Graduate Research

The department adopts a mentorship model of graduate education in which students work closely with a faculty advisor during their two years in our program.  Typically there is a 2:1 graduate student:faculty ratio that provides the student with individualized attention and, therefore, superior training.  Students conduct both a first year research project and a thesis.

We admit students into the program rather than to work with individual faculty members. Nonetheless, we do our best to match students with their preferred advisor whenever possible, and thus having a good match with one or two faculty members is an important part of the admission decision.  Thus, we encourage you to highlight at least one or two professors who might be good matches to your interests.  If your interests are still broad, that’s fine, but provide us with some indication of the type of research you are interested in doing.

Most faculty begin working with one new student each year; however, the faculty available to take new students in their lab varies from year to year for various reasons (e.g., sabbaticals, number of openings in a lab, etc.). You are welcome to contact a faculty member to see if she or he anticipates taking a student – please see the department’s faculty web page for research interests and contact information.

Fall 2017 – First Year Student Advisor
Erika Bailey Dagenbach
Kelly Buchanan Best
Mona Clifton Kammrath
Leah Emery Fleeson
Laura Hazlett Blumenthal
Megan Mischinski Jayawickreme
Zac Pierce-Messick Pratt
Andrew Rakhshani Furr
Jessica Rivers Waugh
Ryan Smout Stone
Mariana Stavig Kiang


Fall 2016 – First Year Student Advisor
Nicole Capobianco Best
Hannah Carlson Pratt
Michele Chan Kiang
Alex Faunce Blumenthal
Bridget Hayes Stone
Sarah Heuckeroth Furr
Dillon Luke Fleeson
Olivia Reynolds Dagenbach
Patrick Robinson Kammrath
Kate Sams Jennings
Lauren Song Waugh
Mikaela Spruill Seta
Sarah Volz Masicampo
Corinne Zachry Jayawickreme


Fall 2016 – Second Year Student Advisor
Leah Brown Blumenthal
Lauren Collier Furr
Michelle Francis Kammrath
Ayat Hamza Fleeson
Laura Hix Jayawickreme
Kathryn Howard Masicampo
Mat Jones Kiang
Rachel Marshall Petrocelli
Jonathan Parillo Stone
Angelica Puzio Best
Kyle St. Hilaire Jennings
Xi Yang Waugh


2017 Graduates Advisor Title of thesis
Leah Brown Blumenthal Examining the Relationship Between Mindfulness, Anxiety, and the Startle Response
Lauren Collier Furr Towards the Development of a Belief in Moral Relativism Scale
Michelle Francis Kammrath Seeking the Support That We Want: Goal Matching in Social Support Outcomes and Supporter Selection
Ayat Hamza Fleeson Are the Morally Exceptional Consistently Moral?
Laura Hix Jayawickreme The Social Function of Redemption Narratives
Kathryn Howard Masicampo A Public Affair: The Effects of Perceived Morality on the Expression of Negative Group Directed Attitudes and Behaviors
Mat Jones Kiang *
Rachel Marshall Petrocelli Reconsidering Counterfactual Potency to Improve Affect: Towards an Intervention
Jonathan Parillo Stone Exploring Graphical Display Effects in the Context of Processing and Decision-Making Styles
Angelica Puzio Best The Socialization of the Adolescent Voice: Self-Silencing as an Expression of Culture and Context
Kyle St. Hilaire Jennings The Pretesting Effect: How Question-Type and Structure Building Ability Impact Learning
Zi Yang Waugh Neural Correlates of Stress Recovery in a Positive Emotional Context

*In progress

 2016 Graduates Advisor Title of thesis
Everett Altherr Pratt The Behavioral and Pharmacological Effects of Caffeine on the Consumption and Hedonic Evaluation of Sucrose Solutions
Savannah Bradley Furr Shared Understanding and Perception of Stressors and Symptoms
Caitlin Bush Best The Socialization of Emotion Through Negative Emotional Reminiscing with Children
Ricky Davis Kiang Religious Coping by Mothers of Children with Autism
Jared Hesse Dagenbach Subcortical Network Properties in Parkinson’s Disease
Andrew Ray Masicampo Intention Perception and Meaning
Emily Stagnaro Petrocelli Mental Simulation and Perceptions of Probability: How Counterfactually Reflecting upon the Past Alters Perceptions of Meaning
Adam Tarter Kammrath Mental States and Abilities: What Do We Learn About Someone Over Time?*
Tim Valshtein Seta How Imagined Futures Become Real Pasts
Kassidy Velasguez Fleeson Altruistic Behavior and Subjective Well-Being: A Meta-Analytic Perspective

*In progress


 2015 Graduates Advisor Title of thesis
Taylor Bolt Dagenbach Functional Localization of Brain Activity in the Iowa Gambling Task Using Graph-Theoretical Methods
Kelly Erickson Wood States of Awareness and Their Associations with Well-Being
Stephanie Gusler Kiang The Role Of Attributions in the Connection Between Authoritarian Parenting and Peer Victimization
Emily Hanson Jayawickreme Examining the Role of Well-Being in Government
Stephanie McKee Masicampo The Effects of Group Membership on Judgments of Moral Purity Violations
David Mendrygal Furr Patterns of (Dis)agreement Among the Emotional Reports of Borderline Personality Disorder Individuals and Their Informants
Asher Rubin Petrocelli The Detection of Stimulus Bias and the Role of Counterfactual Thinking
Hannah Stroup Waugh The Role Of Attachment in the Use of Positive Emotion Regulation After Stress
Brandon Weiss Fleeson Investigating the Role of Daily Personality in Borderline Personality Disorder


 2014 Graduates Advisor Title of thesis
Rajen Anderson Masicampo The Tree of Knowledge: Children’s Knowledge and Their Perceived Morality
Maxwell Barranti Furr Impression of Moral Considerations and Actions: An Agreement Approach
Bradley Avery Waugh The Relationship Between Emotion-Related Thoughts and Emotional Recovery from Stress
Julia Brinton Kammrath Strain-Based Work-Home  Conflict: Examining the Relative Contribution of Exhaustion and Negative Affect in the Association Between Work Demands and Home Behaviors
Elizabeth Comitz Blumenthal Sensory Gating Ability in Combat Veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom with and without PTSD
Cory Costello Wood Does the Motive Matter? The Role of Intended Effects in Characterizing Actions and Inferring Personality Traits
Alexandra DeLone Best Emotion Regulation, Executive Functioning, and Understanding of Intentionality in Children with a History of Pediatric Cancer
Ryan Hampton Dagenbach Combined Aerobic and Cognitive Training Effects on Complex Brain Networks in Older Adults
Stephanie Komoski Stone Self-Regulation in Decisions for the Self Versus Others
Stephen Martin Masicampo Religion and Science: Seeking Meaning in High and Low Construal-Level Theory
Kelly Miskewicz Fleeson The Moderating Effects of Personality Traits on Stressor-Symptoms Contingencies in Borderline Personality Disorder
Joshua Prasad Jennings Connecting the Dots Between N-Back, Operation Span, and Raven’s Progressive Matrices
Emily Simpson Kiang Comfortable Exploration: An Examination of the Link Between Attachment Anxiety and Emerging Adult Religious Belief
Stephanie Thomas Petrocelli Counterfactual Viewpoints: How Our Viewpoint of Undoing the Past Shapes Our Future Expectations and Performance
Jessica Washington Blumenthal Examining the Interaction Between Startle and Response Inhibition


 2013 Graduates Advisor Title of thesis
Xia Allen Furr Language Use Patterns Associated with Borderline Personality Disorder Pathology: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis
Benjamin Armstrong Kammrath What Predicts Support Selection: Examining Personality and Gender
Melissa Beaulieu Best Do Self Determination Theory Premises Apply to the Disadvantaged?
Sarah Carper Seta The American Dream: The Effect of Meritocracy Beliefs of Women on Future Expectations of Sexism
Michael Crowe Wood Manipulation of Positive Perceptions of Others Through Cognitive Bias Modification
Shivani Desai Best Effect of Socialization of Ethnic Identity Formation While Participating in an Ethnic Social Organization
Alicia Jenkins Kammrath The Moral Value and Self-Regulation of Relational Goals
Peagan Lin Pratt Dissociating Roles for the Nucleus Accumbens Core and Shell in Priming-, Cue-, and Stress-Reduced Reinstatement of Food-Seeking Behavior
Brett Major Waugh The Role of Positive Emotions in Facilitating the Regulation of Emotion in Response to Negative Stressors
Paul Moon Schirillo Fractals in Pupillary Oscillation Patterns: From Gray Images to Jackson Pollock Paintings
Paige Roseman Dagenbach Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Combat-Exposed Control Veterans: A Graph Theory Based Network Analysis
Melanie Whitmire Petrocelli Attitude Certainty as a Subjective Feeling State: Misattributions of Emotion Decoding Affect Attitude Certainty and Response to Persuasion