Meet The Team

One of the best aspects of being a professor at Northern Illinois University is the association I have with the members of my research team! My research team is comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students in the Human Development and Family Sciences Programs at Northern Illinois University. Each of the students on my research team were carefully selected based on their performance in the classroom, as well as their personal passion for helping individuals, couples, and families. I invite you to get know these wonderful researchers by reading their biographies below!

Sarah Hayes – Undergraduate Student

Hello, my name is Sarah Hayes. I am an undergraduate student at Northern Illinois University. I am studying Family Social Services with an emphasis in Counseling. I chose this field of study because I have always had a strong desire to help others through many of life’s trials. I believe being part of Dr. Sibley’s research team will provide me with tools to use in my future endeavors. I joined the research team so I can get more in-depth knowledge into families and relationships, as well as network with others who are working towards the same goals as I am. I know that one day I will be able to take what I have learned through our research and studying and use it to benefit others in their relationships, family life and overall well-being.



Keilene McCants – Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate junior majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services and a minor in Deafness. I have been on this research team since January 2018. I joined the team because family dynamics and relationships are something that I am passionate about and can talk about for hours. Being surrounded by other individuals who are also passionate about relationships. Personally, I am interested in further researching on the way dating has changed today and the new stages that have emerged in recent decades. On the research team I run our Twitter page and am one of the editors on the blog. My future goal is to one day become a marriage and family therapist in order to help others better succeed in their relationships.



Taylor Lupo – Graduate Student

I am a first year Graduate student in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program here at NIU and through my graduate assistantship, I am Dr. Sibley’s research assistant. I have my undergraduate degree in Family and Child Studies with an emphasis in Family Social Services from NIU. I currently work with perpetrators of domestic and sexual abuse, as well as the victims of domestic and sexual abuse.  I have been on the research team since the beginning of the spring 2017 semester. I want to learn more about the research process including coding, focus groups and analyzing data. I have gained so much insight during my time on the research team thus far and I hope to continue to learn more. I also really enjoy working closely with peers who have the same interest in research as myself.

I am currently helping with the blog, helping write on the results section of Proceed with Caution and working on IRBs. My future goals regarding my professional career in marriage and family therapy would to be work closely with individuals, couples and families with a systematic approach to enhance relationship quality. I have a passion to work with perpetrators of intimate partner violence so I hope to also work in offender services as an MFT. A fun fact about myself is that I love to golf!


Mark Oliveras – Undergraduate Student

Hello, my name is Mark Oliveras. I am a current senior at Northern Illinois University. I am currently a double major in Psychology and Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in Family and Individual Development, and I am also receiving a certificate in Adolescent Studies. My future goal is to become a clinical child psychologist and to help children and their families deal with mental illness/disorders and possibly any other problems that they may have. I am very much interested in doing research and being on this team will expand my research knowledge. I also currently doing research within another lab within the psychology department at NIU.



Amanda Treptow – Undergraduate Student

My name is Amanda Treptow and I am a senior undergraduate student at Northern Illinois University. I am studying Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services. I am fluent in American Sign Language and began learning the language in elementary school. I plan on attending graduate school to pursue my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy to work with foster children and their families. I am on the Blog Committee for Dr. Sibley’s Research Team as well.