EDAR Mentors

The EDAR Faculty Mentoring Team is comprised of faculty at MUSC and other institutions across the country. EDAR mentors have expertise in alcohol research, diversity enhancement, leadership, and psychology pre- and post-doctoral training. Together, they have decades of combined expertise evaluating and interviewing candidates for psychology and other mental health training programs. In the EDAR program, mentors provide individual guidance to trainees on professional development, internship and fellowship/faculty application materials, development of interview skills, managing unique challenges faced by URM applicants, and their own skills to become near-peer mentors. EDAR mentors and trainees also collaborate together in Year 2 on a trainee-led research project for submission to the annual RSA meeting.

All of our faculty mentors are described below, and those with availability to work with our incoming cohort are identified:

Cassie BonessMentorship Label

Cassie Boness, Ph.D.

Dr. Boness is a licensed clinical psychologist and Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico’s Center on Alcohol, Substance use, And Addictions (CASAA). Dr. Boness conducts federally-funded research guided by the primary goal of reducing harm and suffering in the lives of people with substance use disorders. She is particularly interested in using mixed methods to develop and refine assessments of alcohol use disorder mechanisms with the eventual goal of facilitating mechanism-based precision medicine.  

Kathryn Bottonari Headshot

Kathryn Bottonari, Ph.D.

Dr. Bottonari is a clinical psychologist at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Bottonari's clinic and research leadership has led to advancements in addictions treatment access among rural and underserved Veterans and reduction of access disparities in this population. She plays a key role in internship applicant evaluations and supervises interns in the Charleston Consortium internship program.

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Gloria Cain, Ph.D.

Dr. Cain is an Assistant Professor with the Howard University School of Social Work.  Dr. Cain’s research interests include alcohol and substance misuse among African Americans, the efficiency of screening, and brief intervention in community and health care settings. She is a Co-Investigator with the Department of Psychiatry's community-based research on opioid use and Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) program.  She received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice and a Doctor of Social Work from The Catholic University of America.

Jessica Bottonari

Jessica Cronce, Ph.D.

Dr. Cronce is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services at the University of Oregon and Director of the Counseling Psychology Center within the HEDCO Clinic. Dr. Cronce is best known for her research on the prevention of high-risk drinking and associated consequences among college students and other young adults, including developing and evaluating brief interventions that utilize Motivational Interviewing (drawing on her training in clinical psychology). Dr. Cronce has twice served as a member of the individual-level strategies development team for the NIAAA’s College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (College AIM) and is also currently supporting research examining campuses’ implementation of this tool in selecting evidence-based prevention strategies. As the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree, Dr. Cronce is deeply committed to mentoring students and providing the type of opportunities and guidance that supported her in pursuing her career.

Melissa Anne CyderMentorship Label

Melissa Anne Cyders, Ph.D.

Dr. Cyders is a Professor of Psychology and the Director of Clinical Training at the IUPUI PhD program in Clinical Psychology. Her research concerns how impulsivity and its neurocognitive underpinnings impart risk for a wide range of clinical problems and disorders. She is most well known for her contributions to the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Model and her work with integrating emotions and impulsive action. She uses a wide range of methods and procedures in her research, from brain imaging, to laboratory-based oral and intravenous alcohol administration, to longitudinal survey designs. Her more recent work has begun to apply her finding from long-term risk projection and laboratory-based modeling to intervention and treatment applications, including understanding impulsivity’s impact on treatment outcomes, how best to intervene on these traits to improve treatment outcomes, and developing best practice guidelines for supporting those in long-term recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders.

Sarah Feldstein Ewing HeadshotMentorship Label

Sarah Feldstein Ewing, Ph.D.

Dr. Feldstein Ewing is a clinical psychologist and the James Prochaska Endowed Professor of Population Health in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. In addition to being PI of an NIAAA-sponsored K24 award, she has developed a highly-innovative NIH-funded line of translational research evaluating the connection between basic biological mechanisms (e.g., brain structure, function, connectivity; genetic factors) and youth health risk behavior (e.g., clinical symptoms, treatment outcomes) including alcohol and drug use.

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Traci Kennedy, Ph.D.

Dr. Kennedy is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her research involves understanding and mitigating momentary risk for real-world alcohol use and problems, with a focus on inhibitory control and impulsivity. Through an NIAAA-supported K23 Award, she is developing and testing a novel mHealth intervention that targets momentary inhibitory control to reduce problematic alcohol use among young adults. Dr. Kennedy is passionate about mentoring students, clinical psychology interns, and trainees, and she contributes to coordinating departmental DEI education and training activities.

Ben LewisMentorship Label

Ben Lewis, Ph.D.

Dr. Lewis is an assistant professor at the University of Florida. As an assistant professor, Dr. Lewis remains in the Neurocognitive Laboratory. He is involved in several ongoing research projects, including the direction of a Career Development Award (K01) from the National Institute of Alcohol & Alcoholism (NIAAA) received in 2018.

Cristina Lopez Headshot

Cristina Lopez, Ph.D.

Dr. Lopez is an Associate Professor and clinical psychologist with a dual appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Nursing at MUSC. Dr. Lopez serves as the Diversity Officer in the College of Nursing and Co-Director of the NIH- funded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Special Populations Core. She is active in mentoring predoctoral psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows focused on health disparities and has received federal funding to investigate evidence-supported treatment modalities for underserved populations including individuals at high risk for or living with HIV.

Robert Miranda Jr. Headshot

Robert Miranda, Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Miranda is a clinical psychologist and accomplished alcohol researcher and mentor. His program of research focuses on understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of alcohol (and other substance) use and abuse during adolescence and improving innovative therapeutics to treat youth during the early stages of addiction. He has an ongoing NIAAA-sponsored K24 award, under which he become a certified trainer/facilitator in the NIH-supported National Research Mentoring Network skills in culturally responsive mentoring.

Antonio Morgan-Lopez HeadshotMentorship Label

Antonio Morgan-Lopez, Ph.D.

Dr. Morgan-Lopez is a quantitative psychologist and Fellow within the Substance Use Prevention, Evaluation and Risk (SUPER) Program at RTI International. Dr. Morgan-Lopez’s research focuses on developing advances in measurement and analysis in behavioral intervention contexts using his specialized expertise in novel design and quantitative methods. He leads a monthly mentorship and writing group which focuses on racial/ethnic disparities as part of an NIAAA sponsored virtual clinical trial project that is harmonizing data from over 4,000 participants.

Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo Headshot

Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo, Ph.D.

Dr. Orengo-Aguayo is an Assistant Professor and bilingual clinical psychologist at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Orengo-Aguayo's federally-funded program of research focuses on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions in low resourced environments within the U.S., Latin and Central America, and the Caribbean, and addressing mental health disparities for underserved trauma-exposed youth. She provides clinical and research supervision to psychology interns, NIH-funded postdoctoral psychology fellows, and psychiatry fellows, most of whom are trainees from underrepresented backgrounds.

Megan Patrick Headshot

Megan Patrick, Ph.D.

Dr. Patrick's research program focuses on the development and consequences of adolescent alcohol and drug use and risky sexual behaviors. Her interests include motivation and decision-making, the prevention of health risk behaviors, statistical methods for modeling behavior and behavior change, and mobile and web-based survey methodology. She has been the PI and Co-I of numerous NIH-funded projects. Her current studies focus on high-intensity drinking, simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use, and interventions to reduce consequences of young adult substance use.

Sarah PedersonMentorship Label

Sarah L. Pedersen, Ph.D.

Dr. Pedersen is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Pedersen is a licensed clinical psychologist with a long-standing interest in treating and researching heavy substance use and substance use disorders. Her research is centered on integrating environmental and individual factors to identify proximal points of intervention that drive substance use inequities in minoritized populations. Her current research is examining racial discrimination experiences and chronic stress exposure in relation to the acute effects of alcohol and alcohol problems. Dr. Pedersen utilizes both naturalistic and lab-based methods to capture experiences as they unfold prior to, during, and after alcohol or substance use. Dr. Pedersen is Chair of the Diversity, Inclusivity, Cultural Humility, and Equity committee for Western Psychiatric Hospital’s clinical psychology internship and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry’s Research Equity and Community Health Collaborative.

Kimberly Raab-GrahamMentorship Label

Kimberly Raab-Graham, Ph.D.

Dr. Raab-Graham is a professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest University. The Raab-Graham Lab seeks to understand the biological processes that underlie learning and memory. Ongoing studies in the laboratory suggest that synaptic efficacy requires a “yin and yang” approach to protein synthesis. Often in neuropathological conditions (Alcohol Use Disorder, Substance Use Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and comorbidies), the balance between translation and repression is disrupted, favoring one state over the other (elevated or reduced protein synthesis). Our experimental approach ranges from molecules to behavior. We use unbiased approaches of mass spectrometry and RNA sequencing, to identify proteins and RNA near synapses. We develop assays to visualize protein synthesis and new synapse formation in dendrites. Together, these approaches allow us to identify new drug treatments that restore the balance in synaptic/dendritic protein synthesis to treat disease. 

Lara Ray HeadshotMentorship Label

Lara Ray, Ph.D.

Dr. Ray is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychology at UCLA. Dr. Ray's prolific program of research combines clinical and experimental psychopharmacology with the goal of developing more effective alcohol treatments. She is an NIAAA K24 awardee and an accomplished mentor to junior alcohol investigators from diverse backgrounds.

Elizabeth Santa Ana Headshot

Elizabeth Santa Ana, Ph.D.

Dr. Santa Ana is a clinical psychologist at the Charleston VAMC and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Santa Ana is Associate Director of the Charleston Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC), and Co- Director of the VA Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment (MIRECC) at the Charleston VAMC. Her research focuses on testing new modalities to improve delivery of evidence-based interventions, particularly innovative methods for delivering treatments in ways that are practical, feasible, and provide greater accessibility for patients with addictive disorders.

Amelia Talley HeadshotMentorship Label

Amelia Talley, Ph.D.

Dr. Talley is a social-personality psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. Her program of research focuses on investigating predictors of alcohol use among sexual minority populations. Dr. Talley also serves as the Chair of the Diversity Committee for the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA).

Rachel Tomko Headshot

Rachel Tomko, Ph.D.

Dr. Tomko is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Addiction Sciences Division of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MUSC. Dr. Tomko conducts federally-funded research aimed at 1) understanding the person-specific mechanisms that maintain alcohol and drug use, identifying predictors of treatment response, and developing treatment decision-making algorithms, and 2) removing methodological barriers in the research process to expedite novel treatment development. She participates actively in internship application evaluations and mentors interdisciplinary trainees at the pre and post-doctoral levels.

Frances WangMentorship Label

Frances Wang, Ph.D.

Dr. Wang is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wang is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on genetic and environmental risk factors for alcohol use disorders. She is also particularly interested in understanding the causes of co-occurrence among mental health problems, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

Rosemarie Ward Headshot

Rose Marie Ward, Ph.D.

Rose Marie Ward, PhD examines college student alcohol consumption and sexual assault. In addition, she has examined the relationship between social media use and alcohol consumption. When examining alcohol-related consequences, she is particularly interested in alcohol-related blackouts.

Slyia Wilson Headshot

Sylia Wilson, Ph.D.

Dr. Wilson's research examines the developmental etiology of psychopathology, with a particular focus on substance use and depression. Her research integrates developmental, clinical, and neuroscience methods, and takes a lifetime developmental perspective that includes infants, children, adolescents, and adults. She uses study designs that are causally and genetically informative, including longitudinal, high-risk family, and twin designs, and takes a multimodal approach that includes behavioral, observational, neurocognitive, psychophysiological, and MRI methods.

Katie WitkiewitzMentorship Label

Katie Witkiewitz, Ph.D.

Dr. Katie Witkiewitz is a Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico.  Her research examines treatment of substance use disorder, with an emphasis on harm reduction, recovery processes, and applying advanced quantitative research methods to better understand changes in alcohol and drug use behavior over time.  Dr. Witkiewitz is also a licensed clinical psychologist and has worked on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of mindfulness-based relapse prevention for substance use disorder.

Caitlin Wolford-ClevengerMentorship Label

Caitlin Wolford-Clevenger, Ph.D.

Dr. Wolford-Clevenger is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is an Early Career Award Recipient through the NIAAA. Dr. Clevenger's translational research program focuses on the etiology and treatment of alcohol use disorder and its consequences, particularly suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Moreover, she has a special interest in advancing our understanding and treatment of these issues in minoritized groups including the LGBTQ+ community.