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!


Kelsey Goodwin – Undergraduate Student

My name is Kelsey Goodwin and I am an undergraduate junior in the Human Development and Family Sciences major with an emphasis in Family Social Services, and a minor in Psychology. I joined the research team to contribute to hands-on work with research and data analysis so that I can develop skills that will be beneficial to my future career. What I am particularly interested in researching about commitment and couple relationships is correlations between family upbringing and resilient relationships. My ultimate goal is to pursue my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and positively impact the lives of individuals and families that I will work with in the future.



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. 


Kelli Kohlstedt – Graduate Student

I am a first-year graduate student in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program here at NIU. I have my bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services from NIU. I have been on the research team since January 2017. On the research team, I am an editor of our blog, I run our Instagram page, I am on the writing team, and I am working on analyzing data. I am on the research team for many reasons. I love being able to with other people and learn together about our projects and accomplishing things as a team. I am also a part of this research team because not only has it helped me grow as a researcher, but it has helped me grow as a person and a professional. Most importantly, I am on this research team because I am interested in the topics that we are exploring. Researching commitment and couple relationships interests me because it is something that almost everyone can relate to in some way. I think the relationships that we build have an impact on who we become as individuals. For my future on the research team, I hope to continue to be a part of new projects, attend and present at conferences, and to learn more about emerging adult relationships.


Keilene McCants – Undergraduate Student

I am an undergraduate sophomore majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services and a minor in Deafness. I am on this research 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. My future goal is to one day become a marriage and family therapist and 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!