Our Team

Laboratory Director

Samantha Farris, Ph.D.


Dr. Samantha Farris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and is the Director of The Rutgers Emotion, Health and Behavior (REHAB) Laboratory. Dr. Farris received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at The University of Houston, and completed her psychology internship at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. She completed fellowships in cancer prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and in cardiovascular behavioral medicine at The Miriam Hospital/Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Dr. Farris has published over 80 peer-reviewed publications and has received continuous funding for her research from the National Institutes of Health, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Cancer Institute; and National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Farris’ research focuses on understanding how and why stress and anxiety (i.e., worry, fear, panic) commonly co-occur with and contribute to problematic health behaviors and chronic disease. There is recognition that major health disparities exist in the prevalence and consequences of preventable chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancers) in individuals with high levels of stress and anxiety; however, the psychological processes underlying these health inequalities are not understood. Dr. Farris and The REHAB Laboratory utilize an experimental therapeutics approach to (a) identify fearful thoughts and reactions to stress/anxiety (“cognitive and emotional risk factors”) that contribute to health behaviors and physical disease, (b) isolate how these risk factors influence health behaviors “in real time” through use of laboratory methodologies, and in turn (c) develop tailored interventions that target these risk factors to promote health behavior change and prevent the onset or progression of chronic disease.

Laboratory Manager

Emily Burr, B.A.


Emily earned her B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University. Her primary research interest is the influence of poor emotion regulation on maladaptive health behaviors. Before joining The REHAB Laboratory, Emily was a part of the Adult Anxiety Clinic at Temple University, where she assisted with research in social anxiety and body sensitivity. More recently, Emily worked as a research assistant in the Positive Emotion and Psychopathology Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, investigating the role of positive emotions as a form of psychopathological dysfunction. She intends to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology. 

Graduate Students

Mindy Kibbey, B.A.

IMG 1227Mindy is a post-baccalaureate researcher entering her first year at the Rutgers University Clinical Psychology Ph.D.program. Her focus is on the ways in which transdiagnostic cognitive-affective vulnerabilities as well as psychophysiological parameters are dysregulated in the context of internalizing psychopathology and health risk behaviors and chronic illness. Mindy is interested in work that further characterizes how these biopsychosocial variables are inter-related and can be leveraged to improve both physical and mental health outcomes by promoting well-being and positive health behaviors as well as reducing patient distress and supporting resilience and recovery. She hopes to be involved with dissemination and implementation of best practices in behavioral and medical health care, informed by cutting-edge research and technologies, while valuing the unique humanity and dignity of each individual patient. As a future health-care professional,Mindy aims to disseminate resources and design policies which will reduce mental and physical health disparities while creating an atmosphere of inclusion and affirmation for diverse populations. 



Rachel Rosen, B.S. 

rosenRachel Rosen is a second-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Rutgers. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Rachel earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and subsequently worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Addiction Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. There, she served as a coordinator on two NIAAA-funded studies investingating adaptations of alcohol behavioral couple therapy for service members and veterans. At Rutgers, in her primary research lab, Rachel is working on a NIDA-funded study looking at enhancing task persistence among smokers with schizophrenia. More broadly, Rachel is interested in understanding how different risk and protective factors (e.g. co-occuring health and mental conditions, stigma, self-efficacy, motivation) influence treatment engagement and outcome among adults with tobacco and other substance use. In the REHAB Laboratory, Rachel is taking on a clinical role in diagnostic procedures for the Smoking Health Evaluation (SHE) study.



Kathryn Coniglio, M.S. 


 Kathryn is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at Rutgers, under the mentorship of Dr. Edward Selby. Her primary research interests include the development of low-weight eating disorders and specifically how positive emotion dysregulation may contribute to the development of anorexia nervosa. Kathryn's current program of research seeks to determine an empirically-derived method of defining and assessing pathological exercise by examining motivations for engaging in physical activity. Given Kathryn's research interest in exercise and health, she enjoys serving as a clinician in the REHAB lab's ongoing studies of exercise promotion for patients in cardiac rehabilitation.





Erick Fedorenko, B.A.

EF photoErick is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at Rutgers, under the mentorship of Dr. Richard Contrada. His primary interest is furthering our understanding the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders by using psychophysiology. In particular, he is interested in the neural and autonomic processes that undelie dysregulated emotion in anxiety. He has experience utilizing EEG, EKG, and salivary hormone assay methods. He is currently assisting in the REHAB lab as a clinician on the ongoing studies of exercise promotion for patients in cardiac rehabilitation.

Research Assistants

Laura Faraci, B.A.


Laura is a Masters student of Applied Psychology at Rutgers University. Her research interests include coping strategies for mood disorders and traumatic events and women’s mental health. Post graduation, she intends to work towards her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. From there, Laura plans on working in a hospital setting or private practice, helping those who have been victims of domestic violence. This is her first time working in a research laboratory, and she is excited to learn more about and to help with research that can benefit others.





Gloria Gomez

GomezGloria is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program majoring in Psychology and minoring in English Literature. She is interested in studying the risk and protective factors for the development of depression and anxiety disorders in at-risk youth, as well as examining the socioeconomic and sociocultural factors that may impact a person's mental and physical health. Before joining the REHAB lab, she was a Research Assistant for the RICH Lab at Rutgers. Her goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology after graduation, but currently she is focused on expanding her understanding of the clinical issues prevalent in the psychological field by working with the REHAB team!






  Neha Rao

nehaNeha is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Cognitive Science. She is interested in studying different types of treatments for mood and anxiety disorders in women and children. She plans to get a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology at Rutgers University and then continue working towards a PsyD or PhD in clinical psychology. This is Neha’s first time working in a psychology research lab and she hopes to gain skills and knowledge that can help her in her future education and career.







Anagha Babu, B.A.


Anagha is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored Applied Mathematics and Statistics. After spending years working in finance, Anagha decided to transition careers and pursue obtaining her PhD in Clinical Psychology. As the first step of her journey, Anagha has joined the REHAB Lab to pursue her interest in data analysis and passion for psychology and research. Anagha primarily supports our intervention research on patients in cardiac rehabilitation, integrating a Mind-Body perspective into improvement of mental and physical health in a clinical population.





Michelle Grazioli

ImageMichelle is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences, double majoring in Psychology and Exercise Science. Her primary researct interest is the impact of chronic stress and anxiety disorders on health. She is also interested in exercise interventions and developing effective programs to influence positive health behavior change. Michelle also serves as a research assistant in the Exercise Psychophysiology Lab, headed by Dr. Brandon Alderman, and will utilize the insight and experience gained in both labs to prepare her to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. 






Tonai Crockett

IMG 3572Tonai is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Dance. She is interested in the impact of chronic stress and anxiety disorders on women and children's health. Before joining the REHAB Lab, she served as a Research Assistant for the Interactive Virtual Training Lab for Early Career Teachers at Rutgers, as well as a Scholar for the Institute for Research on Women. Her goal is to pursue a joint M.D. and Ph.D. post graduation, but is currently enjoying gaining more research experience and knowledge about women's psychological health at the REHAB Lab!