines the demographic, psychological, and social predictors of future depression and well-being in the autistic population. Additional areas of interest include the assessment and treatment of sensory sensitivities, alexithymia, and psychosomatic symptoms in autistic adults, quantitative methodology, and the development of novel questionnaires to assess core and associated features of the autism phenotype. You can follow him on Twitter at @QuantPsychiatry.

Young white woman with brown hair and blue eyes who is sitting faced forward towards the camera and smiling.

Dr. Jessica Schwartzman

Vanderbilt University, Assistant Professor

Jessica is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her program of research focuses on depression and suicide interventions for autistic youth and adults, and parent-child relationship factors. Jessica co-directs a multidisciplinary psychiatry clinic at VUMC for autistic youth and adults with depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders, and she supervises clinical and research trainees. Jessica is an active external collaborator of SEAHL with shared interests in characterizing and treating depression in autistic adults. She spends her free time trying new restaurants with friends and family in Nashville, and attempting to acclimate to country music.

Meet our lab alumni here!