Who We Are

PROMISE at Columbia

Who We Are

Clinicial Director
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUIMC

Dr. Molly Algermissen is the clinical director of PROMISE at Columbia. She is also a clinical psychologist in the Developmental Neuropsychiatry Program at Columbia University Medical Center, and participates in research at the New York Psychiatric Institute. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from George Mason University in May 2000. She completed her internship in at Penn State Geisinger Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at the Children's Hospital. Her areas of specialization include neuropsychology, learning disabilities, autism, and developmental disorders.

Dr. Algermissen is committed to helping impoverished children with learning disabilities get the support they need to succeed. She supervises and trains the staff of four postdoctoral fellows who administer the neuropsychological evaluations and who create recommendations for the child. She also oversees the work of the educational consultant who is responsible for educating the parents about the child's learning issues and helps the families get the services the child needs from the schools. 

Dr. Meghan Tomb
Associate Clinical Director
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUIMC

Dr. Meghan Tomb is the associate clinical director of PROMISE at Columbia. Dr. Tomb is a child and adolescent psychologist and neuropsychologist. She received her PhD at the University of Vermont and completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. As the associate clinical director, Dr. Tomb trains and supervises postdoctoral fellows in neuropsychology and psychotherapy, and she is a co-mentor for the DeHirsch Robinson Research Fellow in Neuropsychology.

Dr. Tomb also provides direct clinical service to patients and families at PROMISE. She specializes in comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations of children, adolescents, and young adults with learning, language, attention/executive function, and developmental disabilities. Evaluations are completed within a developmental framework and often include assessment of social-emotional functioning and co-occurring psychiatric concerns. Her work includes providing ongoing recommendations and consultation for families and educators in developing and implementing appropriate academic, social, and behavioral interventions for children who are evaluated.

Amy Margolis
Principal Investigator, PROMISE Project Reading Study
Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUMC

Amy Margolis has a PhD in applied educational psychology: school psychology, and an MSEd in neuroscience and education from Teachers College. In the first decade of her career, she established a comprehensive assessment and treatment program for children with learning disabilities and attention disorders. In 2010, Dr. Margolis transitioned to a research career and completed the NIMH-funded T32 in research in child psychiatry in 2013, becoming an Assistant Professor in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Her research aims to understand how learning problems are related to underlying deficiencies in the structure and function of neural systems that support learning processes. With funding from PROMISE at Columbia, she is using MRI to examine how neural circuits that support cognitive control and learning processes produce reading disorder and, with funding from the NVLD Project, she is studying children with nonverbal learning disorder. Dr. Margolis is the recent recipient of an NIEHS–funded K Award to study how exposure to neurotoxic chemicals may affect neurodevelopment and manifest as subsequent learning and social problems. Her research program seeks to inform the development of novel therapeutics and early prevention programs for people with learning disabilities.

Ana Garcia

Ana J. Garcia, MS

Program Manager

Ana J. Garcia, MS, is the program manager at PROMISE at Columbia. Ana has been a member of the Columbia family for the majority of her career, and she came to PROMISE and the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry with a background in grants management, finance, and administration.

Neuropsychologist, Neuropsychological Evaluation Service and PROMISE at Columbia
Instructor in Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUMC

Dr. Claire Golden is a certified school psychologist and a New York State licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in developmental neuropsychology. She is a neuropsychologist at PROMISE at Columbia and has a private neuropsychology practice through the ColumbiaDoctor's Neuropsychological Evaluation Service. 

Dr. Golden earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Vassar College and her PhD in educational psychology with a specialization in school psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) in 2013, where she was the Gilleece Fellow from 2007 to 2012. She completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at PROMISE at Columbia and continues to focus on neuropsychological evaluations with underserved children in her work there.

At both PROMISE and through her private practice, Dr. Golden specializes in comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations with children who are struggling in school. She assesses students' cognitive abilities, academic skills, language, memory, executive functioning, and social-emotional well-being in order to clarify diagnoses and plan for future treatment and interventions. She has worked with both private and public schools throughout the tri-state area in order to ensure her patients have the best classroom placement and services possible. She has also participated in IEP meetings and impartial hearings to help families navigate the public and private education systems.

Dr. Golden is a member of several professional associations and is in the process of becoming board certified in clinical and pediatric neuropsychology through ABPP. 

Lindsay Hardy, PsyD

DeHirsh Robinson Postdoctoral Research and Clinical Fellow
Instructor in Clinical Psychology

Lindsay Hardy, PsyD, is the DeHirsh Robinson Fellow at PROMISE at Columbia. She completed her PsyD in clinical psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in July 2014. She completed her internship at Jewish Child and Family Services in Northbrook, IL, where she provided individual and family therapy and conducted neuropsychological evaluations for children and adolescents in the Chicagoland area. In 2016, Lindsay began her first year in the DeHirsh Robinson Postdoctoral Research and Clinical Fellowship, where she hopes to further develop her assessment abilities in the areas of learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

Lorenzo Torres, MA

Lorenzo Torres, MA

Supervising Education Coordinator

Lorenzo Torres is the supervising education coordinator for PROMISE at Columbia. Lorenzo leads a team of three senior education coordinators who provide advocacy for patients after the PROMISE neuropsychological evaluation is completed. He interacts with hospital staff, school staff, and community agencies to promote collaboration between all parties. Lorenzo supervises cases at all levels of need, attends IEP meetings with parents, and provides educational law didactics within the hospital system to aid other families in need.

Lorenzo earned his MA in educational psychology, specializing in bilingual psycho-educational assessments; he earned a BA in psychology and a BA in human development. Lorenzo has over 11 years of experience advocating for children’s educational needs. Prior to joining PROMISE, Lorenzo was a bilingual school psychologist assessing and advocating for underrepresented children. He has years of experience as a social worker advocating for children with developmental disabilities and ties in this past experience to advocate for and obtain the most appropriate services for PROMISE patients. 

Albert Martinez, Promise Senior Education Coordinator

Albert Martinez

Senior Education Coordinator

Albert Martínez joined PROMISE at Columbia as a senior education coordinator in the fall of 2016. Al has over 13 years of experience working as an educator and advocate on behalf of youth with disabilities and their families. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lehman College and is completing a master’s degree in social work at Columbia University. At PROMISE, Al uses his advocacy skills to assist youth and families in obtaining appropriate supports in educational and community settings.

Johanna Rodriguez

Johanna Rodriguez, MS

Education Coordinator

Johanna Rodriguez is an education coordinator at PROMISE. She is an experienced educator in general education, as well as special education. Before joining PROMISE, she was an independent provider of special education teacher support services (SETSS) contracted by the New York City Department of Education. Prior to that, she taught second and third grades at a private elementary school in the Inwood section of Manhattan. Johanna holds a dual teacher certification license in the state of New York in childhood education (grades one–six) and students with disabilities (grades one–six), as well as a dual teacher certification license in the state of New Jersey in early education (preschool through grade three) and elementary education (kindergarten through grade five). She also holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood/elementary education and Spanish from the College of St. Elizabeth, as well as a Master of Science in special education from Nyack College. At PROMISE, Johanna uses her background as an educator to assist families in obtaining appropriate educational services.

Anne R. Antoine

Anne R. Antoine, PsyD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Anne R. Antoine, PsyD (first year), graduated from Temple University with a Bachelors of Arts in psychology and a minor in cognitive neuroscience. She earned her PsyD in clinical psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology from Adler University. Throughout her graduate education and clinical training, she began establishing an expertise in neuropsychology through her focus on neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation for both adults and children. She completed her neuropsychological advanced practicum at Rush University Medical Center in the Movement Disorders Clinic in Chicago, IL, and conducted comprehensive pediatric neuropsychological assessments during her internship year at Trinity Services, Inc., in New Lenox, IL. She has trained in hospital settings as part of a multidisciplinary team, as well as in community mental health settings. She has also gained extensive experience conducting behavioral therapy for young children on the autism spectrum. Dr. Antoine joined PROMISE at Columbia for her postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology to aid in bridging the gap between quality neuropsychological services and educational success for children in lower-income communities. Dr. Antoine strives to provide contextually relevant services to those she serves and to be an advocate for those children who are underserved.

L. Cristina Calderón, PsyD

Postdoctoral Fellow

L. Cristina Calderón, PsyD (second year), graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in psychology, and received her PsyD in clinical psychology with a focus in neuropsychology from Nova Southeastern University. While completing her doctoral program, her research predominantly focused on psychological, cultural, and linguistic variables that may affect neuropsychological performance. She focused her clinical work on assessing children and adolescents, first in the community mental health setting, before broadening her evaluations to that of complex developmental and medical presentations within the hospital setting. With rotations through inpatient and outpatient hospital settings in South Florida, she built on her clinical training during her clinical neuropsychology internship placement at Hamilton Health Sciences—Acquired Brain Injury Program and McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, ON. Because of her native Spanish proficiency, she has been able to perform evaluations with many patients who do not speak English fluently, or whose parents speak only Spanish. She joined PROMISE at Columbia for her postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology, with a focus on bilingual assessment, in an effort to provide an awareness towards uniquely tailoring evidence-based treatment and assessment in order to provide a better standard of care to Spanish-speaking clients. As a Spanish-speaking clinician who has dedicated her studies, research, and clinical activity to working with the Latino population, training at the PROMISE Project—Bilingual Program Track allows her to continue to strive towards maximizing her multicultural and bilingual competence across the pediatric populations, as well as to expand her role to consultation and collaboration with the educational system and become an advocate for the Latino population within the professional community.

Emily Kurlansik

Emily Kurlansik, PsyD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Emily Kurlansik, PsyD (first year), will receive her doctorate diploma in October 2017 in school psychology from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP). For the past year, Emily has been a predoctoral intern in Woodland Hills, CA, at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), an applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment center for children on the autism spectrum, where she provided diagnostic and neuropsychological evaluations and consultative services. Emily is also a certified school psychologist and board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). She has previous school-based counseling, behavior consultation, and case-management experience.

Amanda A. Macdonald

Amanda A. Macdonald, PsyD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Amanda Addolorato Macdonald, PsyD (first year), earned a BA in psychology from Binghamton University and a MA in psychology in education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She received her MS in school psychology and just completed her PsyD in the combined school psychology/child clinical psychology program at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. For the past year, Dr. Macdonald has interned at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House, a regional diagnostic and treatment center for child maltreatment and trauma in Hackensack, New Jersey. Prior to this internship, Dr. Macdonald externed at the NYU Child Study Center, the Game-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program at Wynona’s House, and in the Cresskill School District.

Veronica Medina, PsyD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Veronica Medina, PsyD (second year), received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. Her dissertation focused on comparing the performance of children with ADHD combined subtype to children with ADHD inattentive subtype on the Rey Complex Figure Test. Dr. Medina completed an APA–approved predoctoral internship with Idit Trope, PhD, and Peter Badgio, PhD, who run private neuropsychology practices in Bryn Mawr, PA. Dr. Medina is also a certified school psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania; she worked as a school psychologist for the Philadelphia School District during the 2015–2016 school year. Dr. Medina joined CUIMC/NYP as a postdoctoral fellow with PROMISE at Columbia.

Jaclyn Zocca, PsyD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jaclyn Zocca, PsyD (second year), received her doctorate in psychology from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP). She completed her predoctoral internship in the child psychology track at NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP)/CUIMC. Jaclyn’s clinical interests have focused on assessment and evidence-based treatment of psychopathology in children and adolescents from culturally and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds. She is trained in a number of evidence-based treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, behavioral parent training, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy, through her training experiences at the Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, the Highland Park Community Teen Center, and the Institute for Research on Youth Depression and Prevention. Jaclyn has received training in psychodiagnostic and neuropsychological evaluations while on externship and internship at NYP/CUIMC; Mount Sinai’s Center for Excellence in ADHD, Learning Disabilities, and Related Disorders; the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey; and Rutgers University. Jaclyn’s research interests have focused on understanding the risks for psychopathology and studying interventions for psychological disorders.

Prior to graduate school, Jaclyn worked at the National Institutes of Health as a post-baccalaureate research fellow in a laboratory examining factors associated with childhood obesity. While at GSAPP, Jaclyn worked in Dr. Jami Young’s research lab examining the efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy-adolescent skills training for the prevention of depression. She completed her dissertation on the relationship between parenting and depressive symptoms in chronically ill youth, for which she received the GSAPP Bonnie Markham Award. Jaclyn joined the division as a clinical postdoctoral fellow at PROMISE at Columbia.