Meet the PAARC Team!

Christopher A. Flessner, Ph.D.


Dr. Flessner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University and Director of the Pediatric Anxiety & Allergy Research Program (PAARC). He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition, Dr. Flessner completed his clinical internship and postdoctoral training in Child Mental Health at Brown Medical School. His clinical and research interests focus on understanding risk factors for the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), other anxiety disorders, hair pulling disorder (trichotillomania), and tic disorders (i.e., Tourette's syndrome) in children. In turn, he is interested in applying this knowledge towards the development of better treatments for children and their families afflicted with these disorders. Dr. Flessner is also a member of the TLC for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs)-Scientific Advisory Board. More recently, Dr. Flessner and his lab have begun to examine multiple facets to the relationship between pediatric anxiety symptoms and food allergies as well as ways in which behavioral interventions might be used to reduce risk and improve the lives of children and adolescents afflicted with food allergies. Currently, the PAARC is conducted a NICHD-funded study to examine the preliminary efficacy of such an intervention for young children from low-income backgrounds.


When he is not teaching, conducting research, or supervising students, Dr. Flessner enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. He is an avid sports fan and supports the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks, and Wisconsin Badgers football and basketball teams.

Emily is currently a fifth-year doctoral student in the child clinical psychology program at Kent State University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Creighton University before attending Kent State. Emily's research interests include parenting practices among parents of children with chronic tic disorders, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She is also interested in examining risk factors for OCD. After the completion of her degree, Emily hopes to continue to conduct research and see clients.

Emily Wilton, M.A.

Ashley is a third-year clinical psychology doctoral student at Kent State University. She got her undergraduate degree from Denison University, where she received a BA in psychology and biology and a concentration in neuroscience.  Ashley is interested in how the immune system affects the brain and behavior, specifically, in children with food allergies. 


Ashley Lahoud, B.A.

Tess Gladstone, M.A.

Tess is in her fourth year as a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Kent State University. She graduated from Georgetown University with an undergraduate degree in psychology and english. Her research interests include childhood anxiety disorders, risk factors for anxiety, anxiety and comorbid disorders, family interactions, and bridging the research practice gap by examining how to build, implement, and disseminate more effective treatments. 


Sydney is a third year clinical psychology Ph.D. student at Kent State University. She completed her bachelors degree at Ohio State University, graduating with honors and research distinction in psychology. Her undergraduate lab experiences solidified her passion for children and psychological science. Sydney is interested in studying child anxiety disorders and maladaptive coping strategies, specifically, body-focused repetitive behaviors.

Sydney Biscarri

Clark, B.S

Sydney photo for lab website.jpg