Dr. Z, Director

Dr. Zoe R. Smith (Dr. Z) is an assistant professor of psychology at Loyola University Chicago.

Pronouns: She/her

Office: Coffey Hall 204
Phone: 773.508.3015
Twitter: @DrZoeRSmith, @ACCTIONLab
Faculty Webpage: Dr. Zoe R. Smith, Loyola

Education and Training:

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Pediatric Research, Loyola University Chicago

  • PhD in Clinical Psychology, Child and Adolescent Concentration, Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Clinical Internship, Child and Pediatric Intern, University of Chicago

  • BA in Psychology Kenyon College

Research Interests:

Development of culturally-responsive assessments and interventions for adolescents, particularly adolescents with ADHD and sluggish cognitive tempo.

I advocate through my research, teaching, and service for people from systemically oppressed backgrounds.

I also examine how motivation changes over time and through different contexts.

I examine how measures are created and fit together statistically (psychometrics).

My work is community-centered and healing-based. That means we focus on the strengths of the whole person and help to alleviate any distress.

Recent Courses Taught:

  • Psychopathology (undergraduate)

  • Health Psychology (graduate)

What I do for fun:

I love listening to books on tape, going for walks, eating delicious food (particularly pizza), and exercising. I'm also starting to learn how to play pickleball and it is super fun! I love playing basketball, but I am hopeless at shooting baskets.

Study Coordinator

Adrian Melendez

Pronouns: He/him
Education: The University of Chicago, BA in Psychology
Research/Clinical Interest: I am interested in mood disorders and research focused on adapting evidence-based interventions for diverse racial/ethnic and LGBTQ+ youth and young adults.
What I do for fun: Reading, running, saying hi to dogs

Graduate Research Assistants

Jenny Phan

Pronouns: She/her

Education: Loyola University Chicago, M.A., Clinical Psychology

Status: 5th year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program

Research/Clinical Interests: Stress and coping among children and families from communities of color. Promoting resiliency within families. Disruptive behaviors in early childhood.

What I do for fun: Cooking, baking, eating through Chicago restaurants, and being a cat mom!

Goals: To become a child/adolescent clinical psychologist in an academic medical center conducting applied research, assessments and interventions for youth from historically underserved backgrounds. Increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within the field of clinical psychology.

Genevieve Roth

Pronouns: she/her
Education: Loyola University Chicago, B.S., Psychology
Status: 2nd year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program
Research/Clinical Interests: My research interests revolve around the neural and psychological factors that contribute to the development and stability of chronic pain conditions. Clinically, I am interested in learning more about culturally responsive assessments.
What I do for fun: Kayaking, reading, writing, and spending time with friends
Goals: To become a neuropsychologist in an academic medical center conducting research and clinical work.

Lab Manager

Eva Darow

Pronouns: She/Her
Education: B.S., Psychology, 2022
Status: Senior
Research/Clinical Interest: I am interested in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, specifically how they present during and after adolescence. I joined the ACCTION Lab to expand my research skills in the use of assessments and to learn about ADHD and SCT. I am so excited to be a part of this new lab!
What I do for fun: I enjoy playing my cello and spending time with my family and friends.
Goals: I plan to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Matti Jentz

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Education: B.S., Psychology and minor of Sociology, 2023

Status: I am currently a junior here at Loyola

Research/Clinical interests: ADHD and other mental diagnoses can be very misunderstood and I wanted to be in a group of people who are actively trying to change these stigmas against mental health. Changing the stigma against mental health and giving information out into the community can help so many people reach out and get the help they deserve. On the other hand, I would love to do research on how careers (specifically in the US) can affect parental/guardian mental health which then can trickle down and affect a child's mental health as well.

What I do for fun: This year will be my seventh year of being a part of a rugby team! I currently am a member of the womxn's rugby team here at Loyola. I also love to make fun DIY projects, crafts, and paintings on my down time. Spending any time outside is also one of my favorite things to do.

Goals: Currently I am deciding between getting my masters/PhD in Clinical Psychology or Industrial Organizational Psychology. I am leaning more towards IO Psychology though! Either way I want to continue my education and get my doctorate.

Neel Patel

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Education: B.S, Cognitive/Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychology, 2023
Status: Junior at Loyola Chicago
Research/Clinical Interests
: I joined ACCTION lab because I would like to help out youth by giving them a voice and how their thoughts can help with the research of ADHD. I also want underrepresented communities to have their voice heard as well and give them the help that they deserve. My research interests also include finding clinical methods to current untreatable diseases like Huntington’s disease.
What I do for fun: I have been a part of performing arts for 8 years now playing in pep band and wind ensemble with my Alto Saxophone in hand! I also love passing time by playing games like Chess and Disc golf, going to concerts and festivals with friends and exploring local cuisines in areas around the country.
Goals: Currently my goal is to get a PhD in either Behavioral Neuroscience or Clinical Neuropsychology. With my degree, I would like to teach Neuroscience as well as do research!

Flor Enriques

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Education: Neuroscience and Psychology Majors w/ Biology Minor

Status: Senior Student

Research/Clinical Interest: Personality Disorders and Childhood Trauma

What I do for fun: I love to design creative projects and enjoy outdoor adventures

Goals: Contributing to stop the discrimination and stigma against people suffering mental illnesses

Kareena Dharia

Pronouns: She/Her
Education: B.S. Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Psychology
Expected Graduation Year: May 2023
Status: Junior!
Clinal Interests: I am interested in how environment and other factors effect the children's development. I am joining ACCTION lab to work with youth and to better understand ADHD in order to do my part in bettering the lives of others.
What I do for fun: I am on Loyola’s Indian dance team, along with this I also enjoy working out, cooking for my friends and family, and spending time with those I love.
Goals: As an aspiring physician I hope to advocate for the idea that mental health affects more than psychological wellbeing.

Essie Humberston

Pronouns: she/her
Education: Loyola University Chicago, B.S., Psychology 2023
Status: Junior, Psychology major and Music minor
Research/Clinical Interests: I am so excited to be a part of the ACCTION lab because I think the work that it is accomplishing is extremely important and will help so many people, especially our youth. I am also excited that ACCTION lab recognizes the effects of systematic oppression and works to gain a better understanding of how this affects youth with ADHD. As someone with ADHD I am so excited to be a part of something that is working toward the betterment of lives of children and adolescents with ADHD today through research and therapy methods.
What I do for fun: I love playing guitar, singing, and hiking!
Goals: I am still figuring out what my specific goals for the future are but I really hope to have a career that is focused on understanding and bettering our society, whether that be with the environment, the use of technology, or mental illness (or all of the above).

Our first lab meeting!

Lab Alumni!

Graduate Research Assistants


Adrien Winning: Pediatric psychology intern at Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Undergraduate RAs


Shakiba Kalantari

Saniya Khan: Attending Midwestern University's PsyD program, congratulations!!

Mia Tyler: Taking additional classes to apply to medical school

Three ACCTION lab members hard at work making the lab space beautiful! Creating plants to put in the assessment room
Dr. Z winning the prestigious Sujack Family Master Researcher award for our work on project CRAFT! Dr. Z is standing in group of faculty winners.
Group of students and Dr. Z sitting around large conference table wearing masks and smiling

Our first ACCTION Lab meeting!