Collaborators/Alumni

Katherine Lewitzke

Dr. Katherine (Kat) Lewitzke is currently working as board member for the Michigan Association of Gifted Children (MAGC), an organization that provides resources to help parents and educators improve of Michigan’s advanced and accelerated children. Dr. Lewtizke also opened Bright Pine Behavioral Health facility in Clarkston, Michigan in 2017 where she focuses her background and experiences on helping individuals affected by: anxiety, depression, behavioral difficulties, learning & academic struggles, memory, interpersonal issues, trauma, loss, chronic pain, brain injuries, and more. Dr. Lewitzke graduated from Oakland University in 2009 with her BA in psychology, and obtained her MA in clinical psychology with a specialization in child development from the University of Detroit-Mercy. Dr. Lewitzke completed her doctoral degree from the Michigan School of Psychology in 2016 where her dissertation focused on PTG and personal beliefs, among the emerging adulthood population, and she was honored to have Dr. Tedeschi as her consultant throughout the dissertation process. Dr. Lewtizke received her neuropsychological assessment training through the National Academy of Neuropsychology. During her time in the PTG lab, from 2008 to 2009, she expanded on her interests of gender differences and emotional support regarding PTG.Dr. Katherine Lewitzke can be reached at kat@brightpinepsych.com www.brightpinepsychology.com

*Picture: Dr. Lewitzke was awarded a MOM Approved Doc in 2019 by Metro Parent. *

Maggie Britton

Maggie is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Houston in the Social and Health Psychology Program with a minor in statistics. She is currently in her dissertation phase working on an F31-awarded project from the NIAAA that looks at micro-aggressions and alcohol use in the Hispanic community. She will obtain her Ph.D. in May 2021. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Psychology from Oakland University in 2014 and obtained her Master of Arts (MA) degree in Psychology from the University of Houston in 2017. During her time in the PTG lab, from 2013-2014, Maggie primarily focused on how self-esteem was associated with PTG. Eventually, Maggie plans to become a research scientist at a company that conducts health-based research to inform public policy. Maggie can be reached at mkbritto@central.uh.edu.

Leah LaLonde
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Leah LaLonde (formerly McDiarmid) is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Eastern Michigan University. She is finishing her thesis project that is an evaluation of a training program aimed at teaching pediatricians to implement behavior activation, a brief depression treatment, with adolescents who present to their pediatricians with depression. Leah earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Psychology from Oakland University in 2015 and earned her Master of Science (MS) degree in Clinical Behavioral Psychology from Eastern Michigan University in 2018. During her time in the PTG lab, from 2013-2016, Leah examined how people differentially value aspects of PTG. She also collected and analyzed data that investigated PTG reported after adolescents hurt others. Today, her primary clinical interests are in the integration of behavioral health providers in medical settings, including primary care. Leah eventually plans to provide consultation services in the pediatric medical setting as well as conduct research on the implementation of services in this setting. Leah can be reached at lmcdiarm@emich.edu.

Aundreah Walenski-Geml
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Aundreah is currently working as a full time clinical social workers and psychotherapist at Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine. She works with adults and adolescences and specializes in the treatment of peripartum mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Aundreah earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Psychology from Oakland University in 2016 and obtained her master’s in social work (MSW) in Interpersonal Practice from the University of Michigan. She completed a one-year internship with IHA in Ann Arbor, MI where she provided collaborative care and integrated behavioral health treatment in primary care settings and assisted in the quality improvement and expansion of collaborative care throughout the organization. During her graduate program, Aundreah was a research assistant in the TaMMs project in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan where she assisted in the study of the effectiveness of collaborative care programs in primary care clinics at Michigan Medicine. After graduating with her MSW, Aundreah obtained a two-year postgraduate social work fellowship at the University of Michigan in the Department of Psychiatry and became fully licensed in 2019. During her time in the PTG lab, from 2014-2016, she assisted with the psycho-educational programming, teen parent project, and studied the effects of multiple adverse and stressful events and its impact on PTG. Aundreah hopes to continue to strengthen her psychotherapy skills, get more involved in the Rochester community to reduce the stigma of mental health treatment, and eventually pursue a career in mental health administration and quality improvement of behavioral health interventions. Aundreah loves being a part of the PTG community and utilizes skills she learned in the lab on a daily basis. Aundreah can be reached at aundreah.m.walenski@gmail.com.

Lauren Harrison

Lauren Harrison is currently working as a Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapist at Michigan Progressive Health in Royal Oak where she provides support for clients receiving ketamine treatments as treatments entail dissociation and profound insights. Alongside the neurogenesis that occurs 24-36 hours post ketamine exposure, therapy helps solidify new synaptic connections that are found to be deficient in depressive conditions. Through therapy clients are able to integrate their psychedelic experiences into daily life to extend periods between relapse of symptoms. Upon graduating from Oakland University, Lauren graduated from University of Michigan School of Social Work in December 2019. She specialized in Interpersonal Practice and was both a Geriatric Scholar and HRSA SUD/OUD Scholar. During her time in the lab from 2015 – 2018, Lauren was interested in assessing support groups and psychoeducational activities related to PTG. Lauren hopes to further her practice with other psychedelics such as psilocybin and MDMA to better meet the needs of individuals struggling with treatment resistant conditions and trauma. Lauren can be reached at flkharrison@gmail.com.

Jenna Beltramo

Jenna Beltramo (formerly Duronio) obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Writing & Rhetoric from Oakland University in April 2018. She joined the PTG lab in September 2016 because of her interest in helping individuals recover from adversity. During her time in the lab, from 2016 – 2018, Jenna further explored her interests in the process of recovery and PTG through her honors thesis. This project examined the relations between resilience and PTG in military personnel who experienced a highly stressful or traumatic event during their time of service. Jenna is currently a second-year doctoral student in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program at the University of Central Florida, specializing in Occupational Health Psychology. She is also currently working as a member of the Targeted Research Training Program, working on projects that involve research in occupational health and safety interventions including: identifying needs, and designing, conducting, delivering, and evaluating interventions to promote the health, safety, and well-being of workers in high-risk occupations. This work is funded through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Jenna hopes to continue to do applied research in the field of occupational health for the remainder of her career, helping workers in adverse circumstances have healthier, safer, and ultimately happier working lives. Jenna can be reached at jmdbeltramo@knights.ucf.edu.

Velinka Marton 

Velinka Marton is currently a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Wayne State University (WSU). She received a Bachelor of Art and Science, majoring in Psychology, from Oakland University in April 2019. Velinka originally joined the PTG lab in January 2017 because of her interest in a cross-cultural approach to examining PTG. During her time in the lab, from 2017 – 2019, Velinka developed an honor’s thesis project, titled “Youth Perceptions of Intergenerational Discordance and Immigrant Well-being” and presented her findings at an undergraduate research conference. Currently, at WSU, Velinka is enjoying the many learning opportunities in the doctoral program, including teaching, research submissions to national conferences, clinical training, and internship prospects. Her long-term goals include maximizing the learning process with the aim of realizing how she will use her new skills in her future career as a clinical psychologist. Velinka can be reached at velinka.marton@wayne.edu.

Alvin Nicholas

Alvin Nicholas is currently a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at The University of Detroit Mercy. Alvin received his Bachelors of Art and Science, majoring in Psychology in April of 2017 and his Master of Arts and Science, majoring in Psychology in 2019 both from Oakland University. During his time in the PTG lab in, from 2017 – 2019, he was able to conduct and disseminate his research relating to PTG, achievement and failure, resilience, wisdom, and motivation. Along with his own dissertation, Alvin participated in the Teen Parent Program with many of his research colleagues at local high schools. Currently at UDM, along with his teaching assistant and clinical assistant duties, Alvin is enjoying expanding his research interests on specific mechanisms that contribute to resilience and persistence after experiencing repeated failures. Alvin is enjoying his abilities to guest lecture some of the courses he is assisting on and creating assignments for undergraduate students psychology courses. He looks forward to beginning to see his own clients as a student therapist and conducting psychotherapy and assessments. Alvin’s plans on becoming a licensed clinical psychologist with the long-term goal of becoming an associate professor, conducting research, and owning his own private practice. His ultimate goal is to help those who are of low SES to achieve their goals and to become successful. Alvin can be reached at nicholae1@udmercy.edu.

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