profile picture

Manny O

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Northwestern University


Clinical psychology, mental health research, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, treatment implementation and dissemination


Hi! My name is Immanuela and I’m a 1st year PhD student in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. I currently research obsessive-compulsive and related disorders as well as anxiety and other mental health related subjects. I have previously tutored and mentored across a range of ages and topics, from kindergarteners up to college students and beyond. Personally, I love taking walks along the lakefront and parks of Chicago while listening to music (when it’s not freezing)! I also enjoy reading and traveling. A fun fact about me is that I was born in the U.S. but grew up in South Africa for most of my childhood!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

How does mindfulness reduce anxiety?

This research idea would allow the student to investigate some of the mechanisms through which both mindfulness and anxiety act, and draw connections between the two to determine how they interact. Through searching existing literature online in research databases, the student would learn to conduct a literature review on a given topic and identify gaps in the literature. The review could be written up and submitted for publication to a scientific high school journal.

Coping with contamination obsessions during COVID-19

This idea would allow the student to investigate the effects of COVID-19 and how people cope, specifically with contamination given its relevance due to the pandemic. With the outcome of a scientific research paper, the student could begin with exploring some of the current literature before designing a questionnaire using validated scientific measures to collect data from peers. Once collected, these data could be analyzed, reported, and interpreted in a scientific research article.

Creating a stress intervention for high school students during exam season

With this example, the student could design an intervention to attempt to reduce stress that high school students face during exam seasons. They could begin by conducting surveys on some of the causes of stress in high school students and use existing literature and relate interventions to design their own, specifically tailored to a given situation (e.g. stress during SAT prep). This intervention could be through an app, school sponsored events, etc. This would allow the student to gain implementation and dissemination skills, along with the skills necessary to design a study.

Coding skills

R & RStudio, SPSS

Languages I know

American Sign Language (intermediate); Afrikaans (conversational)

Teaching experience

I have tutored students previously through a tutoring company for math and the sciences, as well as serving as a teaching assistant during undergrad. Additionally, I mentor students in the graduate school application process and writing research writing processes.


Work experience

Northeastern University (2022 - Current)
Graduate Researcher
Northwestern University (2021 - 2022)
Research Assistant
University of Pittsburgh (2020 - 2022)
Research Assistant
Jumpstart AmeriCorps (2018 - 2019)
Teachers aid


University of Pittsburgh
BS Bachelor of Science
Northwestern University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

Interested in working with expert mentors like Manny?

Apply now