Research Team

Doctor SneedJoel R. Sneed, Ph.D.

Dr. Sneed is Director of the Brain Performance Lab and Professor of Psychology at Queens College of the City University of New York. He is also Director of Clinical Training (DCT) of the APA approved Queens College Clinical Psychology PhD program and adjunct Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Sneed received his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and completed his pre-doctoral internship at Bellevue Hospital in NYC. He completed a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in statistics at NYU before moving to Columbia University where he completed a 2-year fellowship in geriatric neuropsychiatry before being recruited by Queens College. Dr. Sneed has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and his research program in depression and cognitive functioning is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. In addition to his research, Dr. Sneed is also a practicing clinical psychologist. He is a Columbia University trained psychoanalyst and has also been trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. His clinical work focuses primarily on the treatment of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and personality disorders. In addition to his academic and clinical work, Dr. Sneed is also an avid chess player and has written three books with Grandmaster Boris Gulko on chess strategy and tactics.

jeffJeffrey Motter, M.A.

Jeffrey is currently a 4th year Ph.D. student in the clinical psychology program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research focuses on identifying neuroanatomical predictors of cognitive decline and treatment outcome in older adults with depression and early stages of dementia. He is also interested in the enhancement of cognitive processes through personalized training. Jeff is involved in several ongoing projects, including the chess program and mobile cognitive training project (CRISP) at Queens College, and a combined antidepressant and cholinesterase inhibitor trial for older adults with comorbid depression and mild cognitive impairment at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

aliceAlice Grinberg, M.A, Ed.M.

Alice is a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Currently, Alice is co-running a study that examines the effect of mobile cognitive training on mood, cognition, and everyday functioning among adults with depressive symptoms. This is in line with her broader interest of neuropsychology and behavioral medicine, specifically among older adults.  Before coming to The Graduate Center, Alice graduated summa cum laude from Pace University with a B.A. in economics and a minor in psychology. She received her dual masters (M.A., Ed.M.) in Educational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. In her spare time, Alice enjoys swing dancing, kickboxing, and participating in obstacle course races.

dannyDaniel Saldana, B.A.

Daniel is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program at the Graduate Center, CUNY, Queens College. Currently, Daniel is co-running a study that examines the feasibility of using chess to ameliorate attentional difficulties in children by improving executive functions. More broadly, Daniel is interested in chess (expert vs. novice), executive function, and cognitive training research in the lifespan. Before coming to The Graduate Center, Daniel graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with majors in Psychology, Anthropology and Criminology and received his B.A. in 2013. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys beach volleyball, cycling, rock climbing, hiking, and writing short stories and novels.

farahPhotoFarah Goheer

Farah is a 6 th year PhD student in the clinical psychology program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She earned her bachelor’s in psychology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA and her master’s in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. Her doctoral research has focused on examining the interplay of psychiatric, medical, and behavioral factors through multiple psychiatric epidemiological research projects. More recently, her research has shifted towards investigating the underlying processes that promote cultural dualism (in-group/out-group) among immigrant populations. As such, she has developed a project to investigate cultural alignment among Muslim American females, which is currently underway. In her free time, Farah enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

safaPhotoSafa Shehab

Safa is a 2nd year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She previously completed a B.A. in Psychology at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and a M.Sc. in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Edinburgh, U.K. She is currently involved in a study investigating the effects of therapist position and patient body position on free association in psychoanalysis, the Couch Study. Her research interests also include the effects of cognitive training on mood and executive functioning in adults with depression. Safa is a regular yoga practitioner, and in her free time enjoys playing tennis, exploring new music, and connecting with friends.

Rushia_photoSara Rushia

Sara is a 1st year Ph.D. student in the clinical psychology program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is interested in the cognitive remediation of executive dysfunction, especially in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and depression. Before coming to The Graduate Center, Sara graduated summa cum laude from Wheaton College (MA) with a B.A. in neuroscience and a minor in psychology. In her spare time, Sara enjoys reading, exploring the city, and listening to podcasts such as Comedy Bang Bang.

emileePhotoEmilee Carratala

Emilee Carratala is a rising junior of Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Queens College studying Psychology with a minor in Urban Studies. She is now working with Sara Rushia on her research. She intends to go to graduate school after she earns her BA, and is currently exploring possible careers in social work, developmental psychology, or clinical psychology. Regardless of occupation, she is interested in working with the elderly and hospice care patients. In her spare time she is a thriving opera singer, and most enjoys finding ways to merge music and volunteer work.

dahliaPhotoDahlia Lieberman

Dahlia is a junior Macaulay Honors student at Queens College, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, with minors in Psychology, Anthropology, and Honors in the Social Sciences. She is currently a research assistant in a study examining the effect of mobile cognitive training on mood and cognitive skills in adults with depressive symptoms. She is also a NYPD Cadet, and plans to have a future in law or law enforcement. In her spare time, Dahlia enjoys reading, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.