Study Coordinators

Alicia Henson, B.S.

Position title: BEST Study Coordinator, Research Specialist


I’m the study coordinator for the Brains, Emotion, and Sleep Together (BEST) Study, which investigates the link between sleep, anxiety, and biological processes in childhood anxiety. There is evidence that sleep disruptions are common in anxiety, and one of the goals of this study is to help identify the biological correlates of these sleep issues to lay the groundwork for potential intervention approaches that could improve anxiety symptoms in children. My role is to schedule and run study visits, train undergraduates to do study activities, and coordinate with our collaborators. I graduated from Washington State University with a B.S. in Psychology and Linguistics in 2020. Before I became the BEST study coordinator, I worked with children and adolescents on the Autism Spectrum as a Behavioral Technician. Afterwards, I was a study coordinator for a lab researching rare inherited neurodegenerative diseases. In the future, I will pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, with a focus on the biological mechanisms behind mental illness.

Courtney Olson BA

Position title: ABLE Study Coordinator, Research Specialist


I am the study coordinator for the Adaptive Brains Learning about Emotions study (ABLE), a multisite project involving collaboration between UW-Madison, the University of Nebraska, Vanderbilt University, and the National Institute of Mental Health. The purpose of this study is to understand the biology of childhood anxiety disorders, with the aim of identifying neural alterations that are shared between childhood generalized, social, and separation anxiety.  As the ABLE study coordinator, I schedule and run study sessions, coordinate with our collaborators, and train our undergraduate research assistants.

I graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from UW-Madison.  I started with the Kalin Lab in 2019 as an undergraduate research assistant and became the ABLE study coordinator after my college graduation in 2021.  I plan to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, with my primary focus being on the cognitive effects of mental illness.