Undergraduate Students

Current Research Assistants 


Melissa McHugh

Hi, I’m Mel McHugh. I graduated from Marquette University in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and Supply Chain Management. I plan to apply to PhD programs specializing in Sport and Exercise Psychology. My current projects include studying the market for sport psychology services for youth and parents’ perceived benefits of youth sport participation. I have been a member of the Child Stress and Coping Lab since Fall 2016. I really enjoy learning about the qualitative coding process and the opportunity to improve my research writing.



Ratka Galijot

Hi, I’m Ratka. I am currently a senior majoring in Biology/Pre-med. My ultimate goal is to go to medical school and become a Pediatrician. I love seeing kids smile and to be able to work with them every day will be my ultimate dream! I became a research assistant in this lab and at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in the Headache and Pain Clinic at the end of Summer 2014. Being a research assistant I have learned how to evaluate and code qualitative data, assist in grant writing, and develop patient recruitment protocols. I am submitting a second author publication to the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities and I am a first author presenter at the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference in 2017.



Shakai Reynolds

Hi, my name is Shakai Reynolds and I am currently in my junior year at UW-Milwaukee pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I plan to immediately obtain my master’s degree in counseling psychology in order to eventually start a career as a marriage and family counselor. My research interests include studying attachment between parents and children; however, I am interested in all aspects of human relations. This is my first semester working in the Child Stress and Coping lab. Volunteering in this lab has benefited me in multiple ways; specifically my participation has provided me with the knowledge of the procedures in the analysis process for qualitative research.



Anna Nacker

Hello, my name is Anna Nacker, and I am a senior at UW-Milwaukee majoring in Psychology and minoring in Information Science Technologies. My goal is to get my Master’s Degree in Counseling and work with children. I am currently writing my senior thesis on the correlation between the Choking Game in adolescents and alcohol use of young adults. My hope is to see if prior choking game history in adolescence leads to binge drinking in young adults. I got involved with the Child Stress and Coping lab in the Winter of 2015. Working with graduate students, as well as other undergraduate students, I have learned a great deal about the research process. In this lab, we get the opportunity to gain volunteer hours, code qualitative data, and receive assistance in scientific writing. Through my experience with this team, I have enhanced my education and have gained connections in the field of Pediatric Psychology.



Mary Kusch

Hi, I’m Mary Kusch. I’m currently a senior at UW-Milwaukee majoring in Psychology with a certificate in Youth Work. After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school to attain a degree in Counseling Psychology. I would like to focus on young adults and adolescents who struggle with addiction. I am also interested in working within a wilderness therapy program that focuses upon whole-person wellness. I am drawn to learning more about the incorporation of individual, group, and family therapy, as well as, animal therapy. I began volunteering in the Child Stress and Coping Lab in the fall of 2016. Within the lab, I have learned valuable skills such as coding qualitative data and research processes while working with a wonderful team of graduate and undergraduate students.




Briana Sowinski

Hello, my name is Briana Sowinski, and I am a senior majoring in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. My ultimate goal is to receive my Master’s in Counseling and specialize in working with children. I am currently working on my senior thesis studying the effects of personality on the reactions of pain dismissal from physicians. I would like to find any correlation between certain personality traits and their reactions to any perceived pain dismissal from their physicians. I became involved with the Child Stress and Coping Lab in the Winter of 2015. Working in this lab has given me the opportunity to work with graduate students and undergraduate students and gain knowledge of procedures in the analysis process of qualitative data.



Rebecca Berard

Hello, my name is Becca Berard, and this is my senior year at UW-Milwaukee! I am majoring in Psychology, with a certificate in Child & Adolescent Studies. After I obtain my Bachelor’s Degree this May, I plan to go for my Master’s in Licensed Clinical Social Work and concentrate on marriage and family therapy. I have been a part of the Child Stress and Coping Lab since the Spring of 2016, and have learned valuable skills within the work of analyzing qualitative data. Working alongside the graduate students in the lab has provided lots of insight into the graduate school process and potential career opportunities.



Lizbeth Lopez

Hello, my name is Lizbeth Lopez I am a senior and McNair Scholar at UW-Milwaukee majoring in psychology. My ultimate goal however,is to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. I love both working and caring for children. During the summer of 2016 I had the opportunity to work along side Dr. Davies doing research on parent compliance toward the American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleep Guidelines. It was an incredible opportunity which provided me with valuable information on the research process. During the various months I worked on my research and as a research assistant I learned how to write in APA style, code data, analyze statistical analysis, and conduct literature reviews. Through my participation in the lab I was able to strengthen my writing and present my research at various conferences.


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