Current Research Assistants

Meri Barajas Marti is currently in her senior year, pursuing a double major in Psychology and Special Education, with minors in Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, and the Autism Spectrum Disorder certificate. She is interested in learning more about mental health and how it is related to both our nature and nurture, especially at a young age. She is planning on continuing into graduate school but not before taking a short break and narrowing down her research interests! A fun fact about Meri is that she’s from Spain and did her entire high school in the United Kingdom! 

Abby Burk a senior Neuroscience major in CBS with minors in French and Gender Studies. She is interested in how early life experiences influence cognitive development and behavior. Currently, she works as a nursing assistant on a pediatric neuroscience unit and plans to apply to MD/DO programs after graduation. Outside of work and school, she loves to read and travel — she has been really lucky to have traveled to 14 different countries and have studied abroad for a summer in France! 

Lia Cousin is a third year student majoring in Developmental Psychology. She has been drawn to pediatric healthcare since early high school and her time at the U has confirmed this goal. She loves the hands-on, unpredictable aspects of both healthcare and working with kids. She was drawn to developmental psychology and this lab because she thinks it’s amazing how much happens and how important the first years of our lives are, yet we hardly remember any of it. She is graduating this year and plans to go to grad school to study occupational therapy!

Mia Falstad is a junior with a Developmental Psychology major, and she aspires to be a child therapist. She also loves to write and aspires to be an author as well. She has been writing novels since middle school, and is currently working on her sixth book!

Claire Keagle is a third year student pursuing a B.A. in Psychology with minors in Neuroscience and Leadership. She has many research interests including memory, executive function, and neurological disorders or injuries. She enjoys working in pediatric and geriatric healthcare. She plans to earn a graduate degree in the field of psychology and is considering Clinical Psychology with hopes of becoming a Neuropsychologist, School Counseling, or Music Therapy.  A fun fact about Claire is that she ran the Twin Cities Marathon last Fall! 

Avery Lisiak is a third year undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Integrative Neuroscience. She is interested in exploring the relationship between brain and body and how this connection manifests in a person’s overall health. She is graduating this year and is hoping to attend a Physician Assistant Program.

Katrina Milbrandt is a freshman in the Honors Program pursuing a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Technical Writing. She is interested in developmental and social psychology. In the future she aspires to get her PhD in Clinical Psychology and work in a community and/or with a population that has traditionally had a lack of access to mental health care. She enjoys working with pre-k kids over her breaks back home!

Lexy Miles is a third year undergraduate student pursuing a B.A. in Developmental Psychology and Spanish Studies. She is interested in the impact of early life experiences on the brain. She plans to get a PhD in Developmental Psychology and to become a neuropsychologist or a rehabilitation psychologist. Lexy hopes to work in communities that traditionally lack access to mental health care and to do part of her practice in Spanish. In the spring semester, she will study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Abby Neisen is a junior majoring in Developmental Psychology and minoring in Spanish and Neuroscience. In the future, she’s hoping to get her masters in Child Life Theory to become a Child Life Specialist in a clinical setting. A fun fact about her is that she doesn’t have any cousins!

Brooklynn Oliver a freshman at UMN majoring in psychology with a minor in developmental psychology. She is interested in the social development of children and hopes to open her own high-quality daycare center one day!

Colin Retterer is a junior Psychology B.S major. He is interested in developmental psychology and after graduation is hoping to attend medical school. In his free time he enjoys hiking.

Sadie Staloch is a senior majoring in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Family Social Science and Family Violence Prevention. She is currently working on grad applications for school psychology programs that have been approved by the National Association of School Psychologists. She hopes to one day work for a rural school district in Minnesota or Colorado! A fun fact is that she can double dutch.

Carynne Sullivan is a senior in the Honors Program pursuing a B.A. in Developmental Psychology and a B.S. in Kinesiology. Her research interests include executive functioning and motor development of children. After she finishes her undergraduate degrees, she plans on getting a masters degree in Occupational Therapy and hopes to become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. A fun fact about Carynne is that she used to be a taste tester for Lunchables.

Maddie Valentine is a fourth year student at UMN working towards a B.S. in Psychology. Her research interests include psychopathology, behavioral symptoms of dementia, and memory. She plans to further her education by attending dental school or a PsyD program. Outside of classes, Maddie’s in the Army National Guard as a dental tech!

Karishma Wahi is a senior majoring in Developmental Psychology. Her research interests are broad but she throughly enjoys working with children and learning how their brains work. Her post-graduate plans at this moment are getting her masters in clinical psychology and hopefully being able to help children be able to learn ways to cope with trauma they have experienced. A fun fact is that she is the oldest of 3 siblings!

Adam Wolf is a a sophomore majoring in Developmental Psychology, and minoring in Neuroscience and Family Therapy. His current post grad plan is to go to grad school, and work towards becoming a child therapist. A fun fact about Adam is that he has seen each Lord of the Rings movie at least 40 times, and can quote every line.