Our Faculty

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Joseph S. Baschnagel, Ph.D.
Co-director

Dr. Baschnagel joined the Department of Psychology at RIT in 2008 and currently serves as its chair. He has a degree in Clinical Psychology from the University at Buffalo and completed a clinical internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center – Jackson VA Consortium in Jackson, MS and completed a 2-year post-doctoral program focused on PTSD and Addiction research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. His research focuses on studying the attentional and emotional aspects of addiction, particularly cue-reactivity (i.e. how one reacts to drug-related stimuli) in smoking and alcohol use disorders, the role of individual differences in addiction, and developing a mobile app for addiction treatment.  He frequently uses psychophysiological research methods to study attention and emotional processing; measures such as the startle eye-blink reflex, facial EMG, heart rate variability, and skin conductance responses. Dr. Baschnagel also has expertise on the topic of Anxiety Disorders and Borderline Personality Disorder.

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Stephanie Godleski, Ph.D.
Co-director

Professor Godleski joined the Department of Psychology in the Fall of 2015. Her areas of expertise are within Clinical and Developmental Psychology. Her research focuses on developmental pathways to risk and resilience, particularly within early development from pregnancy to early childhood. She is interested in how parent and family influences (e.g., parental substance use, discipline, intimate partner conflict, etc) impact the development and maintenance of aggressive and impulsive thoughts and behaviors as well as other risky behavior and psychopathology throughout the lifespan.

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Suzanne Bamonto, Ph.D.

Dr. Bamonto joined the Department of Psychology in 2003 and currently serves as director of the M.S. School Psychology Program. She holds a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Oregon, and spent four years working in a school district prior to joining the faculty at RIT. Dr. Bamonto’s research has been primarily in the area of screening and progress monitoring assessment in schools. More recently her area of focus has been on the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed practice. Dr. Bamonto is working with Drs. Schenkel and Houston to develop school-based interventions aimed at reducing the risk of substance use disorders in youth with externalizing problems and/or high levels of trauma exposure.

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Rebecca Houston, Ph.D.

Rebecca J. Houston completed her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Biopsychology in the Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans.  Dr. Houston next completed an NIAAA-sponsored T32 training postdoctoral program in the Alcohol Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Dr. Houston initially established her research program as a Senior Research Scientist at the Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, The State University at New York.  In Fall 2016, Dr. Houston joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Dr. Houston’s program of research focuses broadly on examining neuropsychological and psychophysiological correlates of aggressive and impulsive behavior, particularly in the context of substance abuse risk and treatment.  Specific areas of focus have included changes in behavioral and psychophysiological measures of impulse control over the course of alcoholism treatment, the application of heart rate variability biofeedback in the treatment of alcoholism, associations between aggression and suicide risk, the role of self-control in the relation between alcohol use and intimate partner violence, effects of binge drinking on executive cognitive functioning, neural mechanisms associated with drinking and driving, and the intersection of personality characteristics with risk for substance abuse and aggression in young adults.

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Lindsay Schenkel, Ph.D.

Dr. Schenkel’s research is in the area of developmental psychopathology and the role of social cognition in the clinical expression of serious mental illness.  Much of her work has examined emotion processing abnormalities among children and adolescents diagnosed with mood and psychotic disorders. Her work has also focused on relationships between early traumatic experiences and later clinical outcomes and social-cognitive impairments among individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Recently, Dr. Schenkel (along with Drs. Bamonto and Houston) received funding to develop a school-based preventative intervention program that incorporates psychophysiological, cognitive, and social-cognitive treatment strategies for youth with externalizing problems who are at-risk for later substance abuse disorders. To this end, Dr. Schenkel’s research attempts to integrate clinical, developmental, and psychophysiological approaches in the study of risk factors for serious mental illness and social-cognitive dysfunction.