Graduate & Undergraduate Research Interns


Sarah A. Burcher- Sarah is currently completing a doctoral program in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. She received a master’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management from Lipscomb University, a master’s degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. She began her career working in the nonprofit sector, including being manager at a homeless shelter, director at a lodging facility for cancer patients, volunteer recruiter, and fundraiser. Sarah’s research focuses on the intersection of family, work, and finance, with a strong emphasis on the family system and the working-poor.

davis-laurel2012Laurel DavisLaurel is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Laurel completed her PhD in Family Social Science, with a minor in Prevention Science, in 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and her master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Laurel is interested in parent-child relationships and their effects on children’s emotional development. She has worked on several federally-funded, family-based programs that aim to prevent social, emotional, and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents.


Abby Duerst- Abby is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is interested in social determinants of health, developmental psychology, reproductive health, and research that informs policy and interventions related to the health of underserved populations. She is excited for the opportunity to learn from a team who is doing such important work!


Lisette Hoenk– Lisette is a senior at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities majoring in Child Psychology. She became interested in exploring how families are impacted by having a loved one in the criminal justice system, after learning more about Shlafer lab and its research and projects in one of her Child Psychology classes. She is interested in learning more about the criminal justice system, and how policies effect inmates, along with their children and families, and what can be done to help with these family outcomes. She is excited to learn from and work with Dr. Shlafer and the team!


Virginia Pendleton- Virginia is a second year graduate student in the School of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health Program.  She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2012 with degrees in psychology and gender & women’s studies.  She believes that reproductive freedom and justice is at the core of everyone being able to lead a healthy life, and is so thrilled to be doing this work with Dr. Shlafer’s lab.


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Kate Rosenow– Kate is a Senior at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, majoring in
Psychology with a minor in Public Health. After a previous internship, she became interested in
the criminal justice system. She is interested in learning more about the criminal justice system
and how it affects families, children, those on probation, and more. She is very honored and
excited to begin working with Dr. Shlafer and her team!



JenniferBSaundersJennifer B. Saunders- Jennifer is a doctoral student in the Health Services Research, Policy and Administration program in the School of Public Health. Her research interests include maternal and child health policy, and occupational health services research and policy. Jennifer received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Elizabeth Shaver – Elizabeth is a Junior in the Honors Program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, majoring in Child Psychology with a minor in Applied Psychology in Education and Community Settings. She is interested in understanding the relationship between parental incarceration, the school setting, and educational outcomes for youth with incarcerated parents. Elizabeth is delighted to begin learning and collaborating with Dr. Shlafer and her team.



    Natisha Alicea                                      Fatima Fareed                                     Megan Massie

Ashley Ansolabehere                               Danielle Fink                                       Shazia Mulla

       Julia Bauer                                           Maggie Hall                                       Kasey Orvidas

     Natalie Berreth                                  Tiffany Hamidjaja                               Laura Reimann

      Rachel Bona                                       Claire Hepworth                               Leah Schillmoeller

     Chloe Britzius                                       Lauren Hindt                                    Allyssa Scrignoli

       Erin Casey                                         Kathryn Hiolski                                     Molly Senser

    Ann Bee Chew                                       Lauren Holly                                            Allie Siu

 Courtney Chupurdy                               Alyssa Jedlicka                             Jasmine Smith-Sharp

      Maria Decker                                    Maari Josephson                                     Macy Tran

   Megan Duininck                                 Angela Leverone                                 Amanda Wanous

                                                                   Cecilia Moulton                                    JaLeesa Wright


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