Kristin Valentino, Ph.D

Kristin Valentino is the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame.  She earned her BA from Georgetown University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.  Her research focuses on the development of memory, self, and psychopathology among children, as well as on the development of interventions for maltreated children and families.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Lawson Crop3

Monica Lawson, Ph.D.

Dr. Lawson's research interests are in the broad areas of autobiographical memory development and child maltreatment. The goals of her research are to (1) contribute to theoretical understanding of cognitive and sociocultural factors that influence children’s autobiographical memory and (2) to apply findings towards establishing and refining empirically supported interviewing methods that bolster the reliability of children’s forensic reports. As a graduate student, Dr. Lawson investigated the role of dyadic conversations on the reliability of children’s event reports as well as children’s recollection of conversations. As a postdoctoral fellow, she is working with Dr. Kristin Valentino to expand her applied forensic interest in children’s memory to examining autobiographical memory development within the context of maltreatment. Using a developmental psychopathology perspective and the sociocultural theory of autobiographical memory development, Dr. Lawson is currently investigating mother-child reminiscing among dyads with and without substantiated maltreatment histories with a specific focus on the influence of maternal and child attachment quality on reminiscing and children’s autobiographical memory.

Graduate Students

Kaitlin Fondren Web

Kaitlin Fondren, M.A.

Kaitlin Fondren is a fourth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Program.  She received her B.A. from Indiana University at Bloomington.  Fondren's research interests lies in exploring the ways in which children develop in the context of psychopathology, with the broader goals of increasing our understanding of typical and atypical development as well as informing interventions that seem to improve maladaptive developmental outcomes.  Her current work focuses on the development of children who have experienced maltreatment, with a specific interest in their language development.

Ruth Speidel 2015

Ruth Speidel, M.A.

Ruth Speidel is a fourth year graduate student in the Developmental Psychology Program.  She received her B.A. from Georgetown University.  Speidel is fascinated by the individual and contextual factors that impact how children learn and remember new information.  More specifically, she is interested in how the context of maltreatment impacts aspects of cognitive and emotional development, and how this knowledge can be used with a developmental psychopathology perspective to educate effective intervention strategies.

Behrens Brigid

Brigid Behrens, B.A. 

Brigid is a first year student in the Clinical Psychology Program. She received her BA from Davidson University. 

Cote Kreila

Kreila Cote, B.A. 

Kreila is a first year student in the Developmental Psychology Program. She received her BA from Northern Illinois University 

Professional Staff

Heidi Miller, Project Coordinator

Kathy Heyn, Data Manager

Starla Ross, Family Coach

Rosemary Salinas, Family Coach

Ruth Sobieralski, MSW, LCSW; Child Maltreatment Coordinator


Undergraduate Research Team

Sofia Carozza

Katie Edler

Bailey Jaeger

Molly Kuehn

Christopher Lembo

Evelyn McManus

Savannah Pfeffer

Haley Rague

Caitlin Rosswurm

Quinn Scallon

Jack Sullivan

Erin Vaughan

Lab Alumni


Amy K. Nuttall, Ph.D. ('15),  Assistant Professor Michigan State University, Department of Human Development & Families Studies  

Michelle Comas, Ph.D. ('16),  Clinical Instructor, Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

Christina McDonnell, Ph.D. ('19), Postdoctoral Fellow, Western University 


Jamie Schulte ('10), Teach for America

Elizabeth Murphy ('11), McKinsey & Company

Adam Barsella ('12) Rush Medical College, Rush University

Emily Franz ('12) Washington University

Oscar Gonzalez ('12) Quantitiative Psychology Ph.D. Program, Arizona State University

Kaitlyn Howard ('12) Ernst & Young

Jennifer James ('12) DePaul University College of Law

Jordan Matulis ('12), Catholic Child and Family Services

Anne McNeill ('12) Clinical Psy. D. Program, Roosevelt University

Christina McDonnell ('12) Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program, Notre Dame

Stephanie Sieswerda ('12). Masters Program in Social Work, University of Chicago

Suzy Fanuele ('13), Social Work MA Program, Rutgers

Brianna Piper ('13) Developmental Psychology Ph.D. Program, UC Davis

Sarah Poppe ('13), St. Martin de Porres Academy

Taylor Thomas ('13) Developmenal Psychology Ph.D. Program, UNC Chapel Hill

Christina Mondi ('14), Developmental Psychopathology Ph.D. Program, University of Minnesota

Alyssa Mall ('14), Social Work MSW Program, University of Chicago

Alysia Phillips ('14), Alliance for Catholic Education

Courtney Taylor ('14), Deloitte

Anne Haas ('15), Teach for America

Elizabeth Millea ('15)

Krystal Morrison ('15) Clinical Psychology Program, University of Central Florida

Jessica Zhao ('15) Quantitative Psychology Program, University of Southern California

Theresa Barton ('16). University of Notre Dame Law School

Shelby Clingen ('16) Masters Program in Social Work, University of Chicago

Katherine McManus ('16) Intern, Student Welfare & Development, Athletics, University of Notre Dame

John Oakley ('16) Research Coordinator, Temple University

Megan Pogue ('17) Georgetown University Medical School

Michelle Carney ('17) Teach for America

Catherine Finney ('17), Medical School

Catherine Mahon ('17), Medical School

Gabrielle Thivierge ('17), Industry

Laura Eckert ('18) Campus Minister Dublin Global Gateway, Notre Dame

Nicholas Pittman ('18) Teach for America

Phoebe Natale ('18), Masters of Social Work program, University of Washington, St. Louis

Madeline McKenna ('18) , The Ohio State University Medical College

Madison Recktenwald ('18), Medical School

Grace Reilly ('18), Drexel University College of Medicine

Colleagues & Resources