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.
Jamye Hunter – Undergraduate Student
Hello, my name is Jamye Hunter. I am an Undergraduate at Northern Illinois University. This is my Junior year. My major is Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services. I also have a minor in Psychology. I am on the research team to gain hands on experience in my field. I hope to gain professional work habits, network with others, and expand my knowledge on topics in my field that are important to making a difference in people’s lives. I am personally interested in researching about commitment and couple relationships because I come from a broken home. I want to be knowledgeable about what it takes to have a healthy and long-lasting relationship. I intend to use my experiences to help others grow and inspire them with my decisions. I would like to continue my studies at Northern Illinois University and obtain my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Kelli Kohlstedt – Graduate Student
I am an undergraduate senior majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services, and a minor in Psychology. I chose this major because I have a passion for helping people. I wanted to dedicate my life to making a difference in families and individual lives. I will begin the NIU Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Fall of 2018.
I have been on the research team since January 2017. On the research team, I am an editor of our blog, I run our Facebook and Instagram pages, and I am working on quantitatively analyzing data. I am on the research team for many reasons. One would be to get research experience during my undergraduate years. Another reason is because I hope to go onto graduate school in the future and I know this experience will help me in my future plans. Most importantly, I am on this research team because I am interested in the topics that we are exploring and I love working with other people and learning together on our projects and accomplishing things as a team. 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 be a part of new projects, present at conferences, and to continue to learn more about emerging adult 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!
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.
Heather Nitzki – Undergraduate Student
Hi, my name is Heather Nitzki. I am an undergraduate senior majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services. I joined the research team in hopes to gain hands on experience in my field as well as to build relationships with individuals who have the same passion and drive that I do when it comes to commitment and couple relationships. I am very excited to expand my knowledge and grow not only as a student, but as a researcher as well. I believe that this opportunity will not only provide me with hands on experience, but will help me develop skills that I will constantly be using in my future career.
My ultimate goal in this field is to receive my Doctorate Degree and become a Marriage and Family Therapist. My current goals are to attend Northern Illinois University for graduate school, and to obtain my Masters. Once I receive my Masters, I would love to begin spreading my knowledge to clients that may need my services. While working, I will continue to expand my own personal growth by working to obtain my Doctorate. To conclude, I am so grateful to be a part of this research team, and to be surrounded by such enthusiastic and passionate individuals. While I am a part of the team, I hope that I can help the team grow as well as provide knowledge that will help individuals succeed in their own relationships.
Lauren Slivinski – Undergraduate Student
Hi! My Name is Lauren Slivinski. I am a Senior Undergraduate student with a major in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services. I am also completing a minor in Psychology. I am pursuing a degree that allows me to work with families because I find it intriguing how family dynamics play a key role in individual development. In my career I hope to help families overcome struggles within their relationships. I believe that maintaining healthy relationships allows for greater individual prosperity in addition to stronger commitment within the family system.
My intentions with the research team are to gain experience for graduate school, in which I want to pursue a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I believe that this experience will allow me to improve my personal research skills as well as introduce me to other people in my field that have the same passion of working with families. I am interested in researching topics such as commitment and couple relationships because it will enable me to build stable relationships in my life and eventually help others with their own. I am optimistic about being a part of the team and the doors it will open for my future.