Graduate Students


Kimia Akhavein
Kimia is a first year graduate student originally from Foster City, California. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. After earning her degree, Kimia went on to complete the post-baccalaureate research program in Psychological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine and worked as a lab manager. At UNL, Kimia is working with Dr. Jenna Finch to study the development of executive functions in early childhood. For more information contact Kimia at

Meredith Cartwright
Meredith is a first year student from North Carolina. She earned her undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology and Statistics from the University of South Carolina. Her research interests involving parenting and how different parenting methods affect various outcomes for children and adolescents. She is also part of the Law-Psychology program and will working toward a Masters of Legal Studies as well. For more information, contact Meredith at

Melanie Gabbert

Melanie Gabbert is an advanced student who completed her undergraduate degree at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska and her M.A. degree at Andrews University in Michigan. She worked for many years as a counselor and clinical director at non-profit agencies serving children and families. She currently teaches at Union College. Melanie works with Dr. Lisa Crockett, and her research interests include temperament and differential susceptibility to rearing influences, particularly how these may influence development in children who have experienced maltreatment . For more information contact Melanie at

Taylor Roth

Taylor Roth is an advanced student who completed her undergraduate degree at Baylor University in Texas. Her research interests are focused around how disabilities, both physical and mental, impact child development. She is currently an intern at Disability Rights Nebraska, and hopes to continue policy and advocacy work in the future. For more information contact Taylor at

Yinbo Wu

Yinbo Wu is a fourth-year student from Hangzhou, China. She completed her undergrad at Soochow University in Suzhou, China. She is working with Dr. Anne Schutte in the Spatial Memory and Cognition lab. Her research interests lie in the examination of the association between spatial working memory and attention in preschoolers and the contextual factors (e.g., family socioeconomic status and parenting) that may influence the development of working memory. For more information contact Yinbo at



Courtney Boise

Courtney Boise graduated with her PhD in May 2019. Courtney is from Indiana, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include: how factors, such as home visiting, promote positive parent-teacher partnerships in early childhood; the interplay between dyadic relationships (i.e., parent-child, teacher-child, teacher-parent), executive function, and the development of children’s prosocial behaviors; and early intervention. She is currently working with Dr. Lisa Knoche (Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools) and Dr. Sue Sheridan (Educational Psychology) as a research assistant for Getting Ready, a parent engagement approach that promotes children’s learning and development by enhancing relationships and strengthening partnerships among families and early childhood educators. For more information contact Courtney at

Chelsie Temmen

Chelsie Temmen graduated with her PhD in August 2018. Chelsie completed her undergraduate degree at University of Missouri. Her research interests are focused around how social relationships, particularly parent-child relationships, have an impact on adolescent internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Her dissertation focused on the relationships between maternal and paternal involvement and adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Chelsie started her postdoctoral work at the Social and Behavioral Science Branch (SBSB) of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in October 2018. For more information, contact Chelsie at

Alex Wasserman

Alex earned his PhD in developmental psychology at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Summer 2018) under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Crockett and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center as San Antonio (UTHSCSA) funded under the addiction T32 training grant. At UNL, he studied adolescent risk behavior through the lens of the dual systems model and developed a strong passion for advanced quantitative methods, particularly with structural equation modeling (SEM) and growth curve modeling. Alex’s focus at UTHSCSA is with an ongoing longitudinal project that is following at-risk adolescents who have a parent diagnosed with substance use disorder. He hopes to elucidate processes (e.g., stress, poor quality parent–child relationship) that may dampen cognitive control and/or increase reward sensitivity and subsequently increase the risk of developing addiction problems. He also hopes to acquire expertise in neuroimaging techniques to better understand the developmental neurobiology of addiction during his training at the UTHSCSA. For more information contact Alex at