Current Doctoral Students

2019-20

Jeffery Allen

Human Development and Family Science

Jeffery’s Vita

Jeffery Allen
  • Parent-child relationship
  • Helicopter parenting
  • Transnational research
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy

Jeffery grew up in the foothills outside of Sacramento California.  He is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Science. His research interests currently include Parent-child relationships with an emphasis on helicopter parenting.  Jeffery graduated from Utah State University with his MMFT in Marriage and Family Therapy and his B.S. in Psychology. After graduating with his master’s degree Jeffery worked and practiced Marriage and Family therapy in Utah for over 3 years. Jeffery hopes to use his experience in the therapy office to help inform his research ideas and insights.  In the future, Jeffery hopes to conduct research, teach and have a small private practice working with families.  Jeffery hopes to inspire those he works with through teaching, research and an informed therapeutic approach. Jeffery’s brightest desires are to be a loving and effective father, husband and friend each and every day.

Jeffery loves all aspects of the outdoors. He loves to fish, hunt, hike, and camp. Jeffery’s favorite sporting events are those he creates and plays with his family. Jeffery has 3 kids and hopes for more. He has been dating his wife for over 14 years.

Cortnie Baity

Human Development and Family Science

Cortnie’s Vita

Cortnie Baity
  • Family Finances
  • Personal Finance
  • Socialization Processes
  • African American Families
  • Minority mental and physical health disparities

Cortnie is Tallahassee, FL native. She is a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Science. Her research interests currently include applied and community-based research focusing on risk and resilience, self-concept, and romantic relationships, with a focus on minority and military populations. Cortnie graduated from the University of Kentucky with her M.S. in Family Science, emphasis Couple and Family Therapy and her B.S. in Psychology from Florida State University. Cortnie is pursuing credentials to become a licensed Marriage and Family therapist in the interest of incorporating her therapeutic skill set into her pursuits as an applied researcher. Cortnie is pursuing a three-dimensional career to include research, psychotherapy, and teaching. It is her goal to conduct grant writing, evaluate current family programs, collaborate on the development of new family programs, provide evidence-based therapeutic interventions, while at the same time demonstrating instructional excellence in the classroom, all in hopes to serve as a role model for minority women and to contribute to the improved human experience of those in her community.

While working on her Master’s degree, Cortnie had the opportunity to serve as a University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Intern for the Military Family Programs. It was during this time that she spent time serving and learning from military families at various military family camps. Additionally, in preparation for her internship, she spent 5 days on a military training base for Kentucky’s Operation Immersion program, simulating the life of a soldier, as an effort to better understand military life and culture.

Dissertation Project

My dissertation studies financial socialization in Black American families and its implications for financial well-being for young Black adults.  The overall goal of my research program is to minimize inequalities in mental and physical health experienced by Blacks.  My primary hypothesis is that young Black adults experience asset and resource inequalities, in part because they receive minimal or possibly counter-productive training about finances.  My dissertation will: 1) document diverse types of family financial socialization experienced by Black young adults, 2) explore the consequences of types of family financial socialization for financial literacy and well-being, and 3) consider gender variation in experienced family financial socialization and its putative effects on financial literacy and well-being.  I hope the results of this and follow-up research will produce clinical strategies for Marriage and Family Therapists to help Black clients enhance financial management, thereby reducing asset and resource inequalities experienced by Blacks and producing greater health equity.

Collaborative Works

Baity, C., Grzywacz, J.G. (2019, November). What’s the Connection: Financial Attitudes and Financial Well-being of Black Americans. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, Portland, OR.

Baity, C., Grzywacz, J.G. (2018, November). The Chosen-One Status in African American Families: Implications for Physical & Mental Health, and Family Relationship Quality. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, San Diego, CA.

London-Johnson, A., Wells, B., Baity, C., Grzywacz, J.G. (2017, November). Uncovering the Impact of Chronic Illness on Couples’ Relationship Quality. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Orlando, FL.

Working with Dr. Joe

“Dr. G honors your academic & professional interests and goals. If you give him a vision for your program of research & career aspirations, he will support you in every way possible to set you up for your definition of success.

However, he is a highly skilled researcher & seasoned academic, so he has his own biases. At times, this can be a challenge for young adults & novel scholars, who are still developing their own personal, academic, & professional identity.”

Kelly Berthiaume

Human Development and Family Science

Kelly’s Vita

Kelly Berthiaume
  • Social-Cognitive Theory of Motivation
  • Parental Socialization Practices
  • Development of Implicit Theories of Intelligence
  • Grit and Motivational Frameworks

Kelly is a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Science. Kelly graduated from Georgia Southern University with her B.S. In Child and Family Development, and Florida State University with her M.S. In Child and Family Sciences. Kelly is pursuing a career as a faculty member at a research university. Her research program involves investigating parent’s influence on children’s achievement and performance. Specifically, she wants to investigate how and which parental socialization practices and behaviors influence children’s implicit theories of intelligence, grit, and motivational frameworks.

Kelly enjoys arts/crafts, baking, reading research literature, traveling, and spending time with her family and dog.

Dissertation Project

My dissertation is entitled, “Children’s Development of Implicit Theories of Intelligence: The Influence of Parents’ Socialization and Contextual Factors.”  This work is comprised of two quantitative studies with the objective to improve understanding of parents’ socialization processes and contextual factors that influence how children develop beliefs about intelligence and failure.

Working with Dr. Joe

Joe is very passionate in supporting students in the Family and Child Sciences department to become the best scholars in the field. His expertise in the field has greatly contributed to my development as a researcher and writer as well as my professional development. When collaborating on manuscripts with Joe, he encourages me to think critically and write with concise purpose—a skill that is not generally taught in graduate school. While Joe’s feedback may come across as over-critical to some students, I have found his method of directly addressing areas that can be improved or reconsidered crucial to the learning process and execution of effective writing. Joe consistently contributes a high level of enthusiasm and energy to the collaboration process that promotes my own passion about research. He is exceptionally committed to helping students in building a strong foundation of the necessary skills to be launched into their careers as responsible, highly qualified professionals.

Trent Call

Marriage and Family Therapy

Trent’s Vita

Trent Call
  • Family therapy
  • Youth and families
  • Couples therapy
  • Creative interventions
  • Child centered play therapies

Trent is a doctoral student in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is a grateful and proud husband and father. Trent is originally from Utah where he graduated from Utah Valley University with his Bachelors of Science in Behavioral Science. Prior to attending Florida State Trent completed his Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy at Oklahoma State University. Prior to completing his masters degree Trent worked at an adolescent treatment center. Trent’s research interests include families and couples research, and parent child dynamics, specifically for vulnerable populations.

Trent is an avid Chuck Norris fan and has had the honor and privilege of having dinner with Chuck and his family. Trent enjoys spending time with his daughter and wife loves to do anything his daughter wants to play. When not spending time with family Trent enjoys playing sports and being outdoors.

Ashley Cooper

Marriage and Family Therapy

Ashley’s Vita

cooper
  • Couples
  • Daily Interactions
  • Parent-Child Relationships
  • Daily Stress and Coping

Ashley is a doctoral student in Marriage and Family Therapy, a specialization within Human Development and Family Science. Her research investigates the daily experiences of couples, both heterosexual and same-sex. She is interested in examining daily interactions and mechanisms for coping with stress that is tied to long-term individual and couple outcomes. Some mechanisms in coping with daily stress that Ashley has begun to examine include dyadic coping between partners, religious coping, and self-regulation. She also aims to study the daily spillover of stress from the couple relationship to the parent-child relationship. Through such research, she aims to improve couple and clinician awareness of the daily experiences that chip away at long-term physical and mental health, offering points of intervention to buffer the negative effects of daily stress, including stress from chronic illness. Ashley is pursuing a career as a faculty member at a research university in a Marriage and Family Therapy program. She plans to conduct research that enhances the knowledge of clinicians working with families and couples and improves awareness of the daily interactions that contribute to relationship well-being. Further, she aims to contribute to the training of future MFTs and the enhancement of the field.

Ashley is trained in public speaking and has served as a keynote at events as large as 20,000 people. She also specializes in advocacy for survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse. She enjoys beach trips and Alabama games with her husband, as well as lazy Saturdays cuddling with her dogs (a bossy little dachshund and a giant lovable coonhound).

Tatjana Farley

Marriage and Family Therapy

Tatjana’s Vita

Tatjana Farley
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Parent-child Relationships
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Re-integration into the home after long-term residential treatment

Tatjana is a first year Ph.D. student in the Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral program. Tatjana received her B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech, and received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy along with certificates in Systemic Multicultural Counseling and Addiction Counseling from Appalachian State University. Tatjana’s research interests primarily focus on the process of re-integration of children and adolescents into the home after long-term residential treatment programs. Additionally, Tatjana is focused on the influence of childhood trauma and parent-child relationships in this re-integration process. In exploring these family systems, Tatjana hopes to increase awareness and improve the systems and resources families have access to when children are re-entering the home in order to decrease recidivism. Tatjana is also a registered intern at the Center for Couple and Family Therapy on Florida State’s campus. Her long term goals are to work in an academic setting, mentor future professionals, and continue to research her desired populations in order to help clinicians apply this knowledge in the therapy room.

Tatjana grew up in New Jersey, and enjoys spending her free time outside. Her hobbies including reading, hiking, Netflix, and spending time with her dog.

Jasmine Ferrill

Marriage and Family Therapy

Jasmine’s Vita

Jasmine Ferrill

Jasmine Ferrill is currently a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Florida State University. Her clinical training began while pursuing her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northwestern University. At The Family Institute, she saw individuals, couples, and families in both the clinic and the community facing a variety of presenting problems. Jasmine also had the opportunity to facilitate a group for young girls at a local homeless shelter. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Jasmine began practicing as a Multisystemic Therapist serving families involved with the Department of Juvenile Services in the Washington DC Metro Area. Committed to becoming as equipped as possible to serve the community, Jasmine made the decision to continue her education at Florida State University. Here she continues to see clients at The Center for Couple and Family Therapy. In addition to cultivating her clinical skills, Jasmine is interested in conducting research on how perceived discrimination relates to health outcomes in minority populations with a focus on understanding how spirituality and ethnic identity impact this relationship. Jasmine aims to not only contribute to the literature addressing these topics but to also incorporate knowledge obtained from the research into her own practice.

Michael Fitzgerald

Marriage and Family Therapy

Michael’s Vita

michael fitzgerald
  • Physical and mental health outcomes of childhood maltreatment/traumatic stress, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault
  • Parental victimization’s influence on children, parenting as protective factor of trauma and parenting of traumatized children
  • Emotion regulation and Self-Control
  • Attachment Theory and Developmental Psychopathology
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy

Mike is a 3rd-year doctoral student in Marriage and Family Therapy. His research is focused on risk factors and physical and mental health outcomes of traumatic stress. Additionally, he researches moderators, or protective factors, in traumatic stress recoveries such as parenting, emotional regulation, and self-control. Mike frequently collaborates with undergraduates, fellow graduate students and FCS and Social Work faculty. After earning his Ph.D., Mike will be applying for a post-doctoral fellowship at the Trauma Center in Boston to work as a clinician and researcher.

Mike has been to a wedding in Germany and enjoys taking his 5-year-old Labrador mix to the dog park.

Dissertation Project

I’m using the MIDUS study (National Survey of Midlife Development in the U.S.) to investigate how childhood abuse and neglect are associated with adult’s mental and emotional functioning. The project is comprised of two studies. The first is aimed at understanding how maternally and paternally perpetrated abuse is associated with adult’s evaluations of daily, interpersonal stressors, and how those perceptions of stress are linked to daily affective symptomology (e.g. anger). In the second study, I aim to identify pathways from childhood maltreatment (abuse and neglect) to depressive and anxious symptomology. Due to the interpersonal nature of maltreatment, I’m testing in how adult’s interpersonal romantic relationships may be a mechanism by which maltreatment is associated with depressive and anxious symptomology.

Collaborative Works

Fitzgerald, M., Ledermann, T., Grzywacz, J.G., Hamstra, C. Childhood Abuse and Positive and Negative Relationship Quality: The Role of Depression. Manuscript under review at Family Relations. IF: 1.727     

Fitzgerald, M., Youngberg, S., Ledermann, T., Grzywacz, J.G. Marital Quality Links Childhood Abuse to Mental Health Problems. Manuscript under review at Journal of Marriage and Family. IF: 2.238

Fitzgerald, M., Ledermann, T., Grzywacz, J.G., Hamstra, C. (2019). Abuse, Depression and Relationship Quality in At-Risk Women. Poster presented at 79th Annual American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Austin, Texas.

Fitzgerald, M., Youngberg, S., Ledermann, T., Grzywacz, J.G. (2018, November). Redefining Marital Quality: Revisiting Conceptual Roots. Poster presented at National Counsel on Family Relations (NCFR). San Diego, California.

Working with Dr. Joe

“I have found his wealth of knowledge to be extraordinarily help in not only producing high quality research but also in professional development. I have found that writing is not explicitly taught in graduate school very often and his focus on developing clear, concise, and theoretically based research has been helpful. Dr. Joe was an integral part of my ability to obtain a tenure track position through not only advancing my research acumen, but also talking about the process of interviews, what can be expected in academia, and how to best prepare myself for joining an academic institution.”

Shar’Dane Harris

Marriage and Family Therapy

Shar’Dane’s Vita

Shar'Dane Harris
  • Parent-child relationship
  • Fathering processes, father-child relationships, child outcomes
  • Risk and protective factors of children raised in single-parent homes
  • Minority families

Shar’Dane is a second year doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. Shar’Dane received dual degrees, Masters degree and Education Specialist degree, in Mental Health Counseling from Florida State University. Her program of research involves examining Black fatherhood and father’s role in the Black families. She aspires to add to the literature about Black fathering and involvement, the outcomes of their youth, and mental health of fathers and their children. She would like to use her research to implement fathering programs in underserved communities and assist clinicians in using culturally sensitive interventions when working with diverse families.

Additionally, she hopes to identify risk and protective factors of minority children raised in single-parent homes. Shar’Dane hopes to create programs to inform parents of these risk and protective factors and utilize the programs to implement healthy protective factors so youth maintain optimum well-being. She wants to increase clinician’s awareness of risk and protective factors which could then be translated into therapy sessions. Ultimately, she aims to practice therapy with minority and underserved populations and mentor students at the collegiate level who seek to become future clinicians.

Shar’Dane’s name is her mother’s (Sharon) and father’s (Dane) names put together. She is the first person in her family to pursue a doctoral degree. During her undergraduate career at Clemson University, she played club rugby for the school. She loves to cook, shop, attend sporting events, and participate in community service.

Peipei Hong

Human Development and Family Science

Peipei’s Vita

Peipei Hong
  • Parenting
  • Close relationships
  • Cross-cultural research

Peipei is a second-year doctoral student in Human Development and Family Science. She grew up in Southeast China, Ningbo and Hangzhou, where she completed her M.S. in Psychology from Zhejiang University and her B.S. in Economics from Zhejiang Gongshang University. She is pursuing a career as a family scientist at a research university. She wants to understand how parenting and close relationships allow individuals to thrive in this changing world, and the sociocultural environment intersects with these processes. She wants her research to contribute to the well-being of individuals and families.

Peipei’s eight years working experience as an administrator in Zhejiang University, which connected her to a great number of college and graduate students, has sparked her interest in studying young adult population. In her free time, she enjoys jogging, hiking, cooking, watching movies and spending time with her family.

Samantha Howard

Human Development and Family Science

Samantha’s Vita

Samantha Howard
  • Military families
  • Family processes
  • Vulnerable and at-risk families

Samantha is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Science program. Her research interests include interpersonal and family processes within families that experience non-normative stressors. She has specifically studied military families but looks forward to broadening her focus to others as well. Samantha graduated from Florida State University with her B.S. in Sociology and Political Science and her M.S. in Family and Child Sciences. She hopes to continue her research on understanding vulnerable families with the goal of discovering ways that the families can improve the overall well-being of the members and the unit as a whole. Eventually, her goal is to pursue a career as a faculty member at a research institution and use her love of statistics to educate incoming family scholars on research methods and techniques.

Samantha has a passion for traveling. She has been to eight countries and hopes to see as much of the world as she can. In her free time, she enjoys attending sporting events (of all kind… but her favorite is football), watching movies, and spending time with her husband and puppies.

Ebony Iheanacho-Dike

Marriage and Family Therapy

Ebony’s Vita

Ebony Dike
  • Immigrant families
  • Parent / child relationship
  • Child education
  • Child well-being
  • Health disparities in minority and underserved populations

Ebony Iheanacho-Dike is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Florida State University (FSU). This past year Ebony has worked as a Registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern with the Center for Couple and Family Therapy (CCFT) clinic at FSU where she provided individual, couple, and family therapy services to the surrounding community. Ebony’s work at the CCFT has given her the opportunity to facilitate change with various clinical issues such as depression, substance abuse, secondary-PTSD, domestic violence, anxiety, sexual abuse, grief and loss, self- identity issues, addictions and chronic illness. Ebony also worked with Better Living Solutions to provide intensive outpatient services to clients managing eating disorders, anxiety, depression, addictions, and many other co-occuring disorders related to their mental well-being.

Currently, Ebony is interested in conducting research on immigrant families, parent-child dynamics, child well-being and health disparities in minority and underserved populations. Throughout her career as a researcher and clinician, Ebony hopes to contribute valuable research on how to improve culturally aware mental health services to diverse populations as well as provide effective treatment and prevention methods in her clinical work.

When Ebony is not conducting research or engaging in clinical work she enjoys going home to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to spend time with her family, swimming, gardening, trying new recipes, traveling with her husband, and listening to music.

Dissertation Project

My dissertation is titled, “Great Expectations: Exploring Educational Expectations and Emotional Distress with African Immigrant Families.” The goal of my dissertation is to improve understanding of the role of culture in shaping the daily lives and experiences of educational expectations and emotional distress in African immigrant families. To achieve this, I am conducting two studies that complement each other. The first study, quantitatively compares parent educational expectations and emotional distress by cultural groups & regresses parent educational expectations on child emotional distress. The second study, qualitatively explores the cultural meaning of parents’ educational expectations and emotional distress with West African immigrant families.

Collaborative Works

I worked on a collaborative project with Joe titled: “Child bilingualism and academic attainment: moderation by parental behavior.” This study examined the relationship between child bilingualism and academic attainment and how parental behaviors influence this relationship. Grounded in Transitional Perspective (Mouw & Xie, 1999), this study examined the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS) dataset for moderation effects. Researchers found positive relationship among Asian immigrant group only. Findings hold implications for bolstering immigrant parental involvement. This project was presented as a Lightening Paper at the National Council for Family Relations (NCFR), in Orlando, FL. (November 2017).

Working with Dr. Joe

  • I enjoy the wealth of knowledge Joe has on research and professional development. He uses his experience to offer quality mentoring and support. Joe meets you where you are at and helps you reach the goals you set for yourself. In my experience, Joe expects real effort and quality work from his students, mentees, and colleagues; and if you expect the same for yourself then you will work well with Joe.
  • As a researcher Joe is less experienced with clinical matters that are important to marriage and family therapists. Therefore it is important to also have another professional you can work with concerning clinical matters.

Lawrence Jackson

Marriage and Family Therapy

Lawrence’s Vita

  • Positive post-divorce adjustment, particularly for children of divorce
  • Self-concept in minorities and how it impacts their life decisions
  • Confidence levels in regards to career aspirations and romantic relationships
  • Risky sexual behaviors, particularly in college students
  • Academic achievement

Lawrence is a doctoral student in Marriage & Family Therapy. One of his research interest includes researching how perceived self-concept in black males influences their academic achievement. Lawrence has been researching how media, communities, and relationships influence the perceived value of black males, however, he is interested in identifying protective factors that help increase higher academic achievement. He is also interested in further researching how social support is associated with confidence levels for children who have been impacted by divorce. He hopes to identify protective factors for black males to increase academic achievement and identify healthier post-divorce adjustment factors for those children impacted by divorce. Lawrence’s research interest focus around self-concept, perceived value and confidence levels. Lastly, Lawrence is interested in further researching Greek fraternal affiliation and risky behaviors. Lawrence is curious if sexual partners are associated with perceived self-concept or if students engage in riskier sexual behavior if they are involved in different social groups. His ultimate goal is to be a mentor to future professionals, research his desired populations, and practice therapy for high conflict households and at-risk populations.

Lawrence is from Dallas, Texas and received his bachelor’s degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lawrence is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated where he is in involved in mentoring at-risk youth. In his free time, Lawrence enjoys traveling internationally. In the past two years, he has visited 7 different countries and plans to continue to actively travel across the world.

Matthew Jaurequi

Marriage and Family Therapy

Matthew’s Vita

Matthew Jaurequi
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Collaborative and integrated care
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Clinical training

Matthew is a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. At this time, his research interests include an examination of psychosocial and behavioral processes’ potential relation to the onset and maintenance of acute and chronic illness. Matthew obtained his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) where he contributed to the investigation and implementation of the early identification and treatment of Autism. Recognizing the critical role that the interplay between the social and biological sciences has on health outcomes, Matthew earned a Master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego (USD). Matthew completed his clinical training with the UCSD Family Medicine Collaborative Care Program where he coordinated with an interdisciplinary team of health providers to implement evidenced based practices and behavioral medicine for those facing psychosocial and behavioral challenges.

Matthew is originally from San Diego California where he affirmed national stereotypes by surfing and eating tacos daily. Matthew and his loving wife Alicia, enjoy watching live music, varied cultural cuisines, global travel and in 2010, Matthew ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Julia Jones

Marriage and Family Therapy

Julia’s Vita

Julia Jones
  • How physiology and brain function affect relationships
  • Stress and trauma in families
  • Parenting interventions
  • Process and outcome research

Julia is a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. She completed both her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Brigham Young University. Julia is interested in studying the interplay between biology and psychology and how it affects relationships. She is particularly interested in how past traumas and stress impact parenting, and the effects these have on child behavioral problems. Julia is also a registered intern at the FSU Center for Couple and Family Therapy. Her career goals are to be a professor at a top research university and to promote the growth and prestige of the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Julia is a Beatles fan, and loves alternative rock music. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing games with friends. Julia comes from the Western United States. She is married and has two darling, energetic boys.

Morgan Lancaster

Marriage and Family Therapy

Morgan’s Vita

Morgan Lancaster
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Childhood trauma
  • Resiliency
  • Technology use in close relationships
  • Family violence interventions
  • Efficacy of marriage and family therapy theories

Morgan is a third year student in the Marriage and Family Therapy Doctoral Program within the Department of Family and Child Sciences. Morgan received her master’s degree from East Carolina University in Marriage and Family Therapy and is now a registered marriage and family therapist intern in Florida. Morgan’s program of research involves aspects of family violence and how members are able to remain resilient to adverse outcomes. She is particularly interested in intimate partner violence and developing effective, therapeutic interventions that reduce recidivism. In exploring the dynamics of family systems where violence exists, she hopes to increase knowledge about important risk and resilience factors but to also help clinicians apply this knowledge in the therapy room. Morgan is also a therapist at the Center for Couples and Family Therapy on Florida State’s campus and is the Secretary for the Tallahassee Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She enjoys being a therapist and conducting research but is most passionate about mentoring beginning therapists and younger students.

Morgan is originally from the mountains of North Carolina in the Asheville area. Before attending graduate school Morgan was a barista, which became the beginning of her love for coffee (and addiction). Morgan also loves to skydive, watch movies, spend time with her family, and play with her dog.

Antoinette London-Johnson

Human Development and Family Science

Antoinette’s Vita

Antoinette London-Johnson
  • Couple relationships and conflict resolution styles
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Couple and family prevention / intervention

I am a fourth year PhD student in the Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) program in the Department of Family and Child Sciences. My research focuses are couple and family relationships, conflict, and child outcomes. I plan to use my research to create and inform prevention and intervention programs to improve the lives of families. My goal is to become an intervention researcher and a university professor to provide mentoring, advising, and teaching to students in higher academia. I am dedicated to helping others, providing opportunities to advance education, research, and careers, and I would like to provide support to those needing mentoring or an advocate to ensure student success at the university level and beyond.

My goal is to travel to all seven continents even Antarctica. I love dolphins. I have eight siblings and two children. I want to change lives through research and intervention efforts. I want to create a program called the “London Method to love and family”.

Dissertation Project

The Strengthening Black Families Study.  The current study aims to replicate and test the effectiveness of an intervention program using an all-Black sample consisting of 40 Black couples, conducted by Miller-Graff, Cummings, and Bergman (2016), in which, a sample of predominantly White couples participated in a 4-week psychoeducational program. Although, positive results have been established including greater couple relationship satisfaction, better parenting, and improved child adjustment, this intervention study has only been done with White couples, which does not address if similar results can be obtained with a minority sample of Black couples. This study will highlight the unique differences in culture and communication styles among Blacks that may impact the effectiveness of the intervention program to teach new strategies to resolve conflict and modify conflict resolution behaviors when working with Black couples. In addition, this study will inform the need for modifications to the current intervention, as well as, guide the development of new intervention programs more suitable to meet the needs of Black couples to better strengthen the Black Family.

Collaborative Works

London-Johnson, A., Allen, J.W., & Grzywacz, J.G. The Impact of Parent-Adolescent Conflict and Parent Restrained Eating on Adolescent Eating Behaviors. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Revise & Resubmit.

London-Johnson, A., James, B., Baity, C., & Grzywacz, J.G. Uncovering the Impact of Chronic Illness on Couples’ Relationship Quality. Journal of Families, Systems, & Health. In Progress.

Ferrill, J., London-Johnson, A., Ledermann, T., & Grzywacz, J.G. How does spirituality among African Americans influence parenting and parent-child relationships? Journal of Family Studies. In Progress.

Ferrill, J., Gonzales-Backen, M., London-Johnson, A., Iheanacho-Dike, E., Montgomery, J., & Grzywacz, J.G. Intersectionality Matters: Low-income in High Risk Neighborhoods, Parenting Behaviors, and Adolescent Mental Health Outcomes. Journal of Family Relations. In Progress.

Iheanacho-Dike, E., London-Johnson, A., Ferrill, J., Srivastava, S., Grzywacz, J.G. (November, 2017). Child Bilingualism and Academic Attainment: Moderation by Parental Behavior. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference. Orlando, FL.

Ferrill, J., Gonzales-Backen, M., London-Johnson, A., & Grzywacz, J.G. (April, 2017). Neighborhood Context and Mental Health Outcomes in Adolescents: The Moderating Effect of Parenting Behaviors. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Austin, TX.

London-Johnson, A., Allen, J.W., Carlos, F., & Grzywacz, J.G. (November, 2016). The Impact of Parent-Adolescent Conflict and Parent Restrained Eating on Adolescents’ Eating Behaviors. Poster presented at the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN.

Carlos, F., London-Johnson, A., Allen, J. W., & Grzywacz, J.G. (February, 2016). The Impact of Parent-Adolescent Conflict on Adolescents’ Eating Behaviors. Poster presented at the Florida State University Research and Creativity Day. Tallahassee, FL.

Working with Dr. Joe

“I enjoy the freedom to explore what I am passionate about, as well as, the push to go beyond my comfort zone which has prepared me to transition from a grad student to an intervention researcher. Over, the years of working with Dr. Joe he has challenged me to think critically, ask and answer my own questions versus him giving me the answers which has made me a stronger researcher. Lastly, he is tough but compassionate, open, and understanding when life happens. He has been my biggest supporter both professionally and personally!”

“One thing that has been challenging about working with Dr. Joe is getting on one accord regarding my learning (i.e., abstract thinker vs hands-on demonstration) style and processing style (i.e., big picture vs step-by-step or detailed oriented) which hindered the mentorship. To combat this issue early on I suggest being very vocal and open about what helps you learn best. Also, be honest about your processing style because this will allow for more effective guidance and mentoring. Lastly, being clear about the level of assistance needed to get projects off the ground or to run and analyze stats is essential to getting the most out of the graduate student experience. These challenges being addressed early will allow for a more fruitful graduate career.”

Kasey Longley

Human Development and Family Science

Kasey’s Vita

Kasey Longley

Kasey Longley is PhD student in the Human Development and Family Science program. Her advisor and mentor is Dr. Joseph Grzywacz. She is currently interested in studying health behaviors and exercise motivation among families and those with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. She has also done work on families with children who have special health care needs. With a varied educational background, she currently holds a Master of Science in Family and Child Sciences and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, both from Florida State University. Between programs she has worked as a paralegal with experience in family law, personal injury, and insurance law. During that time she became a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and a commissioned notary.

In her spare time she enjoys video games, spending time at the gym, and helping her family raise orphan baby squirrels.

Dissertation Project

I am running secondary data analysis using the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) longitudinal study (Ryff, et al., 1995). The MIDUS study includes three waves and a refresher wave taken recurrently over the course of twenty-four years. My dissertation will explore the data by using it to create a holistic representation of aging outcomes and exploring the marital role and relationship processes on those outcomes. I will use two waves and the refresher in order to replicate the findings within my dissertation. My ultimate goal is to create a holistic understanding of health across the lifespan that incorporates the marital relationship in that understanding, and that is sensitive to variable life experiences.

Collaborative Works

Longley, K.E., Smith, A.M., & Grzywacz, J.G. (2018). Promoting Healthy Practices in the Workplace: Making Workers’ Health a Priority Before It Becomes a Problem. Oxford Handbook of Integrated Health Science (chapter 8). New York, New York: Oxford University Press.

Smith, A.M., Longley, K.E., & Grzywacz, J.G. (2018). Examining Pathways to Health for Employed Parents. Oxford Handbook of Integrated Health Science (chapter 9). New York, New York: Oxford University Press.

Smith, A.M., Longley, K.E., Gonzalez, G.A., & Grzywacz, J.G. (n.d.) Employment loss in families of children with special health care needs: Under what “conditions” and why Unpublished manuscript.

Longley, K.E. & Grzywacz, J.G. (n.d.) Spousal Support, Strain & Vigorous Physical Activity: Differential Salience in the Context of Psychiatric Disorder.

Unpublished manuscript.

Carlos Chavez, F.L., Longley, K.E., Hernandez D.C., & Grzywacz, J.G. (n.d.) Discordance in Household Food Security: Mental Health Implications for Latino Adolescents

Unpublished manuscript.

Longley, K.E. & Grzywacz, J.G. (2018) Relationship Quality, Physical Activity, and

Psychiatric Diagnoses. Florida State University’s Research Showcase.

Carlos Chavez, F.L., Longley, K.E., Hernandez D.C., & Grzywacz, J.G. (2018). Discordance in Household Food Security: Mental Health Implications for Latino Adolescents. Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) Conference

Longley, K.E. & Grzywacz, J.G. (2017) Relationship Quality, Physical Activity, and Psychiatric Diagnoses. National Council on Family Relations Conference

Longley, K.E., Smith, A.M., Gonzalez, G.A., & Grzywacz, J.G. (2016) Can you hear me?

Work Loss, Need for Services, and Families of Children with Special Healthcare

Needs. National Council on Family Relations Conference

Longley, K.E., Smith, A.M., Gonzalez, G.A., & Grzywacz, J.G. (2016) Can you hear me?

Work Loss, Need for Services, and Families of Children with Special Healthcare

Needs. Maternal & Child Health Equity Conference

Working with Dr. Joe

Dr. Grzywacz shows a keen interest in the work of every student who seeks his advice and he will tailor his teaching style to meet the needs of his students. He also genuinely cares about their well-being.

Due to the nature of his job, Dr. Grzywacz can sometimes spread himself too thin. This can lead to minor miscommunications and misunderstandings. However, these can be easily cleared up if you are not afraid to speak up and clarify any questions you may have.

Hayley Love

Human Development and Family Science

Hayley’s Vita

Hayley Love
  • Parent-Adult Child relationships
  • Emerging adult
  • Emerging adult development
  • Well-being

Hayley is a doctoral student in Human Development and Family Science. Her research interests currently include parent-child relationships in the context of emerging adulthood, with a focus on transitions into adulthood and well-being. Hayley graduated from Northern Illinois University with her B.S. in Psychology and from Illinois State University with her M.S. in Psychology: Developmental Sequence. Hayley is pursuing a career as a faculty member at a research university. She aspires to continue pursuing academic research, compose a textbook related to her field, and make a positive impact on her students in the classroom.

From the age of 5 until she was 22, Hayley was a competitive baton twirler at the state, regional, national, and world level. Her hobbies include watching TV, listening to music, and cooking.

Marissa Mosley

Marriage and Family Therapy

Marissa’s Vita

Marissa Mosley
  • Technology use in romantic relationships
  • Intimacy and empathy
  • Couples and Sex Therapy
  • Medical Family Therapy

Marissa is originally from Liverpool, NY, a town located near Syracuse (Go Orange). She is a first-year doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. Marissa graduated from Syracuse University with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She then moved to California to complete her Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego. Her research interests include the use of technology in romantic relationships and the association with empathy and intimacy. Marissa’s career goals are to contribute to and build the field through research, clinical work, and educating and supervising future clinicians.

Marissa enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, watching TV, and playing with her labradoodle, Reggie.

Francesca Otero-Vargas

Marriage and Family Therapy

Francesca’s Vita

francesca otero-vargas
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions, specifically yoga
  • The Role of Nonverbal Communication and Touch on Intimacy, Connection, and Empathy
  • Couples and Sex Therapy
  • Power Dynamics in Relationships
  • Intersectionality
  • Self of the Therapist

Francesca is a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. She received her B.S. with a double major in Family & Child Sciences and Psychology from Florida State University and her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy along with a certificate in Systemic Multicultural Counseling from Appalachian State University. Francesca is interested in researching the potential holistic health benefits of mindfulness-based interventions, specifically focusing on touch and partner yoga. She would like to explore the effects these factors could have on relationship satisfaction in terms of intimacy, connection, and empathy. Additionally, she believes that this research could have wide-spread implications related to meaning making in nonverbal communication, power dynamics in couples and families, cultural components of therapy, and the use of self in clinical work. Francesca hopes to pursue a career as both a faculty member focused on clinical research and as a practicing clinician.

Francesca is originally from the Bronx, NY but grew up in sunny South Florida on the beach in Jupiter. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher – 200 hours and enjoys both teaching and taking classes. When not on her yoga mat, she finds joy in going on adventures, listening to live music, reading at coffee shops, or spending the day relaxing with her fiancé and their dog, Thor.

Kinsey Pocchio

Marriage and Family Therapy

Kinsey’s Vita

Kinsey Pocchio
  • Social work
  • Medical Family Therapy
  • Parent-child relationships
  • The influence of Marriage and Family Therapy throughout different agencies
  • Children’s health

Kinsey is a doctoral student in Marriage and Family Therapy. She pursued her B.A. at Mercer University, double majoring in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies. After graduation, she accepted a Graduate Assistant position and was given the opportunity to complete her Master of Family Therapy degree at Mercer as well. Kinsey has experience working in the department of family and child services and has a passion for the field of social work. In addition to her previous training in this field, she also has extensive experience in the Medical Family Therapy system. Kinsey plans to continue efforts to understand the role and influence of Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) in both the social work and medical systems. Through both aspects of her research, Kinsey plans on finding ways in which MFT’s can broaden their understanding on health, relationships, and wellbeing alongside ways in which this field can positively impact the development of children.

Kinsey loves music, clothes, and warm weather. In her free time she spends time with her loved ones, online shops, and goes to the gym. She is excited for the opportunity to be closer to the beach and experience life in the sunshine state!

Dissertation Project

I am in the beginning stages of crafting my dissertation. My primary focus at this time is the connection between mental and physical health. I specifically enjoy focusing on child related health outcomes within this body of my research.

Collaborative Works

Dr. Grzywacz and I are working alongside Dr. Parker to present research at this year’s AAMFT conference. We are presenting in the research forum “Parenting Children with Disabilities: The Effects on Health Outcomes”.

Parker, M., Pocchio, K., & Grzywacz, J. (2019). Parenting children with disabilities: The effects on health outcomes. Forum presentation at the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy annual conference: Austin, TX.

Working with Dr. Joe

I truly enjoy having an opportunity to work with Dr. Joe, especially because he is not a Marriage and Family Therapist. He provides me with unique ways of looking at my research due to his extensive background in other fields and this has helped opened my eyes to the possibility of my future work.

Another item I find especially helpful when working with Dr. Joe is his ability to make me feel that I am on track in our program (even when I cannot see this for myself). Being in a Ph.D. program as competitive as the ones provided at Research 1 institutes, such as FSU, can take a toll on anyone’s ability to see the bigger picture. I, in particular, am very product oriented and often have difficulty seeing the ways in which I am growing outside of my publications. Dr. Joe does a great job in providing me with the “bigger picture” outlook of my progress in our department and is great at helping me to stay motivated and productive each day at FSU!

One big difficulty tat one should be aware of when signing up to work with Dr. Joe is that his many different roles within, and outside, of our department make his time limited each day/week. He does a great job of setting up an online calendar so that individuals can see when he is available to meet; however, things may, and will, come up at the last minute. As one of Dr. Joe’s students it is important to be aware that flexibility with Dr. Joe is important if you need to meet with him. I also find it useful to check in at the end of each meeting to confirm if your next meeting time still works for the both of you (this is especially useful if you have weekly set times you meet with him like many of us do!).

My final item of advice when working with Dr. Joe is to be aware that he does talk fast! Dr. Joe has a lot of feedback to offer in each and every meeting we have and I have found it beneficial to bring a notepad to take notes on as he talks. Without notes, you are likely to get overwhelmed and forget all of the advice/directions he just gave and this can lead to any awkward conversation later if you need to be reminded what you were supposed to be working on.

Chélynn Randolph

Marriage and Family Therapy

Chélynn’s Vita

Chélynn Randolph

I am interested in researching the parenting practices of those who have an identity within marginalized populations (families of color, LGBTQ+ couples, low socioeconomic status families).

I received my undergraduate education in 2016 from East Carolina University (Greenville, NC) in Family and Community Services with a concentration in Family Studies. In 2018 I graduated with my M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Appalachian State University. While at Appalachian State I also received a certificate in Systemic Multicultural Counseling which allowed me to develop a more comprehensive view of what it means to live in a multicultural society through a systemic lens.

In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, podcasts, and binge-watching shows on Netflix. I played violin for 12 years and saxophone for 5. I’m a lover of all things Beyoncé related and enjoy going to concerts!

Kathryn Roberts

Marriage and Family Therapy

Kathryn’s Vita

Kathryn Roberts
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Mindfulness interventions
  • Resiliency
  • Divorce

Kathryn is a second year student in the Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral program. Kathryn received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, and her Master’s and Specialist’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the Florida State University. Kathryn’s research interests are primarily focused around building the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions. Additionally, she is interested in implementing mindfulness interventions to increase marital satisfaction. She hopes to increase the awareness of mindfulness, and the many ways that the techniques can be applied to a variety of populations. Currently, Kathryn is an intern at the Center for Couples and Family Therapy.

Kathryn is originally from the mountains of Western Maryland, and enjoys spending her free time outside. She is growing three citrus trees, and has a passion for anything related to gardening.

Lauren Selice

Marriage and Family Therapy

Lauren’s Vita

Lauren Selice
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Mindfulness interventions
  • Parent-child relationships

Lauren is a doctoral student in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is originally from Florida where she earned her B.S. in Psychology from University of Central Florida and her M.S./Ed.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Florida State University. Lauren’s research interests include mindfulness-based interventions, specifically targeted at increasing empathy and satisfaction within couple relationships.

Lauren grew up in Florida but much prefers the mountains of North Carolina, where she often visits with her partner and their Samoyed, Arlo. Additionally, she loves spending time with her family and tending to her plants.

Jessie Shafer

Human Development and Family Science

Jessie’s Vita

Jessie Shafer
  • New media and technology as contexts of human development
  • Interpersonal Development
  • Identity and Self-Concept
  • Adolescent Development
  • Emerging Adult Development

Jessie is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Science program. Her advisor and mentor is Dr. Heidi Gazelle. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Central Florida and her Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology at Illinois State University. Her research focuses on investigating new media (e.g. the internet, social media, video games, etc.) and technology (e.g. smart phones, computers, tablets, etc.) as contexts of human development. Specifically, she is interested in studying the impact these contexts have on interpersonal development, identity, and self-concept. Jessie hopes to use her research to informs others about the benefits of new media and technology while cautioning about some of the more adverse effects as well. Her career goals include pursuing academic research as a faculty member, promoting an interest in new media and technology from a psychological perspective, and making a positive impact on her students in the classroom.

Jessie has a passion for culture and history. She hopes to travel and visit historical sites of cultures around the world (as well as try the food)! In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, collecting retro games and consoles, and spoiling her guinea pigs.

Sapna Srivastava

Marriage and Family Therapy

Sapna’s Vita

Sapna Srivastava
  • Mental health accessibility for underserved populations
  • Intercultural couples and families
  • Cultural considerations in clinical settings

Sapna is a doctoral student in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is originally from Austin, TX where she completed her B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin. She worked in an administrative role for a therapy non-profit in the Austin area before pursuing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Abilene Christian University. Sapna’s current research interests revolve around how intercultural couples negotiate cultural differences within their relationships, and culturally sensitive clinical considerations for working with diverse client populations. Sapna is particularly interested in mentoring and providing research-informed clinical training to future generations of marriage and family therapists.

Sapna enjoys being outdoors, exploring new places, and indulging in her obsessions with Netflix, coffee, and dogs.

Tom Su

Marriage and Family Therapy

Tom’s Vita

Tom Su
  • Dyadic data analysis and longitudinal research
  • Cross-cultural couples and families
  • Same sex relationship and parenting
  • Interpersonal neurobiology

Tom is a registered MFT therapist intern in the State of Florida and a state-approved mediator in the state of Kansas. He works primarily with minority individuals (races, sexual-orientations, social economic status, etc.) and mental health problems (depression, anxiety, trauma, etc.) in his clinical work. His use of therapeutic theories include Satir Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and EMDR Therapy. His goal in therapy is to empower clients to make better life decisions, develop a healthy and resilient sense of self, and forms secure and satisfactory relationships. 

His research interests include individual mental illness in couple and family relationships, protective factors that predict healthy relationship outcome, change of brain in relationship, and perception on closeness and belonging in general population. He is interested in interdisciplinary research that integrate different areas of research.

Tom has a problem with thrilling activities (yes, therapists have fears too), so please don’t put him on a roller coster or invite him for a horror movie. Other than that, he enjoys mostly everything else that is legal and healthy!

Amelia Welch

Marriage and Family Therapy

Amelia’s Vita

Amelia Welch
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Mindfulness Interventions
  • Intergenerational Family Relationships
  • Medical Family Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Amelia is a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington. After graduation she moved to Illinois, where she earned a Certificate in Pre-Clinical Psychology from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies in Evanston, IL. She went on to earn her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University in 2019. While at Northwestern, Amelia completed clinical hours at The Family Institute locations in Millennium Park and Westchester. Amelia provided therapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups. Amelia participated in the program’s Project Strengthen initiative where she completed co-therapy with Family Institute staff therapists.

Amelia performed in dance ensembles and choirs from ages 6-23. In addition to performing arts, Amelia enjoys cooking, baking, hiking, and exploring new coffee shops.

Jacob Williams

Human Development and Family Science

Jacob’s Vita

Jacob Williams
  • Aggression
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Behavioral Development

Jacob is a doctoral student in the Human Development and Family Science program. His advisor and mentor is Dr. Heidi Gazelle. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Sciences at Florida State University. He is currently a research assistant in the Social Development Lab, working on the Youth Wellness Project. His research focuses on making empirical connections between life experiences and an individual’s emotional and behavioral development. He hopes to use this research to make more definitive contributions to the field regarding the origins of human aggression. Jacob believes that conventional emotion regulation is necessary for successfully achieving life milestones. He aims to use his research to understand how individual differences can affect emotional regulation. Jacob plans to pursue academia to combine his passion for research and teaching others, where his appropriate career goal is to be become a professor.

The most important aspects of Jacob’s life are family and faith. He is from Vero Beach, FL, where he developed a passion for long distance running, and became an outdoor enthusiast. In his free time, he can be found running the trails of Tallahassee, playing with his cat, or gaming.

Spencer Youngberg

Marriage and Family Therapy

Spencer’s Vita

Spencer Youngberg
  • Romantic relationships
  • Family processes
  • Resiliency

Spencer is a candidate in Marriage and Family Therapy. His research interests currently include romantic relationship quality, the family process between parents and children, and resiliency in romantic and parent-child relationships. Spencer graduated from Western Washington University in Psychology and his M.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Marriage and Family Therapy. Spencer is pursuing a career as a teacher, researcher, mentor, and clinician. He looks forward to the opportunity to conduct research, teach, mentor and supervise students and clinicians in a training clinic at the university level and to continue his clinical work as a therapist.

Spencer is married and has 3 children. He enjoys spending time with his family. His hobbies include camping, swimming, mountain biking and working with his hands by building maintaining and fixing things.