Human Development Graduate Students

Current Students

Maame Adokamo

Maame Adomako is PhD student in the Human Development area. She received a B.A. from Central Michigan University, where she double majored in Psychology and Sociology with a Youth Studies Concentration. Her professional and research experiences are aimed toward enhancing leadership and diversity among adolescents in education. Her skills include multicultural programming, tutoring and mentoring high and middle school students.

John Binzak

John Binzak is an educational game designer and researcher completing his PhD in the Human Development area.  His work explores questions at the intersection of neuroscience, cognitive development, and education. From brains to games, John applies his interdisciplinary approach to study how students learn mathematical concepts, and the impact of educational multimedia, such as video games, in this learning.

Catherine Bredemann

Catherine Bredemann is a sixth-year graduate student in the Educational Psychology graduate studies program. Catherine earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014. Upon finishing the prerequisites for her psychology degree, she enrolled in courses geared toward teacher training, including courses on educational psychology, policy, and practice.

Angela Calvin

Angie Calvin is a doctoral student in the Human Development area of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her primary research interests focus on the risks and opportunities of social media use on the psychosocial development of adolescents. Particularly, she is interested in the implications of social media on relationships with parents and peers.

Leandro Chernicoff

Leandro Chernicoff is a graduate student in the Human Development area. He is interested in the development of cognitive, affective and behavioral skills to foster well-being and alleviate suffering. This started as a personal quest, and for the last six years he has collaborated as Academic Director of AtentaMente, a Mexican nonprofit focused on teaching these very skills to adults, children, and teens. He is also a physicist and a full-time professor at UACM, one of three public universities in Mexico City, teaching college level math and physics for the last 14 years.

Tingting Fan

Tingting is a PhD student in the Human Development area. She interested in how the ecological environment has shaped adolescents throughout their development with considerations on the complexity of youth’s social relationships, mass media, and cultural differences. Her projects investigating how social media play a role in college transitions among international students, and how youth’s social media activity may impact their emotional change and behaviors in romantic relationships.

Hui-Ru Ho

Hui-Ru is passionate about doing research in the field of multi-sensory integration. She is particularly interested in studying the relationship of multi-sensory integration and cognition. Moreover, she is looking forward to applying what she has learned in multi-sensory integration to education and improving user experience of technology in the future.

Pauline Ho

Pauline Ho is a third year Ph.D. student in the Human Development area of the Educational Psychology department, where she is advised by Dr. Brad Brown. Pauline graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine where she double majored in Education Sciences and Social Policy and Public Service. Her research at UC-Irvine have primarily focused on investigating effective pedagogies for teaching English and discipline-specific knowledge to diverse student learners.

Ron Hopkins

Ron is interested in mathematical cognition, particularly how students come to associate meaning to the symbols and rules of symbol manipulation necessary for mathematics. He is especially interested in how these associations influence reasoning and how these associations change over time. This involves trying to understand the nature of processes underlying symbolic meaning and mathematical knowledge in the hopes of developing methods for identifying problems and designing effective interventions.

Wongeun Ji

Based on work experience and his passion for youth offenders, Wongeun hopes to make a contribution to the healthy development of youth offenders who were victimized in the past. His interests center on the role of morality as a protective factor for delinquency prevention, and the improvement of correctional treatment by applying forgiveness education to detained youth.

Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson is a doctoral student in the Human Development area of the Educational Psychology program of UW-Madison. During her Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Master’s program at Ohio State University,  she examined service-learning as a catalyst for college student moral & cognitive development. She presented at the NASPA region IV-E conference in 2009 where she integrated service-learning research with development theory to examine and critique undergraduate service-learning courses and proposed better theory-to-practice programming.

Melina Knabe

Melina Knabe is a Ph.D. student in the Learning, Cognition, and Development Lab with Dr. Haley Vlach. Her research interests lie in language and memory development of mono- and multilingual children.

Mary Cate Komoski

Mary Cate’s interests focus on the relationship between early-life trauma and later juvenile criminal behavior, specifically focusing on family conflict and trauma. Her interests also extend into trauma-informed systems and what role they should play in juvenile delinquency.

Emma Lazaroff

Emma Lazaroff is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Human Development program in the Department of Educational Psychology. Emma received her B.A. in Psychology from Quinnipiac University and was a lab manager at Boston College prior to pursuing her Ph.D. Her research interests lie in how children use cognitive supports such as analogy and language to learn about science and mathematics, as well as how they generalize this knowledge to increasingly complex concepts.

Nahlah Mandurah

Nahlah Mandurah is a doctoral student in the Human Development area of the Educational Psychology program under the supervision of Dr. Robert Enright. Nahlah received her bachelor degree in Kindergarten from Umm Al.Qura University in Saudi Arabia. In addition to the human development courses, she also did a field training teaching in school for a period of time. Throughout her bachelor program and field training, Nahlah has become interested in human development and how curriculum can promote the students’ psychological well-being.

Yanzhuo “Amy” Niu

Amy Niu is a first year PhD student in Human Development Area in the Department of Educational Psychology. Prior to her attending to U.S., she was involved in a volunteer program and working as a middle school teacher in China. This experience helped to acquaint her with the social dynamics of adolescent peer relations. She was intrigued by how the clash between teacher or parent expectations and peer demands can undermine healthy adolescent development.

Katherine Norman

Katherine is a student in Dr. Ed Hubbard’s Educational Cognitive Neurology lab. She completed her MA in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies with a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences at the UW Madison in 2018, and transitioned to Ed Psych to better pursue her research questions regarding drama and cognitive development. In addition to research, Katherine is also an active teaching artist and actor (Equity Membership Candidate).

Chelsea Olson

Chelsea Olson is a graduate student in the Human Development Area of Educational Psychology. She received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a part of Dr. Amy Bellmore’s research group. Her research interests include peer relationships, peer victimization, cyber victimization, and mental health outcomes. She’s also interested in investigating social media and victimization on those platforms.

Yunji Park

Yunji Park is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology department studying numerical cognition. She majored in Physics and Psychology in her undergraduate years. After graduating, she started to working in a cognitive neuroscience lab, primarily investigating the development of magnitude representations among elementary school children. She is currently investigating the developmental trajectories of the ratio processing system using behavioral and neuroimaging approaches.

Robby Quintana

Robby is interested in how the development of specific cognitive abilities influence intermediate and advanced mathematical competencies. He hopes this research will contribute towards interventions that may help at-risk children succeed in their formal mathematics.

Hannah Rapp

Hannah Rapp is a Ph.D. candidate in the Human Development Area of Educational Psychology. She is a member of the Enright Forgiveness Lab.  Hannah earned a B.A. in Psychology at Wheaton College, IL, as well as minors in English and Biblical Archaeology. After college, Hannah did behavioral counseling in a residential facility for children with OCD and worked in a lab, at the same facility, researching adult OCD.

Isabella Starling Alves

Isabella Starling Alves is a graduate student in Human Development area in the Department of Educational Psychology. She is interested in the integration between neurosciences and education, and has experience working on developmental disorders, with focus on developmental dyscalculia.

Priscilla Tovar-Perez

Priscilla Tovar-Perez is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology Department, Human Development area. Priscilla is part of Dr. Amy Bellmore’s research team, which focuses on school-based peer relationships during adolescence. Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, she has become highly interested on the impact of environmental factors on educational outcomes.

Alexandria Viegut

Alexandria Viegut is a Ph.D. student in the Human Development area studying children’s cognitive development and mathematical learning. Her interest in children’s learning was sparked by experiences volunteering in classrooms and as a math tutor. She works with Percival Matthews in the Math Education Learning and Development lab.

Jiahe Wang Xu

Jiahe Wang Xu is a Ph.D. student in the Human Development area in Educational Psychology Department. She is a member of the Enright Forgiveness Lab, and participates in the Prevention, Intervention, and Enhancement Scholar Graduate Training Program. She received her B.A. in Applied Biology in City University of Hong Kong and master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at UW-Madison.

Brooke Wollner

Brooke is interested in restorative justice as it relates to Forgiveness Therapy and education in the prison system. Her research focuses on exploring the relationship between historical trauma and crime through analyzing the relationship between characteristics of incarcerated individuals’ stories of injustice and attitudes as related to trauma occurring throughout the life span.

Lai Wong

Her research aims to turn theories and philosophy into practices for the well-being of human development.  Her current research interests include moral agency development as a means for citizenship development and prevention for gang involvement, the development of a just and merciful community for school safety, as well as forgiveness education.

Lifan Yu

Lifan Yu is a Ph.D. candidate from the Department of Educational Psychology, Human Development area. She graduated from the Psychology Department at Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) with her B.S. degree. Her research interests mainly focus on how past injustices influence individuals’ social-emotional attitudes, moral-behavioral changes, and psychological well-being, as well as proposing forgiveness therapy in prison context. She also has experience in teaching Statistics and Psychological Developmental courses.

Qi Zhang

Qi Zhang is a second-year PhD student in the Human Development area of Educational Psychology. She previously received her BA in social work from Beijing Institute of Technology. After graduating, she decided to focus on people’s mental health and attended the Peking University Health Science Center as an graduate student and  received MS in applied psychology in clinical direction. Qi’s research interests are pathology of children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms and the effects of forgiveness on children’s mental disorder in family.