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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Undergraduate Student Research Profiles: 2012

Natalie Bishop

Natalie Bishop
Natalie is a senior majoring in psychology and double minoring in Spanish and Environmental Studies. For the past three years she has been working in Dr. Carol Miller's Social Behavior Lab. She has been helping post-doctoral and graduate students develop measures, program data, and run a variety of different studies.

Currently, Natalie is completing her honors thesis under Dr. Lynne Bond's supervision. Her thesis is analyzing a larger study conducted by Dr. Bond and colleagues that qualitatively assessed how and why grassroots neighborhood leaders in Vermont became involved in their community development associations. Natalie's research is specifically looking at how the grassroots neighborhood leaders' rewards and challenges of their volunteer work are associated with their future goals. She hopes that this research can inform communities with better information in how to promote sustained community member involvement.

Peter Helm

Peter Helm
"I am a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. I have been working as a research assistant in Elizabeth Pinel's "Seeing I" Laboratory since the fall of my sophomore year. During this time I have had the privilege of working on exciting new ideas in social psychology, such as the work on terror management theory and the work on the power of shared subjective experiences. I am currently working on my honors thesis with Dr. Pinel. I am exploring and comparing the effects of social and existential connection and isolation on fulfillment needs, aggression, and prosocial behavior. I plan on graduating in May 2012 and I plan on eventually attending graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in a social-developmental program."

Chelsea Krisanda

Chelsea Krisanda
"I am a junior psychology major with a studio art minor, and started working in Professor Rex Forehand's lab in the spring of my sophomore year. I work with graduate student Justin Parent and Professor Forehand. I am currently writing a research paper examining the effects of combinations of parent depressive symptoms with other related stressors, such as coparent conflict and socioeconomic status, on child behavior. I am also assisting in Professor Forehand's "Parenting the Strong-Willed Child" project that involves analyzing a therapist-lead intervention program for noncompliant children and their families. I am particularly interested in child and adolescent psychopathology (which we read and discuss in lab meetings) and am planning on attending medical school after graduation to pursue these interests further."

Nicole Lafko

Nicole Lafko
"I am currently a senior pursuing a bachelor of arts in psychology. I have been a research assistant in the Social Development Laboratory of Dr. Annie Murray-Close for three years and this experience has fostered my interest in peer social processes and relational aggression. Additionally, my involvement in the research projects of Dr. Jamie Abaied, Dr. Kelly Rohan, and Dr. Betsy Hoza has sharpened my research focus into one that is guided by the tenets of developmental psychopathology. Specifically, I am interested in how peer functioning relates to internalizing problems in females and how these develop and manifest through the life course. This past summer, with the support of a UVM summer internship, I conducted research examining the relationship between relational aggression and symptoms of anxiety and depression in a sample of girls. My honors thesis expands upon my summer research and explores the relationship between relational aggression, peer victimization, and eating disorder symptomatology in a sample of emerging adults. Upon graduation I plan to enroll in a graduate Ph.D. program in clinical psychology with a concentration in developmental psychopathology in order to eventually design and implement empirically based interventions for relational aggression in schools."

Amelia Lamb

Amelia Lamb
"I am a senior Bachelor of Science psychology major and philosophy minor. I first began my research experience in the Sexual Health Research Clinic under Dr. Alessandra Rellini in the fall of 2010. I am responsible for running a variety of studies involving psychophysiological data as well as questionnaires on sexual health, history and behavior. I also act in administrative, organizational and training aspects at the SHRC. Last spring, I acted as a confederate in a peer's honor's thesis under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Pinel. This past summer, I was given a research assistant position in a clinical psychologist's office in New York City. There, I developed a REDCap database examining possible factors associated with retarded ejaculation. This fall, I plan to pursue a master's degree in social work with a clinical concentration."

Kate Rifken

Kate Rifken
"I am a senior majoring in psychology with a biobehavioral concentration and planning to graduate in May of 2012. I have been involved in Professor John Green's laboratory since Spring of 2010, the end of my sophomore year. After studying abroad in France the fall 2010 semester of my senior year, I returned to work first on research with a graduate student in our lab (Meghan Eddy), and then to begin my own honors thesis research. I received a mini-grant through the Office of Undergraduate Research over the summer and have been working to complete my honors thesis on the interaction between set shifting (executive functioning), exercise, and gonadal hormones in female rats. My project, an offshoot of the research started by our lab, looks at both ovariectomized (no ovaries) and cycling female rats (ovaries intact) and their ability to perform on a maze task. Participating in undergraduate research here has been an incredible experience and has given me experiences and knowledge I would not have been able to have otherwise. After graduation I plan to work for a year, ideally in research, before continuing my education."

Gain Robinson

Gain Robinson
"I am a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience. I joined Dr. John Green's laboratory after transferring to the University of Vermont last year. I became familiar with eyeblink conditioning procedures while observing graduate student Jason Fuchs, who is examining neural mechanisms of learning. I have always been fascinated by the study of the mind, and aspired to conduct my own research. I am currently working on an honors thesis under the supervision of Dr. Green. I am investigating the effects of secretin, a neurohormone, on extinction learning using an eyeblink conditioning paradigm. The project is receiving funding from an Academic Programs for Learning and Engagement (APLE) Award and a Fall Undergraduate MiniGrant Award. I am interested in drug development, especially of therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative diseases. After graduation I plan to pursue a research career in the biotechnology industry, and one day a Ph.D in Neurobiology."

Anna Wright

Anna Wright
Anna is a Psychology major, currently in her senior year. She has been working in Professor Rex Forehand's Helping the Noncompliant Child research lab with both graduate student Justin Parent and Professor Forehand for two semesters (coding parent-child interactions and reading in the area of child psychopathology), and will continue to do so until graduation. Using the baseline data collected through previous research in that lab, she is also conducting an independent study examining levels of parent tolerance of specific behaviors on the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory, and how differing tolerance levels may relate to parent gender, child gender, and parent education level. After completing her undergraduate degree in the spring, Anna hopes to have a full-time research position before applying to Clinical Psychology Ph.D programs.

Gena Zollman

Gena Zollman
"I am a senior Psychology major currently completing an Honors Thesis project under the mentorship of Dr. Alessandra Rellini in the Sexual Health Research Clinic. I began studying human sexuality in Dr. Rellini's freshman year seminar, and joined her sexuality research lab as a research assistant in the fall of my sophomore year. Working in the lab for the past few years has given me the opportunity to be involved with every step of the research process, and allowed me to co-author a publication on stress and sexual arousal in sexual abuse survivors. This experience prepared me to develop my own study, a project that examines how the relationship between women's sexual preferences and behaviors affects sexual arousal functioning. This project was awarded the Summer Internship Grant and the Mini-Grant, and I presented preliminary data from that study at the national conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality in November. After graduation, I intend to continue my research in this field by pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology."

Undergraduate Student Research Profiles

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