Undergraduate Research Assistants

Nathaniel Ed, Heather Fenton, Alex Fruth, Samantha Schackmann, and Katie Woelfel are working with Dr. Michele Miller on a study examining early social-emotional development and readiness for preschool at age 3.   These students have had the valuable benefit of being involved with a research project from its conception. They have helped Dr. Miller create assessment forms and databases, learned the laboratory Bayley assessment, recruit participants, administer the laboratory based assessment with families and children, and enter and manage the data files.  Dr. Miller plans to add more undergraduate assistants to the project in the upcoming spring semester.  Alex Fruth is already taking advantage of the opportunity to present data at local and regional conferences, working with Dr. Miller to create a presentation for the Midwestern Psychological Association conference this fall.

Kristoffer Barrington and Andrew Hathaway are currently research assistants in Dr. Karen Pressley’s lab. They are conducting a study that examines the differences in the type of attention effects based on the duration of an emotional stimulus. Preliminary data were presented at the UIS StARS conference in April 2012.

Pressley lab Spring 2012

In addition, Andrew Hathaway was awarded the CLAS Student-Faculty Creative Activities award for the research he plans to conduct next year entitled: The Modulation of Spatial Attention with Emotional Stimuli in Males Versus Females.

Lucy Parker, Stacey Windisch, Andrew Hathaway, and Robert Torrence have been assisting Dr. Frances Shen in a project that examines the impact of parental pressure and support, educational channeling, and internalized stereotyping on the career development of Asian American college students. They have been working on data collection since Fall 2011. Findings were presented at the UIS StARS Symposium in April 2012 and will also be presented at the annual APA Convention in Orlando, FL in August 2012.

Shen lab Spring 2012

Rebecca Goldsborough has been collaborating with Dr. Shen on a project examining the impact of discrimination, social support, adherence to traditional Asian values, and perceived parental attitudes towards homosexuality on the development of internalized homonegativity and poor psychological well-being among Asian American lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. They were awarded the UIS CLAS Student-Faculty Creative Activities funding and the UIS Summer Competitive Grant for this project. Rebecca and Dr. Shen presented their preliminary findings at the UIS StARS Symposium in April 2012 and will also be presenting at the annual Asian American
Psychological Association Convention in Orlando, FL in August 2012.

Rebecca and Shen

American Psychological Conference 2013
Rachel Tohme, Lucy Parker, and Stacey Windisch
, have been assisting Drs. Carrie Switzer and Frances Shen on the Educational Aspirations study with the underrepresented student sample. They were co-authors on presentations at the Association of Psychological Science conference in Washington, D.C., in May 2013 and the American Psychological Association conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, in August 2013.


Danielle La Pointe has been assisting Dr. Carrie Switzer on the Educational Aspirations study with the traditional/non-traditional aged student sample by administering study questionnaires and with data entry.

Kaitlin Easton and Rachel TohmeRachel Tohme and Kaitlin Easton presented findings from the Educational Aspirations study about racial/ethnic differences among college students in terms of their academic self-efficacy and motivation to attend college at the UIS StARS Symposium in April 2012 and they won the Best Social Science Poster Award.



Kayla and YoderKayla Weitekamp is also currently assisting Dr. Marcel Yoder on a project that investigates the effect of interaction on person perception. The purpose of this study is to determine what similarities and differences there are between our impressions depending on whether we interact with another, see a short video of that person, versus merely a photo. Initial results demonstrate that when judging others’ facial attractiveness, these judges are related but different. Attractive persons are seen as attractive regardless of how other interact with them, but at the same time, persons are seen as more attractive when viewed face to face than when view on video or photo.