Research Team

Welcome to the Research Team page!

Principal Investigator

Julia Braungart-Rieker  

Julie Braungart Rieker 147x205
(574) 631-0884

Our projects definitely require a team effort! I have had the pleasure of working with a number of faculty colleagues, project staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students on a number of different research projects.

Below are photos and links to research team members.


E. Mark Cummings

Mark Cummings 147x205                       
(574) 631- 0886

John Borkowski

Borkowski John 1 4                         
(574) 631-0885

Lijuan (Peggy) Wang

Peggy Wang 2                         
(574) 631-7243

Lee Gettler

Lee Gettler 2
(574) 631-4479                   



Elizabeth Moore

Eizabeth Moore 2 
(574) 631-6263

Jen Burke Lefever, Ph.D. 

Jen Burke Lefever 147x205                       
(574) 631-8595



South Bend Professional Staff 

Cheryl Lee, Project Coordinator 

Cheryl Lee 09 or   
(574) 631-0950

Gretchen Nichols, Family Coach 

Gretchen Nichols Conductor Photo   
(574) 631-8401

Melissa Denney, Family Coach 

M Denney Conductor Photo   
(574) 631-8153

Geri Sult, Family Coach

Geri Sult Conductor Photo 
(574) 631-8126

Kathy Heyn, Assessment Coordinator

Kathy Heyn Second Take 
(574) 631-0362



Michael Lafollette, Recruitment Coordinator

M Lafollette


Ft. Wayne Professional Staff

Kathleen Bergman Miller, Ph.D., Project Coordinator 

Katie Bergman Miller Ccf Website                         
(574) 631-0956



Graduate Students

Dianna Tran, Graduate Research Assistant

Dianna Tran Web 09

Dianna graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology. Her research interests focus on the development of children from low-income, minority families. Specifically, she is interested in how parenting techniques influence the socio-emotional and academic development of at-risk children.  Outside of school, Dianna enjoys swimming and biking.
(574) 631-370 

Molly O'Neill, Graduate Research Assistant 

Molly O Neil Web 09

Molly graduated from Texas Christian University in 2015 with a B.S. in Psychology. She is broadly interested in parent-infant interactions, attachment, theory of mind, and socio-emotional functioning. She is currently involved in a project examining how parent and infant emotion, cognition, and physiology influence the developing attachment relationship. By studying the complex emotional, cognitive, and physiological changes as the parent-infant relationship begins, she hopes to provide insight on how we can better aid parents and babies during such a vulnerable, yet crucial time.  In her spare time, Molly enjoys baking and hiking with her dog, Brynn.

(574) 631-4516 


Amanda Nowak, Graduate Research Assistant

Amanda Nowak Web 09

Amanda graduated from Lehigh University in early 2015.  Her research focuses on the development of emotion regulation in young children. More specifically, she is interested in the factors that influence emotion regulation (e.g. parenting) and the factors that emotion regulation influences (e.g. social competence). Amanda plans to use her findings to help design prevention/intervention programs for children who have poor emotion regulation in order to encourage better outcomes for both the children and their families.
(574) 631-1370                                    

Samantha Murray, Graduate Research Assistant

Samatha Murray D

Sam graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. She is interested in parenting and the socio-emotional development of children. Her interests are specially geared toward research of the marital conflicts, parenting interventions, and the parental relationships with the school system.  She enjoys all types of sports and movies and loves spending quality time with her Bernedoodle, Finnegan!
(574) 631-4516                         

Emily Laporte, Graduate Research Assistant

E Laporte

Emily is interested in several lines of research relevant to familial and formal educational settings. Her interests include the impact of parental emotion regulation on child attachment, emotion-regulation, and academic achievement, as well as factors that negatively impact and could improve child emotion-regulation, character development, and academic perseverance and achievement. 
(574) 631-4516


2019 Undergraduate Research Assistants


Lindsay Baca

Lindsay Baca 2

Alessia Bryant

Alessia Bryant B

Sabrina Hollis

Sabrina Hollis 2

Betti Qi 

Bettyqi D

Natalie Stevens

Natalie Stevens Fabs Photo F

Emila Maliborski

Emila Maliborski 2




Grace Kelly 

G Kelly

Cindy Loayza

Cindyloayza D 


Abigail Feda

Abigailfeda D

Maggie Gavigan

Maggiegavigan D


Gillian Sullivan

Gilian Sullivan A

Sarah Hatfield 

S Hatfield 1

Erin Herbert 

E Hatfield










Alexandra O'Grady 

Alexandra O Grady 2

Maria Elosua Cantu  

Maria Elosua Cantu 2

Katherine Machado 

Katherine Machado 1

Meghan Ludke 

Meghan Ludke 2

Mary Ellen McCabe 

M E Mccabe

Christian Cepeda

C Cepeda