Undergraduate Research Assistants

Research Assistant Opportunities

There are a number of opportunities for gaining research experience through the Child Maltreatment Lab. Research assistants (RAs) are a key component in the development, maintenance, and success of the numerous research and clinical projects occurring in the lab. 

Since the research assistants in the Child Maltreatment Lab are crucial for the success of the lab, the graduate students reward such efforts through coaching, mentoring, and development of skills necessary to be successful in the research assistants' future academic endeavors, specifically graduate school. Graduate students in the Child Maltreatment Lab meet with undergraduate RAs on a regular basis to help with graduate school preparation. These mentoring and supervision opportunities can include a wide variety of guidance, such as:

  • Research opportunities
    • Graduate students often mentor and supervise RAs as they provide assistance with Master's Theses, Dissertations and grant funded projects.
  • Assistance with preparing posters at state, regional, and national conferences
    • A number of the RAs in the Child Maltreatment Lab have presented posters with data from projects occurring in the lab at several different research conferences. Graduate students supervise the research assistants in conducting literature reviews, developing hypotheses, running data analyses, and poster formatting.
  • Guidance in preparation for graduate school or related careers
    • Navigating the array of different types of graduate programs
    • Exploring other career options and job opportunities
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV) Preparation
    • Personal Statement Preparation
    • Graduate Records Examination (GRE) Preparation
    • Letters of Recommendation
    • Completing Applications
    • Graduate School Interviews
    • Life as a First Year Graduate Student
Research Assistant Accomplishments

Along with volunteering their time in the Child Maltreatment Lab, many previous and current RAs are active in campus and community programs, working and volunteering at places such as CEDARS, Bryan LGH, The Friendship Home, Voices of Hope, Child Guidance, and the Lincoln Regional Center.  Additionally, several RAs in our lab obtain McNair and UCARE Awards, as well as being involved in the Senate for Psi Chi and the Undergraduate Psychology Organization (UPO).  Through their numerous experiences with research and clinical work, several prior research assistants in the Child Maltreatment Lab have gone on to be successful in research positions, Clinical Psychology Ph.D and Master's level graduate school programs (see Previous Research Assistants).  

Research Assistant Responsibilities

Our research assistants are assigned to a wide variety of responsibilities, with consideration of individual student preferences and interests, as well as the needs of the Child Maltreatment lab's projects. We require a minimum commitment of 6 hours per week, but have no semester or yearly commitment requirements. RAs typically complete training with a graduate student or senior RA in order to become familiarized with the lab's research databases, procedures, and expectations. 

Some common RA responsibilities include:

  • Facilitating pro-social play groups for non-offending children during Project SAFE meetings
  • Aiding in data collection from families who are participating in Project SAFE research
  • Coding, scoring, and entering data 
  • Mentoring/ training new RAs
  • Organizing and maintaining lab documents and databases

If you are interested in getting involved with the Child Maltreatment Lab, please complete our application and email it to unlcmlab@gmail.com.  

Current Research Assistants
Katherine Kastrup
Mackenzie Kuphal
Madi Lawler

Monica Moreno: Monica is currently a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her main research interest is identifying the factors that stimulate certain behaviors in individuals that have a history of domestic abuse. After graduation, Monica plans on attending grad school and persuing a doctorate degree in psychology. With that degree, Monica hopes to become a Behavior Analyst. Outside of research and other responsibilities, Monica enjoys running and spending quality time with loved ones. Monica also enjoys competitive volleyball and often plays on UNL campus.

Skylar Murphy

Amanda Nelson: Amanda  is a Senior Psychology major at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with minors in Child, Youth, and Family Studies and Educational Psychology. Currently, her role in the Child Maltreatment Lab is working as a UCARE student, entering data for Project Safe and training new research assistants. Along with the Child Maltreatment Lab, she has also had research experience with Dr. Susan Sheridan in the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools and Dr. David DiLillo's Trauma, Violence, and Abuse Lab. After Amanda graduates, she plans on continuing her education and earning her PhD in School Psychology, with hopes of working in a children's hospital. In her free time, Amanda enjoys dancing, hanging out with her family and friends, crafting, and exercising.

Claire Patnode: Claire Patnode is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is majoring in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. After graduation, Claire plans to attend graduate school in order to obtain a PhD in school psychology. Claire helps out at the Child Advocacy Center as well as enters data in the lab. While not in school, Claire loves working at Belmont Elementary School as a paraeducator for preschoolers, reading, and staying active.

Ryan Salvatori

Richelle Schmidt

Shelby Tuder

Tanisha Talib

Cick here to view a list of our previous research assistants and their accomplishments.


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