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Meet our Developmental Science Students

Learn more about our current students and their experience in the program.

2017 Cohort

Emma Johnson

My research interests are: body image and eating disorders within family systems. Specifically, sibling pair influence vs parental influence on disorganized eating patterns and body image distortion with male and female body building.



Jonix Owino

My research interests are:  Integration of new american families/ refugees, Migration, Social Isolation and cultural dynamics as well as Immigration processes.

Shawn Carlson

My research interests include socioemotional development in children, child maltreatment, developmental psychopathology, school-based interventions and the school to prison pipeline.

Shea Lammers

My research interests include: infant-parent relationships, as well as multisensory development, including synaesthasia.

2016 Cohort

Vimbayi Chinopfukutwa


Research Interests: 
My research interests include positive and problem behaviors in adolescents’ development and ways of enriching their lives.

Franchesca Cortez

webpage (coming soon)

My research interests include: Aging, lifespan development, cognitive aging, physical aging, as well as Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living as precursors to health and well being outcomes in late life

Masahiro Toyama


Research Interests: Adult development, aging, well-being, and psychosocial and cultural factors affecting aging and well-being

Savanna Jellison


Research Interests: I am interested in picky eating and food preferences, babysign, infant programs.

Meghan Yerhot


Research Interests: Intra-family dynamics, normative patterns within families, parent-child relationships and parental support.

Geoffrey Zehnacker


Research Interests: Family relationships, Father involvement, Extension services, Program development, Program evaluation

2015 Cohort

Brooke Kranzler


Research Interests: Parenting, Parenting education, and Parent-child outcomes, focusing on high risk parents. Relationships and well-being across the lifetime.

2014 and Earlier Cohorts

Maegan Jones

Research Interests: I research eating disorders and body image, more broadly speaking. Specifically, I look at what can be done in childhood to prevent the development of eating disorders in the future

DS Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia



Courage Chikomborero Mudzongo, Ph.D.
August, 2017

Employment at time of graduation:
Warner Pacific College, Portland OR

HDFS Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Brandy Randall

Research Interests while in DS Program: Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Sexual Behavior, with a focus on STIs and Teen Pregnancy; Contexts—Community, School and Religion; Youth Development; International Development; Faith Based Development; Overseas Mission Trips.

Jennifer Wenner, Ph.D.
May 2017

Employment at time of graduation:
Quality and Evaluation Coordinator, YMCA Metro Chicago

DS Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Brandy Randall

Jennifer's research interests while in DS program:
Program implementation and evaluation; how positive and problem behaviors develop in adolescents, the contexts in which they develop, and how these affect adolescent development


Alison Brennan Ph.D.
December 2016

Employment at time of graduation:

Cass County Extension Services in Fargo

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia.

Alison's research interests while in the DS program:

Program evaluation, particularly evaluation of parent training programs and prevention programs for adolescents; adolescent and emerging adult media use, body image, and sexuality


Tara Zolnikov, Ph.D. 
May 2015

Employment at time of graduation:
Assistant Professor at National University 

DS faculty advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia. 

In Memoriam

Mark T. Suffolk
Mark Suffolk came to NDSU from England at the age of 50 to pursue his doctorate in developmental science. He researched body image and eating concerns with associate professor Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia. Unfortunately, before completing his degree he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and returned to England for treatment.  In 2016 the developmental science faculty unanimously chose him for the “Outstanding Contributions in Developmental Science” award and he traveled from to NDSU to receive the honor. Sadly, Mark passed away in August of 2016. The award has been renamed after him to honor his memory and scholarship.
"His research skills and classroom performance are unmatched. Although Mark may not be able to earn his doctorate, his contributions to the developmental science program, NDSU and the larger field deserve to be recognized,” said Dr. Blodgett Salafia.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Last Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 2:29:00 PM
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