​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Student Research​

At any point in their college career, students in University of Findlay's Psychology Program can work side-by-side with faculty on their ongoing research, attend conferences where the research is presented, and even have research they've worked on published. There are many ways for students to get involved in research with faculty members at the University of Findlay. You can be a research assistant, complete an independent study, design an honors projects, or take a class in research methods. Reach out to your professors and see what opportunities are available!


Each faculty member conducts research in a ​specific area of psychology. To view the different areas of research and learn more about the faculty member's area of focus, please click through the list below:​



​​Experimental Psychology

Child Development

Dr. Kiefner-Burmeister

My research interests fall under the umbrella of developmental health psychology. I am interested in a wide variety of health behaviors from parental feeding practices to developing and maintaining a healthy body image. I study these health behaviors in participants aged 3-17. My specialty is young childhood through adolescence, but I frequently study emerging adulthood for cross-sectional comparison. Within these health practices, I also investigate the role of the media and social influence.

My lab is currently studying the influence of social media on the body image of young children, deceptively unhealthy food marketing practices, and teen dieting trends. We work with daycares, schools, and youth groups all across NW Ohio to try to improve the health and well-being of our children.

Current Research Assistants:
Julia Snell – psychology major, junior
Emma Studer – psychology major, Junior
Ashley Oakley – psychology major, senior
Emma Monnin – nursing major, junior
Madison Schloemer – psychology major, junior
Emilee Bradley – psychology major, sophomore
Jack Burg – strength and conditioning major, psychology minor, senior

Cognitive Sensation & Perception

Dr. Larson

In the Visual Cognition lab, students work with Dr. Larson to examine how people comprehend our visual world by studying the viewer, the visual stimulus, and how they both interact. Studies in this area will allow researchers to develop theories of how we comprehend our visual world.

Decision Making

Dr. Leach
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Clinical Psychology

Health and Stigma

Dr. Burmeister

Why is it that people who need the most help, often receive the least? Why do illnesses and injuries have such a profound impact on our emotional health? Why are disgust, shame, anxiety, and so many other unpleasant emotions activated in the context of illness? The work done by my students and I in the Health and Stigma Lab at the University of Findlay is trying to answer these and other questions in order to build an understanding of the psychological factors related to the causes and consequences of physical health, illness, and injury. We approach these questions from an empirical mindset and draw on behavioral and biological theories of human psychology.

Of current interest is the strong social stigma that surrounds certain acute and chronic illnesses such as physical injury and obesity. Recent populations of interest include healthcare professionals, college students, and individuals in supervisory roles. We publish our work in peer-reviewed journals, present at national and international conferences, share our work for the benefit of the campus and the community at local presentations, and strive to serve our university and community in volunteer activities.

In the Health and Stigma Lab, we focus on professional development, mentoring, and doing work that will build students’ analytical and interpersonal skills. Students work as research apprentices and junior colleagues as they prepare for careers in business, clinical psychology, counseling, law, medicine, management, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and research.



Current Research Assistants

Lauren Hollingsworth
Lauren is a senior biology major and chemistry minor. She is working toward a career as a physician assistant where she looks forward to using the research skills she’s obtained to offer evidence based care. She has worked on projects investigating health-related stigma in the medical field.

Kylie Martin
Kylie is a senior psychology major with a focus on clinical and counseling psychology. She is researching health and mental health stigma as well as parenting practices and gender differences.

Gabriella Seibert
Gabriella is a psychology major working toward a career in clinical or counseling psychology. She is researching the sometimes-subtle factors that affect stigma such as information about how and why a person became ill or injured.

Tatum Teeple
Tatum is a senior psychology major. She recently completed an experimental study of the effects of images of injuries on viewer sympathy. She is interested in clinical psychology and research focused on the intersections between physical health and autism spectrum disorders, personality disorders, anxiety, and depression.

Jessica Yonkers
Jessica is a senior psychology major preparing to apply to graduate programs in occupational therapy. Her work in the lab has focused on how coping with health problems affects occupational and employment outcomes. She is currently working on a study of sick day use and coping.



Recent Lab Alumni

Natalia Prokop
Natalia was a member of the Health and Stigma Lab from 2017 to 2019 when she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Findlay. She presented research on the unhealthy correlates of binge-watching behavior at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2018.

Alexandra Sanders
Alex joined the lab in the summer of 2017 and will be beginning her graduate studies in psychology at John Carroll University in fall 2019. Alex presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine New Orleans, Louisiana in 2018. She looks forward to a career in veterans counseling.



Students’ Recent Presentations and Publications

Sanders, Prokop, Yonkers, Hollingsworth, Seibert, and Burmeister J. M. (2019). Emergency Medical Workers' Stigmatizing Attitudes Toward Bariatric Patients. Presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Prokop, N., Carroccio, J., Sanders, A., Rivetti, D., Parker, C., Lawler, T., & Burmeister, J. M. (2018). Physical health and binge watching. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 52. Presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Longstreth, M. E., & Burmeister, J. M. (2018). Stigma and avoidant coping in college students with chronic illness. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 52. Presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Sanders, A., Rivetti, D., Prokop, N., Carroccio, J., Parker, C., Lawler, T., & Burmeister, J. M. (2018). Binge Watching: A sedentary behavior associated with increased anxiety and depression. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 52. Presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Parker, C., Hunt, C., Fadoir, N., Reeb, R., & Burmeister, J. M. (2018). Mindfulness for more: Feasibility of mindfulness with homeless populations. Presented at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco, CA.

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Child Clinical

Dr. Mata