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

Jerrica Pitzen

Jerrica is a sixth year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program with an emphasis in Developmental Psychopathology at Eastern Michigan University. She has worked in the Parenting Project lab since 2013 and the SEED lab since 2017. Her research interests focus on parental mentalization and its association with factors such as parental trauma and psychopathology on children’s social emotional outcomes. She is also interested in interventions that contribute to improvements in parental mentalization and identifying effective tools for measuring specific types of mentalization, including parental reflective functioning and mind-mindedness. Currently, she is involved with the Infant Mental Health Home Visiting project, where she is working with a larger team to code mind-mindedness through speech samples and videotaped interactions. She is also involved in the Development of Self-Regulation in Early Childhood project. Jerrica received her BA in Psychology from Oakland University in 2012 and her MS in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Michigan University in 2015. She will be completing her clinical internship at The Children's Center in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2020-2021.

Kristin Aho

Kristin Aho is a fourth-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 third 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 second 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 first 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 vulnerable families. 

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.

Abubakar Isse

Abu is a first year student in the General Clinical Psychology Masters program at EMU. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from EMU in Spring 2020 with a major in psychology and a minor in health administration. He is interested in empathic relationship between students and educators in relation to class performance.

 Sarah Krell

Sarah is a first year student in the General Clinical Psychology Masters program at Eastern Michigan University. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and substance abuse treatment from Central Michigan University in the spring of 2019. After graduating, Sarah took a year off to work as a Peer Support for her local community mental health center. Sarah is interested in researching the effects of adverse childhood experiences and how they contribute to the development of psychopathology or substance use disorders. 

Chelsea Hunt-Teachout

Chelsea is a first year student in the Educational Psychology Master’s program at Eastern Michigan University. She received her Bachelor degrees from Drake University, located in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2015. She double majored in Psychology and Elementary Education with contractions in reading and special education. Since graduating she has taught a variety of ages. Most recently, Chelsea taught 4th grade to Cambodia students at an American School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is interested in how adverse childhood experiences affect students' learning and development. After receiving her Master’s in Educational Psychology, Chelsea plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Joely Reznik

Joely is a first-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 first 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.

 Undergraduate Students and Volunteers

Armando Chacon

Armando is an undergraduate planning on graduating in the fall semester of 2020. Majoring in psychology and working toward a second major in neuroscience and planning on going to graduate school for a doctoral program in clinical-psychology. Eventually wanting to specializing in helping patients with trauma-related disorders with an emphasis on PTSD in youth and adolescents.

Abigail Martin

Abigail Martin graduated from Eastern Michigan University with majors in Biochemistry and Art with a two-dimensional design concentration. She intends to go to medical school and further her education in the field of Psychiatry.

Camille "MiiMii" Roebuck

MiiMii is a senior undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. MiiMii is a first generation college student and she plans on graduating April 2021. She is interested in child psychology and mental health. MiiMii is assisting with the SEED lab and plans on going to graduate school for neuropsychology.

Clarissa Morgan

Clarissa is an Eastern Michigan University graduate with bachelors in psychology. Currently working as an ABA behavior tech and preparing for graduate school to obtain masters in clinical psychology. Goals to start a private practice working as a clinician for both children and adults. Specific interest in child development, depression and romantic relationships.

Haylee "May" Patterson-Whitlock

May is a student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in Psychology and Communication, a Community Organizer at Girl Scouts, and a Substitute Teacher for many school districts in Michigan. Haylee is an active community volunteer as a new member of the Junior League of Lansing, an African American Heritage Committee member, a Sexual Assault Prevention & Response representative and victim advocate, and a ChildSafe advocate. She has experience in childcare and preschool education, teaching for classrooms of 20 at a time from newborns to five year old children. She is a mother of two sons, a five and three year old. She also has military experience, a Staff Sergeant, supervising and training a team of five human resources specialists for an 800 member organization. Her interests are in early childhood development, mindfulness and cognitive neuroscience. Her goal is to complete a graduate program in Counseling Psychology.

Lyndsey Peterson

Lyndsey graduated in April 2020 from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Psychology and double minors in Family Sociology and Criminology/Criminal Justice. She is currently volunteering in the SEED Lab and plans to continue her education to earn a master's degree in Clinical Psychology. In the future, she hopes to earn a Ph.D. and become a licensed psychologist to provide therapeutic services to children and adolescents. Her main interests include mental health, child-parent relationships, and at risk youth.

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.  

Maria Snider

Maria is a first year undergraduate student in the Honor's College at Eastern Michigan University. She is majoring in neuroscience and is also on the pre-med track. After graduating, she intends to go to medical school.

Morgan Palmer

Morgan is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. She is studying Spanish and Psychology as well as taking on an Honors Thesis for her Senior year. Her research interests include the many realms of psychopathology as well as neuropsychology. She hopes to attend a Clinical Psych PhD program next year. She is also a member of the University of Michigan Figure Skating Club and tutors students in Spanish in her free time!

Susan Tan 

Susan Tan is a junior undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in psychology and minoring in human biology. She plans to graduate in Winter of 2022. Susan has an interest in treating children and prescribing medications. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University, she intends to go to medical school to study psychiatry or pediatrics.

Jo Collins 

Jo is a senior and majoring in psychology, children's literature and theater for the young. Jo is interested in working with children and providing them new opportunities. Jo also has an interest in clinical psychology and adolescents.

Matt Silvasi

Matt Silvasi graduated from Eastern Michigan University in April of 2020. He has aspirations of obtaining a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. His clinical interests include depression, trauma, suicide, emotion, mental-health, self-regulation and mindfulness.

Caitlin Mahoney

Caitlin is an undergraduate student at University of Dayton pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in photography. In addition to volunteering with the SEED lab, she is also working in a social psychology lab at UD. She plans to go on to a Ph.D. and/or masters program in clinical psychology and to eventually become a therapist. She hopes to provide accessible mental health care to those with anxiety and depression, and aiding their recovery with art and hippotherapy

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.

Evan Daldin

Evan Daldin is an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and Behavioral Biology. After graduation in the spring of 2022, Evan intends on pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, and further specializing in neuropsychology. Evan has done previous research on topics such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

Kazia Kelly

Kazia Kelly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in trauma informed therapy. She has over 5 years’ experience within the Community Mental Health System serving as a crisis supervisor as well as provided therapeutic services across the lifespan. She is nationally certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and has extensive training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She is interested in being part of ongoing research that supports affirming and intentional early childhood experiences.

Elizabeth Burke

Elizabeth graduated from Eastern Michigan University in April 2020, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a double major in General Business. She is continuing her education through involvement with research opportunities on campus, and has the goal of attending graduate school for Neuroscience in the next several years. She is volunteering to the SEED lab in preparation, with hopes of expanding her connections and involvement with local research. Elizabeth has traveled extensively since birth and would love to continue with international travel before she decides to pursue her PhD. Her interests include cognitive neuroscience, consciousness, and sleep disorders

Skip Section Navigation