STRIVE Lab Members

Madelyn Diaz

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Lab manager

Graduate research assistant

Madelyn Diaz is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Central Florida, where she also received her M.A. in Applied Sociology and B.A. in Criminal Justice. Studying within the crime and deviance concentration, Madelyn's research interests broadly encompass gender-based violence topics, including the etiology of violence against women, health consequences as a result of violence, and the unequal impact of violence across marginalized communities. Consistent with these curiosities, for her dissertation research she examines heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual women survivors of sexual violence, their disclosure experiences, and well-being outcomes. She has published research in journals such as Crime & Delinquency, LGBT Health, and the Journal of Mass Violence Research. Her professional goals are to improve the visibility of historically marginalized victims in criminology research and pursue a career in higher education. 

Cameron Davis

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Graduate research assistant

Cameron received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2020. She is currently a second-year student in UCF’s Clinical Psychology PhD program. Cameron is working alongside Drs Woerner, Dunn, and Dvorak on the SEED grant titled Alcohol use and impacts on sexual violence and sexual risk behavior: Identification of mechanisms and development of intervention strategies. Her research interests include substance use expectancies, sexual aggression proclivity, and the development of intervention and prevention programs for sexual violence. 

Rachel Cooper

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Graduate research assistant

Rachel is a first year Clinical Psychology PhD student in the STRIVE and HEAL labs. Rachel graduated from Smith College in 2017 with a BA in Psychology and Religion and worked in two research labs prior to coming to UCF. Her research interest is broadly sexual assault, and more specifically, the role substance use plays in perpetration and victimization, factors that contribute to negative outcomes among survivors and how and why LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately affected by sexual violence. 

Sarah Da Silva

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Graduate research assistant

My name is Sarah. I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Sociology with a graduate track specialization in Medical Sociology. Some of my current research interests include grappling with social inequalities, intersectionality, and physical and mental health concerns. I hope to one day become a researcher who makes known the need for equity and instigates change through inter-disciplinary work within education and health institutions.

Elana Gabriel

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Undergraduate research assistant

My name is Elana Gabriel. I am a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Psychology on a clinical track. I am passionate about understanding and helping others in a proactive way, and I feel that research is a major steppingstone in doing this. Additionally, I am interested in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and understanding techniques for mental health treatment, especially in those who suffer from trauma, substance abuse, and interpersonal violence.

Anais Toussaint

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Undergraduate research assistant

My name is Anais Toussaint. I am a senior majoring in psychology with the crime, law, and deviance minor and the behavioral forensics certificate. I plan to attend graduate school for a PhD in clinical psychology. My interests are violent crime, mood and stress disorders, interpersonal violence, and deviant behavior. Through research I hope to help alleviate mental health issues with individuals that have gone through traumatic and violent experiences. 

Paula Martinez De Pinillos

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Undergraduate research assistant

Paula is a senior majoring in Biology Pre-Professional with a minor in Medical Sociology. She plans to attend Med-School after graduating with her bachelor’s degree at UCF. Paula is passionate about learning about trauma and how to help individuals to overcome these experiences. Her research interests include trauma response, patterns of violence-aggression, and social inequalities. Paula’s goal is to understand better the relationship between the cultural aspects of violence patterns and other factors that could lead to interpersonal violence. 

Brettland Coolidge

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Undergraduate research assistant

I am Brettland Coolidge, a Senior Psychology major in the Clinical Psychology track here at UCF. Having lived all my life in wonderfully diverse communities with a family of loving and neurodivergent people, I am insatiably curious about the ways in which Mood and Anxiety disorder are impacted by neurological and social factors. I hope to extend these interests into the many diverse racial and sexual minorities that have seen such little focus in the past. I also work virtually as an Intern for a VA clinic in New York, and have past experience working as a Research Assistant for Dr. Mottarella on Academic Advising. Following Graduation, I hope to get accepted into a PH.D. program for Clinical Psychology. 

Britney Chen

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Undergraduate research assistant

My name is Britney Chen. I am a Psychology major in my junior year for the Clinical Track. My current interests include learning about stress and anxiety, such as burnout because this is something I deal with every day. I want to pursue a Psychology PH.D. for clinical psychology after graduating. Although I am not too sure what specific psychology career I want at this time, I have always desired to learn more about myself which is one of the main reasons why I joined the Strive Lab. I am excited to gather valuable research experience and explore my interests further.

Lab alumni

Honors undergraduate thesis students:

Diamonde McCollum
Alexandra Sabal
Christopher Sellas
Samantha Echevarria


Graduate research assistants:

Ciara Peebles
Andrea Smith
Kelli Dauphinais