Faculty

Jackie Nelson

Dr. Jackie Nelson

Dr. Nelson, the director of the Family Research Lab, is an associate professor of psychological sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas. She earned her BA in psychology from Elon University and her PhD in human development and family studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Nelson studies emotional family processes from a systems perspective, recognizing that family members and relationships are interconnected. Specifically, she is interested in parent-child relationships, how mothers and fathers influence one another’s parenting practices, negative spillover of family stress, parents’ beliefs and socialization of children’s emotion, and children’s emotional development.

Graduate Students

Alyssa Aguas

Alyssa Aguas

Alyssa graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX with a BA in criminology, and is currently attending UTD for the MS psychology program. After graduating Alyssa hopes to continue her studies and gain her PhD. Her research interests focus on childhood trauma and the correlation with developmental growth, parenting behaviors/parent-child relationships, and the effects of external stressors on mental health. She is looking forward to working under the Family Research Lab!

Carley Compton

Carley Compton

Carley graduated from Oklahoma Christian University with a bachelor’s of science in psychology. She is in the psychology MS program, and her research interests include depression, anxiety, and the relationships in our lives that can contribute positively and negatively to both.

Mariam Hafiz

Mariam Hafiz

Mariam joined the Family Research in the Summer of 2017 as an undergrad and is now working toward her PhD in psychological sciences. She graduated from UT Dallas in May 2019 with a BS in psychology. She is interested in studying how parenting behaviors can affect children’s emotional and social development, particularly in ethnic minority families.

Reagan Volzer

Reagan Volzer

Reagan joined the Family Research Lab in the Fall of 2020 and is currently working towards her MS in psychological sciences. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2020 with a BS in psychology. Her research interests include prosocial, antisocial, and externalizing behaviors.

Undergraduate Students

Genevieve Cumming

Genevieve Cumming

Genevieve recently joined the Family Research Lab this Fall and is a senior working towards her bachelor of science in psychology as well as child learning and development. She has a passion for learning, health and fitness, and making the world a more positive place. Her goals for the future include traveling and conducting research. In addition, she hopes to earn a PhD in either psychology or neuroscience. She is interested in abnormal psychology, child development, and neuroscience.

Jouhayna Paracha

Jouhayna Paracha

Jouhayna is currently a senior double majoring in psychology and child learning and development. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school to earn her master’s in counseling or clinical psychology. Her research interests include abnormal psychology, the effect of different family dynamics on child development, and how individuals in ethnic minority groups are affected by mental disorders.

Shruti Patel

Shruti Patel

Shruti joined the Family Research Lab in the Summer of 2021 and is currently double majoring in psychology and child learning and development. After graduating, she plans on attending graduate school to earn her PhD. Her research interests include child-parent relationships as well as interactions in children’s home environments that effect their development.

Samantha Simms

Samantha Simms

Samantha is a senior psychology student with a minor in child learning and development. After graduation, she is interested in pursuing her PhD in psychology to become a child psychologist. Her main area of interest is helping children and adolescents struggling with learning disorders, depression, and anxiety.

Samuela Young

Samuela Young

Samuela joined the Family Research lab in the Summer of 2021 and is currently a senior majoring in psychology. After graduating from UTD, she plans to earn a PhD in clinical psychology but has not locked into a field of specialization yet. Her interests include forensic psychology, abnormal psychology, and how early experiences impact development and personality in children and adults.

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