PhD Student Profiles

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Sarah Almalki

Sarah Almalki

E-mail: sarah.almalki@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Professional/Research Interests: Couples & relationship education, gender issues, Arab-American immigrant families, qualitative research
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Sarah received a BA and MA in Home Economic Education from King Abdulaziz University, KSA. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I want to explore the unique challenges that arise from developing and implementing family life education programs for populations that are culturally diverse. I am excited about my work with Dr. Chelsea Garneau-Rosner in ShowMe Healthy Relationships project."


Steven Berkley

Steven Berkley

E-mail: sbq4d@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Professional/Research Interests: African-American youth and emerging adults, college and family transitions, workforce development.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Steven received a BS in Economics in 1998 and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies in 2012 from the University of Missouri. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am interested in African-American emerging adults and their transitions in college, career, and family. My career goals are to improve academic and employment outcomes for this population through macro level program design, implement, and evaluate."


Vida Nana Ama Bonney

Vida Bonney

E-mail: va244@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Tema, Ghana
Professional/Research Interests: Language development and socio-cultural influences on early childhood development.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Vida received a BA in Psychology and Spanish in 2013 from the University of Ghana and a MA in Language Teaching in 2016 from the University of Missouri. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.


Alaysia Brown

Alaysia Brown

E-mail: alaysiambrown@mail.mizzou.edu
Hometown: Fresno, California
Professional/Research Interests: Skin-tone, family dynamics, parenting, romantic relationships.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Alaysia received a BA in Psychology from the University of San Diego in 2016. She is currently working toward a Doctorate in Human Development and Family Science.

"My goal in conducting research is to construct a narrative of the minority experience, particularly from the African-American perspective by examining variables related to identity development, family processes, and relationship formation and function. My research interests also include exploring colorism within the Black community and its influence on self-esteem, belongingness, and romantic relationships in adolescence and young adulthood."


Luis Conejo-Bolanos

Luis Conejo-Bolanos

E-mail: luisconejo-bolanos@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Heredia, Costa Rica
Professional/Research Interests: Temperament, emotional regulation, executive functions, prosocial behavior and aggression in children.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Luis received a BS in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica in 2010 and a MS in Psychological Research from the University of Costa Rica in 2013. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am very interested in executive functions, emotional development and aggression in children. Once I finish my doctoral studies, my plan is to continue working on these topics to develop a research program aimed at understanding these phenomena based on an empirically-valid and culturally-sensitive perspective. I plan to research not only the negative dimensions of emotionality such as aggression and behavioral problems, but also the socioemotional competence observed in prosocial behaviors, among others."


Logan Dicus

Logan Dicus

E-mail: jldfbg@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Shelley, Idaho
Professional/Research Interests: Prosocial behavior and moral development in children and adolescents as well as cultural and parenting factors.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Logan received a BS in Family Studies from the Brigham Young University in 2017. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.


Madison Memmott-Elison

Madison Memmott-Elison

E-mail: mkegn2@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Bakersfield, California
Professional/Research Interests: Prosocial behavior, self-regulation, culture, and moral development during early to late adolescence.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Madison received a BS in Human Development from Brigham Young University in 2015 and a MS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development from Brigham Young University in 2017. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am primarily interested in studying moral development, prosocial behavior, and self-regulation and how these constructs potentially protect against negative development and foster positive development from early to late adolescence. I am also interested in studying socialization factors that relate to the development of these constructs, including but not limited to parenting and media. Finally, I am interested in studying cultural differences in associations between these constructs and in utilizing a multidimensional perspective when possible. "


Nick Frye

Nick Frye

E-mail: nef6fd@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana
Professional/Research Interests: Emotion processes (emotional competence and emotional regulation) and their affects on relationship outcomes and individual wellbeing.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Nick received a BS in Psychology from Indiana State University in 2005 and a MS in Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University in 2007. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Since coming to Mizzou my research has focused on the effects of emotional processes on marital quality and personal wellbeing. In collaboration with Dr. Ganong and Dr. Coleman, I have also conducted research on stepfamily relationships. Currently, I am working on my dissertation which will examine whether individuals’ emotional regulation abilities can protect themselves, and other family members, from the potential harmful effects of family conflict on personal wellbeing Upon graduation, I hope to work as a professor conducting research."


Zehra Gulseven

Zehra Gulseven

E-mail: zg5yc@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Turkey
Professional/Research Interests: Moral behavior and development, prosocial behavior and its correlates including parenting, child rearing practices, emotion regulation, parenting daily hassles, and cultural differences.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Zehra received a BS in Psychology from Abant Izzet Baysal University in 2009. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interest focuses on prosocial behavior, moral development and moral identity, as well as the socialization of prosocial behavior with parenting and cultural correlates. I am currently involved in several projects with my faculty adviser Dr. Carlo in which we are exploring the influence of environmental toxicants on children’s cognitive, physical, and socioemotional development, using findings from the ETHOS project; we are also examining college students moral identity and sexual health. I’m also involved in a collaborative project with Dr. Rudy in which we are exploring cross culturally college students' relationships with their parents and their sense of well-being. We are collecting data from the USA, India and Turkey."


Seung-Hee Han

Seung-Hee Han

E-mail: shpbb@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Speech, communication in early childhood, language development, mathematical thinking, culture and development.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Seung-Hee received a BA in Early Childhood Education from Chung-Ang University in 2001 and a MA in Early Childhood Education in 2004. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests are focused on the relations of children’s speech, cognition, and social-emotional development. I also have interests in cultural influences on children’s development in various contexts. I hope all experiences in HDFS would enhance my future career goal to become a researcher."


Youngsook Han

Youngsook Han

E-mail: yhm88@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: South Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Family process, culture, and young children’s social development; Parent-child and peer interaction; Early intervention and prevention for at-risk children and their families.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Youngsook received her BA in Child Psychology and Education from Sungyunkwan University in 2008 and a MA in Child and Family Studies from Yonsei University in 2010. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research has focused on young children’s social development, especially peer relationships and prosocial behavior. I would like to examine how family process and cultural factors affect children's development. I also look forward to designing and evaluating early intervention and prevention programs for high risk children and their families. After completing the PhD program at the University of Missouri, I would like to be a scholar where I can continue my research and teaching."


Jihee Im

Jihee Im

E-mail: jibm5@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Parent-child relationships, parenting, social-emotional development in early childhood, and public policies related to children and families.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Jihee received her BA in Psychology from Sungkyunkwan University in 2008 and a MA in Human Resource Development from Sungyunkwan University in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests are parent-child relationships and effects of diverse parenting styles on socio-emotional development in early childhood. Also, I am interested in public polices related to children and public policy assessment."


Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones

E-mail: skjx9b@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina
Professional/Research Interests: Sibling relationships in adolescence and young adulthood, family dynamics, family communication, and cultural values.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Samantha received a BS in Human Services from East Tennessee State University in 2013 and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies from Kent State University in 2015. She is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am interested in sibling relationship dynamics during adolescence and young adulthood. Specifically, I am interested in investigating cultural factors and daily experiences that impact sibling relationship quality and adjustment. I am currently involved in several research projects with Dr. Killoren that focus on sibling relationships, as well as sibling dyad and family communication during adolescence. I hope to teach and conduct research in a university setting contributing to the field of HDFS and sibling relationships."


Jeremy Kanter

Jeremy Kanter

E-mail: jeremykanter@missouri.edu
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Professional/Research Interests: Marital relationships throughout the life course, and relationship education.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Jeremy received a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2014. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My primary research interests focus on how marital relationships change over time, and the constructs that influence these changes. In particular, the longitudinal association between contextual stressors and marital functioning. Furthermore, I am interested in interventions to promote marital quality. Currently, I am working on a project with Dr. Christine Proulx examining variation in how marital quality develops over time. I am also working with Dr. Chelsea Garneau-Rosner on a 5-year project exploring the effects of educational interventions for low-income couples."


Steffany Kerr

Steffany Kerr

E-mail: sms5ef@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests:
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Steffany received a Master of Education from Rockhurst University. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests are focused on taking a qualitative approach to studying families in later life. Through my work with Dr. Jacquelyn Benson, I have had the opportunity to study death, grief, and loss, as well as caregiving issues, and romantic relationships in later life. I am also pursuing the exploration of qualitative methods such as photovoice and Community Based Participatory Research, with the interest in generating research that informs programming and practice."


Gabrielle Kline

Gabrielle Kline

E-mail: gck539@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Saint Joseph, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Gender; family relationships; and family structure
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Gaby received a MS in Human Development and Family Studies in 2015. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am currently involved in research projects with Dr. Sarah Killoren my faculty mentor. I am very interested in sibling relationships during emerging adulthood. Recently, I have become more interested in sibling relationships among Mexican American emerging adults and how cultural values influence their sibling relationships."


Kwang Man Ko

Kwang Man Ko

E-mail: kkvk9@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Seoul, Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Fathering, fatherhood, coparenting, and parent-child relationships.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Kwang Man received a BS and MS in Urban Planning from Hanyang University in 1999/2000. He received a BA in Counseling Psychology from Seoul Digital University in 2007 and a BA in e-Lifelong Education from Gukje Cyber University in 2010. He also received a MA in Child and Family Studies from Yonsei University in 2012. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"As a father of three children, my research interest has focused on fathering and fatherhood. Here, at Mizzou, I am expecting my study into diverse contexts such as stepfamily and divorced family. Also, I would be part of the Stork research team led by Dr. Ganong and Dr. Coleman and join the a few research like fathers’'perception about coparenting."


James Larsen

James Larsen

E-mail: jln49@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Saint Louis, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Early childhood cognition, problem-solving behaviors, creativity, forecasting, school readiness, and children's play.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

James received a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2014. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences emphasizing in Human Development and Family Studies.

"I am interested in the interrelation of early childhood cognitive and social development and learning environments. More specifically, I plan to investigate how children develop problem solving skills and creativity through meaningful interactions and experiences. My goal is to establish a career in academia while creating a strong network of families, teachers,administrators, and other professionals interested in optimizing early childhood learning opportunities."


Sahitya Maiya

Sahitya Maiya

E-mail: sahitya.maiya@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: India
Professional/Research Interests: Cultural influences on prosocial behavior, moral development, well-being.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Sahitya received a BA in Communication and Media, English, Psychology from Christ University, India in 2014 and a MA in Applied Psychology - Counseling Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India in 2016. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I am particularly interested in prosocial behavior and moral development in adolescents with respect to parenting and cultural correlates. At Mizzou, I look forward to working with my faculty adviser, Dr. Carlo on research involving prosocial behavior across cultural contexts."


Sarah Mitchell

Sarah Mitchell

E-mail: snmvf2@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Poplar Bluff, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Family structure and processes of LGBTQ families (e.g. those with same-sex parents, LGBTQ youth, or any family member identifying as LGBTQ), particularly how these constructs relate to orientation disclosure, perceptions of familial support, and the intersectionality of gender and ethnicity.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Sarah received a BA in Psychology from the University of Missouri in 2008 and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri in 2012. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I would love to teach family structure and process courses that incorporate the study of diverse and underrepresented families, attending to factors such as sexuality, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, and gender. Additionally, I'm interested in program development and facilitation for non-profit organizations (e.g family impact centers, LGBT resource centers, etc)."


Lindsey Murphy

Lindsey Murphy

E-mail: lmzn7d@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: St. Charles, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Child life, trauma in early childhood
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Lindsey received a BS in Child and Family Development from Missouri State University in 2008 and a MEd in Educational and Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri in 2012. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My hope is to use my PhD to further ground the field of Child Life. In addition, my goal is to expand evidence and contribute to an increase in trauma informed services for children who have undergone various types of trauma between the ages of zero and three."


Sarah Pierotti

Sarah Pierotti

E-mail: slpfk2@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Butler, Pennsylvania
Professional/Research Interests: Prosocial behavior, parenting, cross-cultural research, Latino cultural values.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Sarah received a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 and a MS in Early Childhood Development from the University of Missouri in 2016. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests focus on the multidimensionality of prosocial behavior and correlates of prosocial behavior, such as parenting and cultural variables. I am especially interested in Latino cultural values and how values and prosocial behavior are socialized in the parent-child relationship. I am currently involved with several research projects with my advisor, Dr. Carlo, and also Dr. Killoren that are related to these areas. I have also really valued and enjoyed my opportunities to teach HDFS courses here at the university."


Eric Salinas

Eric Salinas

E-mail: eesbvn@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Riverside, California
Professional/Research Interests: Latino families, parenting, adolescent development, and academic outcomes.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Eric received a BA in Psychology from the University of California-Riverside in 2016. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.


Caroline Sanner

Caroline Sanner

E-mail: cms4qc@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Remarriage and stepfamilies dynamics, gender issues, qualitative research methods.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Caroline received a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri in 2013 and a MS in Family Science from the University of Missouri in 2016. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"I work with Drs. Marilyn Coleman and Lawrence Ganong to qualitatively explore post-divorce relationships and stepfamily dynamics. Given the increased diversity of families today, my research agenda is focused on understanding the processes through which stepfamily members make meaning of their roles, develop familial ties, and negotiate relationships in complex kinship networks. Furthermore, I am interested on the influence of gendered expectations on role construction and enactment, particularly for women in stepfamilies."


Nate Stoddard

Nate Stoddard

E-mail: nate.stoddard@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Highland, Utah
Professional/Research Interests: Relationship formation (marriage, remarriage, cohabitation), relationship maintenance (commitment, healthy relationship attitudes), and relationship dissolution (divorce, separation).
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Nate received a BS in Family Science in 2013 and a MS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development 2015, both from Brigham Young University. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Working with Drs. Garneau-Rosner and Ganong, I study family processes within diverse family forms. My research agenda focuses on understanding what it takes for relationships to be healthy across varying levels of family complexity and through various family transitions."


Kevin Stott

Kevin Stott

E-mail: kevinstott@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama
Professional/Research Interests: Gerontology, later-life interpersonal and family relationships, death and grief, and the "baby-boomer generation."
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Kevin received a BS in Family Science in 2013 and a MS in Marriage, Family, and Human Development in 2015 from Brigham Young University. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"My research interests are primarily in the field of gerontology, and I currently work with Drs. Benson and Ganong. I am especially interested in later-life couples, their families, and the family processes that change as they chronologically age. Also, I enjoy studying the "baby boomers" as they enter retirement and later life. My professional goal is to become a professor in a Family Science or Gerontology department where I can both teach and conduct research."


Chang Su-Russell

Chang Su-Russell

E-mail: cszm3@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Liao Ning Province, China
Professional/Research Interests: Child development in early childhood, parent-child relationships and cultural diversity.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Chang received her BA in English Literature from Minzu University of China in 2009, completed one semester in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Southern California in 2009 and received a MA, specializing in Child Development, in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.

"Since entering graduate school, my research interests are cross-cultural parenting and child development in early childhood. Currently, I am involved in a project led by Drs. Jean Ispa and Gus Carlo researching the longitudinal effects of maternal intrusiveness and autonomy support on children's outcomes in Early Head Start programs. I am also working with professors at Michigan State University: with Dr. Claire Vallotton on cross-cultural parenting in the context of symbolic gesture learning in early childhood, and with Dr. Holly Brophy-Herb on the children's perceptions of relationships with fathers and their developmental outcomes."


Danielle Turley

Danielle Turley

E-mail: danielle.turley@mail.missouri.edu
Hometown: Columbia, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: School readiness, early childhood transitions, child welfare/foster care experiences, teacher-child relationships.
Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Danielle received a Bachelor's in Social Work and a BS in HDFS from the University of Missouri in 2007. She received a MA in HDFS from the University of Missouri in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Development and Family Science.

"My research interests include examining the impact of early childhood (in)stability and major transitions on school readiness. Specifically, I would like to understand what aspects of foster care participation, including the stability of placements and experiences in preschool, have an impact on early elementary outcomes. My goal is to establish a research career in academia while influencing programs and policies to optimize the early experiences and development of one of the most vulnerable populations."