Current Developmental Science Graduate Students

Niloofar Hakhamy

Entered program: Fall, 2022

Research interests:  Child development, parent-child relationship, family life education, how family relationships and parenting styles can influence child's well-being

Email: niloofar.hakhamy@ndsu.edu                                     

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Sean Brotherson

Caroline Homan

Entered program: Fall, 2022

Research interests: Creativity and Social Emotional Learning, the science of happiness, positive youth development, and the influence of neurobiology on mental health and well-being. 

Email: caroline.homan@ndsu.edu                              

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Joel Hektner

Suzette Hudson

Entered program: Fall, 2022

Research interests: Social and cultural influences on development; transition to college; public policy; adolescence and motivation.

Email: suzette.hudson@ndsu.edu                             

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Sean Brotherson

Debarati Kole

Entered program: Fall, 2022

Research interests: Health promotion among minorities through education and community development, behavioral health promotion among pregnant women, Impacts of covid 19 pandemic on behavioral health, the importance of social connection on lifespan development.

Email: debarati.kole@ndsu.edu                

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Jim Deal

Precious Ngwayarudza

Entered program: Fall, 2022

Research interests: Child development and protection. I am passionate about conditions that enable the maximum survival and development of children; implementation of programs that facilitate a smooth transition from one developmental stage to the other and interventions for improving mental health and the wellbeing of children. 

Email: precious.ngwayarudza@ndsu.edu                          

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Joel Hektner

Yu-Fang Tu

Entered program: Fall, 2022

Research interests: Preservation of the cognitive health and physical functioning of older people of normal as well as dementia or Alzheimer's population; Promotion of healthy aging for the well-being of people in the middle and later life stages. Mindfulness and Qigong-related strategies to promote health, happiness, and well-being. 

Email: yufang.tu@ndsu.edu                          

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Melissa O'Connor

Beckham Arthur

Entered program: Fall, 2021

Research interests: Wellbeing among working adults, intervention & program evaluation studies, workplace dynamics and lifelong attitude development, family studies, and development of human resourcefulness 

Email:beckham.arthur@ndsu.edu                                       

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Sean Brotherson

Jordan Bentz

Entered program: Fall, 2021

Research interests: child development and how parent-child interactions along with peer relationships can influence development from infancy through adolescence. I am also interested in how different interventions in early education can promote optimal development in later life.

Email: jordan.bentz@ndsu.edu                                      

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Joel Hektner

Melisa Hajdar

Entered program: Fall, 2021

Research interests: Parent-child relations, family policy, the influence of culture and social relationships on lifespan development, and program development, implementation, and evaluation

Email: melisa.hajdar@ndsu.edu                                       

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Heather Fuller

Jordan Mooney

Entered program: Fall, 2021

Research interests: Promoting resilience and optimal function in populations considered disadvantaged or at-risk, prevention science, social emotional learning, family and caregiver training, lifestyle approaches for optimizing health and psychological wellbeing, universal and targeted intervention, and program development

Email: jordan.mooney@ndsu.edu                                       

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Joel Hektner

Teri Undem

Entered program: Fall, 2021

Research interests: Aging in place with an emphasis on the rural setting

Email: teri_undem@ndsu.edu                                      

DS faculty advisorDr. Melissa O'Connor

 

Emily Kinkade

Entered program: Fall, 2020

Research interests: ageism, how attitudes toward aging can be changed, healthy aging, physical and mental well-being in older adulthood, and intergenerational relationships

Email: emily.kinkade@ndsu.edu                                       

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Heather Fuller

Bryce Van Vleet

Entered program: Fall, 2020

Research interests: Broadly concerned with interpersonal dynamics and resilience in rural families and communities. I am also interested in immigration, migration from urban to rural environments, and isolation. 

Email: bryce.vanvleet@ndsu.edu

DS faculty advisor:Dr. Heather Fuller

Megan Hay Pedersen

Entered program: Fall, 2019

Research interests: The interplay between social relationships and cognitive aging, especially in the setting of social games and competition; investigating and treating the physiological breakdown and cognitive decline caused by neurodegenerative diseases; intergenerational relationships

Email: megan.hay@ndsu.edu                                 

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Melissa O'Connor

Rachel Grace

Entered program: Fall, 2018

Research interests: Currently, I am exploring successful aging across the lifespan. Other areas of interest include: longevity, wellness, yoga, and lifestyles that support health and happiness across every part of development.

Email:rachel.grace@ndsu.edu

DS faculty advisor:Dr. Jim Deal 

Antonia Curtis

Entered program: Fall, 2018

Research interests: Maternal incarceration and its effects on mothers, children, and extended families, and evidence-based practice and policy to mitigate these effects. I have also conducted research on attitudes and views surrounding sexual assault, specifically looking at beliefs in rape myths.

Email:antonia.curtis@ndsu.edu

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Joel Hektner

Philip Estepp

Entered program: Fall, 2018

Research interests: Psychological well-being in rural and farm communities, masculinity and mental health, and healthy aging across the life-span. 

Email:philip.estepp@ndsu.edu 

DS Faculty Advisor:Dr. Sean Brotherson 

Shawn Carlson

Entered program: Fall, 2017

Research interests: Socioemotional development in children, child maltreatment, developmental psychopathology, school-based interventions and the school to prison pipeline.

Emailshawn.l.carlson@ndsu.edu

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Joel Hektner

Meghan Yerhot

Entered program: Fall, 2016

Research Interests: Identity development, academic self-concept, and growth mindset. More specifically, I am interested in the influence SES has on developmental outcomes related to student success in higher education. In addition, I strive to understand student success for low income and first-generation students and how developmental trajectories influence their experience once enrolled in the university setting.

"I hope to gain a wide variety of experience through the faculty’s diverse research areas."

Email:Meghan Yerhot

DS faculty advisor:Dr. Jim Deal

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