/ Lab Members
Beatrice Beebe, PhD | Lab Director
As a leading expert in the analysis of mother-infant interaction, Dr. Beatrice Beebe is a clinical professor of psychology at Columbia University Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department. She is faculty at several psychoanalytic institutes and has a private practice for adults and mother-infant pairs. She is the author or co-author of six books. Her work focuses on the mutual mother-infant bond and optimizing 4-month infant social development. Her studies examine; the roles of infant distress and maternal distress (such as depression and anxiety) on mother-infant communication; the effects of early mother-infant communication patterns on emerging infant attachment styles and infant cognition; the long-term continuity of communication and attachment styles from infancy to young adulthood.
Lily Steinman, M.A. | Lab Coordinator - People & Projects
Lily received her MA in May 2022 in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to that, she received her BA in Psychological Science and Sociology at Colgate University in May 2020, completing her honors thesis on parental political orientation and the development of children’s moral beliefs. Previously, Lily has worked with adolescents with selective mutism and children with behavioral difficulties at the Child Mind Institute’s summer program, but she found her true love of working and building relationships with children during her most recent role as a preschool teacher. Her research interests are in attachment relationships and psychodynamic therapy for children, and she hopes to pursue doctoral training in Clinical Psychology and ultimately work clinically with children, adolescents, and their families.
Alexandra Kahn | Lab Coordinator - Media
Alexandra grew up in Lincoln, MA, and graduated from Kenyon College in Spring 2021 with a dual degree in Psychology and Studio Art. She is delighted to be a part of Dr. Beatrice Beebe’s Lab as a member of both the media and filming teams. In 2016, Alexandra taught art at an elementary school in Watertown, MA, working with preschoolers through children in eighth grade with varying cognitive, learning, and emotional differences. It was her experience with these children that inspired her to pursue an education in child psychology. In the future, she hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, focusing on child development and the treatment of children and their families. She spends time outside of the lab nannying and volunteering at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in the pediatric in-patient unit.
Ge Zhang, M.A., M.S. | Research Assistant - Coder
Ge received her BA with a double-majoring in Psychology and Creative Writing from Brandeis University. She completed her senior thesis on gender and stress response with the Biological Lab for health psychology while working there as a research assistant. To be more prepared for a Ph.D. program, Ge finished Developmental Psychology Master Program and pursue an Applied Statistics Master's degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. She joins Dr. Beebe's Communication Science Lab as a research assistant and contributes to nonverbal communication's behavioral analysis. With a great passion for behavioral learning and data-driven research, she believes psychological research is a way to understand others and ourselves. One day, she hopes to discover something extraordinary about ordinary people and say something extraordinary with ordinary words.
Ethan Isenman | Research Assistant - Coder
Ethan joined Dr. Beebe’s Communication Sciences Lab in September 2021 after graduating from Tufts University with a BA in Philosophy and a double minor in History and Political Science. While at Tufts, he served as a hot-line worker for a student-run, anonymous peer-to-peer hotline. He is the child of two psychoanalysts, and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in order to become a practicing clinician. In the lab, Ethan focuses on coding mother-facial affect through video microanalysis. He is also a research assistant for the Higgins Lab, and works for a small tech start-up.
Yiwen Gu | Research Assistant - Coder
Yiwen received her B.S. degree from Syracuse University, majoring in Psychology, Philosophy, and Communication and Science Disorder. At Syracuse, she was involved in a Relationship and well-being lab for three years focusing on attachment orientation and support process within romantic relationships. In order to trace down the roots of attachment, she joined Dr. Beebe’s Lab and began her study with the Clinical Psychology Master’s Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She wishes to have a deeper understanding of the mechanism of the attachment working model within a relationship. Outside of work and study, she likes to have fun.
Kristen Novak-Wininger | Research Assistant - Statistics
Before joining the lab, Kristen enjoyed a career in personal finance where she worked as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. While at Merrill, she served on the board of directors of the New York chapter of a national non-profit organization and achieved the highest certification possible for an advisor, the Certified Financial Planner™ certificate. She found that she enjoyed working with people more than working with money and decided to change careers to clinical psychology. Kristen is currently pursuing her second bachelor’s degree at Hunter College, where she discovered her proclivity for statistics. While conducting a tutoring session in stats, she fortuitously met another RA from the lab who introduced her to Dr. Beatrice Beebe. She is thrilled to hone her skills as a member of the lab’s statistics team and to nurture her interest in Attachment Theory. She is interested in learning more about the correlation between infant attachment and psychopathology in adulthood.
Kristen lives with her husband and special needs cat in Manhattan. In her spare time, she enjoys attending concerts, Broadway shows, skiing and travelling to new and exciting destinations.
Emily Grella | Research Assistant – People & Projects
Emily is currently pursuing her MA in Clinical Psychology at Teacher College, Columbia University. She completed her BA with a dual degree in psychology and philosophy from the University of Rochester in 2019. During Emily’s time at U of R, she worked as a research assistant and lab coordinator for a social psychology research lab. She worked as a research assistant in a family psychology research lab. Apart from working on the People and Projects team in Dr. Beebe’s lab, Emily also volunteers at The Motherhood Center, working with infants as a nursery assistant for mother’s suffering from postpartum mood-related disorders. She also works as a research assistant in the Development, Environment, and Wellness (DEW) lab at Teacher College, Columbia University. In the future, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, focusing on how postpartum mood disorders in new mothers can affect the mother-child dyad and attachment in children.
Holly Hoover | Research Assistant – Follow Up Study Lead
Holly received her BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Graduating on the pre-med track, Holly interned at various hospitals and health nonprofits to obtain a depth of experience outside the classroom.
She served as the lead volunteer at a hospital in Alameda County, managing health advocates for the entirety of her time at Berkeley. Holly contributed to the research conducted at UC Berkeley titled, "The Gap Between Us: Income Inequality Reduces Social Affiliation in Dyadic Interactions." As part of the Cal's Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management Program, she looked at how emotion and impulsivity relate to mental health.
Last year, Holly taught kindergarten at Zeta Charter Schools, which allowed her to learn from children and their essential needs to succeed as students and growing people in this world. Holly dreams of incorporating all her interests, a holistic wellness approach, and a warm demeanour to treat patients and work with children to achieve their full potential.
Wenbo Zhang | Research Assistant - Media
Wenbo received his BA in Psychology and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences from Northwestern University in June 2022. His prior research experience includes working at Life-Span Development Lab, Social Cognition and Intergroup Process Lab, and Youth Mindfulness Awareness Program, all located at Northwestern. He is interested in studying internalizing disorders and corresponding evidence-based treatments for the youth population. Wenbo was born in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China, and came to the States for high school in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been missing the sunshine ever since he went to Chicago for college. Since he's in New York, he is ready to explore various Broadway shows. In the future, he hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, studying the effectiveness of psychotherapies for the youth population.
Cassidy Lervasi | Research Assistant - Statistics
Cassidy is a Master’s student in the Psychology in Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Previously, she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Iona College, minoring in neuroscience and drug and alcohol abuse. She completed her honors thesis on the cognitive factors that influence our attributional judgments. She joins Dr. Beebe’s lab as a member of the statistics team. She ultimately hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.
Navin Rahman | Research Assistant – Coder
Navin Rahman is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. Born and raised in Bangladesh, Navin completed her high school from United World College (UWC) of Hong Kong. After that she completed her undergraduate studies from Colorado College, CO, and worked as a financial analyst in Bangladesh for 5 years. During this time she has travelled extensively and developed a keen interest in human psychology from her cross cultural experiences and eventually bridged to psychology. She is interested in studying non-verbal communication through infant studies and hopes to be a practicing clinician in the future. In her free time Navin loves to read, meet new people and travel across borders.
Hiji Nam | Research Assistant - Coder
Hiji Nam joins Dr. Beebe’s lab as a research assistant focusing on infant facial affect and nonverbal communication within the mother-infant dyad. Hiji currently studies the history of sexuality, psychoanalysis, and science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and is interested in engaging a politics of social reproduction and bioethics with clinical research and treatment. Born in Seoul, she is trilingual in English, German, and Korean, and has worked most of her career as a writer and editor in New York arts and publishing. She is Associate Editor at Primary Information, a nonprofit publisher of artists’ books and writings, and was previously an editor at Artforum.
Ismenia Ginebra | Research Assistant - Coder
Ismenia received her BA in May 2022 in Child Study and Human Development and Clinical Psychology from Tufts University. Previously, Ismenia worked as a Clinical Assistant with the Early Childhood Team at the Boston Child Study Center, where she gained exposure to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and worked with children with Selective Mutism. It was this work that confirmed her interest in Early Childhood Mental Health. Apart from working as a coder in Dr. Beebe's lab, she also works as a Behavioral Specialist and Administrative Assistant at the New England Center for OCD and Anxiety (NECOA), where she coaches clients in Exposure Therapy and assists with NECOA's operations. In the future, Ismenia hopes to obtain doctoral-level training in Clinical Psychology and work with young children and their caregivers.
Deborah Riskin | Research Assistant - Coder
Deborah is currently getting her certificate in Victimology Studies from John Jay College. Previously, Deborah received her BA in Psychology at Hunter College in May 2022. In addition, her focus was Clinical Psychology, and she minored in Sociology. She is excited to be part of Dr. Beebe's Lab's coding and filming teams. With coding, Deborah focuses on mother touch through video microanalysis. Deborah is the child of a Clinical Psychologist and plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology to become a practicing therapist. In addition, she is interested in studying ADHD in women and trauma.
Maya Shustik| Research Assistant - Coder
Maya graduated from Barnard College in 2020 with a BA in Psychology. Her undergraduate research experience in child cognitive and emotional development sparked her interest in continuing this line of research. She worked as a research assistant in several labs allowing her to explore emotional schema acquisition and conduct an independent analysis of early life adversity related to emotional schema generalization in young adults. She also worked in the Center for Toddler Development, where she was able to observe toddler attachment and separation behavior. Maya joined the team as a behavioral coder. She collaborated with another coder to create a new qualitative code for Mother Vocal Affect to complement the established Infant Vocal Affect code. She is also a member of the filming team, where she assists with running the study visits and data collection. She hopes to pursue a career that combines research and clinical practice with children, adolescents, and family systems.