Meet Our Research Team! 

Office Manager

Bev joined the Teen Health Lab this year as our part-time Office Manager supported by a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. She has an M.B.A. from Butler University and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from
Purdue University. Having spent most of her life in Indiana, she also lived in Virginia,
France, and Utah before coming to North Carolina in 2011 and the NC State
Psychology Department in 2014. Education, children and families, and health-
related topics have been areas of interest throughout her career.


She especially enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, traveling,
water aerobics, gardening, quilting, genealogy, and almost anything outdoors.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Nikolette Lipsey, PhD

Nikolette is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Laura Widman and Dr. Jeni Burnette at North Carolina State University. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Asian Studies from Furman University. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Florida, working with Dr. James Shepperd. Broadly, her research interests include topics related to health, information avoidance and information decisions, and impression management. Through all of her lines of research, her aim is to better understand how people make decisions about potentially threatening information, and how people factor others into those decisions. She has a strong interest in applying social psychology theory to improve health outcomes and inform decision making.


Nikolette enjoys traveling, drinking tea, getting really invested in TV shows, and hanging out with her two perfect cats – Luna & Henrietta Pickles. 

Graduate Students

J Stewart, BFA
4th year doctoral student

J is a fourth-year graduate student in the Applied Social and Community Psychology program. She received a BFA from the University of Delaware in 2009 and completed a post-bacc psychology program at CUNY Hunter College while working at NYU's Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) in 2015. Her research interests broadly encompass sexuality with a focus on sex education reform. More specifically, she explores topics such as differences in sexual attitudes, effects of sexual shame, and communication about atypical sexual interests, identities, and relationship models.


J's other interests include reading, podcasts, bikram yoga, the beach, tacos, and dogs.

Reina Evans 

3rd year doctoral student

Reina Evans, BS, is a doctoral student in the Applied Social and Community Psychology Program at North Carolina State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from St. Edward’s University, where she began research on the long-term effects of early sex education on the sexual health of emerging adults. Her research broadly examines adolescent health with a focus on sexual communication, positive sexuality, and community-based intervention practices. With the support of the Doug Kirby research grant, she will conduct a meta-analysis on sexual health interventions for Black and Hispanic youth to better
understand what factors contribute to more effective interventions for these adolescents.


Reina enjoys hiking, camp fires, board games, dim sum, and playing fetch with her hound dog, Nala.

Hannah Javidi

2nd year doctoral student

Hannah entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program in Fall 2018, after receiving a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is broadly interested in adolescent sexual health. In particular, she is interested in exploring factors that influence adolescents' consent attitudes and the impacts of technology and social media on sexual communication, as well as the application of game technologies to sexual health education interventions. 


Hannah enjoys traveling, singing, acting, and spending time with her Siamese cat, Winnie.

Julia Brasileiro
1st year doctoral student

Julia is a doctoral student in the Applied Social and Community Psychology program. She has a Bachelor’s in Public Health and a Master of Public Health, specializing in maternal and child health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She has been working in public health in East Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the United States on projects related to HIV/AIDs, family planning, cervical cancer, gender-based violence and maternal health. Her research is broadly focused on understanding the bidirectional relationship between mental and physical health and developing and evaluating integrated community-based interventions to improve the overall health of adolescents.


Julia enjoys yoga, sipping hot tea, travelling, and hanging out with her husband, toddler and two dogs.

Abby Nance, MFA
5th Year doctoral student

Abby joined the Applied Social and Community Psychology program in 2015. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and taught college composition and journalism courses. As a writing instructor, she developed research interests in the health outcomes of writing interventions, and the connection between diction and resilience.


Abby is a book worm who loves to write, learn, listen to podcasts, make jam, swim, and take long rambling walks. 

Post-Baccalaureate  Research Assistant

Leah Powell

Leah graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  

In her free time outside of lab, she enjoys spending time at home with her two cats Jasper and Arya.  She also enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends and family.  

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Jackie Lanning, Senior


Jackie is a senior studying Biology with a focus in Public Health. After graduating, she plans to go to graduate school to earn her Master’s in Public Health. She is passionate about addressing health disparities. Jackie is the founder and president of Period@NCState, a student organization aimed at providing menstrual products to local homeless populations. She is also a peer educator for the Women’s Center and works with the Planned Parenthood Generation Action Chapter on campus.

Gabbie Consing, Senior


Gabbie is a senior in Psychology with minors in Sociology and English. She has a passion for mental health, and would especially like to focus on helping young adults with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. After graduating in Spring 2020, she plans on pursuing graduate school for mental health counseling.


In her free time, Gabbie enjoys teaching piano lessons with Musical Empowerment at NC State, exploring downtown Raleigh, and watching Netflix.

Noelle Smith, Senior


Noelle is a senior from Mooresville, NC (right outside of Charlotte) and moved to Raleigh to get a bachelors degree in psychology. After graduation, she hopes to attend Duke or UNC - Chapel Hill to earn a PhD in clinical psychology. She hopes to work with patients of all ages, and she hopes to provide pro bono psychological care to military veterans and individuals who cannot typically afford it.


In her free time, Noelle likes to listen to music, watch Netflix, weight train, and rock climb.

Megan Armstrong, Junior


Megan is a third-year student studying Psychology and Applied Nutrition with a minor in Spanish.  She hopes to study the ways in which proper nutrition impacts brain development, particularly in under-developed communities.  She plans to attend graduate school after serving for a year or two in the field of public health.


In addition, Megan is deeply passionate about the environment and has a great sense of adventure. She loves traveling and backpacking and most activities that involve being outdoors!

Sunshine Spiva, Junior​


Sunshine was born and raised in Wilmington, NC but later moved and grew up in Columbia, SC. She came to NC State in order to feel more at “home” back in her home state. She is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Linguistics and recently studied abroad in Argentina where she fully developed her love for the Spanish language and culture. She expects to graduate in May of 2021 and hopes to continue her education in graduate school continuing her studies in Psychology.


In her free time, you can find her working at the IHOP on Hillsborough, volunteering with her sorority and traveling!

Hanisha Naidu, Sophomore


Hanisha is a Science, Technology and Society (STS) major from Philadelphia, PA, with a minor in Global Health. She is passionate about applying research and knowledge as a means of achieving social justice. Her interests include social determinants of health, sexual/reproductive health, social psychology, and epidemiology. Hanisha also works as a peer educator in the Women's Center and hopes to get her PhD after graduating from NC State.

Samantha Legg, Senior

Samantha was born in Washington State and raised in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She always wanted to come to NC State for college to study Animal Science, but once she arrived she found her passion for Psychology and pursued a double major with both. Samantha is planning to continue school after she graduates in May 2020 with the goal of becoming a counselor practicing Animal Assisted Therapy to combine her two majors. 


In her free time Samantha likes to work out, watch Netflix, work, study, and spend quality time with her friends and loved ones. 

Teen Health Lab Alumni

Past  Graduate Students

Kristyn Kamke, PhD

Kristyn graduated in July 2019 with her PhD from the Applied Social and Community Psychology Program at NC State. She is currently on a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Digital Health and Health Disparities Research Lab at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities! 

Past Project Staff 

Joy Massey, MPH
Rossana Roberts  
Justin Harris, B.S.

Past  Research Assistants

Caroline Gainey
Clara Jane Maynard
Madison Morrow

Cecily Jones

Blythe Lane
Brian Messina
Olivia Sandin  

Chantelle Linthicum

Isaac McDaniel
Ndella Njie
Irene Ball

Maiya Whiteside 

Haejin Sim
Kiersten Kronschnabel

Kavi Wilson

Interested in joining our lab? 

GRADUATE STUDENTS:  Dr. Widman has already accepted a Graduate student for Fall 2019. Please check back next semester for any new updates.


UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS:  Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2019. Please check back next semester for any new updates.

Madison Johnson, Senior


Madison is a senior studying Psychology with a minor in Criminology. Following graduation, she plans to pursue her graduate degree and hopes to one day work with children in the foster care system. She has a passion for helping children and teens who have experienced trauma and abuse. 


In her free time, Madison spends the majority of her time dancing. She is a member of the State Dance Company and helps to create and perform modern works throughout the year. 

Sam Katowitz, Junior


Sam was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has always been a fan of NCSU and is currently working towards his goal of receiving his bachelors degree in Psychology. Sam is extremely interested in mental health counseling with college students. With the intent of studying abroad next year, he is learning to be bilingual with English and Spanish. Sam believes that becoming bilingual will increase the range of those who he can assist in their struggles with depression, anxiety, and mental illness. After receiving a degree in Psychology, Sam plans to attend Graduate school and continue learning about mental health counseling and Spanish.


In his leisure time, Sam enjoys working out, mindfulness meditation, reading, and playing video games with friends.

Last updated:

August 2019