Research Members

Philip T. Yanos, Professor

Philip T. Yanos, Ph.D. is a professor in the Psychology Department at John Jay College.  He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from St. John’s University in 1999 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Mental Health Services Research at Rutgers University in 2001.  He has been a faculty member at John Jay since 2006 and was previously a faculty member at in the Department of Psychiatry of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. Professor Yanos first learned about mental health recovery in 1993, and since then, his over-riding professional goal has been to help facilitate recovery through research, direct clinical services, teaching, and mentoring/clinical supervision of professionals in training.  Currently, a major research interest is the effect of stigma on the identity of people with severe mental illness (including self- or internalized stigma) and ways to address it through professional and peer-led means.  He is the co-developer, with David Roe and Paul Lysaker of “Narrative Enhancement and Cognitive Therapy,” a group-based treatment which aims to address the effects of internalized stigma among people with severe mental illness.  He is the author of over 70 articles and book chapters, and is the principal investigator on 2 federally-funded projects: “Randomized Controlled Trial of Treatment for Internalized Stigma in Schizophrenia,” funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and “Examining Determinants of Community Participation among Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities,” funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.


Tim Bustle, Undergraduate

Photo/Bio coming soon


Ginny Chan, Doctoral Student

Ginny is a seventh year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. She received her Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology at the National University of Singapore in 2008. Her main areas of research interests include social cognitive processes underlying mental health stigma, media use and its impact on stigma, risk assessment in general recidivism, and more broadly, severe mental illness in the criminal justice system. Ginny is currently on internship.

Rebecca Candelaria, BA/MA Student

Photo/Bio coming soon


Kristin Davidoff, Doctoral Student

Photo/Bio coming soon



Joseph S. DeLuca, Doctoral Student

Joe is a third year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. He earned a joint BA/MA degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College in 2014, completing his MA thesis under the guidance of Dr. Yanos. The focus of his thesis was “political attitudes as predictors of mental health stigma.” His clinical and research interests include serious mental illness, community integration, and peer support; public and structural mental health stigma; mental wellness and help-seeking behaviors in university settings; forensic mental health; and mental health advocacy and mental illness de-stigmatization programs/campaigns. He is the co-founder and past president of John Jay’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) club.


Lauren Gonzales, Doctoral Student 

Lauren is a sixth year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. She received her MA in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College (2013), and BA in Psychology from New York University (2011). Her research interests focus upon social factors and stigma related to recovery for individuals with severe mental illness. She is currently involved in research on mental illness microaggressions, community factors related to reintegration, and evaluation procedures and impact of court mandated community treatment programs. Lauren is currently on internship.


Taiki Matsuura, Doctoral Student

Photo/Bio coming soon



Lauren O’Connor, Doctoral Student

Lauren is a second year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and Economics from Tufts University in 2012. Prior to entering graduate school, Lauren worked at McLean Hospital in the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program on a clinical trial of cognitive remediation in schizophrenia. Broadly, her interests center around recovery for individuals with severe mental illness, internalized stigma, and the specific challenges faced by those with mental illness who identify as LGBT.


Pavel Pleskach, Master’s Student

Photo/Bio coming soon


Amalia Rudnik, Master’s Student

Amalia Rudnik graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the spring of 2014. She majored in forensic psychology, with a minor in counseling. She has been in Dr.Yanos’ lab since her sophomore year at John Jay. In the spring of 2014, Amalia was admitted to the masters program in forensic mental health counseling at John Jay, which she presently attends now. She is currently working on a manuscript with her colleagues concerning the use of the “Twenty Statements Test” as a measure of self stigma within a psychiatric, forensic population, a survey on, measuring the social behaviors of the public towards sex offenders, and collecting data and recruiting participants for a current study being done by Dr. Yanos on the stigma faced by those with a serious mental illness within their communities. Eventually, Amalia hopes to go on to earn a Psy.D or Ph.D., and to focus on the rehabilitation and counseling of sex offenders, as well as focusing on individuals with serious mental illness, that are involved with the criminal justice system.


Jenna Seda, Master’s Student

Photo/Bio coming soon


John V

John Vacarro, Graduate

John graduated with his M.A. Forensic Psychology in May 2015. He joined MHRRL to continue to explore how stigma affects marginalized groups. He received a bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology at the University of Rhode Island in May of 2012. His research interests include risk assessment, rehabilitation, and reintegration of high risk sex offenders. John  plans to earn a doctorate in Forensic Psychology and conduct research in the field.


Beth Vayshenker, Doctoral Student

Beth is a fifth year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. In 2008, she earned a B.A. in Psychology at SUNY Binghamton. Prior to entering graduate school, Beth worked in a psychosocial program for individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness at Brooklyn Community Services and developed an interest in mental health recovery, psychiatric rehabilitation, and community inclusion. She is continuing this line of work with Dr. Yanos at John Jay College. Broadly, her interests center around community and treatment factors related to recovery from serious mental illness, the impact of cognitive functioning on functional outcomes, and stigma experiences of mental health professionals.

About the Author

Profile photo of Philip Yanos