Meet Our Research Team!
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.
Abby Nance, MFA
6th 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.
4th 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 sexual health with a focus on implementation and evaluation of sexual health interventions, parent and family influences on adolescent sexuality, and sexual communication.
Reina enjoys hiking, camp fires, board games, dim sum, and playing fetch with her hound dog, Nala
3rd year doctoral student
Hannah (she/her) entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology Ph.D. program in Fall 2018 after graduating with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Hannah's work in the Teen Health Lab broadly focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating digital interventions to promote adolescent sexual health. Specifically, she aims to improve sexual consent knowledge, attitudes, and skills among youth through these online interventions. Hannah’s favorite part of her job is teaching Psychology of Gender at NC State. She also enjoys traveling (when safe!), thrift shopping, singing too loudly, and spending time with her Siamese cat, Winnie.
2nd year doctoral student
Julia Brasileiro is a second year PhD student in the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University. Julia holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. After a brief stint working for a global health nonprofit managing and evaluating HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs, she decided to pursue a PhD focused on improving adolescent health and wellbeing. Julia is interested in designing, implementing, and evaluating sexual health/HIV prevention interventions for vulnerable populations of youth.
Julia enjoys yoga, sipping hot tea, and adventuring outdoors with her partner, toddler, and two scruffy dogs.
1st year doctoral student
Jeff Hurst is a first year graduate student. He did his bachelors at Brigham Young University majoring in psychology and minoring in statistics and family studies. Broadly he is interested in improving adolescents' sexual health with a particular emphasis on online sexual health such as pornography use and sexting. He is also interested in the role that parents have in their children's sexual development and hopes to develop an intervention that increases parent's efficacy in talking to their children about sexual health.
In his free time, Jeff enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his wife and three cats.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Megan Armstrong, Senior
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, Senior
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 watching Spanish dramas on Netflix and working out in the outdoors.
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.
Sam Katowitz, Senior
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.
Ashlen Reich, Senior
Ashlen was born in Wichita, Kansas and moved to Greensboro, North Carolina five years ago. She is working towards getting her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Social Work. After graduation she plans on attending graduate school for her Masters In Social Work with hopes of then getting her LCSW. She wants to become a counselor for adolescents in a behavioral health setting. Ashlen is passionate about reducing the stigma behind mental health and making mental health care available for everyone.
In her spare time, Ashlen enjoys reading, playing games with her friends, and watching movies.
Anjali Singh, Junior
Anjali was born in Charlotte, NC and came to NC State to pursue a major in Psychology and a minor is Statistics. After graduation, she hopes to earn her PhD in clinical psychology. Anjali is extremely passionate about mental health and hope to spread more awareness and eventually help those who struggle with their mental health.
In her free time, Anjali enjoys dancing on stage with her team NCSU Nazaare, listening to music, and you can find her working at Valentine Commons.
Breyana Williams, Senior
Breyana is a fourth year student from Jacksonville, NC. She came to NC State to pursue her B.A. in Biology. She is passionate about women's reproductive health as it relates to childbirth and the infant. She is equally as passionate about equity within the health field and ensuring that people of color receive equal access to the same quality of care and treatment. After graduation, she hopes to continue her education and pursue her Master's of Public Health.
Her passions outside of academics include reading, the environment, and learning about places that she hopes to one day travel to.
Oliver Sugiyama , Senior
Oliver is currently a senior pursuing a BA in Psychology and Gender Studies. He plans to attend graduate school next year and ultimately offer gender therapy to trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive people. He is passionate about creating accessible mental health options, and addressing inequities within our mental healthcare system.
In his freetime Oliver enjoys baking bread and spending time with family and friends.
Teen Health Lab Alumni
Past Graduate Students
Kristyn Kamke, PhD -
Kristyn graduated in July 2018 with her PhD from the Applied Social and Community Psychology Program at NC State. Broadly, Kristyn's work aims to understand the etiology of adolescent health outcomes to inform health promotion interventions, particularly among marginalized and health disparity populations. While her primary interest is in adolescent sexual and relationship health, Kristyn has also conducted work focused on understanding racial/ethnic disparities in tobacco use and cessation as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities from 2018-2020. She recently began second postdoctoral fellowship at the Rape Incest and Abuse National Network (RAINN), where she will focus on 1) evaluating the use of a new mobile app designed to aid sexual assault survivors in seeking support and managing their mental health, and 2) understanding concerns of youth sexual assault survivors contacting the National Sexual Assault Hotline.
J. L. Stewart, PhD - email@example.com
J graduated in May 2020 with her PhD from the Applied Social and Community Psychology program. J's research broadly focuses on sexuality and sexual health among adolescents and emerging adults. All of her work is guided by a rights-based approach to positive sexuality development. This approach posits that all people are entitled to fully experience, express, and enjoy their sexuality safely and consensually. Specifically, she explores topics such as parent-child sexual communication, sexual fluidity, consensual non-monogamy, HIV/AIDS, and technology-based sexual health interventions. J is currently revising an F32 postdoctoral fellowship application at NIH to continue with her research on adolescent and young adult sexual health.
Past Project Staff
Joy Massey, MPH
Bev Porter, MBA
Past Undergraduate and Postbac Research Assistants
Clara Jane Maynard
Interested in joining our lab?
GRADUATE STUDENTS: Dr. Widman is accepting applications for Fall 2020.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2020. Please check back next semester for any new updates.