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Lee Lab members

Dr. Eun-Jeong Lee

Eun-Jeong Lee is an associate professor of counseling and rehabilitation science in the Department of Psychology. Her current duties include teaching two graduate level courses in multicultural and psychosocial issues in rehabilitation and mental health counseling, applied group counseling, medical aspects of disabling conditions, and rehabilitation engineering technology. She also supervises master's degree students during counseling practicum and internship experiences.

Dr. Lee received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007. She completed a one-year pre-doctoral psychology internship in the Charles G. Matthews Neuropsychology Lab at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center of the Mendota Mental Health Institute. She also worked for four years as a psychologist in Korea after receiving her master's degree in developmental psychology from the Catholic University of Korea.

Past ADAPT Lab members are now involved all across the country


Melissa Ivins-Lukse

Melissa is a fourth year doctoral student in Dr. Lee's lab. Her research interests include self-compassion, caregiver issues, health psychology, and eating and weight disorders. Melissa earned her bachelor’s in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and holds a master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University. She is particularly interested in how our environments and cognitions interact to shape our everyday behaviors and our responses to stress. She previously worked as an educator and environmental consultant, opportunities that gave her insight into how policy and psychologically-based interventions can influence others’ actions, sometimes in unexpected ways. She is also interested in cross-cultural research, particularly with regard to caregiver experiences.  


Sam DeDios-Stern

Dr. Stern is a neuropsychologist and assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She completed her Clinical Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the department of psychiatry in 2020. She completed her PhD in clinical psychology and rehabilitation psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology in August 2018 and her predoctoral clinical psychology internship in neuropsychology/behavioral medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Her clinical interests include neuropsychological assessment of adults with various neurological and psychiatric conditions such as dementia, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and vascular disease. She also has expertise delivering psychotherapeutic and cognitive rehabilitation interventions with individuals with chronic illness/disability. Her research interests include psychosocial adjustment to disability due to neurological illness and cognitive decline, neuropsychological testing issues (i.e., performance validity), and cognitive impairment related to neurological disease.

Jonathan Tsen

Jonathan is a fifth year doctoral student in Dr. Lee's lab.  He attended Wheaton College where he received a Bachelor's of Art in Psychology. His research interests include stigma, help seeking behaviors, disability and caregiver issues, suicide, and minority mental health.

Dylan Saks

Dylan Saks is a student in the Master’s Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program. He attended the University of California- Berkeley where he received a Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology. He did research in cognitive neuroscience studying primary motor cortex inhibition during movement preparation. He is passionate about the intersection of research and clinical application. His current research interest is in disability discrimination for those with chronic illness. He is particularly interested in the subtle ways in which appraisal and perception influence outcomes and interactions for those with chronic illness.

NamHee Kim

Nami is a master student in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program. She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University at Buffalo. Her research focuses on impact of cultural transition, quality of life and mental health seeking behavior among Asian and Asian American adolescents including international students, immigrant young adults, and their parents within local lives in a transitional context. She is currently working on career identification and interests among Asian-American college students with the roles of acculturation and enculturation.

mEHAK Hafeez 

Mehak Hafeez and is a graduate student working towards her Masters in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling’19. Concurrently, she is part of three research labs at IIT that allow her to strengthen and maintain her research skills in recruitment, data entry, literature review and analyzing data. Her passion is to study the impact of public and self stigma on help seeking behaviors in multicultural population. Her research projects with Drs. Corrigan, Ditchman and Lee have focused on studying the impact of stigma and attitudes on help-seeking behaviors within the multicultural population. 

​Mehak is also part of the Student Access, Success, and Diversity Initiatives (SASDI) team as a Program Coordinator where she does event coordination, and student development programs. Mehak has been greatly involved in the planning of social justice and inclusion events on campus as part of a staff, faculty and student led group, Coalition on Inclusion. In her spare time, Mehak is a freelance painter and zumba dancer and greatly enjoys volunteering with children at the Ronald McDonald House. 


Laura Mathew

Laura Mathew is a research assistant who has been a part of Dr. Eun Jeong Lee's lab for over a year. She is also part of another IIT lab which allows her to expand her skill set and gain more experience for her future endeavors towards graduate school. Laura graduated from the UIC in 2017 where she had been involved in various research projects and worked as a research assistant in a social psychology lab. Laura is also passionate about Disability Studies and was a conference co-coordinator for the 2018 Chicago Disability Studies Conference. 

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Saja abu hakmeh

Saja is a first-year Master's student in the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Gender-Women's Studies. Her areas of interest include examining cultural stigmas towards disability and mental illness and increasing accessibility to mental health care for low-income communities and communities of color.


Jenna Ausloos

Jenna is a third year doctoral student in Dr. Lee’s lab. Prior to attending IIT, Jenna earned her bachelors in Rehabilitation Psychology with a minor in Global Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her current research focuses on the transition period for youth with autism spectrum disorder, focusing on youth’s participation in the transition planning process and how their perceived level of self-determination and parental autonomy support impact their participation. Jenna’s clinical interests include clinical pediatric neuropsychology and rehabilitation.


Talheen Naqvi

Talheen is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). She is a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan and is currently an intern at Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare, where she works with adults with serious mental illness and substance-related issues and their families.

Talheen is a curious individual, who is interested in working with people with mental and/or physical disabilities, getting to know their experiences, and the experiences of their family or caregivers. She is president at Active Minds at IIT and aims to work towards changing the way mental health is talked about amongst young adults by increasing awareness in this population.


Brian Cerny

Brian is a third year graduate student in the clinical psychology program. Brian’s clinical and research interests include neuropsychology, rehabilitation psychology, and life satisfaction among persons with acquired brain and spinal cord injuries. When he is not working, Brian is usually cooking, eating, or walking his dog.



Gabby Springer

Gabby is a PhD student in the clinical psychology program. Prior to attending IIT, she obtained her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Master of Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). In her previous role as a researcher at UAB, she focused on health promotion and adjustment among those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Gabby’s clinical and research interests include neuropsychology, rehabilitation psychology, and adjustment among people who have Parkinson’s Disease, acquired brain injuries, or cognitive impairment


Vana Quichocho

Vana is a second year doctoral student in IIT's Clinical Psychology program under the Rehabilitation track. She is an indigenous Chamoru woman and first generation PhD student. Born and raised in the island of Guam, she received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology (and Literature) as well as her Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from the University of Guam. Vana has devoted several years to clinical work and research that aligns with her interest in multicultural and cross-cultural psychology. Her Master's Thesis looked at cultural identity and acculturation styles of a cohort whose grandparents were alive during World War II and its association with quality of life.



Celine Zhang

Celine is a second year doctoral student in the Rehabilitation Counseling Education Program. She loves life and nature, and enjoys yoga and hiking


Lavinia Popescu Nau

Lavinia Popescu Nau studied her BS in Psychology at the University Jaume I in Spain and she is currently  a MS student in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at Illinois Institute of Technology. She has been working with adults and adolescents with severe mental health disorders in different facilities in Spain and England. She is passionate about mental health and psychiatric rehabilitation, positive psychology, mindfulness and trauma related
studies. If she is not at work or studying, Lavinia enjoys spending time with her family, rollerblading, practicing yoga and traveling to explore different cultures.

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