Graduate Students

Kaylee MisenerKaylee Misener, B.A., M.A.

Kaylee is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) supervised by Dr. Maya Libben. Kaylee has conducted research in the area of eating disorders and body image for several years, culminating in her developing and teaching a third-year course on the psychology of body image. Kaylee’s undergraduate honours thesis, completed at UBCO, investigated whether an implicit measure of disordered eating could be used to assess cognitive distortions among individuals who exhibit eating disordered symptoms as compared with post-symptomatic and control groups. Her Master’s research investigated the relationship between attentional biases and body dissatisfaction, using novel eye-tracking technology. Further, it provided a cross-cultural replication and expansion to facilitate the comparison of body image issues across cultures. Her recent research involves the creation of a body dissatisfaction prevention program that focuses on the role of self-compassion, mindfulness, and yoga in preventing body image concerns for youth. Kaylee is also a passionate mental health advocate and the current president of UBCO’s Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy Club (MHAAC).


Jen Headshot (1)Jennifer Upshaw, B.Sc., M.A.

Jen is in the final year of her Ph.D. in the Clinical Psychology program at UBCO and will be headed out on residency for the 2021-2022 year. She completed her undergraduate Honours degree at UBCO where she investigated the relative costs and benefits of brain hemisphere lateralization with changes in task complexity. Jen’s Master’s thesis and Dissertation research have involved the examination of hemispatial neglect in stroke patients using eye-tracking technology. This research has focused on neuropsychological testing, subtypes of neglect, and their potential impact on functional outcomes and rehabilitation for this population. Jen has completed clinical training in a number of different settings, including rotations in neuropsychology and inpatient psychiatric care at Kelowna General Hospital, substance use treatment at Bridgeway Residential Treatment Center, health and weight behaviour change with the Healthy Weight Specialty Service, general mental health at the UBCO Psychology Clinic, brief and targeted mental health intervention at the UBCO Walk-In Clinic, and psychological treatment of chronic pain at the Bill Nelems Pain and Research Center. Jen loves to bake, do yoga, dabble in photography, and hang out with her two young sons, Walter and Jasper!

Alanna Coady, M.A., M.Div.

Alanna is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO), supervised by Dr. Harry Miller and Dr. Jamie Piercy. Broadly, Alanna’s research examines the role of moral emotions in shaping health outcomes. Her primary area of focus is neuropsychology and her doctoral research will investigate feelings of shame and guilt in caregiving relationships for stroke survivors in order to develop targeted psychological treatments to enhance social and emotional functioning after stroke. This work builds off her Master’s study, which identified shame as a key mechanism linking social invalidation to depression among chronic pain patients. In addition, Alanna is involved with research examining the psychometric properties of the Personality Assessment Inventory Short Form in both neurological and neuropsychiatric populations to help refine psychological assessment tools. As the UBCO Campus Representative for the Canadian Psychological Association, Alanna organizes workshops and events to connect undergraduate students with psychological research opportunities. Prior to arriving at UBCO, Alanna graduated from Harvard Divinity School with an M.Div. in Religious Studies and conducted research at VA Boston on Moral Injury, a syndrome involving trauma symptoms stemming from moral violations. In her spare time, Alanna loves live music and exploring BC forests.


amane website picAmané Halicki-Asakawa, B.A.

Amané is a first-year M.A. student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, supervised by Dr. Maya Libben. Her undergraduate thesis, completed at McGill University, examined the effects of voluntary emotion regulation on the postauricular reflex, a psychophysiological measure of the appetitive response. Amané’s Master’s research will investigate the ways that technology and e-mental health can increase accessibility to eating disorder services and treatments.




chris website pic uncroppedChristopher Nelson, B.Sc., B.A., M.A.

Christopher is a first-year M.A. student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of British Columbia Okanagan supervised by Dr. Maya Libben and Dr. Zachary Walsh. His undergraduate research completed at the University of Florida investigated the relationship between collective effervescence and musical experience. His master’s research, completed at the University of Central Florida, continued his undergraduate research with the development and validation of an original psychometric tool evaluating collective effervescence during live music events. He also examined the clinical potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for anxiety and anxiety disorders using meta-analytic procedures. Christopher has completed practicums facilitating a neuropsychological treatment group for people with aphasia at the University of Central Florida’s Communication Disorders Clinic as well as administering neuropsychological assessment with Orlando Health Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Institute Neuropsychology Group.


Jason Scott, B.A.

Jason is a first-year Masters’s student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) co-supervised by Dr. Maya Libben and Dr. Jamie Piercy. Jason’s primary area of focus is in neuropsychology, where he has conducted research on topics involving episodic memory and executive functioning in patients with neurological disorders. Jason is also interested in the intersectionality between neuropathology and the etiology of a disorder, examining how the process of acquiring a disorder can influence an individual’s symptoms and overall impairment. Jason’s undergraduate honours thesis, completed at UBCO, was a pilot investigation into whether caregiver reports of a prospective and retrospective memory questionnaire are an accurate and reliable tool to use in clinical settings. For his Master’s research, Jason is looking to investigate the role of eye-tracking technology in the assessment and rehabilitation of hemispatial neglect in patients who have suffered from a stroke. Other areas of interest involve psychopathology, clinical assessment, and psychometrics.


PLAN Lab Alumni

Damian Leitner, B.Sc., M.A. 

Damian is a fifth year clinical psychology student, currently working on his Ph.D. with Drs. Maya Libben and Harry Miller. He completed his M.A. in Clinical Psychology at UBC Okanagan. His master’s thesis examined the relationship between neuropsychological test performance and functional outcome of stroke inpatients at Kelowna General Hospital. Damian continues to do research and supervise undergraduate students at Kelowna General Hospital and in the PLAN lab. His research focuses on assessment and biopsychosocial aspects of brain injury. Additional research interests include cognitive neuroscience, health psychology, and positive psychology. He is currently involved in a clinical trial providing therapeutic intervention to enhance well-being in a community population. Damian has completed practicums at the rehabilitation center and psychiatric ward (McNair Unit) of Kelowna General Hospital, Bridgeway Assisted Living Residential Treatment Program for substance and alcohol abuse, and is currently enrolled in practicums at UBC Okanagan’s Interprofessional Clinic providing therapy for general mental health disorders, as well as therapy for healthy weight management. Previously, Damian completed his B.Sc. (Hons) at UBC Okanagan, worked at Connect Lake Country doing cognitive rehabilitation and case management for people living with brain injury, at Kelowna General Hospital as a psychometrist, and as a firefighter for Lake Country Fire Department.