Research Interests

Through all the work I have been involved in, each experience has shaped my current interests. I intend to examine populations of diverse economic and racial/ethnic backgrounds, focusing particularly on how family adversity and instability and stress-related trauma affects the family system, specifically in interparental, parent-child, and child-peer contexts. I am also highly interested in the effects maltreatment and high threat have on child socio-emotional development, specifically behaviors rooted in aggression and callousness. In identifying mechanisms underlying the presence of these behaviors, I am also interested in exploring the differences in neurophysiological responses. Having developed a strong passion for statistical analysis, I intend to explore and utilize higher level models to parse out mediating and moderating effects amongst these developmental trajectories.

Current Research

University of Rochester | The Rochester Center for Research on Children and Families
PIs: Dr. Patrick Davies and Dr. Melissa Sturge-Apple

In Fall 2020 I joined The Rochester Center for Research on Children and Families (RCRCF) as a graduate student studying under Dr. Patrick Davies. The RCRCF specifically examines child development within the context of family relationship and processes. As I begin my research work in the lab, my efforts are primarily focused on project THRIVE (Teamwork and Happiness in Relationships and its Intergenerational Value and Effectiveness) as a graduate research assistant. Currently, I am knee deep in managing all of the behavioral coding teams for this project. Additionally, I am excited to continue building my own research program in exploring additional facets of child development specifically related to aggression and callousness in a familial context.

Past Research

Penn State Health | The Attention and Behavior Clinic (ABC) Research Group
PIs: Dr. Daniel Waschbusch, Dr. Dara Babinski, Dr. James Waxmonsky

In August of 2018, I was selected as a Research Coordinator for the ABC Research Group and have gained an amplitude of skillsets. The lab’s main focuses are on the antecedents and mechanisms underlying children with externalizing disorders, specifically identifying both negative and positive influences on child behavior. A niche area that this lab also focuses on is Callous Unemotional Traits and how children regulate emotions and respond to reward and punishment. My responsibilities include managing administrative tasks (i.e., finances, creating/maintaining the website, scheduling participants, recruitment, IRB submissions) to running appointments (i.e., intakes, EEG/fMRI collection), to managing all lab studies (treatment studies, non-treatment studies, clinical trials) to clinical experiences (annual Summer Treatment Program) to data input and analysis (i.e., Redcap and Qualtrics and SPSS and R) to data write-up (i.e., results interpretation, manuscript/poster/abstract writing). I am beyond grateful for this team and the wealth of experiences I have gain, as it has made me a more efficient and driven researcher and solidified the work I hope to continue in the future.

Penn Medicine | Lancaster General Hospital | Department of Trauma Surgery
PI: Dr. Eric Bradburn
After graduating from Penn State in May of 2018, I was selected as a Summer Research Intern in the Department of Trauma Surgery at LGH. I primarily observed patients in the Trauma-Neuro Unit, completed literature reviews, aided in writing manuscripts, posters, and abstracts, and coded epidemiological data.

The Pennsylvania State University | The Relationships and Stress Lab
PI: Dr. Amy Marshall

In 2017, I joined Dr. Marshall’s lab as a Research Assistant, as I wanted to continue doing research, but this time with people rather than plants. During my first year as an RA, I focused on behavior coding negative and positive heterosexual dyad interactions in three different domains: Physical Aggression, Social Dominance, and Rejection Abandonment. During my second year in the lab, I was selected as the Lab manager and became primarily responsible for the lab’s organization. I also began working on a different project focused on the co-regulation of heterosexual dyads via audio frequency. Since my graduation from Penn State, I have continued to work with Dr. Marshall remotely, where most of my responsibilities have shifted to literature reviews and data coding.

The Pennsylvania State University | Freshman Research Initiative (FRI)
PIs: Dr. Kim Nelson and Dr. Glenna Malcolm
At the start of my undergraduate career in the fall of 2015, I was fortunate to be a part of the pilot experience for the Freshman Research Initiative, which was an immersive experience for freshman to get involved in hands-on, wet lab research. Throughout my first semester, I conducted an independent project examining the effectiveness of bacterial growth inhibition of Triclosan Soap products. During my second semester, working alongside Dr. Charles Anderson of the Plant Cell Wall Dynamics Lab, I worked to identify transgenomic strands of the wheat family that would be tolerant to extreme stressors (i.e., heat, acidic/basic conditions).

The Pennsylvania State University | Valentine Turfgrass Research Center
PI: Dr. Wakkar Uddin
During middle and high school, I was exposed to research through Penn State’s Turfgrass Center– which is where I was able to conduct my own plant pathology related studies for science fairs. As a laboratory assistant, I entered data and collected and prepared samples for analysis.

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