Our Team

Lab Director

Picture of Dr. Nuttall

Amy K. Nuttall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University with an adjunct affiliation in the Department of Psychology. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Nuttall’s research focuses on understanding how children and families cope with stress in the family system. She studies family relationships and child development in a variety of stress contexts, with a particular emphasis on identifying adaptive processes and resilience. She conducts process-oriented basic research with the goal of informing preventive interventions aimed at supporting positive outcomes for children, siblings, and parents.

Graduate Students

Dr. Nuttall is accepting graduate students for the 2019-2020 academic year. Potential MSU graduate students interested in working Dr. Nuttall are welcome to contact Dr. Nuttall. Dr. Nuttall currently mentors doctoral students in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and Psychology.

Jenna Beffel is a first year Ph.D. student in MSU’s child development program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Jenna graduated from Grand Valley State University with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. Jenna’s research interests include resilience, the dynamics of families with children with an intellectual or developmental disability, and developing and implementing interventions designed to optimize developmental outcomes in children. She manages our studies for siblings of individuals with ASD (Spartan Sibling Survey and Teen Siblings Speak).

Alexandra Ballinger is a first year Ph.D. student in MSU’s clinical psychology program and co-mentored by Dr. Amy Nuttall and Dr. Alytia Levendosky. Alexandra attended UC Santa Barbara and graduated in 2016 with distinction and highest honors in psychology with dual minors in applied psychology and biological anthropology. She spent the subsequent two years as a clinical research coordinator in the UC San Francisco Department of Psychiatry. There she conducted research on culturally-informed interventions in perinatal psychiatry and worked on a Childhood  Trauma  Research  Program  (CTRP)  longitudinal  study  investigating the impact  of  trauma  on  women’s  experience  of  pregnancy,  attributions  of  their  infants  and  early  behavioral  attachment. Alexandra’s research interests include perinatal environmental and psychological influences on child development, the role of attachment and working models in parenting behavior.

Undergraduate Students

picture of Megan Murrin

Megan Murrin is a sophomore at Michigan State University studying Neuroscience and Psychology. She manages our Teen Siblings Speak study. After graduation, Megan plans on attending medical school to further her study of neuroscience. She has an interest in the neurological side of ASD and hopes to become a pediatric neurologist. Megan won a Summer 2018 College of Natural Science Undergraduate Research Support Program Award to support her work in the Family Stress Lab. She presented a poster of this work at the 2019 Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Convention.

Molly Crusse is a sophomore at Michigan State University majoring in Physiology and minoring in Spanish. She will graduate from Lyman Briggs College and plans to go to medical school in the hopes of becoming a pediatrician.

Sahiba Singh is a sophomore in the college of Lyman Briggs, and is pursuing a degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Spanish. After graduating she plans to attend a MD/PhD program in hopes of becoming a pediatric neurologist.

Lab Alumni

picture of Sara Diesel

Sara Diesel graduated from MSU with a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society in 2017. She served as a lab manager in the Family Stress Lab 2017-2018. As an undergraduate she completed a capstone project in the Family Stress Lab reviewing the literature on positive adjustment outcomes among siblings of individuals with ASD. In 2019 she began the doctoral program in Clinical Science in the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa.

picture of Ben Coberly

Ben Coberly graduated from MSU with a B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience and a minor in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society from the Lyman Briggs and Honors Colleges. He served as the FSL’s lab manager from 2016-2017. After working in the FSL, Ben went on to pursue a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Central Florida.

picture of Alexa Foote

Alexa Foote graduated from MSU in 2017. Alexa majored in Psychology with a minor in Health Promotion and Bioethics, Humanities, and Society. Alexa completed an undergraduate capstone project reviewing the literature on supportive interventions for parents and children with ASD. After working in the Family Stress Lab, Alexa went on to pursue a M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis at MSU, including working with young children with Autism as a Behavior Technician at the the Early Learning Institute.

picture of Keeley Robinson

Keeley Robinson graduated from MSU in 2017 with a degree in Sociology.  She won a Summer 2016 College of Social Science Provost’s Undergraduate Research Initiative Award to support her work in the Family Stress Lab. Keeley won a University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) poster award presenting her work on siblings’ caregiving experiences. After working in the Family Stress Lab she took a job as a Family Case Manager for the Indiana Department of Child Services. She plans to pursue graduate training in Public Policy.

picture of Natalie Liogas

Natalie Liogas graduated from MSU in 2017 with a B.S. degree in Physiology from the MSU College of Natural Science. She plans on attending medical school.

picture of Megan Wright

Megan Wright graduated from MSU in 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology and took a job as a Lab Manager in the Clinical Psychophysiology Lab. As an undergraduate research assistant in the Family Stress Lab, Megan won a Summer 2016 College of Social Science Provost’s Undergraduate Research Initiative Award to support her work in the Family Stress Lab. She presented a poster on hardiness, a positive dispositional trait, at the 2017 Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Convention. Megan won a competitive Undergraduate Registration Award from SPSP and a travel fund award from the College of Social Science to support her attendance at SPSP.

picture of Feeha Hasan

Feeha Hasan was an undergraduate research assistant in the Family Stress Lab from 2015-2018. She studied Interdisciplinary Studies and Arabic at MSU and graduated in 2018. After graduating from MSU she went on to pursue a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Sciences at Touro College in New York and then intends to pursue a medical degree.

picture of Patrick Dery

Patrick Dery was a research assistant in the FSL from 2015-2019. He graduated with a degree in Human Biology in the College of Natural Science. Patrick will begin medical school at Wayne State University in 2020. He hopes to become a psychiatrist and work with children and teens with eating disorders.

picture of Katie Iandoli

Katie Iandoli graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Health Promotions in the spring of 2019. Katie began working towards a doctorate in occupational therapy at Boston University in 2019.