Research Team


Lab team [View Image]


Cecelia Valrie [View Image]


Cecelia Valrie, PhD

Dr. Cecelia Valrie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a primary affiliation with the Health Psychology PhD Program. She is also a faculty member of the Culture, Race, and Health core of the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry, and Innovation, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, and serves as a co-Director of Research for the VCU Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention. Dr. Valrie received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University for 11 years before joining the faculty at VCU in 2017. 

Her research program focuses on improving the health and well-being of youth and young adults at high risk for poor health outcomes, with a focus on youth with sickle cell disease, Black youth, and youth living in low resource environments. Dr. Valrie’s research has been funded by the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the American Society of Hematology. Her work has been published in a variety of scientific journals, including the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Blood and Cancer, Sleep Medicine, and American Psychologist. Dr. Valrie is committed to the translation of her research, with a focus on collaborating with health care providers, community members and groups, and youth and their families to create programs that can work in both health care, community, and school settings.

C. Valrie Curriculum Vitae

Faculty Page


Research Assistants


Angela Pascale [View Image] 

Angela Pascale, BS

Angela is a graduate student in the Health Psychology Doctoral Program. She received her BS in Psychology and a minor in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research interests include pediatric chronic illnesses and factors that contribute to poorer health outcomes. More specifically her research is focusing on biomechanisms that mediate the relationship between early childhood adversity and poorer health outcomes, such as chronic pain, in pediatric sickle cell disease. Her interests also include establishing interventions to improve the quality of life in youth suffering from chronic illnesses and address health disparities.

 A. Pascale Curriculum Vitae


 Mona Quarless [View Image]

Mona Quarless, MEd

Mona is a graduate student in the Health Psychology Doctoral Program. She received her BA in Psychology from Middlebury College and her MEd in Child Studies at the Peabody School of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. Her master’s thesis examined how neighborhood characteristics, adverse childhood experiences and co-parenting quality affect the mental health of college students. Broadly her work focuses on the social determinants of health, specifically social context, physical environment and health care resources. Her current research interests include pediatric chronic illness and the impact of behavioral health interventions on sleep hygiene, depression, anxiety and treatment adherence.

M. Quarless Curriculum Vitae

Jelaina Shipman [View Image]


Jelaina Shipman, MA

Jelaina is a graduate student in the Health Psychology Doctoral Program. She received her BA in Psychology, BS in Criminal Justice, and MA in Clinical Psychology at North Carolina Central University. Broadly, her interests are in examining individual, socio-economic, and environmental factors influencing health outcomes in individuals living in low-income southern rural communities, with a special interest in Black individuals. Specific factors of interest include perceived discrimination, environmental resources, and community supports. She is also interested in establishing chronic disease prevention programs and interventions to improve health outcomes for individuals living in rural communities and reduce health disparities.

J. Shipman Curriculum Vitae

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