Doctoral Students


Meredith DeDilectis, M.A.

Meredith is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program at William Paterson. She graduated from Montclair State University in 2013 with a BA in psychology and child advocacy, and in 2016, she completed her MA degree in clinical psychology with a specialization in children and adolescents. Her clinical work focuses on the treatment and assessment of children who have been impacted by trauma, specifically child maltreatment, and at-risk adolescents who are involved in the legal system. Additionally, her research interests include the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment and attachment, developmental trauma disorder, and child maltreatment.

Dissertation Topic (In Progress): Personality Styles Associated to Non-Offending Caregiver’s Reactions to Child Sexual Abuse


Raghad Hassalbelnaby

Raghad is a second-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program at William Paterson University. Raghad graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in criminal justice from the University of Toledo in 2018. She has assisted with the Arabic group for the Paterson Project, along with the group leaders Marawa Ahmed and Ghada Saleh.

Raghad worked for a domestic violence agency supporting women and their children, while serving as a court advocate. Overall, Raghad’s research interests include the development of childhood fears from the transmission of negative information from parents. She is also interested in adolescent intimate partner violence, as well as how personality and cultural factors influence the processing of trauma.


Chana Becher

Chana Becher is a third- year student in the William Paterson University PsyD program who received her BA in Psychology/Education at Touro College. Chana studies intimate partner violence (IPV) in adolescent and young adult romantic relationships to prevent relationship violence. Additional research includes dating relationships within religious groups. She has also spent several years working with children and adolescents facing emotional, social, and educational challenges.


Her research interests include shifts in behaviors that lead to violence and aggression and the relationship between IPV and different religious groups or cultures. Additionally, aggression against children both at home and in school settings is an important interest. Chana’s dissertation study will investigate the identification of violent shifts in behaviors across middle, high school and college students and probe for possibilities of prevention and earlier identification of aggression and violence.


A. Keshani Perera

Dissertation Topic (In Progress): Bicultural Identity Integration as a Protective Factor Against the Stress Appraisal of Color Based Racial Discrimination Among First and 1.5 Generation Immigrant College Students.


Dissertation Topic (In Progress):

Identifying and understanding internal barriers in black male college students that impact their openness to treatment


Bryan Alava and Fernanda Moura

Bryan Alava and Fernanda Moura have been working on the Paterson Project.

They are also working on a project Exploring the Relationship Between Racial Microaggressions and Clinical Symptomatology in Ethnic Minority College Students with Christopher Watkins and Keshani Perera.


Sekinat Kuku ("Jojo")

Sekinat Kuku (“Jojo”) has been a member of the Paterson project team and has received a Graduate Student Research Award from the New Jersey Psychological Association from her work on a separate project with Dr. Torres.