SEED Lab Members

Principle Investigator

Dr. Jamie Lawler

Dr. Lawler is a clinical and developmental psychologist with expertise in early adversity, parenting, and self-regulation. Her research program is grounded in developmental psychopathology and focuses on the impact of early life stress on the socio-emotional development of children. She has a particular interest in the development of self-regulation, parent-child relationship factors that promote resilience, and interventions to support positive development in high-risk children. Her work examines developmental processes at multiple levels of analysis, incorporating bio-markers of stress, dyadic parent-child interactions, and environmental influences on parenting and child development. Her current research projects can be found on the Projects page. Over the last decade, Dr. Lawler has investigated the socio-emotional outcomes of early institutionalization, the determinants of parenting, and effects of the child welfare system. She also conducted an intervention study examining the efficacy of executive function training and mindfulness-based interventions on school-aged children’s self-regulation. See the Publications page to read more. Contact Dr. Lawler at [email protected].


Dr. Angela Staples

Dr. Staples is a quantitative developmental psychologist studying development across multiple time scales in early childhood. Her research is grounded in bio-ecological systems theory that emphasis the transactional nature between person, situation, and time. As both sleep and self-regulation develop rapidly from birth to age five, this period poses challenges for studying continuity and change. A single night of poor sleep has consequences for parents and children. For example, the ability of a parent to keep their cool or a child's ability to stay on task. Now, add the development of sleep between age 2 and 4, when kids stop napping, start resisting going to sleep, and may reach out for comfort when awakened in the middle of the night and we have arrived in the neighborhood of Dr. Staples' research area. Specifically, she studies the relation between sleep and parent–child communication.  Dr. Staples is collaborating on the Development of Self-Regulation Study. For more information, visit her webpage.

Graduate Students

Kristin Aho

Kristin Aho is a fifth-year doctoral fellow in the Clinical Psychology program, with an emphasis in Developmental Psychopathology. Her primary research interests include executive function and broader self-regulation in parents and children, ecological factors that impact the development of self-regulatory abilities, and antecedents of positive parenting. She also has broad interest in attachment-focused research, stress physiology, parental psychopathology, and maternal healthcare disparities. She hopes to contribute to research that is translational in nature, impacting clinical practice or policy. In the SEED Lab, she has assisted in managing the longitudinal Self-Regulation Study, coding teams, the database for EMU’s Family Participant Pool, and has assisted with the Infant Mental Health Home Visiting program evaluation study. Kristin’s clinical work focuses primarily on children and families. She recently completed an inpatient psychiatry practicum at Mott Children’s Hospital Nyman Family Unit where she worked directly with high-risk children and adolescents. She will complete her 2021-2022 practicum in outpatient psychiatry at the University of Michigan Health System, with split time between the Infant and Early Childhood Clinic and the Perinatal Clinic.

Aidan Schmitt

Aidan is a fifth year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at EMU. She received her pre-doctoral master's degree in the fall of 2019. Her research focuses on socio-emotional development during important developmental periods, especially during childhood and adolescence. Some specific interests include attachment relationships, internalizing psychopathology, and social media use. In the past, Aidan has worked in research and clinical positions at renowned children's hospitals including Children's National in DC, Cincinnati Children's, and Mott Children's in Michigan. 

Amanda Hicks

Amanda Hicks is a fourth year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Eastern Michigan University under the mentorship of Dr. Angela Staples. She earned her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hartford in 2017 and went on to work at the University of Michigan as a Research Specialist Associate in the Child Psychiatry Research Department. Her main interests include the impact of parental psychopathology and sleep problems on the parent-child relationship and child development. 

Sarah Freeman

Sarah is a third year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at EMU. She received her BA in German studies from Furman University in 2014, after which she spent a year teaching English in Germany on a Fulbright fellowship. In 2017, Sarah earned her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan. She has experience applying behavior change theory and principles of Motivational Interviewing to develop tailored health interventions and has also worked with the children’s program at SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor, providing trauma-informed care and implementing violence prevention programming. Prior to joining the SEED Lab, Sarah worked for the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry as lead evaluator for the Infant Mental Health Home Visiting study. Her research interests include the effects of early adversity on child development, familial protective and risk factors that promote or hinder resilience, parenting and parent-child relationships, and the development and evaluation of interventions that promote relational health and resilience among families. 

Centia Thomas

Centia Thomas is a second-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Eastern Michigan University under the mentorship of Dr. Angela Staples. She earned her Bachelor's of Science with a major in Psychology and a minor in Rehabilitation and Human Services at the Pennsylvania State University in 2019 and went on to work as a Project Coordinator in the Emotional Development Lab. Some of her specific research interests include racial health disparities, multicultural competency, and its impact on therapeutic outcomes.

Maitri Jain

Maitri Jain is a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at EMU. She graduated with a BA in Psychology Honours from India (2020), following which she completed a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in 2022. Her research interests lie in understanding the effects of early adversities on children's socio-emotional development, executive functioning, and brain development, parent-child relationships, and resilience factors for children exposed to early adversities. Maitri has prior experience working with orphaned and institutionalized children in India, and in developmental affective neuroscience and cognitive development at Columbia University. 

Krysten Schultz

Krysten is a second year student in the general clinical master's program at EMU. She graduated from Siena Heights University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, and then completed several psychology courses at EMU at the undergraduate level to prepare for graduate school in clinical psychology. She wants to work with kids who have neurodevelopmental disorders.


Joely Reznik

Joely is a second-year student in the General Clinical Master's program at Eastern Michigan University. She graduated from Wayne State University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with honors, as well as a minor in gender, sexuality, and women's studies. In her undergrad, she worked in a social psychology lab assisting on studies looking at romantic relationships. She has aspirations of continuing her education to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, focusing on adolescents and at-risk youth. She hopes to work as a clinical psychologist in an inpatient facility for children and adolescents in the future. Joely has a particular research interest in resiliency in children and adolescents.

Bree McGee

Bree is a second year Masters student in the Clinical Behavioral Psychology program at Eastern Michigan University. She graduated with her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Winthrop University (South Carolina) in the spring of 2020. Her research interests primarily revolve around early childhood ADHD and behavioral issues, though she also has interests related to resilience, attachment, social-emotional development, anxiety disorders, and self-regulation skills.


Madison Hannapel

Madison is a second year in the Clinical Psychology Masters program at Eastern Michigan University. She graduated with her Bachelors degree in psychology and neuroscience and a minor in comparative religion from Miami University in the spring of 2021. In undergrad Madison focused on emotion regulation in relation to biomarkers and child outcomes. She aspires to continue her education to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to advance her study in parent-child relations, emotion regulation, and child outcomes.

Rachael Les

Rachael is a second-year General Clinical Master’s student at EMU and received her BS in Psychology and Spanish from the Honors College at Grand Valley State University. She has a rich background and fascination in childhood trauma and resilience, having assisted in Grand Valley’s Competency to Parent Lab which examined the dose-response relationship between trauma and negative psychosocial outcomes to prevent the intergenerational transmission of trauma. She is also interested in cross-cultural work and has experience in intersectional trauma-informed care, having worked as a Community Advocate for Domestic Violence with Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Studies, and a mentor for refugee youth with Bethany Christian Services. She intends to pursue doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology while continuing to examine the relationship between early trauma and psychopathology, as well as the value of cultural competence in the promotion of well-being.

Erin Neis

Erin is a second-year student in the General Clinical Master's program at Eastern Michigan University. She graduated from Butler University in 2021 with a degree in Psychology as well as Political Science. In her undergrad, she worked in a psychology lab assisting on studies looking into memory with misattribution, discovery of pregnancy, and romantic interests. Erin's research interests primarily include emotional regulation, attachment style, and PTSD. She hopes to continue her education and earn a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology to continue research.

 Undergraduate Students and Volunteers

Michael Said

Michael is a senior at Eastern Michigan University, who is double majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology and plans to graduate in April 2021. He is hoping to go to Medical school but has decided to take a gap year after graduation. He looks to immerse himself in the field of psychological research during his year off. Michael is especially interested in child development and the psychology behind it. He is excited to be apart of the SEED lab and to broaden his experiences working in the lab.  


Josie Uerling

Josie is a third-year undergraduate at Emory University studying Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology and Global Health, Cultures, and Society, and she joined the SEED lab in Spring 2021. After she graduates, Josie plans to pursue her Master's in Public Health and possibly further her neuroscience education. Her research interests are in child and adolescent development, mental health, and neurodevelopmental disorders.



Jordyn Gerwig

Jordyn is a first-generation, second-year student at Eastern Michigan University. She is a Psychology Major with a Family Sociology minor. Her current goal is to graduate in 2024 with Departmental Honors in Psychology. Her study interests are in working with children of all ages, especially in areas of trauma, grief, self-identity, depression, and anxiety. Her long-term goal is to go to graduate school and pursue a career in Clinical Psychology.


Cierra Barrett

Cierra is a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Journalism. She plans on graduating in the Fall of 2022. After graduation, she plans on going to graduate school to become a school counselor for middle school students. Cierra enjoys helping others realize that what they are going through mentally is okay and they can overcome what they are battling. She also enjoys researching how anxiety, depression, and other conditions like OCD, can start at a young age, along with how to help children identify what they may be feeling and how to understand those feelings. She hopes to show children that what they may be experiencing mentally is okay and that they are never alone.


Noor Jassim

Noor is an undergraduate student majoring in psychology and sociology at Eastern Michigan University. She is an active volunteer at the animal shelter. Her interests include the psychological effects of mindfulness in everyday life and as treatment for mental illnesses. Other interests include dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) as well as emotional regulation. Her goal is to attend graduate school and hopefully teach psychology at the college level.


Hayley Nur

Hayley is a junior undergraduate student studying psychology. She joined the Early College Alliance (ECA) program at EMU when she was 14 and has been at Eastern since. Her study interests are cognitive, developmental, and forensic psychology. Her plans are to go to graduate school and hopefully pursue her doctorate after. Her long term goals aren’t exact as she is interested in many different aspects of psychology. She hopes to study child development and behavior. She is interested in criminal psychology and studying behavior in that aspect as well. She would love to study behavior in children that lead to criminal behavior. Hayley is excited to work with the SEED lab and she hopes to broaden her experiences with children development and behavior.


Jeffrey Lock

Jeffrey is an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Sexuality. He intends to graduate in 2023 with departmental honors in Psychology and then pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in order to ultimately become a sex therapist. Sexuality is his main interest, but he is also fascinated by psychopathology and child development. In his spare time, he enjoys baking, watercolor painting, and hiking. 



Coreena Forstner

Coreena is a junior undergraduate student studying Psychology and Criminology. She intends to graduate in Winter 2023 with University Honors, Departmental Honors in Criminology, and Highest Honors. Her study interests include criminal behavior, homicide, psychopathy, the social and biological risk factors of crime, and antisocial behavioral indicators in adolescence. After graduation, Coreena plans to continue her education in Graduate School and pursue her doctorate. Coreena also works as a Residential Advisor on campus, is the Vice President of student organization, Active Minds, and is the Website and Social Media Coordinator for the Southeast Michigan Criminal Justice Research Project (SMART).

Kat Spence

Kat is a junior undergraduate student studying Psychology and minoring in statistics. They work as a Supplemental Instructor for the Holman Success Center and as a Peer Mentor for the College Supports Program. Their study interests include social and behavioral development (especially within the era of COVID-19), general child development, and intergenerational trauma. Kat expects to graduate in the Spring of 2024. They plan to continue onto graduate school to earn their Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with the aspiration to become a pediatric psychologist. They hope to work with children of all ages, specifically with neurodevelopmental disorders, psychopathology, and trauma. Kat is very excited to be a part of the SEED Lab and looks forward to gaining research experience and broadening their knowledge. 


Divyangi Krishnamayi

Divyangi is an international student who recently graduated with a BS in Biology from Eastern Michigan University. She is currently taking a gap year and working as a Home Health Aide at St. Josephs’s Village.  She is also volunteering as a Crisis Counselor at The Crisis Text Line. In the future, Divyangi plans to apply to medical school and fulfill her goal to be a psychiatrist. In her spare time, she loves playing with her adorable cats, exploring new restaurants and, napping. She looks forward to volunteering at the SEED lab and delving more into her interests in child development. 


Lane Brodzik

Lane is an undergraduate student studying psychology and intends to graduate in 2024. They ultimately plan on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Their research interests include Autism, childhood development, and psychopathology. In their free time, they enjoy spending time with family and pets, as well as knitting and photography.  

Jacklyn Staffeld

Jacklyn is a senior undergraduate, majoring in Psychology and double-minoring in Criminology and Public/Nonprofit Administration. She is a member of EMU’s McNair Scholars Program, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Honors College. Jacklyn has prior research experience working with rats at the University of MIchigan to observe the behavioral and neurological aspects of addiction. She also is a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line as well as a Program Assistant for Eastern MIchigan University’s Returning Citizen Fellowship. Upon graduation, she intends to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the hopes to one day conduct research and provide services to those most vulnerable.

Olivia Lesh

Olivia recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and German. She holds a certificate in Trauma-Informed Practice and is interested in interventions that improve academic and mental health outcomes for children who have experienced adverse life events. Olivia has 500+ hours of experience working with children in a public school Kindergarten classroom, as well as additional placements with 5th grade and middle school students. Olivia looks forward to gaining research experience related to early social-emotional development and protective factors that promote resilience for high-risk children.

Grace Jasina

Grace is a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. After graduation in Winter 2023, she plans to attend graduate school, pursuing a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Her long term goal is to become an Human Resources manager or continue in the line of research.

Christopher Jackson

Christopher is a third-year undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in
Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis, and a minor in
Communications. He is currently a behavior technician and plans to further his studies by
attending a graduate program after graduating in April 2023. Christopher is very excited to
join the SEED lab.

Alison Livesey

Allison recently graduated from Eastern Michigan’s Psychology program. After a year of gaining experience in the field, she plans on furthering her education to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a child-development concentration. Allison is passionate about community well-being along with individual social and emotional health. She is excited to gain skills, knowledge, and experiences from the SEED labs. In her free time, she enjoys yoga and creating floral arrangements. 

Bernadette Dzialowski

Bernadette is a senior undergraduate at Eastern Michigan University majoring in Psychology with minors in Health Education and Human Sexuality. She plans to graduate in April 2023. After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests include studying parent-child relationships and Human Sexuality. In her free time, Bernadette volunteers weekly at the Midwest Rabbit Rescue & Re-Home, a passion since 2018. She is excited to be a part of the SEED lab and looks forward to expanding her understanding of socioemotional development in children and their families as well as intergenerational transmission of trauma and psychopathology.

Isabella Viviano

Isabella is a senior at Eastern Michigan University majoring in psychology with minors in biochemistry and human biology. She is also president of the Pre-Med club. She intends to go to medical school and wants to pursue either primary care or psychiatry. Her areas of interest include preventive medicine, as well as comprehensive sexual and mental health education for adolescents and young adults. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors.


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