HDFS PhD student directory


PhD student directory

Human Development and Family Sciences

The following students have chosen to share their research and study interests. This directory does not represent every doctoral student in the program.

  • Tosin F. Alabi

    Tosin is a PhD student and originated from Nigeria. Her research broadly focuses on child development and adolescent development, and mental health. Her current research interests include children and adolescents in foster care,  and… see full profile

  • Brenda Barrett-Rivera, MS

    Brenda is interested in family resilience, with a specific focus on low-income families' survival strategies and their implications for health and family relationships. Currently, she is examining how low-income, rural families develop and… see full profile

  • Rebekah Benkart

    Rebekah is a graduate student interested in the early learning environment both in schools and at home. They are passionate about strengthening the partnership between families and teachers to better support the individual needs of children in… see full profile

  • Amara Bradetich

  • Jezz/Jess Brown-Hamlett

    Jezz is passionate about studying families through critical epistemologies, especially intersectional frameworks. Their research focuses on family theorizing, the work-family interface and the experiences of student-parents, particularly those… see full profile

  • Mehwish Dawood

    Mehwish is a doctoral student in the HDFS program with a Clinical Psychology background, hailing from Pakistan. Her research interests lie in the intersection of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and mental health outcomes among children,… see full profile

  • Ines de Pierola

    Ines's broad research interests include inequality, families, and social policy. Currently, She is examining financial outcomes for families that access paid parental leave. She is also interested in childcare policies and have been involved in… see full profile

  • Maya E. Johnson, MS

    Maya is a graduate student researching socioemotional development during early childhood, particularly emotional development and caregiver-child relationships for children ages 2-5 in child care and preschool settings. She also conducts work in… see full profile

  • Jasmine Karing, MPH

    Jasmine graduated from the University of Hawai'i with a Master of Public Health, specializing in Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health with a focus on Maternal and Child Health.

    She worked with communities in Hawai'i and Oregon for over a… see full profile

  • Sara King, MS

    Sara's research interests are broadly focused on the intersection between Positive Youth Development (PYD) and sport. She is interested in fostering positive environments in youth sport, or movement contexts in general, in order to promote… see full profile

  • Christopher Lombardo

    Chris is a PhD student in HDFS. His research broadly focuses on family poverty, differential mobility (one family member moving up or down socioeconomic classes), and how environmental risk affects development and resilience. He is especially… see full profile

  • Kara McElvaine, MS

    Kara's research broadly focuses on the contexts and processes which support the creation of more equitable environments for youth and adults, especially in the United States’ education and human service systems. She integrates practical… see full profile

  • Iriana Muñoz

    Interested in racial-ethnic socialization (RES) in racially/ethnically marginalized families, especially among immigrant families. She is interested in promoting positive relationship with racial-ethnic identity, mental health, and academic well-… see full profile

  • Nazlı Özkoca

    Nazli is a HDFS masters and Psychosocial Kinesiology doctoral student. Her research focuses on psychosocial development through play and developmental sport and exercise psychology. She believes play and movement are necessary for development and… see full profile

  • Beth J. Phelps, MS

    Beth is interested in sibling relationship quality for young children with foster care involvement and the influence of sibling relationships on young children's socioemotional outcomes. She is also interested in quantitative methodology and… see full profile

  • Olivia Root

    Olivia's research interests are broadly in the development of mindfulness and compassion across the lifespan, and more specifically about mindfulness and compassion intervention/prevention programs in early childhood education (both teacher and… see full profile

  • Jean M. Stouffer, MEd, MAT

    Jean is broadly interested in how to promote the development of academic, social and emotional skills in early childhood education classrooms, and how these skills affect child outcomes. Her research interests also include school readiness, early… see full profile


This directory does not represent every alumni from the program.

  • Caitlyn Abshire, MS

    Caitlyn is interested in (1) factors that are associated with trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout within professionals serving vulnerable populations, (2) promoting resilience in children experiencing trauma, and (3) how family… see full profile
  • Austin D. Brockmann, MS

    Austin is interested in interactions between cognitive and physiological factors. His current interests include promoting resilience in late life as a function of cognitive reserve as well as stress, appraisal, and coping processes in older adults.… see full profile
  • Jessica A. Dahlgren, PhD

    Jessica is interested in the relationships that exist between young children and incarcerated parents. Specifically, she strives to understand potential reasons behind behavioral and academic patterns exhibited by young children after experiencing… see full profile
  • Adrienne J. L. Henry, PhD

    Adrienne's research interests center on the occupational experience of home-based childcare providers and how this may impact adult/child interaction quality, and provider engagement within childcare systems. Additionally, her professional interests… see full profile
  • Maria Kurth, PhD

    Maria's research interests lie broadly in resilience via stress and coping processes among adults, especially those in later life. She is particularly interested in how we leverage our prior experiences (and accumulated resources) to inform current… see full profile
  • Hillary R. Lewis, PhD, MAT

    Hillary's research interests included the links between adverse childhood experiences and child outcomes, emotional intelligence and empathy development, as well as teacher-child relationships and family-teacher partnerships, and their associations… see full profile
  • Nicole Mullican, PhD

    Nicole was a member of the Child Welfare and Child Well-being (2CW) research group. Generally, her research interests include foster parent education, support, and retention. Specifically her research focused on the ways in which foster parent… see full profile
  • Svea Olsen, PhD

    Svea is a mixed methods researcher committed to promoting public well-being. She has over a decade of experience conducting research through an equity and social-justice lens that focuses broadly on supporting positive outcomes for children, youth,… see full profile
  • Isabella Sciuto Ozenbaugh, PhD

  • Danielle Zandbergen, LMHC, LPC, PhD

    Danielle recently graduated with her PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences and a concurrent certification in College and University Teaching at Oregon State University. Her primary research interests are exploring attachment across the… see full profile