Meet the Lab

Meet the Graduate Students

Ivan Avila

Ivan was a student at UNL through the Minority Health Disparities Initiative's REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) summer 2014 program. As part of that program, he has been a research assistant on a study that examines Latina/o's stressors, psychological dysfunction, and coping strategies. Ivan graduated from University of Texas, Brownsville in May 2015, as the last class at UTB, before the big reorganization into University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV)!! He entered graduate training at UTRGV, and we are  collaborating on issues related to Latino/as and stress and health disparities as part of his graduate training!! 

Jenna Perkins Arroyo

 Jenna is an advanced graduate student who completed her JD. She is licensed to the state of New York and has been practicing military law.  Her research focuses on several topics in the intersection of psychology and law, including the effects of apology on issues of culpability in both civil and criminal lawShe is currently a JAG in the AirForce and an instructor at the Air Force Academy. She is working on completion of her dissertation research. 

 For more information on the graduate students click on their individual site under Meet the Lab.


Meet the Current Research Assistants

Kimberly Ruiz

Kimberly is from Grand Island, Nebraska and she is interested in psychological issues that effect Latino families and children. She has finished data collection on a project that examines stress and psychological dysfunction in Latinas/Latinos. As a McNair 2016 scholar, she is currently investigating Latino parents' perceptions of wellbeing and how that might impact expectations for their children's outcomes. She was a sponsored UCARE researcher in 2016-2017 and conducted a project on the impact of race, SES, and immigration status on attributions about minor infractions. She has also been assisting with a project on disparities between patient views of cultural competence of health care providers and health care providers' views on their own cultural competence. She has entered the MA program in Marriage and Family Therapy at UNL Fall 2017! 

Madeline J. Schlosser

Madeline received the BA in 2016. She is preparing to enter graduate training. She is involved in research on the potential threatening aspect of demographic changes in the United States, and if such threat modifies notions of patriotism and immigration atttiudes. She is analyzing data on a study that examines the impact biased attitudes toward Mexican Americans in a courtroom contexts where Mexican American defendants testify with accented speech or Spanish. Madeline won the Harry K. Wolfe Award in 2017!

David Orozco-Garcia David has been interested in applied psychology, and has been involved in a study on attitudes about child labor and child labor laws. A second study examines the impact of conservative ideology on attitudes about immigrant child labor. David won the Levine Diversity Research Award for 2014! This award honors students who contribute to the psychological knowledge base on issues of importance to diverse populations. Congratulations! David has graduated from UNL in 2014. He received his MA in UNL's Counseling Program this Spring 2017 and will begin working with youth in Omaha, Nebraska. 
Trevor Obermueller Trevor is interested in the effects of stigma on psychological outcomes. He has received a UCARE award for the 2017/2018 academic year. The project will focus on legal decision making for defendants with double stigmas (i.e., race and sexual orientation). Trevor will also be involved in several other projects.
Kiley Gilbert Kiley is interested in social justice issues, in general, and in understanding  biases against Latinos in the United States, particularly Mexican Americans. She will begin data collection on issues related to ideology and immigration attitudes in the 2017-2018 school year. She will also be working on research concerning exonerations from the death penalty and the taint of convictions.
Alicia Alvitia
Alicia is now in her second year in the lab. She has completed data collection on a study that examines preferences for death penalty assignment in the face of exonerating information when the race of the defendant has been varied. She will begin a new study this Fall 2017 that examines how anti-Mexican American bias influences notions of incriminating information for Mexican American defendants.

Joseph Hams

Joe decided to become proficient in research early in his college career (way to go!). He is interested in psychological issues involving immigration, and he was in a "study abroad" program in Spring 2015 and in Summer of 2017 in Lima, Peru. He has collected data on a study to determine attitudes toward immigration based on country of origin and type of immigration. Data analyses are being conducted and publication of the results is in the near future. He was a UCARE researcher during 2016-2017 and examined child labor preferences as a function of the child's race and of conservative ideology. Since graduation from UNL in Spring 2017, he is now entering an MA program in Counseling Psychology at University of Kansas. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

Past Graduate Student Lab Members

Scott Freng, PhD

Scott is now a professor of practice at University of Wyoming.

Lisa Harrison, PhD

Lisa is a professor at California State University, Sacramento.

Russ Espinoza, PhD

Russ is a professor at California State University, Fullerton. He and Dr. Willis Esqueda continue to collaborate on research related to low SES Latino/a defendants.

Leslie Martinez

Leslie received the PhD in December 2015. She is teaching at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

If you are interested in joining our lab, please contact Dr. Willis-Esqueda.