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The Global Mental Health and Addiction Program (GMAP), located in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park, is directed by Jessica Magidson, PhD.

Trainee Lab Members

Postdoc/junior faculty:

  • Jennifer Belus, PhD
  • Christopher Seitz-Brown, PhD

Graduate (doctoral) students:

  • Mary Kleinman, MPH
  • Alexandra Rose, MSc
  • Kristen Regenauer, BA

Graduate (masters) students:

  • Elizabeth Hutman

Postgraduate/postbaccalaureate:

  • Valerie Bradley, MPS
  • Morgan Anvari, BA

Undergraduate students:

  • Christine Wan
  • Sara Adelwahab
  • Bridget McNealey
  • Yosef Bronsteyn
  • Alia Shields
  • Khyati Suthar
  • Kavya Bhattiprolu
  • Issmatu Barrie
  • Abigail Hines

We asked each of the GMAP's ABCT members:

  1. What is your area of research interest?
  2. How has ABCT been helpful to you?
  3. If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?

Kristen Regenauer, B.A.

  1. My research interests focus around adapting behavioral health interventions in low-resource settings. In particular, I am interested in adapting interventions for populations living with stigmatized health conditions (e.g., people who use substances, people living with HIV) and studying how stigmas may impact health behaviors.
  2. ABCT has helped me stay up to date on research both within and outside of my field of specialty, and it has provided me with a venue to present my own research. Further, it has helped me meet inspirational researchers, build professional relationships, and reconnect with mentors, collaborators, and peers.
  3. I recommend attending and presenting at the annual convention. I also recommend joining a Special Interest Group (SIG), as it gives you a smaller scientific community within the larger organization and can help connect you to others within your field.

Mary Kleinman, MPH

  1. My current research evaluates peer recovery coach-delivered behavioral interventions to improve engagement in care along the substance use disorder (SUD) care cascade for individuals with SUD. I am also very interested in expanding our understanding of psychosocial and structural barriers that people experience in engagement in care for SUD, particularly in low-resource settings.
  2. ABCT has provided space to meet other researchers with shared interests and exciting ideas. For being a large and prestigious convention, I have enjoyed how much it feels like a welcoming scientific family. I also greatly appreciate the clinical focus of the convention and have learned a lot as a practitioner from attending trainings by experts in the field.
  3. I would recommend joining a Special Interest Group (SIG). I'm a student member of the Behavioral Medicine & Integrated Primary Care SIG. Often conversations at SIG meetings bring together researchers to develop ideas for collaborative convention presentations.

Alexandra L. Rose, MSc

  1. I am interested in global mental health and implementation science.
  2. ABCT has allowed me to gain experience disseminating my work and presenting and to connect with other psychologists and psychology trainees doing global mental health and implementation science work. ABCT has allowed me to learn about clinical topics I have had less exposure to in my clinical training to date.
  3. I would definitely recommend presenting and have also found Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to be great ways to get involved in and meet people focusing on your specific area of research.

Jessica Magidson, PhD

Dr. Jessica Magidson is a clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research is in the areas of global mental health, addiction science, and implementation science. She is the PI of four National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded clinical trials to evaluate task sharing, peer-delivered interventions for underserved populations globally, including in sub-Saharan Africa, and locally in Baltimore. Her work aims to understand how peer-delivered interventions may improve substance use outcomes, reduce substance use stigma, and improve adherence to treatment for HIV and opioid use disorder.

The Global Mental Health and Addiction Program (GMAP) at the University of Maryland aims to increase access to evidence-based addiction treatment in resource-limited clinical settings. The lab focuses on questions central to global mental health and addiction treatment, including evaluating how evidence-based interventions can be feasibly delivered using task sharing models, including peers specifically, and how peer interventions may also reduce mental health and substance use stigma. Our team ultimately aims to foster bidirectional learning between ongoing research in sub-Saharan Africa and local collaborations in Washington, D.C./Maryland to support the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based substance use interventions.

How long have you been a member of ABCT?

I have been a member of ABCT for 13 years, since 2007.

How often and why do you attend the ABCT convention?

I attend the ABCT convention every year-I've only missed one since 2007-and I love attending to connect with colleagues, meet new students and trainees, and learn more about colleagues' current work. I also have a smaller home within ABCT as part of the Behavioral Medicine Special Interest Group (BMED SIG).

How do you stay current with developments in the field, both research and practice?

I find attending ABCT as well as other annual addiction, global mental health, and dissemination and implementation (D&I) science meetings (including the annual D&I Conference, Addiction Health Services Research conference, the annual NIMH Global Mental Health meeting) help to stay current with developments in the field for both research and practice. In our new virtual world, I have also increasingly relied on webinars, including the NIH-sponsored D&I webinars, the Prevention Science & Methodology Group (PSMG), and the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) webinars.

To stay up to date on research, I highly recommend the app Stork to follow important articles and leaders in the field, as well as following tables of contents from top addiction, HIV, and global mental health journals. Regular consultation with key partners and stakeholders in the community is essential.

How has ABCT helped you/your lab professionally?

ABCT has provided an opportunity to network, collaborate, meet prospective trainees, and connect with former colleagues and collaborators. In recent years, it has also provided an increasing opportunity to bring together researchers doing global mental health research.

Does your lab have any traditions? Does your lab do anything together for fun?

Our lab has developed a tradition of volunteering together at our Baltimore-based study sites, including a volunteer day at a community center, Paul's Place, where we conducted a pilot trial, as well as having team barbeques and watching documentaries about the context where we are working. Our team members working on South Africa-based research have also developed traditions with our Cape Town-based team, including team hikes on Table Mountain and in Kirstenbosch gardens. We are still a fairly new lab (started in 2018), but we have already identified fun lab traditions across sites. Now during COVID-19, we are aiming to find ways to continue to foster cohesion and community during virtual work this semester, including outdoor picnics and Zoom celebrations with our team in South Africa.

What advice would you give prospective trainees)?

Please check out our website www.gmhaddictionlab.org for additional considerations when applying, what may be a good fit, and our efforts to promote equity and inclusion in the process. We recognize that the Clinical Psychology PhD application process is an uneven playing field. Applicants without access to strong mentors, or without professional connections, may have less guidance when applying. Thus, we have developed resources on our lab website that we hope can help "level the playing field" across applicants to our lab.

Additional resources for getting into Clinical Psychology PhD and PsyD Programs may be found here

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