PhD Student Profiles
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."
Greg received a BA in Youth and Family Ministry in 1997 and a MS in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2000, both from Harding University. He is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"My research at Mizzou has focused on the relationship between personal religiousness and marital quality, as well as on the transmission of religious values and practices from parents to their children. I have been involved in a multi-year, multi-site effort to develop a curriculum to teach workers in the child welfare field about the principles of healthy relationships. I am also part of a grant-funded project to study the effectiveness of a hybrid, online/face-to-face pedagogy for writing-intensive courses in the social science."
Ruth received a BS in Child, Adult and Family Studies at Iowa State University in 2013. She is currently working towards a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"Broadly I'm interested in the social implications of federal and state policies on Latino families. Moreover, I am especially interested in positive health and adjustment among Latino families. I'm also interested in parenting and early school success for Latino children. Ultimately my goal is to become a college professor, pursuing a research agenda that investigates Latino families."
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 collabroted 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."
Alexandra received a BA in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2010. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"I am currently involved in several research projects with my faculty mentor Dr. Carlo and other colleagues, including the NSF LYCP project (interviews examining adjustment of Latino families in the Midwest); the ETHOS project (the influence of environmental toxicants on children’s cognitive, physical, and socioemotional development); the PALS project(examining cognitive and moral development in preschool children); and data collection with college students examining moral identity and sexual health. I am currently also involved in research with department faculty members on parenting styles, cultural values, cultural stress, and prosocial and moral development in ethnic minority families."
Rachael received a BA in English from the University of Missouri in 2011. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"I am currently a research assistant for Drs. Ganong and Schramm on a child support project. I am also currently working on my Master’s thesis with my advisor Dr. Coleman. My thesis centers around successful adoption practices."
Ashley received a BA in Psychology and Gender Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan in 2012. She is currently working toward a MA in Family Studies.
"My primary research interest pertains to how individuals navigate difficult situations in intimate relationships. Currently, I am working with Dr. Christine Proulx on a qualitative project regarding women who provide end of life care for a former abusive partner."
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."
Adam received a BA from Utah State University in 2008 and a MS from Brigham Young University in 2010. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"In my time at MU, I have been involved in research in a number of areas. I have worked with Dr. Schramm in his research for the Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Training project (HRMET) as well as his research related to the financial costs of divorce. I am currently working with Dr. Proulx preparing a manuscript on theoretical and methodological issues in studying dyads and families. While at MU, I have also published (or am currently working on) research related to family roles and their influence including research on coparenting, household labor, fathering programs, and work-family issues."
Erin received a BJ in 2009 and a MEd in 2011, both from the University of Missouri. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"My research focuses on early childhood development in the context of poverty, as well as the intersection of early childhood educational opportunities and cognitive development. I am currently involved in a project with Dr. Ispa in which we are learning more about maternal parenting practices in early childhood and links to middle childhood outcomes, using findings from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation project. I’m also involved in a collaborative project with Dr. Manfra and Dr. Carlo in which we are exploring preschool children’s cognitive and prosocial development."
Natalie received a BS in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University in 1998 and a MS in Psychology from Brigham Young University in 2013. She is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"Since arriving at Mizzou, my research has focused primarily on social and moral development during adolescence. Currently, I am involved in a project led by Dr. Sarah Killoren in which we are examining young adults' perceptions of what it means to be successful. I am also involved in projects led by Dr. Gus Carlo examining the relationships between early prosocial behavior, moral identity and moral conscience, and both positive and negative outcomes in preschool children, adolescents, and adults. After completing my graduate work here at MU, I plan to pursue a career in either academics as a professor or as a researcher for a private company."
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."
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."
Graham received a BS in Personal Financial Planning from the University of Missouri in 2006 and a MA in Family Studies from the University of Missouri in 2008. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"I am currently working on a qualitative study about the experiences (particularly coparenting) of divorced gay fathers (gay men who have children from previous heterosexual marriages). As I am finishing this project, I am also full-time faculty for MU Human Environmental Sciences Extension, where my work involves financial literacy, program evaluation, health insurance (ACA) education, and consumer finance research/curriculum, with a special focus on the financial challenges of low-income families."
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. Finally, I do research with Dr. Anderson, in the Social Work department, on family relationships during/after domestic violence."
Luke received a BA in Human Development and Family Studies and Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2010. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"My primary research interest is in health and family dynamics across family structural variations. Much of my current work with Drs. Marilyn Coleman and Lawrence Ganong, along with the rest of the Groundhog research team, has explored how children with residence in multiple households (due to having parents who are unmarried, divorced, or remarried) build and maintain family ties. The projects I’ve worked on have also explored the ways adults in these situations (particularly parents and grandparents, but also current and former stepparents or stepgrandparents) support children emotionally, financially, physically or otherwise."
Hometown: Fresno, California
Professional/Research Interests: Attachment formation, self-regulation and cognitive development
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."
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."
James received a BA in Political Science from Kansas State University in 2006 and a MS in Gerontology from Kansas State University in 2009. He is currently working toward a PhD in Human Environmental Sciences.
"My research interests surround the maintenance of safe mobility throughout the life course. I currently lead a Randomized Controlled Trial of an intervention designed to aid medically-impaired older adults in planning for driving retirement, in collaboration with adjunct faculty members Drs. Teresa Cooney and Thomas Meuser. Moreover, I have participated in several studies with Drs. Christine Proulx and Teresa Cooney using the HRS dataset to investigate the impact of driving cessation on productive and social engagement following driving retirement. As is common in aging studies, I engage in multidisciplinary collaboration with departments ranging from Social Work to Acute Care Surgery."