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.


Ella Buboltz- Ella is a Sophomore at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, majoring in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Public Health. After taking many Developmental Psychology courses last year, she became interested in adverse childhood experiences. She is interested in how these adverse childhood experiences affect the behavioral and emotional development of children. Ella is very excited to work in Dr. Shlafer’s lab with her amazing team!



Liz Corey- Liz is a second year graduate student in the Maternal and Child Health program at the School of Public Health. She graduated from Montana State University in 2015 with a dual degree in anthropology and sociology. She is interested in social determinants of health and the impact that maternal health has on the family system. She is very excited to join Dr. Shlafer’s team and learn more about how family health is assessed at the statewide level and how evaluation can impact programs and policies.




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!


Cianna Holthaus- Cianna is a Sophomore at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, majoring in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Family Violence Prevention. Her interests include Risk and Resilience, ACEs, and Prevention Strategies. After taking a class her Freshman year, Cianna grew fascinated with the work of the Shlafer Lab. She is thrilled and honored to be able to work with such a passionate 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.

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 Senior 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                                   Kate Rosenow

  Chloe Britzius                                            Lauren Hindt                                  Leah Schillmoeller

     Erin Casey                                             Kathryn Hiolski                                  Allyssa Scrignoli

 Ann Bee Chew                                            Lauren Holly                                         Molly Senser

Courtney Chupurdy                                  Alyssa Jedlicka                                           Allie Siu

Maria Decker                                          Maari Josephson                           Jasmine Smith-Sharp

  Abby Duerst                                          Angela Leverone                                         Macy Tran

Megan Duinick                                        Cecilia Moulton                                   Amanda Wanous

                                                                                                                                     Ja Leesa Wright


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