Current Students in Educational Psychology

Doctoral Students

ReShanta Beatty-Hazelbaker received her BS in Family and Consumer Sciences and MS in Family Studies from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include the role of family in HIV/AIDS education programs targeting youth and the influence of family life education programs on youth’s academic outcomes. She currently works as a Community Development Specialist at a local non-profit. Upon completion of her degree, she intends to be a professor and focus on research that will affect change in educational programming targeting youths and underserved communities. Email:

jennifer burrisJennifer Burris graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in History and attained her MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from Maryville University. Prior to moving to Kentucky, Jennifer worked for several years as a social sciences teacher in both private and public educational settings for students 6th-12th grade in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Her other professional experiences include telephonic crisis intervention and suicide prevention counseling, and providing counseling support to youth attending a therapeutic high school. Jennifer’s current research interests include racial socialization, the influences of racism on identity development, and the development of academic self-efficacy on the academic achievement and outcomes of African-American youth.  She also has interests in applying factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and IRT analysis techniques to improve the use of educational and psychological measures with multicultural populations.  Outside of her academic pursuits, Jennifer thoroughly enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Email:

Candice Davis graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a BA in Psychology in 2009, and obtained her Masters in General Experimental Psychology from the same university in 2012. Candice’s current research interests are focused on the influence of ethnic identity, stereotypes, and exposure to positive role models on academic outcomes of African American youth. She is also interested in creativity and its influence on academic achievement and psychological well-being. Candice is currently a Teaching Assistant for EDP 202. Candice enjoys salsa dancing, baking, cooking, and playing the guitar. Email:


Calah FordCalah Ford graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Louisville and an M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky. She was a marketing manager for two and half years and a teacher for four. Through her teaching experiences, including low-income schools in both rural and inner-city schools, Calah developed a passion for classroom management and creating safe, effective learning environments. Specifically, she is interested in studying how educational experiences can positively impact the long-term success of under-served students from low socio-economic and disadvantaged households.  Email:


EP_KarenGuettlerKaren M. Guettler graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in International Studies. She also completed the Teaching Credential program in Special Education, earned a B.A. in Spanish and a M.S. in Instructional Systems Design at the University of Kentucky. Karen works for the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky in the field of alternate assessment. She is currently working on the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) grant developing online professional development and training, and collaborates on the development of the assessment system that will electronically deliver the NCSC Alternate Assessment. Karen’s research interests include the origin of perseverance and the role it plays in academic success in high school and post secondary environments, particularly for African American males. Karen previously worked as a director of several scoring centers, as assistant director in a preschool and as Branch Administrator in a brokerage firm. Karen lives in Lexington with her husband and four children. Email:

EP_ShanshanHuShanshan Hu is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Psychology in the area of statistics, measurement and assessment.  She has received her B.S. in education and her M.S. in educational psychology from China.  She also obtained the Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics (GCAS) from the Department of Statistics. She is a SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS9. Her research interests include advanced statistical (quantitative) methods, advanced data analysis of large-scale (state, national, and international) surveys, psychometric measurement, psychology of mathematics education, and program evaluation.  She worked as a research assistant for Dr. Xin Ma and was a teaching assistant for PSY100 at psychology department.  Her academic works have been published in international, national and local academic conferences such as APA and AERA. After graduation, she plans to teach advanced statistics or perform data analysis in industry.   Email:


EP_RebeccaJonesRebecca Stacy Jones is living the dream pursuing her doctorate in Education Psychology. She comes to the University of Kentucky to delve into her research using a Self-Determination Theory lens. She is interested in perceptions of relatedness (sense of belonging), autonomy, and competence and how they interact to affect student motivation and well-being. Rebecca is equipped with her M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College in New York, NY and her B.A. in Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles, CA. Rebecca is also a mother, dog-owner, yoga practitioner, professor, social activist, mobile application designer, and general optimist! Email: Web:


photo of John Lingat

John Eric Lingat graduated from American University in Washington, DC with a B.A. in Community Development & International Relations and M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction, focusing on Education Policy. John Eric previously served as an Assistant Principal at a dual-language school where he taught early childhood/elementary students and held leadership roles, including Union Building Representative, Lead Teacher, Dean of Students, and Summer School Principal. John Eric has taught education courses in psychology, policy, and instruction. In addition, his expertise include language acquisition, school leadership, and individualized learning (RTI, Special Education). John Eric’s research interests include collective and self-efficacy, self-regulated learning, and motivation. He looks forward to serving students with disabilities and specialized populations, including students from minority, immigrant, and military families. Email:

Ep_AbigailLoveAbigail Love received her B.S. in Deaf Education and Elementary Education from Eastern Kentucky University and her M.S. in Educational Psychology from the University of Kentucky. She has worked in Australia as a Special Education teacher, focusing on supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder and challenging behaviors. While attending graduate school, she co-founded an alternative learning environment for homeschool students in Madison County, and currently works as an advocate and support worker for local families touched by autism. At UK, she is a member of the Applied Psychometric Strategies (APS) Lab, the Autism Research Lab, and the P20 Motivation and Learning Lab. She stays active in the classroom by teaching preservice teachers at UK, and is currently investigating teacher motivation and beliefs, as well as community disability awareness.  Email:

Ep_NatashaMurrayNatasha Murray received her B.A. in psychology and M.S. in Higher Education from the University of Kentucky. She has a wealth of experience as an educator, research assistant, and community advocate for disadvantaged youth. Her research includes the cultural, social, and environmental factors that influence the academic achievements of African American students. Ms. Murray is very active in the community and a member of several professional and community organizations. She has served as Vice President on the National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC). During her tenure in this role she has collaborated on statewide initiatives to enhance the reading performance of African American males. Natasha is currently an Education Consultant where the majority of her time is dedicated to working with educational agencies to improve policy and procedures that directly impact the educational experience for diverse students in Kentucky. Some of her research focused on Equity in Schools was presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in April 2014. Email:

EP_LauraPageLaura Bratcher Page holds a BA in psychology from the University of Memphis, an MBA with a finance concentration from Auburn University, an MEd in secondary education, social sciences, from Alabama A&M University, credentials in library sciences from the University of West Alabama.  She has served as adjunct faculty at Auburn and at John C. Calhoun Community College in Huntsville, AL, and has taught in the K-12 system for the past 15 years.  Her teaching experiences are equally varied:  business finance, marketing, psychology, U.S. and world history, government, economics, comparative religions, English (including AP Literature & Composition), middle-school mathematics….Laura’s research interests are in motivation, specifically in motivating students who refuse to learn or profess not to care, and she plans to become a professor upon completion of her doctoral studies.  Laura is a a member of the P20 Motivation and Learning Lab.  Email:

Ed_MikahPritchardMikah Pritchard graduated from Oakland City University in 2009 with a B.S. in Psychology and obtained her M.S. Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University in 2012. Before moving to Kentucky, Mikah held positions as an Instructional Technologist for DePauw University, and Educational Specialist for Project ASPIREE a Vincennes University TRiO Program, and as a Caseworker for Ireland Homebased Services. Mikah currently works as an Instructional Designer at Eastern Kentucky University. Her research interests revolve around student motivation and self-efficacy’s impact on achievement in distance education courses. Email:


EP_FalynnThompsonFalynn Thompson received her B.A. in Psychology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and her M.S. in Educational Psychology at the University of Kentucky. Her thesis research investigated the association between internalized stereotypes and academic self-handicapping strategies among African American male adolescents. Her dissertation research interest focuses on exploring whether whiteness mediates the relationship between teachers’ perceptions of Black cultural values and teacher expectations. After graduation, Falynn plans to teach and conduct research, as well as communicate with teachers and parents about ways to improve teaching and learning. Email:

EP_JingYuanJing Yuan received a Bachelor of Science in Bioscience of National Bases for Cultivation of Scientific Talents from Hunan Normal University, and a Master of Curriculum and Instruction in Science Education from Guangxi Normal University. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked as a research assistant at the science group for a large-scale Students’ Academic Achievement Evaluation project (SAAE), sponsored by the Ministry of Education, P. R. China. Jing has worked in the national large-scale evaluation in China since 2007. She enjoys yoga, taiji sword, and college & international ministry. Her research interests include exploring ways to apply educational psychology to support inquiry learning in science and mathematics, advanced data analysis of large-scale surveys and advanced quantitative methods. Email:


Master’s Students

Brianna Weidner

Brianna Weidner is a current Masters student in the educational psychology program at the University of Kentucky. She graduated Suma Cum Laude from the University of Kentucky in the spring of 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology with Spanish and Photography minors. Her research interests include the development of self-efficacy in understudied contexts and her thesis work examines math self-efficacy and its sources in urban and rural populations. She has presented her work at national and local conferences and was a part of P20 Motivation and Learning lab for four years. In the future, she hopes to use the knowledge gained from her studies to better understand the educational needs of children in the state care system. Email:


photo of john Witry

John Witry graduated from Xavier University in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology.  He previously worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.  He is currently pursuing his Masters degree in Educational Psychology and is a research assistant in the Human Development Institute.  He is also a member of the P20 Motivation and Learning Lab.  John has broad research interests in student motivation and academic achievement. Email:



photo of Cara WorickCara Worick received her B.A. in Media Arts and Studies from the University of Kentucky and M.S. in Instructional Design from Western Kentucky University. Cara is an Educational Developer at the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) at UK. In this position, she supports faculty on a variety of issues related to teaching and student learning. She also works with faculty and academic departments on initiatives that involve teaching first-year students, supporting the development of hybrid and online courses or programs, community engagement/service learning, and pedagogical approaches promoting well-being through holistic teaching. Her research interests include investigating if college students’ sense of purpose can be cultivated through psychological interventions and examining how college students sense of purpose in life correlates to their self-regulatory skills, self-efficacy, motivation and performance. Email: