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PhD Students

AshlynAshlyn Schwartz

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Ashlyn Schwartz is from Atlanta, Georgia. She received her B.S. in Exercise Science from Kennesaw State University and her M.S. in Exercise Physiology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her major professor is Dr. Julia Jaekel. Using a life course perspective, Ashlyn’s research focuses on understanding developmental processes of infants and children with biological and social risk.



Jennifer Cornwell, PhDJennifer Ward

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Jennifer is from Knoxville, TN.  She received her B.A. in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies from Furman University and her master’s in Public Health, Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee.  She is currently working with Dr. Hillary Fouts and Dr. Julia Jaekel.  Her research is focused on infant care patterns among displaced people, especially refugee mothers from Sub-Saharan Africa.



Kayley Davis

Kayley Davis

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Kayley is from Knoxville, TN. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her major professor is Dr. Spencer Olmstead. Kayley’s research focuses on human sexuality and the sexual wellbeing of adolescents and emerging adults.



Macy HalladayMacy Halladay

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Macy is from Brea, California. She received her B.S. in Family Studies from Brigham Young University and her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy for the University of Southern California.  Her major professor is Dr. Elizabeth Johnson.  Macy’s research focuses on studying the effects of information technology and innovation on youth development, specifically in diverse or marginalized populations, through an interdisciplinary perspective.



Meilan JinMeilan Jin

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Meilan is from Helong City, Jilin Province, China. She received her B.A. in Applied Psychology from the Changchun Normal University and her M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from the Wayne State University. Her major professor is Dr. Mary Jane Moran.  Meilan’s research focuses on preschoolers’ cognitive development in different cultural contexts, particularly cooperative problem solving and critical thinking.



Lauren

Lauran Gieske

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Lauran is from Murfreesboro, TN. She received her B.S. in Child in Family Studies with a double major in Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her major professor is Dr. Julia Jaekel. Lauran’s research focuses on the long term physiological health and cognitive development of children raised in stressful environments, with an emphasis in resilience and neurological mechanisms.



Lucia Miranda

Lucia Miranda

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Lucia Miranda is from Montevideo, Uruguay. She received her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Lucia’s main research interests focus on risks and resilience in early socioemotional development and attachment formation, and how these affect relationship functioning throughout the lifespan.



Geoff MabeGeoff Mabe

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Geoff Mabe is from Knoxville, TN. He received his B.A. in Bible and Psychology (double major) from Freed-Hardeman University, his M.A in General Psychology from East Tennessee State University, and his M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy/Professional Counseling from Johnson University. His major professor is Dr. Delores Smith. Geoff’s research is focused on clergy family dynamics and outcomes.



LaGraff, Melissa

Melissa Rector LaGraff

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Melissa is from Chattanooga, TN.  She received her B.S. in Human Ecology and M.S. in Child and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her major professor is Dr. Heidi Stolz. Melissa’s research examines how to improve family functioning through family policies and parenting education that encourages effective parenting practices.



Megan Schideler

Meagan Shideler

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Meagan is from Houston, TX. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Oklahoma State University and her M.S. in Child and Family Studies from University of Tennessee. Her major professor is Dr. Heidi Stolz. Meagan’s research focuses on child development and family relations, especially in understanding the intergenerational transmission of obesity and how weight status impacts socioemotional development and family processes and relationships.



Tobey Nichols

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Tobey Nichols is from Clayton, CA. He received his B.A. in Political Science from San Francisco State University and his M.A. in Teaching from the University of Southern California. His major professor is Dr. Julia Jaekel. Tobey’s research focuses on how adversity effects development over the life span.


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