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Team Members

 Lab Director


Lynnda Dahlquist earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University in 1981 and has been a faculty member at UMBC since 1996. Her research interests include the development of effective psychological treatments for the pain and fear children experience during medical treatment and child and family adjustment to chronic illnesses.


Graduate Students

Julia pictureJulia Zeroth is a fifth-year human services psychology graduate student at UMBC with a concentration in child clinical psychology. After receiving her B.A. from UMBC in 2012 and working as an undergraduate research assistant in the Pediatric Psychology Lab, she just couldn’t leave! Julia’s research interests include acute pain management and family adjustment to childhood chronic illness. Julia completed her masters thesis project examining the effects of virtual reality distraction on pain tolerance in college students.


Wendy Pinder is a fourth-year graduate student in the Pediatric Psychology Lab. After graduating from UMBC in 2011, Wendy worked as a research specialist in the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) at the University of Delaware. Wendy’s research interests include the impact of chronic illness on child and family well-being, parenting practices, and children’s social outcomes. She completed her master’s thesis project looking at peer relations and social competence of young children with food allergy and is working on her dissertation examining dispositional mindfulness and acute pain management. In her free time Wendy enjoys rock climbing, traveling, gardening and spending time with her friends and family. Wendy is our current lab coordinator!


SBento_PicSamantha Bento is a third-year graduate student in the Pediatric Psychology Lab. In 2009, she graduated from UMBC with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. After graduation, Samantha completed a one-year postbaccalaureate program at American University and then worked as a Clinic Coordinator in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Her research interests include pediatric pain management, psychoneuroimmunology, and the psychosocial functioning and coping mechanisms of children diagnosed with a chronic illness such as cancer.


IMG_0826Emily Steiner is a second-year graduate student in the Pediatric Psychology Lab. She received her B.S. from Haverford college in 2012. After graduating, she worked as a psychology research associate at University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh. Emily’s research interests include coping and family adjustment to pediatric chronic illness. Emily enjoys yoga, cooking and playing on the Baltimore Social bocce league.



Naomi Parr is a second-year graduate student in the Human Services Psychology program with a concentration in child clinical psychology. She received a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Biology from the College of William & Mary in May of 2015, prior to joining the Pediatric Psychology Lab. Her research interests include childhood adjustment to chronic illness, pain coping mechanisms, and clinical interventions for children with chronic pain.