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 second-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.

Lab Manager

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Erika Boohar

Erika recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in Psychology and Spanish. During undergrad, her research focused on sexual assault and child maltreatment with a special interest in familial characteristics that influence survivor outcomes. Currently, she is also a Youth Treatment Specialist at HopeSpoke working with kids with serious emotional and behavioral challenges who are at risk for out-of-home placement. Ultimately, Erika plans to pursue graduate school in Clinical Psychology researching the interconnections of the familial environment and children who have experienced trauma.

Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Research Assistants

Undergraduate Research Assistants


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


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


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


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


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


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 a Psychology major with minors in Humanities of Medicine and Child, Youth, and Family Studies. She is particularly interested in learning disability research. This Fall Rachelle will be applying to Ph.D. programs, as she wants to spend her life conducting research on and making a difference in the lives of those with learning disabilities. She is currently completing a UCARE independent research project and honors thesis, studying the motivation and academic success of children with learning disabilities. When Rachelle is not studying or in the lab you can probably find her with friends or on a new adventure exploring the outdoors.

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

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Olivia Maras

Olivia graduated from UNL in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is currently a Research Technician in the Pediatric Health/Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Research Laboratory at UNL where she helps run a large, NIH funded longitudinal study that examines executive functioning in adolescents as it relates to key health behaviors such as diet and sleep. Her main research interests include the parent-child relationship and couple relationships, examining the influences these relationships have on parent mental health and child outcomes. After diving further into research during her gap year, Olivia plans on applying to Clinical Psychology PhD programs.

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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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.