Staff

Sara Albert

Education: MA (Clinical Psychology), Marywood University; BA (Psychology), Pennsylvania State University
Title: Research Associate
With CSCS Since: July 2019
Responsibilities: Sara received her Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marywood University, and her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pennsylvania State University. She has been involved in various research since 2015 and has experience with screening participants and conducting the study, establishing protocols, using fMRI scanners, and organizing and coding data. She is currently working with Dr. Jessica Levenson as a research associate on both the Targeted Approaches for Promoting Adolescent Sleep (TAPAS) and the CiTECH study.

Email: alberts3@upmc.edu

Alexa Bennetch

Education: Pennsylvania State University BS (Behavioral Neuroscience), Lehigh University
Title: Research Specialist
With CSCS Since: June 2021
Responsibilities:   Alexa is a Research Specialist for Dr. Hasler’s CART and SLATE research studies. Her main role involves the fMRI scan portion of the studies along with analyzing brain data and assisting with overnight visits to the sleep lab. 

Email: bennetcha@upmc.edu 

Ronette G. Blake

Education:  M.S. Applied Developmental Psychology & Research Methodology, University of Pittsburgh; B.S. Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
Title: Lead Research Project Coordinator
With CSCS Since: June 2021
Responsibilities:  Ronette coordinates the CARRS research projects. She oversees lab operations, participant recruitment/enrollment, clinical evaluations, data collection/storage, and personnel management for CARRS. Ronette strives to create a positive, collaborative work environment filled with opportunities for personal, professional, and academic growth. 

Email: blakerg2@upmc.edu

Laurie Brar

Education: MSN, CRNP (Nursing), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Sr. Research Principal
With CSCS Since: 2003
Responsibilities:  Laurie oversees operations for the Clinical Coordinating Center for the Comparative Effectiveness of Zolpidem and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Rural Adults (COZI) Study. Her responsibilities for this national, multi-site study include training site coordinators, serving as coordinator for the IRB of record, as well as overseeing and implementing day-to-day operations for the Pittsburgh recruiting site. She is passionate about creating a quality experience for all research participants while maintaining the highest of research integrity standards.

Email: brarlk@upmc.edu

J. David Cashmere

Education: BS (Psychology), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Systems Engineer
With CSCS Since: 1991
Responsibilities: David is responsible for the calibration, configuration and operation of all PSG and physiology systems within the CSCS. He performs daily processing/analysis of all raw data collected within the SBNC, including spectral analysis-editing of EEG signals. As well, oversees SBNC signal quality assurance, programming and raw analytic processing.

Email: cashmerejd@upmc.edu

Caitlyn (Caity) Davis

Education: BS (Neuroscience & Psychology), Allegheny College
Title: Research Associate
With CSCS Since: June 2021
Responsibilities: Caity is a Research Associate working on Dr. Hasler’s research studies. Her role includes recruiting and screening potential participants for the studies, scheduling participants visits, and assisting with overnight visits in the sleep lab.

Email: davisc31@upmc.edu

Kristine DePolo

Education: Associates degree, Duff’s Business Institute
Title: Administrative Assistant – Senior
With CSCS Since: 2003
Responsibilities: Kris provides administrative support to the Sleep and Chronobiology Center clinic patients, faculty and postdoctoral scholars. She also assists the CSCS administrator and provides support for the HUSH study.

Email: depolokl@upmc.edu

Carson Derrow

Education: BS (Neuroscience), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Registered Polysomnographic Technologist
Time with SCC: 2016
Responsibilities: He is responsible for acquiring reliable sleep evaluation studies with research participants as an RPSGT. He also scores, analyzes, and aggregates sleep study data for physician/PI review. Collaborates with staff on designing and troubleshooting the SBNC website.

Email: derrowc@upmc.edu

 

Missy DeVito

Education: Bachelor of Science (Elementary Education), Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Title: Research Project Coordinator
Time with SCC: Since 1999
Responsibilities: Missy works for the Department of Psychiatry’s Research Review Committee. Her responsibilities include coordinating all of the submissions, reviews, and approvals of all grant proposals to the RRC and KRP (K-Award Review Program) in the Department of Psychiatry.  Missy also assists with updating the CSCS’s website.  

Email: mszycoml@upmc.edu

 

Cate Eggers

Education: (Currently pursuing) BS in Psychology; Minor in Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh
Title:  CARRS Undergraduate Lab Manager
Time with SCC: June 2021
Responsibilities: Overseeing undergraduate lab assistants, social media monitoring and posting, helping with overnight lab visits, running fMRI scans, and collecting bio-samples.

Email: eggersc@upmc.edu

 

Mary “Happy” Fletcher

Education: BS (Computer Science), Edinboro University
Title: System Programmer/Analyst II
With SCC Since: 2006
Responsibilities: Happy manages data collected from several research protocols, including those within the SCC and also in the Renal/Electrolyte Division of the Department of Medicine.

Email: fletme@upmc.edu

Maya Fray-Witzer

Education: BA (Psychology), Middlebury College
Title: Research Specialist
With CSCS Since: June 2022
Responsibilities: Maya is the primary research specialist in charge of the Light, Energy, Activity, and Performance (LEAP) study in Dr. Adriane Soehner’s lab. She consents and assesses new study participants as well as oversees all aspects of their participation in the LEAP study.
Email: fraywitzerm@upmc.edu

Barton French

Education: BS (Psychology), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Systems Engineer
With SCC Since: 1983
Responsibilities: Barton works for the Office of Academic Computing, where he maintains servers and backups for research throughout UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, including research conducted in the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory.

Email: frenchbb@upmc.edu

Mary Gasiorowski

Education: BA (English), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Executive Assistant
With SCC Since: 2010
Responsibilities: Mary provides administrative support to the CSCS faculty.

Email: gasiorowskimj@upmc.edu

Kathryn Aldrich Guo

Education: BA (Psychology), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title: Research Coordinator
With CSCS Since: June, 2018
Responsibilities: Kathryn is a Research Coordinator working on Dr. Hasler’s research studies. Her role includes coordinating participant visits, assisting with recruitment, and following up with current research participants.

Emailguok@upmc.edu

 

Rima Habte

Education: BS (Psychology), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Research Assistant II
With CSCS Since: August 2021
Responsibilities:  Rima is a Research Assistant in Dr. Wilckens’ Sleep and Memory Study (CHAI TMS) and Alzheimer’s’ Pathways Sleep Study (ALPS). She is responsible for participant recruitment and screening, study coordination, and directing participant visits.

Email: habter@upmc.edu 

Beth Hafer

Education: M.Ed. (Education), Duquesne University; BS (General Science), Penn State University
Title: Research Project Assistant
With SCC Since: 2012
Responsibilities: Beth works in the Child & Adolescent Sleep Lab on a variety of sleep studies involving children and young adults, such as PAN2, SIRA, SISTERS, SHED, and a K-12 dissemination study. Responsibilities include study coordination (e.g., recruitment, schedule management, collection of data, pre-processing of imaging data) and CASL lab management.

Email: haferbl@upmc.edu

Zac Hendricks

Education:  BA (Psychology & Religious Studies), Albright College
Title: Research Specialist
With SCC Since: February 2022
Responsibilities:  Currently working under Dr. Hasler on the Social Jet Lag and SLATE research studies. Roles in the lab include conducting consent visits and semi-structured diagnostic interviews, administering a behavioral intervention for the SLATE manipulation group, determining manipulation adherence, and assisting with participant overnight visits.

Email: hendricksz@upmc.edu

Joud Hijazi

Education: BA (Neurobiology), University of California, Berkeley
Title: Research Project Assistant
With SCC Since: Since 2019
Responsibilities: Joud is working with youth and their families on the Pittsburgh Sleep in Teens Study. She has five years of academic research experience, and two years of experience volunteering with young adults.

Email: hijazij@upmc.edu

Matthew Humes

Education: US Navy Electronics School (Sonar Equipment Maintenance and Repair), ITT Technical Institute (Specialized Electronics Engineering Technology)
Title: Senior Electronics Specialist
With SCC Since: 2010
Responsibilities: Matt supports, repairs, designs, and builds various electronic and electro-mechanical equipment for the N-CTRC, SCL, and Translational Neuroscience Program. He also performs preventative maintenance on equipment and wiring connections and troubleshoots and repairs signal acquisition problems.

Email: humesmw@upmc.edu

Sarah Kimutis

Education: MBA, Seton Hill University
Title: Program Coordinator
With SCC Since: 2016
Responsibilities: Sarah is the project coordinator for the RU_SATED validation and Sleep in Retirement studies. She also coordinates numerous projects for the Geriatric Neuropsychology Research Program. Her role includes coordinating study operations, maintaining accurate study documentation, managing IRB submissions, and enrolling and following up with research participants.

Email: kimutiss@upmc.edu

Grant Kristo

Education: : BS Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
Title: : Research Specialist
With SCC Since: 2019
Responsibilities: Executes day-to-day operations of the Pittsburgh Sleep in Teens project. Facilitates participant activity sessions, manages datasets, and schedules appointments. Previous research experience in cognitive processing of art, somatic symptoms in college students, and marriages.

Emailkristog@upmc.edu

Dan Limpert

Education: BS (Psychology, Communications), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Senior Registered Polysomnographic Technologist
With SCC Since: 1995
Responsibilities:  Dan is responsible for acquiring reliable sleep evaluation studies with research participants as an RPSGT. He also scores, analyzes, and aggregates sleep study data for physician/PI review.

Email: limpertdc@upmc.edu

Jean M. Miewald

Education: BA (Applied Mathematics), University of Montana
Title: Database Manager
With SCC Since: 1984
Responsibilities: Jean is responsible for the database design and data management for all the data collected in the SCC, both for SCC administration and for research purposes. She and her team are also responsible for making datasets of these data for analyses.

Email:miewaldjm@upmc.edu

Eric Miller, RPSGT

Education: BA (Communication Disorders), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Senior Registered Polysomnographic Research Technologist
With SCC since: 1985
Responsibilities: Eric is responsible for acquiring reliable sleep evaluation studies with research participants as an RPSGT. He also scores, analyzes, and aggregates sleep study data for physician/PI review.

Email: millerej@upmc.edu

Christina Nicassio, MBA

Education: BS (Biology), Saint Vincent College; MS (Biology), Duquesne University; MBA, Argosy University
Title: Research Program Administrator
With CSCS Since: 2006
Responsibilities:  Christina is directly responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day management of the Sleep and Behavioral Neuroscience Center (SBNC). She is the supervisor for SBNC senior staff, and is also the primary liaison for faculty conducting studies at the SBNC. 

Email: nicassiocv@upmc.edu

Ola Owoputi 

Education: MSE Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania
Title: Systems Analyst – Intermediate
With CSCS Since: June 2021
Responsibilities:   Ola provides analytical and computational capabilities for various projects under Dr Franzen. Roles include pre-processing, management, and analysis of research data. Prior research experience includes EEG/ECOG analysis and seizure detection in epileptic individuals.

Email: owoputio@upmc.edu

Nina Oryshkewych

Education: MS (Biostatistics), University of Pittsburgh; BS (Biology), The Ohio State University
Title: Statistician
With CSCS Since: May 2022
Responsibilities:   Nina is a statistician assisting with several research projects in the CSCS. Her responsibilities include analyzing data, interpreting results, and communicating findings to investigators.

Email: oryshkewychns@upmc.edu

Noelle Rode

Education: BS (Information Science), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Research Project Analyst
With CSCS Since: 2006
Responsibilities: Noelle manages data collected from several research protocols, both within the CSCS and for Child and Adolescent Bipolar Spectrum Services (CABS).

Email: roden@upmc.edu

Tiffany Roncevich

Education: BA (Health Information Management), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Research Project Analyst
With CSCS Since: 2018
Responsibilities: Tiffany serves as one of the Project Managers to the SBNC and WPIC Office of Academic Computing (OAC) to ensure that research and clinical IT projects are planned, managed and executed efficiently using organizational and PMO processes and standards. In addition, she assists with daily operational activities (scheduling, reporting, data entry and analysis, etc.) of the SBNC.

Email: roncevichtl@upmc.edu

Natalie Ward

Education: BS (Neuroscience), University of Pittsburgh
Title: Research Associate
With CSCS Since: September 2021
Responsibilities: Natalie is a Research Associate for the CARRS studies. She assists with administering behavioral tasks, processing biological samples, and hanging out with the adolescent participants during lab stays.

Email: wardn2@upmc.edu

Linda Willrich

Education: BS (Business Administration), Robert Morris University
Title: Center Administrator
With SCC Since: 2011
Responsibilities: Linda manages all research, fiscal and administrative activities of the Sleep and Chronobiology Center. She is the administrator on the NIH-funded T32 Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine.

Email: willrichl@upmc.edu

Grace Wilson

Education: B.S. (Psychology), University of Pittsburgh 
Title: Research Specialist
With SCC Since: October 2021
Responsibilities: Grace is a research specialist at the Center for Adolescent Reward, Rhythms, and Sleep (CARRS). She assists in preparing for and running participant lab visits. She is also responsible for setting up sleep-tracking watches and orienting participants on how to use them. Additionally, she assists with data entry.

Email: wilsongc3@upmc.edu

Annette Marie Wood

Education: BA, University of Pittsburgh
Title: Systems Programmer Analyst
With CSCS Since: 1993
Responsibilities: Annette Wood works as a data manager/analyst for multiple studies within the CSCS community. She is an expert in collection and analysis of actigraphy data and continues to adapt data systems to changing needs in actigraphy collection, scoring, and analysis. She is the Pittsburgh site data manager for the Study of Women Across the Nation (SWAN) and the SWAN national data leader for actigraphy collection. Her skills include development in SQL, SAS, RedCap, Qualtrics, front-end ACCESS dashboards and is a registered phlebotomist. She is also a Phipps Master Gardener and shares her expertise in this area with anyone willing to listen.

Email: woodam@upmc.edu

Michelle Zmuda

Education: BS, (Rehabilitation Counseling), Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Title: Research Program Administrator
With CSCS Since: February 2016
Responsibilities: Michelle performs diagnostic evaluations of participants in the Sleep in Retirement study (SIR) and the Sleep/Wake and Executive Network Function in Older Adults study (STAR).

Email: zmudamd@upmc.edu