PhD Student Profiles
Sarah received a BA in Home Economics Education from King Abdulaziz University in 2007 and a MA in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"I'm particularly interested in relationship and marriage education programs. I want to expand my knowledge and gain expertise in this area because I believe that there is a crucial need in my country for experts who can help the society to decrease critical family issues. I am also keen to study the impact of marriage education programs here in the US on preventing divorce and strengthening child-parent relationships. I’m interested in Dr. Schramm's work, as his research line and projects focus on both family education and marriage programs, which is very useful to me. I want to work under his supervision on my own project, where I want to analyze adding marriage relationship education programs to the curriculum of the education system in SA."
Jessica received a BA in Liberal Arts from New York University in 1999. She also received a BA in Psychology in 2010 and a MA in Psychological Science from California State University-Chico in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"I am interested in exploring effective interventions that contribute to the mental well-being of the senior population and their caregivers. Specifically, I am interested in employing animal-assisted interventions based in the human-animal connection (anthrozoology) and their potential benefit on mental health. I am presently the Project Coordinator for the Veterans and Shelter Dogs research project being conducted at the Research Center for Human Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Johnson. This multi-phase study was designed to benefit both combat veterans of the Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom along with shelter dogs at the Central Missouri Humane Society through obedience training classes. I am also working with Dr. Johnson in analyzing data concerning older adults’ transition into a nursing home setting as well as a the effects of a community-based shelter dog walking program."
Ashton received a BA in Psychology from Missouri Southern State University in 2010. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"Since arriving at Mizzou, I have collaborated with Drs. Ganong and Coleman to conduct qualitative research on divorced and remarried families. Together we have explored boundary setting and maintenance, constructions of shared family identity and kinship, and feelings of obligation in relationships. The changing landscape of today's families, coupled with improvements in the longevity of our global population, has resulted in increased numbers of diverse, multigenerational families. My research agenda is focused on understanding how intergenerational relationships are forged and maintained outside of nuclear family ties; moreover, I am interested in how perceptions of family identity shape feelings of obligation, particularly towards the oldest generation."
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."
Taylor received a BS in Family and Child Sciences and Psychology from Florida State University in 2015. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"I am currently continuing work on coparenting shortly after divorce related to family members' wellbeing. I am also interested in family processes within the context of complex family systems and I look forward to further pursuing these interests here at Mizzou."
Ashley earned a BA in Psychology and Gender Studies in 2012 and an MS in Family Studies from the University of Missouri in 2014. She is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"My primary research interests pertain to older adults' social relationships and their health. Currently, I am working on a project with Dr. Christine Proulx which explores marital history and the receipt of care over time in late adulthood and am also working on a project with Dr. Jacquelyn Benson that pertains to older adult living apart together (LAT) relationships. I am also involved on a project regarding women who provide end of life care for an ex-spouse with Dr. Proulx and Dr. Theresa Cooney at the University of Colorado Denver."
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 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 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 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 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 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 really interested in sibling relationships and sibling dynamics during emerging adulthood. More specifically, I am interested in emerging adulthood sibling relationships for Latino Youth, and the transition to college. 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. In the future I hope to teach and conduct research in a university setting contributing to the field of HDFS and sibling relationships."
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Professional/Research Interests: Family systems, parent-child relationships, poverty and its effects on family systems.
Youngjin is working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"Since beginning my doctoral degree at MU, my research interest has focused on coparenting relationships and father involvement among unwed parents, particularly in the context of poverty. Currently, I am a part of the Storks research team (formerly, Groundhogs) led by Dr. Ganong and Dr. Coleman. I have been involved in several qualitative research projects about stepfamily and postdivorce family relationships and I hope my experiences will lead me to deepen and broaden my knowledge about coparenting relationships and father involvement in fragile families who tend to experience multiple transitions in their relationships."
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 career goals entail conducting research and teaching at a University. Additionally, I hope to create my own relationship education program. The University of Missouri will help me reach these goals by working with passionate faculty and having opportunities to develop my research and teaching skills."
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 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 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, social, and language development. More specifically, I plan to investigate various dimensions of children's play, problem-solving behaviors, creativity, and social and emotional forecasting among preschoolers as it relates to child development across the previously mentioned domains. My goal is to establish a career in academia as a professor and researcher advancing the field of early childhood development."
Hometown: Poplar Bluff, Missouri
Professional/Research Interests: Family structure, processes, and gender issues of LGBT families (e.g. those with same-sex parents, LGBT youth, or any family member identifying as LGBT), particularly how these constructs relate the "coming out" process.
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 like to use my research of family structure and processes to identify resources that are needed by these underrepresented family types. Additionally, I would like to facilitate communication among LGBT family members. That could be accomplished by designing research based programming and/or participating in the facilitation of said programming. I also enjoy teaching and would like to design courses that focus on LGBT individuals and their families."
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 received a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. She is currently working toward a MS/PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"At MU, I look forward to working with Dr. Carlo on research involving prosocial development, especially in different cultural contexts. In the future, I hope to teach and conduct research in the university setting."
Andrea received a BA in Vocational Family and Consumer Sciences from Missouri State University in 2007 and a MA in Child and Family Studies from Fontbonne University in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"My research at MU has involved various areas of study. I am currently involved in research with Dr. Ganong and Dr. Coleman as a member of their research team, the storks, which delves into topics such as family relationships, divorce, and remarriage. I also work with Dr. Killoren on studies involving adolescents and sexuality.
Luke received a BA in Human Development and Family Studies and Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2010 and a MS in Family Science from the University of Missouri in 2014. He is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
I study health and resilience dynamics in post-divorce families. Much of my current work with Drs. Marilyn Coleman and Lawrence Ganong has explored how adults support the healthy development of children who have residence in two households through coparenting or co-navigating health systems (e.g. hospitals, doctors appointments). I have also worked on projects that have explored how children and adults navigate their relationships within divorced and remarried families, specifically how ties are developed, maintained, or dissolved among stepchildren, stepparents, and stepgrandparents."
Caroline received a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri in 2013. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"As an undergraduate student here at Mizzou, early collaborative efforts with Drs. Marilyn Coleman and Lawrence Ganong provided an invaluable platform from which I’ve continued my graduate studies. Since then, we have worked to qualitatively explore post-divorce relationships and stepfamily dynamics. Given the increased diversity and complexity of families today, my research agenda is to understand how stepfamily members build and maintain relationships in nontraditional family networks. Furthermore, I am interested on the influence of gendered expectations on role construction and enactment, particularly for women in stepfamilies."
Charisse received her BA in Philosophy with minors in psychology, sociology, ethics and religion from Columbia College in 2013. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"I am interested in family influences on adolescent prosocial and emotional development (especially in relation to moral, sexual, religious, and gender identities) and outcomes in early/emerging adulthood wellbeing. I am currently assisting Dr. Russell Ravert with his research involving risk taking and emerging adulthood, and hope to work with Dr. Sarah Killoren and Dr. Gus Carlo on research involving families and moral development. While I still need to earn my MS degree, I am grateful to have been accepted into the PhD program as I intend to pursue a career in research."
Christina received a BS in Child Development from California State University in 2012. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"Since beginning my graduate degree at Mizzou, my research has focused on self-regulation and executive functions in early childhood. Currently, I am involved in a collaborative project led by Dr. Manfra and Dr. Carlo in which we are examining preschool children’s cognitive and prosocial development. Through this project, I work with children on a variety of tasks that provides insight into how children use language to complete cognitive and learning tasks, how young children develop prosocial and moral behavior, and how cognitive development and learning affect prosocial and moral development."
Cara received a BA in Psychology from Western Washington University in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"I am currently involved in several research projects with Dr. Carlo, my faculty mentor, and other colleagues. Examples of these projects include the NSF LYCP project (adjustment of Latino families in the Midwest); the PALS project (cognitive and moral development in preschool children); and data collection with college students examining moral identity and sexual health. Additionally, I am working on projects with Dr. Killoren that examine sibling communication and Latino/a adolescent adjustment. Finally, along with Dr. Carlo, Dr. Killoren, and several other researchers from the university, I am involved in a project that examines the roles of parent, peer and sibling relationships, moral identity, and new media on Latino/a adolescent sexual health."
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 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 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 received a Bachelor's in Social Work and a Bachelors in HDFS from Mizzou in 2007 and an MA in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Development and Family Science.
"I'm specifically interested in how the early education environment influences learning and the development of eating behaviors in young children. Of specific interest is how school gardens can be implemented to support the development of the whole child. The MU's Children Learning Garden at the Child Development Lab provides a perfect opportunity for investigating questions like this. If we involve our young children and their families in planting, caring, harvesting, and consuming food in the garden while integrating academic goals such as math and reading, what kind of impact can we have on the whole child? My hope is to be able to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding garden programs in early childhood programs and that our (anticipated positive) results at the CDL will be applicable and transferable to early childhood programs everywhere."