Graduate Students


Cathryn Cortesa: cathryn.cortesa@huskers.unl.edu

Heidi Fleharty: heidifleharty@hotmail.com

Rachel Hayes: rachel.hayes@huskers.unl.edu

Caitlin Hudac : caitlin.hudac@gmail.com

Traci Kutaka : malie555@yahoo.com

Miriam M. Martínez: martinez_m4@hotmail.com

Lixin Ren: renlixin2006@yahoo.com.cn

See recent graduate presentationshere

See former graduate studentshere

Cathryn Cortesa is a second year graduate student from Uxbridge, Massachusetts.  She attended Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts for her undergraduate work.  She is broadly interested in research with an ecological approach to early childhood development. Cathryn is working with Dr. Dennis Molfese in the Developmental Brain Lab, and hopes to use brain-imaging techniques in research to better understand and better predict risk for future self-regulatory, attentional, and learning difficulties, especially in high-risk populations.

Heidi Fleharty is a fourth year student from Fairmont, Nebraska, who received her undergraduate degree from UNL. Her research interests include the examination of preschool children's attention as well as spatial memory. She is currently a research assistant for the NebraskaMath grant. She works with Dr. Anne Schutte.

Rachel Hayes is an advanced student from Riverside, California, and completed her undergrad at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is interested the development of prosocial behaviors, and her research explores the question of what factors, internal and external to the individual, prompt the development of prosocial cognitions, emotions, and behaviors. In particular, she is interested in socialization factors present in parent-child relationships. 

Caitlin Hudac is a third year student from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Following her undergraduate work at the University of Chicago, she worked with children as a milieu counselor at a residential treatment facility. She then spent several years in Dr. Kevin Pelphrey's lab conducting neuroimaging research with young children with and without autism. Caitlin is working with Dr. Dennis Molfese with a focus in developmental cognitive neuroscience. Her research interests apply the use of neuroimaging techniques (including EEG/ERP, MRI, NIRS, and MEG) to study the development of language, learning, and social development. 

Traci Kutaka is a fifth year graduate student from Mililani, Hawaii. She completed her undergraduate studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Her research interests include: the development of mathematical learning and reasoning in early childhood; progressive early childhood education systems such as Reggio Emilia in Italy; and program evaluation. She is currently working with Dr. Carolyn Pope-Edwards (Department of Developmental Psychology), Dr. Ruth Heaton (Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education) and Dr. Jim Lewis (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) as a research assistant for the NebraskaMATH grant, an NSF-funded state-wide program which seeks to improve mathematical achievement for all students and narrow the achievement gap for at-risk students in kindergarten through third grade.

Miriam M. Martínez is a fifth year student originally from Mexico. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas-Permian Basin. Her research interests lie in the examination of cultural and contextual variables in the adjustment of immigrant children and the cross- cultural validation of clinical assessments. 

Lixin Ren is a third year student from China who completed her undergraduate study at Fuzhou University of China. Her research interests focus on parenting, parent-child relationships, early childhood education, and cross-cultural research regarding parenting. She is working with Dr. Carolyn Edwards. She is a research assistant for NebraskaMATH grant and the Getting Ready Porject.