Our team

Who We Are

Graduate Students

Camille Williams

Camille is a fourth year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a previous Emotion Research Fellow at the Center for Healthy Minds. She studies therapist characteristics, including interpersonal skills, multicultural orientation, and empathy, and how they relate to client outcomes in psychotherapy. Camille is also interested in the trait of empathy more broadly: how empathy develops within the context of early traumatic experiences, and the effectiveness of empathy interventions for children, healthcare professionals, and violent offenders. In addition to her work in the PCS lab, Camille is a clinician in training, currently seeing clients at the Madison VA hospital.

Kevin Riordan

Kevin is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology, a graduate research assistant at the Center for Healthy Minds (CHM), and a fellow in the Graduate Training Program in Mental Health Equity.  He is currently the lab manager of PCS Lab. His research interests center on meditation-based interventions and the potential for mobile-health technology (e.g., smartphone apps, teletherapy) to help address mental health inequity and the mental health treatment gap.  Increasingly, Kevin is also engaged in projects exploring the relationship between mental/behavioral health and the climate crisis, and effective pedagogy for teaching antiracism and social justice to helping professionals.  Kevin’s clinical training has involved various roles in college counseling, community mental health, inpatient settings, primary care mental health integration, and mandated psychiatric care for violent offenders with serious mental illness.  These clinical roles and relationships are tremendous sources of meaning and motivation throughout Kevin’s life, including in directing his research efforts.  Prior to graduate school, Kevin worked in outdoor education and international development, spent a year in silent monastic training, and for four years provided direct care to residents living in a mental health healing community.

Kevin Riordan headshot
Zishan Jiwani Headshot

Zishan Jiwani

Zishan is PhD student in counseling psychology working with Dr. Simon Goldberg. His primary research interests involve understanding the social determinants of meditation access and utilization. In other words, why do some individuals choose to engage with meditation whereas others don’t. Additionally, Zishan is interested in understanding how other factors such as motivation for meditation practice or type of meditation practice influences engagement and outcomes related to meditation. He has also served as a Teaching Assistant for the Art and Science of Human Flourishing Course. Prior to his engagement with research, Zishan worked in international development in East Africa and India. He is committed to social justice and equity and aims to bring that perspective to his work at the PCS lab.

Sin U Lam

Sin U is a PhD student in the Department of Counseling Psychology and a research assistant under supervision of Dr. Simon Goldberg at the Center for Healthy Minds. Prior to beginning her PhD, Sin U obtained a BS in Psychology at Peking University (China) and an MA in Counseling at Northwestern University. As an international student coming from Macau S.A.R. in China, Sin U is interested in mindfulness-based research from a social justice perspective. Currently, Sin U is working on projects related to the utilization, adverse effects, and attrition of meditation use, including but not limited to mindfulness-based interventions and digital technologies. She is currently beginning projects focused on understanding the crossover effects of mindfulness from a contextual and societal flourishing standpoint of view. Aside from mindfulness-based research, Sin U is interested in topics related to cross-cultural psychology, training and supervision, as well as the internationalization movement of counseling psychology. She is committed to promoting the training needs of international student therapists, a trainee population that has been understudied despite their role as key players in internationalizing counseling psychology. Currently, Sin U is collaborating with other international scholars in proposing a conceptual model to further understand the strengths and challenges of international student therapists from a dialectical perspective.

Qiang Xie Headshot

Qiang Xie

Qiang Xie (he/him/his) is a PhD student in the Department of Counseling Psychology and a research assistant at the Center for Healthy Minds and PCS Lab. Before starting his PhD, Qiang got a bachelor’s degree in Engineering at Wuhan University and master’s degree in Psychology at Beijing Normal University. As a psychological scientist in training, Qiang is strongly interested in investigating the mechanisms of meditation-based interventions (MBIs) and developing and improving MBIs through the study of mechanisms. He is also fascinated by the development and improvement of technology-delivered interventions (e.g., ecological momentary interventions, just-in-time adaptive interventions) as these interventions may provide affordable, personalized, and accessible mental health care. Qiang has published several scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Current Psychiatry Reports) centered around these research interests. Please visit his ResearchGate profile or Google Scholar profile for more information about his published work. In his free time, Qiang enjoys spending time with friends. He is a big fan of camping, hiking, tennis, pickleball, table tennis, and movies.

Undergraduate and Postbac Students

Ellen Converse

Ellen grew up in Wisconsin and received a BA in Psychology with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019. She is collaborating with Dr. Goldberg and the PCS Lab on projects related to therapist effects, specifically studying facilitative interpersonal skills (FIS) and

therapists’ multicultural orientation (MCO) as predictors of therapist success. Prior to joining the team, Ellen helped develop a corpus of American children’s books and investigated gender representations in the text at UW-Madison’s Language and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. She is currently a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study and a volunteer crisis counselor at Crisis Text Line. Ellen plans to continue to graduate school and become a clinical psychologist. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling.

Ellen Converse Headshot
Srideepti Marada Headshot

Srideepti Marada

Srideepti Marada is a third-year undergraduate student at UW-Madison. Her interests revolve around neuroscience and is therefore pursuing a major in Neurobiology (BA) and partaking in the pre-med track. As an undergraduate research assistant in the PCS Lab, she has assisted with coding studies for meta-analyses and meta-reviews and is assisting with the BeWell randomized controlled trial at the Center for Healthy Minds. In her former years of college, she has been part of the Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) and interned for the Interactive Learning and Design Lab. She has also expanded her experience in research by participating at the Women in Scientific Education and Research (WISER) Club at the university. Aside from research, she has had the privilege of engaging on the topics of diversity and inclusion, and communication as a PEOPLE Scholar. As she continues her education, she desires to deepen her knowledge on bridging mindfulness and meditation with neuroscience, and learning how the bridge can be catered to anyone.  

Xin Zhao

Xin Zhao is a senior majoring in psychology. He hopes to pursue a PsyD degree in counseling or clinical psychology after graduation. Xin’s research interests focus on the role of digital therapeutics in the intervention of people at risks for depression and other mental illness. Specifically, he is interested in the integration of mindfulness into cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) delivered by smartphones to make therapeutic services more accessible. Eventually, he hopes to create a culturally adapted digital intervention that centers on mindfulness and CBT for ethnic minorities. He is also an undergraduate research assistant in the Peer Relation Study Group, learning how racial-ethnic identity may buffer the relationship between racial discrimination and health among Asian Americans. During his spare time, Xin enjoys connecting with nature, playing the piano, and trying new foods.

Katherine Zimmerman Headshot

Katherine Zimmerman

Katherine Zimmerman is an undergraduate research assistant working on a study investigating dosage within mobile well-being training in the PCS) Lab. She is a third-year undergraduate student studying psychology and sociology at UW–Madison. Apart from being a student, Katherine has developed her interests in mental health and well-being as a Student Ambassador for the Center for Healthy Minds and her passion for advocacy and community through her role as President of a non-profit student organization, National Alliance on Mental Illness at UW–Madison (NAMI-UW). Katherine also writes about various topics related to psychology, sociology, culture, and community on her blog, Encourage Kindness. 

Lab Director

Simon Goldberg

Simon Goldberg is a licensed psychologist who started his position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2018. He conducts research on psychotherapy, with a specific emphasis on the effects of and mechanisms underlying meditation- and mindfulness-based interventions. He is Core Faculty at the Center for Healthy Minds.

Simon completed his BA in sociology at Tufts University in Medford, MA, his PhD in counseling psychology at UW-Madison, his predoctoral internship at the VA Puget Sound, and his postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Puget Sound and the University of Washington. He is currently completing a 5-year, NIH-funded K23 award focused on the delivery of meditation training through mobile health technology. He has clinical experience working with military veterans and has conducted research on veteran mental health. He has served on the editorial board for the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Psychotherapy Research.

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