Lab Director


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: Download: CV

Graduate Research Assistant

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Kimia Akhavein

Kimia is a first year graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program at UNL. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2016. After earning her degree, Kimia went on to complete the post-baccalaureate research program in Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine and worked as a lab manager in the Working Memory and Plasticity Lab. At UNL, Kimia is interested in studying the development of executive functions in early childhood and creating interventions to promote these skills within the classroom. 

Lab Manager


Emily Starr

Emily just completed her psychology degree at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. In her research there, she explored the effects of smartphone-based mindfulness meditation on emotion regulation and conducted research on the role of family socialization in the development of emotion regulation strategies. After earning her degree, Emily worked with Dr. Brian Wymbs at an NSF REU in Ohio, doing treatment-related research for youth with social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Emily hopes to one day pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Some of her favorite activities involve creating Spotify playlists, playing board games, listening to podcasts, going on long road trips, and camping with friends and family.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Undergraduate Research Assistants


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


Jayden Falldorf

Jayden is currently an undergraduate student from Grand Island, Nebraska.  He has completed a Bachelors degree in Music, and is currently pursuing a second major in Psychology.  After graduation, he plans to pursue further education with a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, as well as work part time in worship ministry.  Jayden is also a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band, where he plays tenor saxophone, and is active in Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity.  In his spare time, Jayden enjoys his job at the UNL Outdoor Adventure Center, playing guitar, creating music with friends, rock climbing, and brewing the occasional cup of craft coffee.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Elizabeth Hamik

Elizabeth is currently an undergraduate student from Kansas City, Missouri who is majoring in Psychology, with minors in Leadership and Communication and Child, Youth, and Family studies. After graduation Elizabeth hopes to pursue a career in Clinical Child Psychology! She currently works as a Family Support Worker here in Lincoln, and is involved in many other organizations on campus. Her research interests include child development, and basically anything involving kids! When she isn’t working on research or studying for classes, she enjoys painting, spending time with her friends and family, and traveling!

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Amyia Harris

Amyia is an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology with minors in Communications Studies and Child, Youth and Families Studies. She is an Omaha, Nebraska native and has always had a deep love for the Huskers! When Amyia was six years old, her parents had her youngest sister that was later diagnosed with autism. The methods of her sister’s therapists amaze Amyia because she sees a vast difference in her sister’s behavior and social skills each year. Her experiences are why she plans to pursue a Doctorate in Developmental Psychology in the future. Recently, she became a McNair scholar and a UCARE recipient, and she cannot wait to research to show her findings! In her free time, Amyia loves spending time with her loved ones, baking, doing hair and makeup, and finding new books to read.

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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Rachelle Johnson

Rachelle is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She is a Psychology major with minors in Humanities of Medicine and Child, Youth, and Family Studies. Rachelle has goals of pursuing a Ph.D. in developmental psychology, with a focus on learning disabilities. She is currently completing a UCARE independent research project, studying mindset in second graders with learning disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends, and exploring new places.

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


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


Vivian Nguyen

Vivian is a first generation, undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child, Youth and Families Studies. She is from Omaha, Nebraska and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology after she obtains her undergraduate degree. She is the second oldest in her family and comes from a family with seven siblings which sparked her passion for children and aiding them to succeed. She is currently involved in Emerging Leaders as a Mentor, a Teaching Assistant for Intro to Psych and a McNair Scholar. In her free time, she enjoys watching Netflix, shopping, and being around her friends and family.

Undergraduate Research Assistants


NaKeysha Olson

NaKeysha is an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology with a minor in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. After graduating she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and later become a therapist for young children. She currently works at the UNL Children's Center and loves seeing how children interact in day-to-day activities. In her free time, NaKeysha likes to hang out with friends and family and binge-watch new TV shows. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Brady Pham

Brady is an undergraduate studying Psychology with minors in Biology and Sociology. After graduation, Brady hopes to attend graduate school for a Master’s in Public Health. Brady wants to go into Epidemiology and be able to study the different kinds of diseases throughout the country. He wants to focus his study on minority groups and the LGBTQIA+ community. In his free time, Brady likes to listen to music, try new food, and shop. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Carsyn Poppe

Carsyn is an undergraduate Psychology major with minors in Biological Sciences and Humanities in Medicine from Doniphan, Nebraska. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school to pursue either an Ed. S. or Ph.D. in School Psychology, with an emphasis in behavioral intervention. Carsyn currently works at CEDARS, a nonprofit organization that has given her the opportunity to work with at-risk youth in the Lincoln community. She is also a youth sports through the YMCA and loves watching children learn and interact with one another through sports. In her free time, Carsyn enjoys participating in intramural volleyball leagues and spending time with her friends.

Undergraduate Research Assistants


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


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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Claire Watson

Claire is an undergraduate from Omaha, Nebraska. She is majoring in Psychology and Family Studies with minors Communication Studies, English, and Sociology. After graduating, she would like to pursue a Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy and one day work in private practice. She hopes to facilitate communication and understanding between individuals in order to create healthier relationships for all parties involved, as well as assisting families and couples through times of stress. In her free time, Claire enjoys being with her friends and family, writing, and painting.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Duncan Works

Duncan is a freshman Biochemistry Major and Math Minor. He enjoys playing tennis and volunteering at St. Elizabeth Hospital. After college, Duncan plans to attend Medical School in hopes of becoming a pediatrician.