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] or sign up for an appointment during her office hours. 


Collaborators


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. 


Emaan Ali

Emaan Ali is a first-year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at EMU. She received her BA in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2019. At Penn State, she worked in the Laboratory for Personality, Psychopathology and Psychotherapy Research, where she conducted clinical assessments and studied Attachment Theory. Her research interests are in parent-child relationships, attachment styles, maladaptive caregiving behaviors, and helping children and families overcome adversity. 

 


 

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.


 

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.

 


 

Emily Sokol

Emily is a first year student in the general clinical master's program at EMU. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Youth and Society. In her undergrad she presented research on the associations between puberal timing and depressive symptoms in adolescent girls. Emily spent time working in a twin research lab at MSU, and has experience working in a Psychiatric Hospital. She wants to conduct research and work with adolescents struggling with mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.


Dana Manning

Dana is a second-year General Clinical Master’s student at EMU and received her BSc in Biological Sciences and Developmental Psychology with Thesis from the University of Windsor. In her undergrad, she conducted research on emotional competence, multicultural youth, genetics, and personality. Her undergraduate thesis project looked at cognitions in trauma survivors after exposure to different word stimuli.  Her research passion is in intergenerational trauma transmission and interpersonal violence. Dana aspires to obtain a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.

 


 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.  

 


Noor Jassim

Noor is a senior at EMU, dual majoring in psychology and sociology. She anticipates graduating in winter 2023 with honors. Her interests include quantitative methods in social sciences and social cognition, specifically judgment and decision making. She aims to pursue a doctoral degree in social psychology. Outside of academic work, she loves playing tag with her orange cat, Mr. Anova Jassim. He is indeed her sunshine boy.


 

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 a senior at EMU majoring in psychology and minoring in human sexuality. He plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology after finishing his bachelor's degree. His primary research interests are childhood maltreatment, human sexuality, forensic psychology, and adolescence. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, watercolor painting, and horror movies.  


 

 

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. 

 


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.

 


Zainab Almayahi

Zainab is an undergraduate Senior enrolled at Eastern Michigan University that's graduating winter of 2023. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology on a Pre-med track. She plans to enroll in Medical School with the hope to pursue her dream job one day as an Obstetrics and Gynecology doctor. She is extremely passionate about psychology and Biology because she feels that the combination of these two subjects makes up the essence of each individual being. In her free time, she enjoys weight training and really anything that has to do with nature or the outdoors. 


Somaya Eissa

Somaya is an undergraduate junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Family Sociology at EMU. She plans to pursue a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology in order to achieve her dream to become a therapist. In her free time, she enjoys painting and cycling outdoors in good weather. 


Claire Maciolek

Claire is a senior at the University of Michigan. She is double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Crime & Justice and Social Work. She will be graduating in December of 2022 and is planning on attending a PsyD program focused on Forensic Psychology within the coming years. Claire enjoys learning and researching about how certain personality traits and upbringings impact the development and actions of individuals from various backgrounds. She also enjoys volunteering at American Friends Service Committee--an organization aimed at improving the lives of incarcerated individuals. Post PsyD, Claire plans to work with incarcerated individuals to better learn how different factors impact overall life outcomes, while learning how to foster a more rehabilitation focused environment inside and outside of prison and in courtroom settings.


Jamie Cremeans

Jamie is a Senior at Eastern Michigan University, majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. After graduation in Fall of 2023, she plans to earn her master's degree in Clinical Psychology to pursue her dream of becoming a therapist. Jamie is excited to be a part of the SEED lab and is looking forward to the experience and knowledge she will gain in intergenerational transmission of trauma, personality disorders, and child development. She is very passionate about learning and in her free time loves to read, hike, practice mediation, and spend time with her family. 


Brynna Bashore

Brynna recently graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in Public Health and a concentration in Community Health Education. She is currently completing courses in Psychology with the intent to apply to Counseling Psychology graduate programs. She aspires to become a therapist working with early childhood, youth, and adolescents to support, empathize with, and guide their ambitions during the challenges of gaining self-confidence and mitigating the challenges of anxiety and depression. Her research interests include understanding trauma in adolescents and how to build resilience among the youth during adversity.


Aminata Doumbouya 

Aminata is a senior at Eastern Michigan University that’s graduating winter of 2023. She is a Social Work major with a minor in Psychology. After graduating, she plans to pursue a PsyD in clinical psychology. Her research interests include social cognition and gender roles. In her free time she enjoys traveling and binge watching her favorite shows. She looks forward to exploring her areas of interest through the SEED Lab and further exploring areas of research. 


Antonia Gitau

Antonia is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience at Eastern Michigan University. She was enrolled at the Early College Alliance (ECA) program at the age of 14 and planned on continuing her education at Eastern. She plans on attending medical school next and soon pursue her career as a Neurosurgeon. Her areas of interest consists of the development, cognitive, molecular and cellular side of the brain. Outside of school, she enjoys working, volunteering, swimming, and traveling.


 

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