Current Postdoctoral Fellows
Kaitlin Bountress, Ph.D. (2015-current) Dr. Bountress earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona State University and completed her pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her research interests are in genetic and environmental influences on adolescent and emerging adult substance use outcomes. She is specifically interested in studying the mechanisms by which early “risky” environments (e.g. poor parenting, the presence of an externalizing peer group, or exposure to a traumatic event) and genetic effects may impact later risk for alcohol and drug misuse. She is also interested in the role of environmental influences in mediating and moderating the effects of genes on adolescent and emerging adult substance use outcomes. Finally, she has emerging interests in learning new gene score methodologies, as well as in answering questions about the intersection of internalizing (e.g. trauma-related anxiety, depression) and externalizing (e.g. alcohol or drug use) disorders using genetically-informative designs. Dr. Bountress also provides trauma-focused treatment to children, adolescents, and adults at the NCVC.
Casey Calhoun, Ph.D. (2016-current) Dr. Calhoun earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his pre-doctoral internship at the Charleston Consortium Clinical Psychology Internship Program. His research broadly considers biological, cognitive, and social mechanisms that contribute to the onset and course of psychological symptoms (e.g., depression, PTSD) following trauma and chronic stress. In particular, his research aims to clarify how trauma and chronic stress influence biological stress management processes to promote psychopathology and maladaptive coping (i.e., substance use, risky behaviors). Additionally, Dr. Calhoun seeks to identify cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal factors that mitigate or worsen the impact of trauma and chronic stress on stress management and psychological adjustment. Much of his work is founded in a developmental psychopathology framework and centers on stress management throughout childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Dr. Calhoun also provides trauma-focused treatment to children, adolescents, and adults at the NCVC.
Isha Metzger, Ph.D. (2015-current) Dr. Metzger is from Atlanta, Georgia by way of Sierra Leone, West Africa. Dr. Metzger earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina. She completed her pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at the Medical University of South Carolina, an APA-Accredited internship program, and is currently serving as a NIMH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow in Traumatic Stress at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. Her research interests center on understanding risk behaviors (i.e., sexual activity, alcohol use) as well as risk and resilience factors (e.g., ethnicity, social support, racial socialization and discrimination, environmental stressors, peer relationships) that impact youth outcomes (e.g., risk behavior participation; HIV contraction, unintended pregnancies, sexual assault, drunk-driving accidents, and legal system involvement) and inform culturally sensitive prevention programs. She is also interested in the understanding the multiple stages of translational research including the conceptualization, implementation, dissemination, and systematic evaluation of prevention programming aimed at reducing disparities for this population. Dr. Metzger also teaches at the Medical University of South Carolina, offers trauma-informed culturally-sensitive consultation to trainees and professionals in the community, and provides evidence-based trauma-focused treatment to children, adolescents, families, and adults at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center.
Rosaura Orengo Aguayo, Ph.D. (2016-current) Dr. Orengo-Aguayo was born and raised in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico where she earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She then earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa, made possible by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a National Academy of Sciences Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship. Dr. Orengo-Aguayo recently completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) with an emphasis on child and adolescent traumatic stress. She currently serves as the Chief Postdoc at an NIMH T-32 funded Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Crime Victims and Research Center (NCVC) at MUSC. Her program of research has focused on 1) the application of third-wave cognitive behavioral interventions, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), for the treatment of externalizing behaviors among high-risk populations, and 2) adapting and disseminating evidence-based mental health services into real-world settings with the goal of reducing mental health disparities and barriers in access to care. Dr. Orengo-Aguayo is hoping to expand her program of research to: 1) examine the treatment applications of acceptance and mindfulness-based strategies for trauma-exposed adults and youth, and 2) culturally adapt and disseminate (both locally and internationally) trauma-focused treatments for racial and ethnic-minorities so as to reduce barriers in access to care. Dr. Orengo-Aguayo is passionate about mentoring, training, and supervision. She strives to inspire mentees to connect their research to real-world implications, promote social change, and to make enduring connections with the communities that they are trying to serve. Dr. Orengo-Aguayo also provides trauma-focused treatment in Spanish and English to children, adolescents, and adults at the NCVC.
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