Meet the Team


The Family Development Lab is under the direction of  Rebecca Brock. Dr. Brock received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Iowa in 2012. She was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa from 2012-2015. She joined the UNL psychology faculty in 2015. 


Molly Franz is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at UNL. She is interested in exploring how PTSD affects couples and families to impact adaptive functioning, particularly during interpersonal conflict. She has also conducted research examining risk factors for sexual violence perpetration and victimization. In her free time, Molly enjoys running, watching movies, and attending local community events.   Email: 

Erin Leonard is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at UNL.  She graduated from College of Charleston in 2014 with a B.S in Psychology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies.  Her research interests focus on understanding risk and resilience factors, specifically family interactions, in the development of childhood mood disorders.  Outside of the lab, Erin enjoys swimming, traveling, and trying new recipes!   Email:  

 Kailee Groshans (from Doniphan, Nebraska) is the lab manager of the Family Development Lab. Kailee graduated with her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May of 2017. As an undergraduate, Kailee worked for CEDARS Youth Services with 12-18 year olds in an emergency shelter and completed a research project through the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience program (UCARE). Kailee’s primary research interest is to investigate how different systems (e.g. peers, school, family) in a youth's life effects a youth's mental health and wellbeing. Kailee plans to pursue her doctoral degree in Counseling or Clinical Psychology. In her free time, Kailee enjoys playing with her two dogs, reading, and traveling.  Email:   

 Tess Barnes received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Advertising/Public Relations in 2016 from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. As an undergraduate student, Tess worked in Dr. Cheadle’s Neurosociology lab, where she studied the impact of discrimination on the mental and physical health of non-heterosexual young adults. She is currently employed as an administrative secretary at Disability Rights Nebraska, which serves as the state’s advocacy and law center for people with disabilities. Tess plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, where she hopes to study psychological development in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. Specifically, she is interested in how familial relationships impact children with disabilities.


 Bergen Johnston is a psychology major from Dallas, Texas. After receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska, she hopes to pursue a PhD in counseling psychology. Eventually, she plans to counsel college students, and specifically work with relationships, anxiety, and depression. Currently, she has an interest in understanding personalities, emotional intelligence, and attitudes toward romantic relationships. She has previously worked in the “Legal Decision Making Lab” with Richard Wiener, and completed a summer internship at Pace University’s counseling center in New York City. Her other areas of interest include music and photography, which she hopes to incorporate into her long-term career path.



 Jaime Stephenson is an undergraduate student with a major in psychology and minors in Child, youth, and family, as well as education. She grew up in and around Lincoln but also loves to travel! She currently works in a before- and after-school program at a local elementary school and absolutely adores children. Her research interests include child development and environmental factors in shaping behavior at an early age. She also takes interest in academic achievement and parent support through their child's education. Her hopes for the future are to work either for a non-profit youth service program or have her own practice working with youth and families. 


Shelby Wachal is an undergraduate psychology major from Seward, Nebraska. After graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and eventually work with adolescents and their families. Shelby’s research interests primarily consists of the development and repercussions of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders on adolescents and how the family can be a useful support system for recovery. She also works in Dr. Tim Nelson’s Pediatric Health Lab where she looks at the connection between physical and mental health. Shelby interned at Willamsburg Behavioral Health Center were she facilitated group therapy sessions, assisted with individual therapy, scored psychological assessments, and produced psychological evaluation reports. During her free time, Shelby loves to bake, spend time with friends and family, and go running.

 Gabby Perez is an undergraduate psychology major from Flower Mound, Texas. She has minors in Child, Youth, and Family Studies, as well as Humanities in Medicine. After graduation, she plans to pursue a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, and eventually work with children and families. Gabby's research interests primarily consist of developmental psychopathology, specifically mood disorders. In addition to the Family Development Lab, she also is currently involved in Dr. Dave Hansen's Child Maltreatment Lab where she is working on a project through the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience program (UCARE). This past year, Gabby was an intern at Williamsburg Behavioral Psychology, where she gave and scored assessments, co-facilitated weekly group therapy, and assisted with individual therapy sessions. In her free time, Gabby enjoys baking, trying out new coffee shops, and spending time with her Tri Delta sorority sisters.


 Summer Nielsen is an undergraduate majoring in psychology with a minor in Child, Youth, and Family Studies. Summer is currently involved in the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience program (UCARE) through the Family Development Lab. Summer was an intern with the Psychology and Law office under Dr. Anne Hobbs throughout her time at the University of Nebraska -Lincoln. Her research interests include developmental psychopathology and psychological interventions for cancer patients, specifically children. After graduating, Summer hopes to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She wants to primarily work with children and if possible, she would like to work in a pediatric oncology unit. In her free time, Summer enjoys playing volleyball, traveling, and spending time with friends.

Frannie Calkins (from Lincoln) is an undergraduate student who has a Psychology major and a minor in Child, Youth, and Family Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During her undergraduate studies, she has been an intern with First Step Recovery with substance abuse groups, and also works at Madonna Child Development Center part-time. Frannie is highly interested in substance abuse and the role it plays in relationship satisfaction and family functions. Frannie would like to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical or Counseling Psychology. Frannie loves teaching dance classes at a local studio, going to concerts, and spending time with her family.

 Logan Volk is from West Fargo, North Dakota. He is an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in LGBTQ/Sexuality Studies. Logan plans to pursue a Ph.D in clinical psychology after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree. He wants to either work with or research the bonds between LGBTQ individuals and their family members to see the effects that these bonds have on different aspects of the individuals’ lives. He is a peer mentor for the University Exploration learning community on campus and enjoys traveling, taking care of his many succulents, and cooking.


 Shayla Wieser received her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Theology with a minor in Non-profit Leadership Studies in 2017 from Rockhurst University. Shayla has held a University of Nebraska Medical Center AmeriCorps position through which she observed a child and adolescent psychologist and provided services in the Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools on a project called Teachers and Parents Partnering (TAPP) for Latinos. Shayla’s primary research interest is to explore the quality and satisfaction of intimate relationships and the impact of interparental relationships on familial processes including the development of children. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical or counseling psychology. In her free time, Shayla enjoys gardening, traveling, and deepening relationships with friends and family.


  Lab Alumni
  • Jennifer Blake, 2015-2017
  • Chelsea Rock, 2015-2017
  • Sara Reyes, 2015-2017
  • Morgan Mattly, 2015-2017
  • Rosa Torres, 2015-2017
  • Yifu Hu, 2015-2016
  • Lauren Schar, 2015