Lab Director

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Dr. Jenna E. Finch

​Dr. Finch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental and Psychological Sciences from Stanford University's Graduate School of Education.

 

Her research explores how contextual factors influence children’s early development. Specifically, her work focuses on the development of children’s self-regulation and motivation in home and school environments. Her past work has examined how family risk factors are linked to the development of children’s executive functions and social-emotional skills in both domestic and international settings. Currently, Dr. Finch is exploring how interactions with teachers and peers can support executive function development in early and middle childhood.

Office: Burnett Hall 223 Email: jenna.finch@unl.edu Download: CV

Graduate Research Assistant

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Kimia Akhavein

Kimia is a third-year graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2016. After earning her degree, Kimia further pursued her interest in developmental research, completing a post-baccalaureate program in Psychology and Social Behavior and working as a lab manager at UC Irvine. At UNL, Kimia is interested in studying how contextual factors impact cognitive development in early childhood. Furthermore, she hopes to examine how parents and teachers support children’s executive functions and self-regulation skills to promote academic success.

Email: kakhavein2@huskers.unl.edu

Lab Manager

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Luzelena Moreno

Luzelena is a recent graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in Psychology and Management. As an undergrad, she was a mentor to multiple high school students and a research assistant who worked on child academic and vocabulary assessments. Luzelena hopes to attend a School Psychology program in the future. She is interested cultivating support systems for children who have experienced trauma.

Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistants

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Jenna Barnes

Jenna graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in psychology and plans to attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in School Psychology. Jenna is passionate about working with children and hopes that she can make a positive difference in their lives throughout her future career. In her free time, Jenna enjoys being outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and playing with her dog.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Ali Benda

Ali is currently an undergraduate student from Lincoln, Nebraska. She is majoring in Psychology and Philosophy along with a Minor in Educational Psychology. After she graduates she plans to get her Masters in School Psychology along with a Doctorate in Child Psychology. Ali is a member of the Honors Program as well as the UNL Chapter of Psi Chi. Ali has worked at the University Children's Center with infants and toddlers for the past two years and plans on working there until she graduates. In her free time, Ali loves playing with her mini-labradoodle Louie, painting, binge-watching Love Island, and hanging out with her friends.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Riley Bittner

Riley is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and she is majoring in psychology and biological sciences. From her time as a teaching assistant for biology and psychology courses, she has developed a passion for learning and hopes to attend graduate school for education. Riley also works as a tutor for the UNL athletic department and volunteers at St. Elizabeth Hospital. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, being outside, and spending time with her family and friends. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Karly Boehm

Karly completed her Bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and is beginning her fourth year teaching Elementary Special Education. She is currently taking courses to fulfill prerequisite requirements for a graduate program in Occupational Therapy. She is passionate about helping students find success across all environments. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, walking her dog, and watching Husker football!

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Nicole Borcyk

Nicole is an undergraduate student majoring in Community Health and Wellness and minoring in Psychology. She is in the Honors Program, as well as other student organizations on campus. Her passion is helping people, which she plans to do after college by becoming an Occupational Therapist for kids with special needs. She loves dogs, playing Wii games, singing, and hanging out with friends!

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Isis Burks

Isis is an undergraduate student from Lincoln, Nebraska. She is majoring in Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Science and Human Services, and a minor in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. After she graduates, she plans to get her Doctorate in School Psychology. Isis is an executive team member of the Minority Pre-Health Association and is on the leadership team of CAS Ambassadors at UNL. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and friends, and loves working with kids!

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Peyton Geiser

Peyton is an undergraduate student from Kearney, Nebraska. Currently, she is majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Criminology. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school for developmental psychology. Peyton is also a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and the University Honor’s Program. In her free time, she loves cooking, exercising, painting, and being outside!

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Alysha Henrichs

Alysha is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with an emphasis in speech-language pathology and an education minor. After graduating, she plans to pursue a masters degree in speech-language pathology and work in a school or children's hospital. Alysha is a recent recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award. On campus, she is involved in the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association, Animal Impact Club and is a student in the honors program. When not studying, Alysha enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, watching YouTube and playing board or card games. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Sophia Lanphier

Sophia is an undergraduate student majoring in Global Studies and Psychology with a minor in Asian Studies. She is a member of the Honors Program Student Advisory Board as well as the College of Arts & Sciences Inquire program. After graduation, Sophia plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career involving international education and development. In her free time, she enjoys reading poetry, listening to musical soundtracks, and trying new foods.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Logan Larsen

Logan is a first-generation undergraduate student from Lincoln. He is majoring in Psychology, with minors in Chemistry and English. As a member of the Nebraska Spirit Squad he loves to represent the University in any way possible, and you can find him at most Husker sporting events. After graduating Logan plans to attend dental school, and hopes to eventually practice dentistry somewhere in Nebraska. When Logan has free time he enjoys hiking, reading an intriguing fantasy book, or taking his dog on a walk.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Nate McQueen

Nate is an undergraduate from Omaha, Nebraska majoring in Psychology and with a minor in Conflict & Conflict Resolution. He would like to pursue a Master’s in Psychology and work in the field of Behavioral or Developmental Psychology. Nate enjoys playing soccer, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Grace Parolek

Grace is an undergraduate student from Omaha, Nebraska. She is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. After graduation, Grace plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in the field of Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys running, spending time with friends and family, reading, listening to music, and traveling. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Robin Tipton

Robin is a junior undergraduate student pursuing a Psychology major. She is a transfer student after completing her Associate of Arts degree in 2007. Robin is interested in the study of neurodivergencies and hopes to better understand child and adult ADHD and similar behavioral diagnosis. Robin hopes to apply to Ph.D. programs in Clinical Psychology in the future.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Drake Seibel

Drake is from Omaha, Nebraska, and is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology. He is an undergraduate and would like to pursue a doctorate degree in Psychology. Drake eventually would like to work as a professor, conducting research on various aspects of social, cognitive, and positive psychology. He enjoys doing independent research, watching movies, playing video games, and talking with professors and peers.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Emily Shurtliff

Emily is a Nebraska-native undergraduate who is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in both Child, Youth, & Family Studies and Criminology and Criminal Justice. She has worked with kids her entire life, and she is planning to do more in the future! Emily is on track to graduate in the spring of 2023, and she then hopes to pursue a Ph. D. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Makenzie Starlin

Makenzie is an undergraduate student from Omaha, Nebraska majoring in Biology, with minors in Biochemistry, Math, Humanities in Medicine, and Psychology. After graduating, she plans to attend medical school with hopes of being a pediatrician. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Madelyn Stock

Madelyn is an undergraduate student from Doniphan, Nebraska. She is majoring in Psychology with minors in Communications and Educational Psychology. After graduating she plans to pursue a master's in School Psychology. She has a passion for working with and helping children from her time working at the YMCA as a summer camp counselor. At UNL, she is a member of the Honors Program and the Citylight Church Salt Company. In her free time, she enjoys baking, exercising, and spending time with friends and family. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Haley Witthuhn

Haley is a first generation, undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. She works at the UNL Children's Center and enjoy engaging with the children and watching them grow. When she graduates, she plans to pursue a career in child psychology. She is in the honors program, a member of Phi Sigma Pi, and was recently accepted into the McNair Scholars Program. In her free time, Haley likes to spend time with loved ones, read, write poetry and travel.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Duncan Works

Duncan is an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry with minors in Math, Chemistry, and Gerontology. He is involved in the Honors Program and leads an Honors Afterschool Club for 3rd graders on Environmental Sustainability. He has always been interested in medicine and plans to attend Medical School in hopes of becoming a psychiatrist. He works as a TA for the Chemistry Department and coaches tennis lessons at the Lincoln Country Club. He enjoys volunteering for Lincoln Literacy, at St. Elizabeth Hospital, and at the Lighthouse. In his free time, he likes to get ice cream at Ivanna Cone, play board games, and go on road trips.