Adventure Camp Team 2023
A message from Camp Director Carmen Tumialan Lynas, Ph.D.
This will be our 13th year running the Adventure Camp program, and each year, I am humbled by the dedication of so many pediatric providers who are dedicating their time to learn about selective mutism. As all of us at Adventure Camp know, as well as colleagues around the world who run their own programs for selective mutism, this treatment is a labor of love from which we get to reap the reward of watching the children grow! Not only do we see the change in the children, but we also get to see how parents feel empowered when they learn the impact they have as their child’s agent of change. We also get to reap the reward of hearing back from previous Adventure Camp counselors who tell us how they have returned to their school districts armed with the information to help other students with selective mutism, or who have returned to their clinics able to provide selective mutism treatment in their practice, including previous counselors who have started their own camps. From its inception, the mission of Adventure Camp has been two fold: to provide evidence-based treatment for children with selective mutism while also spreading knowledge and awareness to those who may encounter a child with selective mutism in their school or practice. We are thankful to all who participate in this mission!
AC 2023 Facilitators
Meghan Riordan, Ed.S.
Classroom 1 Facilitator & Supervising Clinician
Meghan Riordan, Ed.S., holds a master’s education specialist degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) from Loyola University Chicago. She is currently completing her postmaster fellowship in CMHC at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions for Anxiety. Last year, Meghan completed her clinical practicum rotation at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions for Anxiety providing diagnostic intake assessments and treatment, supervised by Carmen Tumialan Lynas, Ph.D. At ATSA, Megthan assessed and treated children with selective mutism, separation anxiety, specific phobias, social interaction difficulties, as well as providing psychoeducation to parents regarding best practices for supporting their children’s progress. Before her practicum rotation, Meghan completed ATSA’s training in selective mutism intervention in 2021, and has subsequently served as an Adventure Camp counselor and Winter Adventure Counselor since. She has also facilitated peer and group sessions for children with selective mutism and social anxiety. Prior to her specialist training, Meghan volunteered at the Indiana School for the Blind and Vision Impaired while pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Butler University, interacting with adolescents through stimulating sensory activities and games to increase their confidence and curiosity. Also, as a long-standing volleyball coach for children and adolescents, and an athlete herself throughout college, Meghan understands the pressures and anxieties that come with sports performance, which also contributed to her interest in mental health. In addition to her role at ATSA, Meghan continues her role as a Girls Volleyball Coach at MOD Volleyball Club where she educates children ages 9-18 on volleyball skills, the importance of teamwork, and ways to set and achieve performance goals. Meghan has participated in previous research covering the effects of a student’s confidence on their performance, based on their perceptions of the task, which also solidified her interest in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). We are delighted that Meghan will be bringing her expertise and passion to Adventure Camp as our Classroom 1 Facilitator!
Cate O'Leary, MA, LCPC, NCC
Classroom 2 Facilitator & Supervising Clinician
Cathleen (Cate) O’Leary, MA, LCPC, NCC has had a long history with Adventure Camp intensive treatment for selective mutism. In 2013, she first heard about selective mutism in her role as a Job Coach for high school and adult transition students with developmental and emotional disabilities. While working with a student with selective mutism in this capacity, Cate realized the many challenges the student with selective mutism faced on a daily basis, and especially as an emerging adult transitioning from high school. The explanation (and acceptance) from others that the student didn’t talk did not sit right with Cate. She had the intuition to recognize that when given the opportunity to verbalize, the student was able to respond verbally. This led Cate down the path of discovering more about selective mutism, and she found Adventure Camp Counselor Training. Since 2013, Cate has served as an Adventure Camp counselor for 2013-2015, then joined Advanced Therapeutic Solutions for Anxiety (ATSA) in 2015 to provide outpatient services for children and families. Cate has been our Adventure Camp Classroom 2 facilitator for the past 7 years, and continues to provide outpatient services at ATSA. She also continues in her role as a Job Coach where she provides vocational training and counseling for students with disabilities who may also have co-existing issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder, selective mutism, and other mental health conditions. Cate earned her Master of Arts in Counseling from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois, and completed her practicum and internship as a school counselor at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois. We are ecstatic to have Cate as our Classroom 2 Facilitator once again!
Iris Sanchez, B.A.
Data Collection and AC Counselor
Iris earned her bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in community psychology and a minor in Spanish from DePaul University in Chicago. Iris’s role at Adventure Camp, which includes making sure all registration paperwork is submitted and questionnaire data is collected, is crucial to ATSA’s mission. It is very important to us that we adhere to intervention protocol fidelity to ensure treatment success. In order to ensure that we meet this standard, measurement is key! Therefore, Iris’s assistance in collecting this data is incredibly valuable. In addition to serving Adventure Camp in an administrative way, Iris has also completed her training in the Adventure Camp selective mutism intervention protocol last summer, has subsequently served as a counselor in Adventure Camp and Winter Adventure, and assists as a confederate for exposure therapies in both individual and group sessions. At Adventure Camp, Iris serves a dual role of administrative and camp counselor support. Iris has a longstanding passion for supporting children and teens, specifically minorities or those from low-income communities. Being bicultural and bilingual in Spanish and English, Iris applied her talents to serve as a mentor for elementary school-aged children in Chicago Public School’s Cities Project, building supportive relationships with at-risk students and encouraging them to complete their assignments. This experience introduced her to working with children who show avoidant behaviors, such as not speaking or interacting with her, and sparked an interest and desire to build rapport with children who did not “warm-up” quickly. Iris is excited to not only witness the Adventure Campers’ progress this summer, but also witness their success transfer into the upcoming school year!
2023 AC Counselors
Lana was an ATSA intern and Adventure Camp assistant in 2022, and also served as an AC Counselor after completing her training in the Adventure Camp selective mutism intervention protocol last summer. In addition to serving as an AC Counselor this summer, Lana also joins another intern alum in co-managing this year’s summer interns. Currently a rising senior at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, Lana is double-majoring in Psychology and English. At Kalamazoo, she is a co-editor in chief of two newspapers and was a part of a research lab studying women’s leadership aspirations. Lana’s desire to work with the SM population led her back to ATSA, and she has decided to complete her capstone project on selective mutism. Her past experiences at ATSA have solidified her interest to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology focusing on the child/family population. Lana is really excited to be a part of camp again this year and help the campers find their brave!
Brianna Banks, B.S.
Northern Illinois University
Brianna Banks is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with a specialization in developmental psychopathology, at Northern Illinois University (NIU). She earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of California, Davis. Prior to beginning the NIU doctoral program, Brianna worked with children ages 2 ½ to 5 years old and their families as an assistant preschool teacher. Her time there inspired her current research exploring the relationship between the parents of children exhibiting internalizing and externalizing behaviors in early childhood and their child’s teacher. For the past two years, Brianna worked as a clinician at NIU’s Psychological Services Center where she provided therapeutic and assessment services to children and adolescents. This experience has exposed her to a wide variety of treatment approaches and presenting concerns, including anxiety disorders, such as selective mutism. Brianna has participated as a counselor in Adventure Camp 2022 and Winter Adventure 2023, and she is grateful to return once again for Adventure Camp 2023 to support all the brave campers and their families as they learn and grow at Adventure Camp!
Meena Chockalingam, B.A., B.S.
Illinois Institute of Technology
Meena is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with a specialization in rehabilitation psychology, at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Meena completed her undergraduate and early graduate education in Australia, where her clinical and research interests were in positive psychology (particularly the role of courage in facing fears) and evidence-based treatments for anxiety disorders. Since beginning her doctoral studies at IIT, Meena’s research has focused on exploring best practices for supporting children with disabilities. Furthermore, for the past year Meena has been working with children and adolescents at UI Health’s Craniofacial Center providing assessment, therapy and consultation services. Meena is very passionate about supporting children and their families, and is so grateful to be able to serve children with selective mutism as an Adventure Camp Counselor this summer. She is excited to meet the brave campers and their families, and cheer them on through their learning journey at Adventure Camp!
Allie Jessen, M.A.
Northern Illinois University
Allie Jessen, M.A., earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychological science from Northern Arizona University. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University with a focus on trauma. Her doctoral research focuses on the role of duty-related trauma on the wellbeing of first responders. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Allie worked as a case manager for individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness (SMI), connecting them to various resources in the community, as well as working with families affected by domestic violence. Allie has spent the last year as a clinician in NIU’s Psychological Services Center providing evidence-based therapy to individuals and couples with a variety of mental health concerns. Regarding selective mutism, Allie remembers a student in her elementary school who never talked and used a white board to communicate. After learning about selective mutism, Allie wonders if her classmate may have been experiencing this anxiety disorder. She learned about Adventure Camp Counselor Training through her NIU colleagues and became interested in pursuing the opportunity to learn how to help patients with selective mutism so that they don’t have the same experience as her classmate, never speaking in school. Even though Allie’s main interest is in trauma, and selective mutism is not caused by trauma (a common misconception), there is overlap in terms of treatment and the benefits of exposure therapy, specifically facing one’s fear, sitting with it, and learning to manage anxiety. Allie is motivated to help the Adventure Camp campers recover and grow so they can have a typical childhood experience. Allie loved working as a camp counselor last summer and winter and she’s excited to return this summer at Adventure Camp and meet all the wonderful campers and their families!
Joanna Keane, M.A.
Northern Illinois University
Joanna Keane, M.A., is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a specialization in developmental psychopathology and trauma psychology. Before receiving her master's degree at NIU, she graduated from Villanova University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in counseling. While she was there, she volunteered with children in a domestic violence shelter and engaged in research examining the effectiveness of a parenting intervention for families experiencing homelessness. Her current research focuses on how the family unit can promote resilient child outcomes in families experiencing adversity. She previously worked as a clinician in NIU’s Psychological Services Center where she offered therapeutic services to clients presenting with a variety of concerns including anxiety disorders, and at Susan Myket, Ph.D. & Associates where she provided psychological assessments to children and adolescents. She enjoyed working with campers to use their brave in Adventure Camp 2021-2022, Winter Adventure 2022-2023, and Courage Club. Joanna is excited to return and combine her passion of working with children and providing accessible, evidence-based treatments through her work as an Adventure Camp Counselor!
Riley Laffoon, B.S.
Northern Illinois University
Riley Laffoon is pursuing her Ph.D. in School Psychology at Northern Illinois University. Prior to attending NIU, she graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While pursuing her doctorate, Riley has worked with children of various ages and backgrounds in both the school and clinic setting. She has experience in utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy principles to lead group counseling sessions focused on emotion regulation, as well as intervening to de-escalate students in emotional distress within the school setting. As a budding school psychologist, Riley is an ideal addition to the Adventure Camp team, where she will gain hands-on experience working with students with selective mutism. Riley’s research interests include parent involvement in education and student-teacher relationships, and how the two are related to child outcomes. Given her background experiences and research interests surrounding school, Riley understands the importance of accessing your education and is passionate about helping students do so. She is very excited for the opportunity to support children with selective mutism and their families through Adventure Camp!
Laura Liden, B.S.
Loyola University Chicago
Laura Liden is pursuing her Ed.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Loyola University Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Loyola University Chicago. She was previously a psychology intern at the Anixtey Center, a center focused on mental health recovery. Laura led small group sessions at the Anxiety Center and also supervised members on weekly outings. She also has previous experience working with children as an ESL tutor at the Madonna Mission. Laura is passionate about helping children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, and she learned more about selective mutism in her diagnostics course. As selective mutism is a little-known and often misunderstood condition, Laura appreciates that one of ATSA’s goals is to bring awareness and share information about selective mutism to the public. Laura is excited to bring the new knowledge and experience she will acquire about selective mutism to her future internship and career. Laura is looking forward to working as an Adventure Camp counselor this summer and cannot wait to meet all of the children and parents!
Bridget Purdy, M.A., M.S.
Special Education Inclusion Teacher
Bridget is a special education inclusion teacher who was inspired to pursue training through Adventure Camp to learn more about how to help students with selective mutism. Teaching in a self-contained classroom, Bridget aims to provide differentiated interventions to meet the diverse needs of her classroom. Therefore, learning more about the anxiety disorder selective mutism, and evidence-based interventions is consistent with her goals as an inclusion teacher. Bridget holds a master’s degree in Special Education and also in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, making her an ideal addition to the Adventure Camp team. She consistently pursues ways to integrate techniques to help students struggling with anxiety in the classroom setting. Combining her special education and clinical mental health counseling degrees, Bridget aims to bridge the gap of understanding with educators, school personnel, and families about anxiety and how to most effectively meet anxious students’ needs. In her school, Bridget works with the school social worker, speech pathologist, teachers, and an outside clinical team to develop programming that best meets the needs of those struggling with anxiety. Anxiety can be an overwhelming emotion that children with selective mutism experience, and which they attempt to regulate by staying quiet. However, as Bridget understands first-hand through her own teaching experience, selective mutism can interfere with a child’s academic and social development. Bridget believes that identifying tools and strategies to help children will help educators and clinicians build a partnership of communication in development and implementation of treatment planning in the school setting which will greatly impact the success of the child. That is what motivated Bridget to serve as an Adventure Camp Counselor, so she can gain hands-on experience in addressing selective mutism effectively and take those tools back to her classroom, help her students, and be a resource to her school team. Prior to teaching, Bridget worked as an Education Coordinator at a hospital where she acted as a liaison between the hospital and schools, gathered and accommodated schoolwork, as well as collateral information for treatment planning, and assisted with parent trainings. Bridget has experience working with children with autism, ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, and PTSD in clinical and classroom settings. Bridget looks forward to learning more about resilience and bravery through the kids of Adventure Camp!
Brandon Davis, B.A.
Northern Illinois University
Brandon Davis is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northern Illinois University (NIU). Prior to beginning his doctorate, Brandon served as a research coordinator at Northwestern University studying stereotypes, social cognition, and parent-child interactions. At NIU, he is in the trauma lab and most recently completed a rotation on the child track, where he provided therapy and assessment, including training in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Brandon’s overarching research and clinical interests are interpersonal violence, trauma, and alterations in cognitions and identity. Specifically, he’s interested in how people’s sense of identity can shift as a result of trauma. Though selective mutism is not caused by trauma (which is a common misconception), being known in school as the kid who doesn't talk can certainly impact identity development. Brandon is looking forward to working with the children of Adventure Camp and helping them develop a healthy sense of self through their AC experience!
Gloria Arteaga, B.A.
Horizon Science Academy, Kindergarten Teacher
Gloria Arteaga, B.A., is currently employed as a Kindergarten Teacher at Horizon Science Academy Belmont. Gloria realized she wanted to work in a school setting with diverse learners after working as an Intake Coordinator at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions for Anxiety (ATSA) where she also served as a counselor for Adventure Camp in 2019 and 2021, Winter Adventure in 2020-2022, and also facilitated Classroom 1 for Adventure Camp 2020. Gloria is bilingual in English and Spanish, and she has also completed two years of instruction in American Sign Language. Her diverse language skills have enabled her to expand the diversity of children she is able to teach. Gloria holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology from the University of Illinois in Chicago, and she intends to pursue graduate studies in the near future. Gloria's dream is to open her own clinical practice in Mexico, where she has witnessed a lack of mental health services and the stigma behind mental health issues. She is very excited to be part of Adventure Camp for a seventh time! She is eager to continue to gain knowledge and skills about the treatment of selective mutism, which she will carry into her current role as an early elementary teacher, her future training as a clinician, and for spreading awareness to Spanish-speaking communities.
Melissa Bunda, LCSW
School Social Worker
Melissa Bunda, LCSW, currently works as a school social worker primarily with preschool and kindergarten students, though she also has years of experience working in a middle school setting. As a school social worker, Melissa has seen an increase in a need to have a greater specialized understanding of selective mutism, which is an anxiety disorder characterized by the failure to speak in public settings, such as in school, despite having the ability to speak. Melissa is excited to participate in Adventure Camp to gain intensive hands-on experience in its unique, school-simulated exposure therapy program, work directly with students with selective mutism, and hone her therapeutic skills. It is because of dedicated school social workers, like Melissa, that more schools are learning about how to effectively support students with selective mutism in the school setting. Melissa earned her master’s degree in social work from Loyola University Chicago, and before working in schools, she worked as a clinician in a temporary shelter for DCFS wards with children ranging in age from eight to 18. She obtained a Certificate in Mindfulness in the Helping Professions from Governors State University in 2017 and utilizes many of the concepts learned not only with her students but with herself. Melissa looks forward to expanding her knowledge and understanding of selective mutism as an Adventure Camp Counselor and applying her knowledge to practice as a school social worker where she plans to share her knowledge with colleagues and families.
Chynna Dubuclet, B.S.
Northern Illinois University
Chynna Dubuclet is pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a focus on child development and trauma/PTSD. She is a member of the Families and Development in Context Lab where she conducts research on development and factors that positively and negatively impact development. She is also currently completing her practicum rotation at Susan Myket, Ph.D. & Associates, providing therapy services. Prior to attending NIU, she graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana where she majored in Psychology and minored in African American and Diaspora Studies. Chynna’s clinical and research interests include trauma and anxiety-related diagnosis and treatment in children and adolescents as well as resilience factors that buffer the development of disorders. Over the past year, she has worked with children and adults conducting psychological assessments and evidence-based treatment for a variety of mental health concerns. Given that her interest is in child development and trauma/PTSD, learning about selective mutism is important. Even though selective mutism is not trauma based (a common misconception), it is maintained by an anxious-avoidance coping pattern. Learning about selective mutism as an Adventure Camp Counselor will help Chynna consider anxious avoidance patterns that can manifest in PTSD and other trauma-based disorders, while also learning how to identify, assess, and differentiate selective mutism. After serving as an AC Counselor in 2022 and in Winter Adventure 2023, Chynna returns for Adventure Camp 2023. She has loved working with kids since being a camp counselor in high school and is very excited to continue to build her clinical skills and serve the campers and families once again this summer!
Jordan Kaye, B.A.
Northern Illinois University
Jordan Kaye has a history of interest in studying child and family relationships. Before pursuing her doctorate, Jordan was a Research Assistant with Child Mind Institute’s Healthy Brain Network where she assisted in CMI’s big data/open science initiative aiming to identify biological markers for psychopathology from the participation of 10,000 children and adolescents ages 5-21. Before CMI, she was also a Research Assistant for Chronis-Tuscano and Rubin’s Preschool Shyness Study which compares two early intervention programs for children with severe social anxiety/behavioral inhibition. These post-baccalaureate experiences inspired Jordan to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a specialization in developmental psychopathology. Jordan’s current research focuses on parent-child relationships and associated longitudinal child outcomes, parenting behaviors, and emotion- and self-regulation. At NIU, Jordan worked as a clinician at the Psychological Services Center for two years providing therapeutic and assessment services to children and adults with various diagnoses. Outside of NIU, Jordan has assisted with group therapy in other private practice settings, and recently completed a rotation at ATSA serving as an intake clinician. As the intake clinician, Jordan worked with parents of children with SM and other anxiety disorders conducting intakes, parent-child observations and training sessions, and feedback sessions. Even though Jordan wanted to participate in CMI’s Brave Buddies program while she was there, scheduling conflicts interfered with the opportunity. Jordan was thrilled to participate in Adventure Camp’s version of Brave Buddies last summer, and is excited to return as a counselor this summer!
Susan Kunkle, B.A.
Chicago School of Psychology
Susan Kunkle is certified in Special Education and English as Second Language, and holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from National Louis University. Early in her career, Susan taught Kindergarten for the Chicago Public Schools system in a highly impoverished neighborhood. Her classroom consisted of an average of 32 students each year, with little to no resources. Approximately 90% of the children Susan taught suffered extreme anxiety and post-traumatic stress from exposure to complex, or continuous, traumas. Susan incorporated social-emotional learning and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral techniques into her teaching style. However, she felt more and more pulled to contribute in a more direct way, which led her to leave her teaching career to pursue a Masters's degree in Forensic Psychology at the Chicago School of Psychology. As a forensic psychologist, Susan plans to continue supporting children and families exposed to trauma and complicated family systems by providing forensic assessments and treatments. She is particularly interested in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), which is one of the most common court-appointed treatments due to the strong empirical evidence for its effectiveness in building rapport and repairing attachments within the parent-child relationship. PCIT has been adapted for treating other conditions, such as selective mutism, by facilitating a strong rapport during the child-directed interaction phase in order to foster confidence in the child to face their fears during the verbal-directed interaction phase. Susan is looking forward to combining her previous experience as a Kindergarten teacher with that of her role as an Adventure Camp counselor applying the PCIT-SM intervention so that she can follow her goal of contributing more directly to children’s positive health outcomes.
Jean Lee, M.M., A.D.
Jean Lee, M.M., is a professional flutist! She holds flute performance degrees, including a Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her bachelor’s degree in music from Wheaton College Conservatory. Jean has also served in the Illinois Army National Guard’s 144th Army Band, whose mission it is “to raise troop morale and promote esprit de corps.” As a professional flutist, Jean has taught music to students ages eight and up, as well as to adults. As a musician, Jean witnessed many of her fellow musical-performing friends struggling with anxiety, particularly performance anxiety, and other career-related mental health challenges. As a teacher, she also noticed how anxiety can impact students’ confidence and performance. It is because of these observations that Jean became interested in pursuing a second Master’s degree, this time in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, at Wheaton College. Jean is learning how emotion regulation relates to anxiety through her work as a summer practicum clinician at ATSA. She is noticing how social anxiety and selective mutism interact with performance anxiety, and she is enjoying the hands-on training she is receiving helping children approach their fears and increase their confidence. Jean is excited to be a part of the Adventure Camp team to expand her learning about selective mutism and how to apply evidence-based treatments for anxiety. If we’re lucky, maybe she will play her flute for us at Adventure Camp!
Cassandra (Cassie) Mick, M.A., M.Ed.
Northern Illinois University
Cassandra (Cassie) Mick, M.A., M.Ed., holds master's degrees in clinical psychology from Northern Illinois University and in child studies from Vanderbilt University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology also at NIU. Cassie completed ATSA’s selective mutism intervention training in 2021 and has subsequently worked with ATSA as an Adventure Camp Counselor, Winter Adventure Counselor, and was a co-facilitator for our Courage Club group therapy. She previously worked as a Behavior Specialist at Rogers Behavioral Health – Nashville serving children with OCD and anxiety disorders and their families using exposure therapy, and at Susan Myket, Ph.D. & Associates providing psychological assessment services to children and adults. Cassie currently works at The OCD and Anxiety Center in Oak Brook providing cognitive behavioral and exposure therapy to clients of all ages. She enjoys working with children and families coping with selective mutism and is looking forward to returning as an Adventure Camp counselor once again this summer!
Peter Tappenden, B.A.
Northern Illinois University
Peter Tappenden is pursuing his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a trauma psychology focus. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Colgate University. Prior to his time at NIU, Peter worked as a research coordinator at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Hospital in the Bronx, NY, where he assisted with research on the biological correlates and treatment of PTSD. Over the past year, Peter has served as a clinician in NIU’s Psychological Services Center (PSC). At the PSC, Peter has provided psychodiagnostic assessments and evidenced-based therapy to individuals in the DeKalb community. His current research interests center on factors that promote risk and resilience to PTSD following trauma exposure, as well as experiences of moral injury in first responders. In a developmental psychopathology course at NIU, Peter learned about selective mutism and what a debilitating disorder it can be. This, combined with his love of working with children he gained through work as a camp counselor and volunteering at a local elementary school throughout college, inspired him to be part of the incredible Adventure Camp mission. He cannot wait to serve as a counselor this summer and to see the amazing growth of each brave camper!
Tiondra will begin her doctorate in School Psychology at Indiana University Bloomington in August. In 2022, she was an ATSA intern and Adventure Camp assistant, and also served as an AC Counselor after completing her training in the Adventure Camp selective mutism intervention protocol last summer. This year, she leads the 2023 summer interns as co-manager with a fellow intern alum. Tiondra is a graduate from Illinois State University with a bachelor of science in psychology and minor emphasis in African American Studies, Children’s Studies, and Sociology. She has experience holding leadership roles in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Black Student Psychology Association, and as a Lead Mentor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Honors Program while at ISU. She has been the ATSA Case Manager since January 2023, serving as the liaison among patients, clinicians, and schools to monitor patient progress, specifically ensuring treatment plan recommendations are met. In her role as co-manager of the Adventure Camp summer interns, Tiondra will continue to support patients’ progress by ensuring effective teaching clips are captured to educate the campers’ parents and teachers, which will facilitate understanding of how to effectively prompt students with selective mutism and increase treatment carry over into the school setting. We are delighted to know that as a result of her Adventure Camp experience, Tiondra will continue her reach far and wide as a future school psychologist!
Intern Co-Manager and AC Counselor
Lana Alvey was an ATSA intern and Adventure Camp assistant in 2022, and also served as an AC Counselor after completing her training in the Adventure Camp selective mutism intervention protocol last summer. Lana joins a fellow intern alum to manage the 2023 Summer Interns this year. She is currently a rising senior at Kalamazoo College in Michigan and is double-majoring in Psychology and English. At Kalamazoo, she is a co-editor in chief of two newspapers and was a part of a research lab studying women’s leadership aspirations. Lana’s desire to work with the SM population led her back to ATSA, and she has decided to complete her capstone project on selective mutism. Her past experiences at ATSA have solidified her interest to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology focusing on the child/family population. Lana is really excited to be a part of camp again this year and help the campers find their brave!
2023 Summer Interns
University of Southern California
Haley Betron is a rising senior at the University of Southern California where she is studying psychology and occupational science, and where she is also the Vice President of the Psychology Honors Society, Psi Chi. At USC, she not only serves as a clinical assistant in their Psychology Services Center, but she also volunteers as a research assistant in the NeuroEndocrinology of Social Ties (NEST) lab, which focuses on the neurobiological and psychological underpinnings of family relationships, such as transition and adjustment to parenthood. Haley’s role in the lab includes behavioral coding of couples’ discussions about their division of household labor as new parents and leading in-lab family visits. The data is being used to gain a better understanding of mothers’ and fathers’ dynamics as they transition to parenthood. Haley’s experience in the lab fosters her growing interest in family dynamics. She thoroughly enjoys working with kids and families and is excited to continue pursuing her passion at ATSA, where she is gaining hands-on experience ranging from interfacing with patients’ parents to serving as a confederate in exposure therapy sessions for children and adolescents coping with selective mutism or social anxiety. Her research experience at USC, coupled with the hands-on clinic experience at ATSA, gives Haley a strong foundation to pursue her career goals. After graduation, Haley intends to become a mental health counselor working with children and adolescents. For now, she is looking forward to learning more about therapeutic techniques to help children and their families cope with anxiety, and she is excited to work with the campers at Adventure Camp!
University of Michigan
Claire Dellorto is a rising Junior at the University of Michigan and is majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. At the University of Michigan, Claire is a volunteer mentor for FATE mentorship program where she works with underserved Detroit youth, an Editorial Writer for MASH Magazine, and a member of several other organizations including the Undergraduate Psychology Society and the Iota Chapter of Delta Delta Delta. Claire is especially interested in a specialization in diagnosing and treating serious mental illness. Additionally, she is very excited to get this opportunity to work with ATSA children and families. After gaining this experience, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical or school psychology, so that she can continue helping others! Claire was drawn to this internship at ATSA because of the rare opportunity for hands-on clinical work as an undergraduate, many professional development seminars, and the valuable experience of seeing the progress that the children make firsthand. Claire can’t wait for Adventure Camp this summer to meet all of the wonderful kids and help them to use their brave!
Arizona State University
Eliza Joy is a rising senior at Arizona State University and is double-majoring in psychology and neuroscience. At ASU, Eliza works as a student success coach and is a member of the Medallion Scholarship Program, which emphasizes leadership, scholarship, and community service on campus. She is passionate about working with children and adolescents. This passion began when she worked at a Native American youth rehabilitation center and special education classroom. Eliza also taught swim and dive lessons and volunteered at Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels. After graduating from ASU, Eliza plans to pursue a doctorate in school psychology and further specialize in neuropsychology with a focus on children and adolescents. Eliza is excited to be a part of the ATSA team as she continues to explore her interests in the assessment and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders, phobias, and OCD. She is very grateful to be a part of this opportunity, to support the children and their families, as well as to help the children find their BRAVE at Adventure Camp.
Yaerin Wallenberger is a rising junior at Bowdoin College and is double-majoring in Psychology and Education, with a minor in Chinese language. At Bowdoin, Yaerin has sung in the Chorus and the Chamber Choir, led an Alternative Spring Break trip to New York City focusing on educational equity, and conducted a Chinese language-based independent study on attitudes toward mental health in China. Yaerin’s long-standing passion for the field of clinical psychology, as well as a specific interest in learning more about selective mutism and co-occurring anxiety conditions, led her to enthusiastically pursue the opportunities that ATSA provides through its undergraduate summer internship. As someone who grew up immersed in a multicultural environment, Yaerin is interested in engaging with research in cross-cultural psychology. Next semester, she will begin a research project on neurodivergent traits and mental health outcomes, which she hopes to extend into her semester abroad in Denmark in spring of 2024. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, Yaerin plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and engage in a combination of culturally-aware research, clinical, and advocacy work. She is excited to learn about the day-to-day experience of working at a clinical practice, serve as a confederate in therapy sessions, and to get to know the diverse group of AC campers (many of whom come from multicultural and multilingual backgrounds like hers)!
Charis Chen is a Malaysian international student and rising senior at Cedarville University, where she is pursuing a major in psychology with concentrations in comprehensive counseling and child & family studies, as well as minors in honors interdisciplinary studies, biblical studies, and international business. Her research interests include grief, trauma, neuroscience, communication, expressive/generative writing interventions, and cross-cultural psychology. Last year, she worked as a Teaching Assistant in a social psychology class and led an independent study research project on bereavement grief in college students. This project was presented at two conferences and an undergraduate research symposium. She hopes to provide accessible, affordable, and culturally sensitive care to underserved populations, and is eager to gain clinical experience at ATSA this summer. Charis’ passion for stories, culture, and human connection shines through her campus involvement as executive secretary of the Multicultural International Student Organization and member of the Student Diversity Council, MuKappa (organization for individuals who have lived outside their home country/culture), Chinese Club, University Orchestra, Psi Kappa Theta psychology org, and various mentoring programs. She also works at Cedarville’s Career Services office, Campus Store, Academic Enrichment Center, and International Student Services office to connect with students and equip them with resources to succeed. Charis has worked with children and teens in various countries for over 7 years in classrooms, camps, and communications coaching, and loves helping people grow in different ways. She can’t wait to learn more from the clinicians at ATSA and have fun with the children at Adventure Camp!
Julia DeLuca is a rising junior at Bowdoin College and is majoring in psychology and education. Julia’s passion for psychology and helping others has been ever present. In high school, she volunteered at Norwalk Grassroots Tennis where she helped to teach youth the game of tennis as well as teaching them invaluable life skills. At Bowdoin College, Julia is on the Varsity Women's Tennis Team. On Fridays, her team visits a local middle school where they teach English Learning Students how to play tennis and help them with their academics. During her sophomore year of college, Julia volunteered at Strong Girls United where she was a mentor to a fifth grade girl. As a mentor, she imparted both the physical fitness and mental skills necessary to thrive as both a student and an athlete. Currently, Julia volunteers as a Crisis Counselor and assists people in crisis move from a hot moment to a cool, calm state. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and pursue a degree in either clinical or developmental psychology. Her long term goals include doing developmental research on Theory of Mind and becoming a clinical therapist. She hopes to open her own practice one day! Julia is thrilled to have the opportunity to intern at ATSA this summer and learn from Dr. Lynas and the ATSA staff. She is excited to learn more about Selective Mutism and how to best support the children and families at Adventure Camp.
Artemiy Leonov is a rising senior at Clark University in Massachusetts and is majoring in psychology. Artemiy is actively involved in academic research and has demonstrated a strong sense of agency and determination, not only developing two independent research projects as an undergrad, but also receiving grant and fellowship funding through Clark University to support his research. It is no surprise that Artemiy’s research interests fall in the broad domain of self determination and anxiety. His inquisitive mind is constantly formulating potential research questions, and he is determined to answer them. Currently, his interests focus on motivation, self-regulation, and mechanisms of therapeutic change. He has completed two self-directed mixed-method studies: one of self-regulation strategies that video-gamers rely on to avoid procrastination, and another one of habit development in people that wish to regularly complete meditative practices. In addition, Artemiy lives the “Use Your Brave” motto by reaching out to other researchers, for example making connections with researchers in Germany and China. His strong determination to collaborate with others led to a recent neuroscience publication. Currently, Artemiy is preparing for completing his honors thesis, in which he will explore emotions from the standpoint of narrative discourse, attempting to explain the paradoxical malleability of the affect . After graduation, Artemiy plans to pursue a Ph.D in either clinical or personality psychology in order to continue his research of emotion regulation and change. One of the reasons Artemiy is excited to serve as an intern at ATSA is due to his interest in each child’s story of resilience. He is eager to assist them in developing the belief in their agency to control and reshape anxiety, and looks forward to seeing their narratives transform during Adventure Camp!