Mikhila Wildey, Co-Leader

Mikhila Wildey, PhD (she/her) is an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University in the Department of Psychology. She is broadly interested in how factors like psychopathology and personality influence romantic relationships, and she also has interests in romantic relationship initiation (i.e., how relationships start and what influences attraction and compatibility) as well as interests in understanding sexual behaviors/attitudes within romantic relationships. More information about her research can be found at Mikhila received her PhD in clinical psychology from Michigan State University in 2013. She then became licensed and worked as an outpatient therapist for two years before beginning her job at Grand Valley State University. Mikhila currently continues to maintain a small caseload, working with couples one day per week through her own private practice (


Christina Balderrama-Durbin, Co-Leader

 Christina Balderrama-Durbin, PhD (she/her) is an Assistant Professor at Binghamton University – State University of New York in the Department of Psychology. Christina received by PhD from Texas A&M University in 2015 and is licensed to practice in the state of New York. Her broad research interests include the assessment and enhancement of couple functioning. Her Couple Adjustment to Stress and Trauma (CAST) lab is focused on evaluating couples who are at high risk for co-morbid psychological and relationship distress following exposure to stress and trauma. The CAST lab concentrates on the needs of diverse populations with a specific emphasis on military and Veteran populations and sexual minority couples. One of Christina’s primary aims is to conduct clinically relevant and culturally-sensitive research that evaluates mechanisms of couple adaptation to stress and trauma, and to optimize the systemic benefits of couple-based interventions.


Jessica Kansky, Student Co-Leader

Jessica Kansky is a 6th year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on psychosocial predictors and outcomes of romantic experiences from adolescence through adulthood. Specifically, she is interested in the role of romantic relationship quality in optimal interpersonal and individual development and well-being. Prior to graduate school, she served as a research coordinator for the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology. Jessica will begin her pre-doctoral internship at the Charleston Consortium in summer 2020.


Karena Leo, Student Co-Leader

Karena Leo is a 5th year clinical psychology graduate student at the University of Utah working with Dr. Brian Baucom. Her research interest is primarily focused on examining communication behavior and affective expression during conflict and in couples coping with a chronic illness. Karena grew up in Indonesia before moving to the United States to pursue a B.S. in biology and psychology. Karena will begin her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center in July 2020.  


Jamie Winters, Treasurer

bio coming soon!


Colin Adamo, Newsletter Co-Editor

Colin Adamo is a 4th year doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Utah where he works with Dr. Brian Baucom in the Couples Laboratory for Observational Studies. His research interests include the use of mobile technology in clinical interventions especially in the context of couples therapy. Colin earned is B.A. in Psychology and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies from Yale University and worked across multiple settings in the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health education and advocacy before pursuing his doctorate.


Maggie Parker, Newsletter Co-Editor

Maggie Parker, M.S. is a Clinical Science doctoral student at Binghamton University studying sexual assault and intimate partner violence under the supervision of Dr. Richard Mattson. She is particularly interested in identifying situational and dispositional factors that may predict violence perpetration in men and women.


Corey Pettit, Media Co-Coordinator

Corey Pettit, B.A., is a first-year doctoral student with Dr. Joe Allen at UVA and has served in the media co-coordinator role since November 2019. Her research interests center around exploring romantic relationships from a developmental perspective, identifying longitudinal precipitants and outcomes related to maladaptive relationship behaviors. Corey earned her B.A. from the University of Southern California and served as a lab manager in the USC Family Studies Project and UCI THRIVE lab prior to graduate school.  


Emily Carrino, Media Co-Coordinator

Emily Carrino, B.A. (she/her), is a first-year doctoral student with Dr. Don Baucom at UNC Chapel Hill and has served in the media co-coordinator role since November 2019. Her research centers on understanding the interplay between individual functioning and relationship well-being, with a focus on sociocultural factors and psychopathology. She is also interested in understanding processes within dyads who face unique challenges, including sexual and gender minority couples and long-distance partners. Emily earned her bachelors degree in Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies from UNC Chapel Hill and served as a  lab manager in the Teen and Young Adult Lab at the University of Pittsburgh prior to graduate school.