Research Assistants

Prospective Undergraduate Research Assistants (UGRA’s)

We are not currently seeking new UGRAs at this time.

Current UGRA’s

Crystal Cramer

Major: Psychology, Dance minor
Goals: In the future I hope to earn a doctoral degree in nursing and specialize in neuroscience.
Research Interests: My specific research interests are the neurological aspects of traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease.
Lab Experience: During my time here at the Developmental Brain Lab, I have been involved in research examining concussions, theory of mind, emotion regulation, social perceptions, and learning, attention, and memory. Outside of the DBL, I also have research experience in sexual victimization in women and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Activities: I have been a member of the Psi-Chi National Honor Society and University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Pre-Health club. I am also a volunteer at Camp Kindle during the summer.
Interests: During my free time I enjoy dancing, roller-blading, fishing, playing the guitar, traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family.
DBL bio picture

Anna Fangmeier

I am a junior from Lincoln, Nebraska. Currently, I am earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music as well as minoring in Biochemistry. After graduating in May of 2014, I plan to continue onto medical school. There are several medical specialties that have captured my interest, one of them being neurology. My interest in neurology is what lead me to join the Developmental Brain Lab. As a research assistant, I hope to better understand the brain and how it functions as well as gain experience in an area that is related to neurology. Outside of the lab, I spend a lot of time involved in music ensembles. On my primary instrument, clarinet, I participate in UNL’s Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. I am also a member of the UNL Cornhusker Marching Band, for which I play tenor saxophone. I am also a member of the Pre-Health Club, and have volunteered for local hospitals.
Anna Fangmeier

Emily Frankel

Minor: Humanities in Medicine, Gerontology, and Mathematics
Goals: UNMC Physician Assistant Program, specializing in Family Medicine, Pediatrics, or Geriatrics
Research Interests: I enjoy learning about the physiological and psychological effects of neurological conditions. I am also interested in typical and atypical development across the lifespan.
Lab Experience: I have been a research assistant since May 2013, assisting in projects related to traumatic brain injury; infant theory of mind; social perception; emotion regulation; learning, attention, and memory in college students; and neural correlates of child maltreatment
Activities: The College of Arts and Sciences Student Ambassador, Resident Assistant for University Housing, Psi Chi Honors Society, Gold Key International Honors Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Pre-professional Honors Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society
Interests: In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, baking, traveling, attending Creighton men’s basketball games, and watching The Mindy Project.
Emily Frankel

Grant Garrison

I am a sophomore from Papillion, Nebraska and I am majoring in Biology/Pre-med. My goal is to finish my undergrad in 2015 and hopefully continue my schooling by attending medical school. This lab first excited me because I wanted to help and work with people, become a neurologist, and ultimately learn more about the brain. I spend a lot of time with Beta Theta Pi fraternity, NHRI, the Honors Program, and being an active member on campus. I am always reminded by the great opportunities this lab and the things I’ve learned. I find the brain to be one of the most fascinating things there is and I enjoy learning more about it and how it works everyday.
Grant Garrison

John Haslam

Majors: Biology and Economics
Minor: Psychology
Goals: Medical School
Lab Experience: I have had the opportunity to research at DBL since May 2012. I work on numerous studies with a wide range of participants from neonates to division one athletes. For one such study, I created a poster presentation on emotion regulation across puberty for the Midwestern Social Development Society.
Activities: Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Beta Beta Beta national honors biology society, Nebraska at Oxford study broad program, honors program, Lighthouse afterschool program volunteer.
Interests: I enjoy my free time in the company of friends and family. I’ll never turn down a good cinematic adventure. Depending on the season, you can usually find me snowboarding or wake boarding.
John Haslam

Tessa Hlavaty

Majors: Psychology with Minors in Biochemistry and Humanities in Medicine
Goals: Masters in Public Health/Hospital Administration followed by Medical School hoping to specialize in Pediatric Oncology
Research Interests: I enjoy working with the large variety of participants we see in DBL but I specifically find interest in the Toddler and Infant studies. This year, my project is focused on collecting and analyzing ERP data from newborn infants in the Lincoln Hospitals and searching for a correlation between socioeconomic status and infant brain waves. We will also be looking for “red flags” in our data that could indicate that newborns may have learning disorders.
Lab Experience: I have worked in the DBL since May 2013 on a large variety of projects that have included concussion tests, toddlers, infants, and undergraduates.
Activities: Delta Gamma, Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board, Teammates Mentor, Dance Marathon Executive Team, NU Meds, Pepsi Service Scholar, Nebraska at Oxford, Volunteer at St. Elizabeth’s Regional Medical Center
Interests: In my free time, I spend my time wake surfing with my family, reading Harry Potter, hanging around Delta Gamma, spending time with my cats, and planning upcoming trips! Right now I am working on a trip to Lima, Peru through the MedLife program to assist in third world medicine. Overall, I am a fun loving travel enthusiast who enjoys good company!
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Sara Mason

I’m a junior from Auburn, NE. I am a Psychology major and minoring in both Biological Sciences and English. I am a member of the Honors Program, Honors Ambassadors, Undergraduate Psychology Organization, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Natural Human Resources Institute, and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. I became interested in the Developmental Brain lab because I have plans of becoming a Neuropsychologist and I also love working with children. I am excited to learn more about the brain and how it functions throughout development!

Andrea Meinders

Majors: Psychology, Pre-Medicine
Goals: Medical School, hopefully specializing in Neurology
Research Interests: Effects of concussion in athletes
Lab Experience: 2 years in the lab, assisting in the athletic concussion study, neonatal study, emotional regulation study, social biases studies, theory of mind in infants and adults, and learning, memory, and attention study. Presented posters at the Nebraska Neuroscience Conference in October 2013 and Undergraduate Research Fair in April 2014.
Activities: Psi Chi Honors Society, Honors Program, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma Honors Societies, Volunteer at Bryan LGH and St. Elizabeth’s hospital.
Interests: In my free time, I enjoy reading, photography, doing puzzles, and traveling.
Andrea Meinders


Jackie O’Doherty

Majors: Nutrition Science and Psychology
Minor: Agricultural Leadership & Education
Goals: UNMC Physician’s Assistant Program
Research Interests: As of right now, there is no one definitive test or marker that easily sorts out whether or not someone has a concussion, or how severe it is, and yet it affects hundreds of thousands of athletes each year. My specific focus this year concerns concussions in football players currently playing at the University. I’ll be assessing the athletes’ brain function and the presence of concussion symptoms in addition to conducting assessments in cognitive neuroscience to measure a part of the working memory. After testing is completed, verbal and visual recognition, working memory and visual processing speed, learning and memory, impulse control and response inhibition, as well as visual motor-response speed will all be recorded and hopefully used to further our knowledge on how the brain is affected (short and long-term) by a concussion.
Activities: Alpha Phi, Nebraska Human Resources Institute, Navigators Ministry, Volunteer at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, working on a CNA License, Beverage Cart Server at Lincoln Country Club
Interests: I played on the University’s golf team for 2 years, so golf is definitely one of my passions that I get to keep up with frequently because I work at a golf course. Reading good books, listening to good music, and keeping up with friends is what I love to do when I have free time.

Kevin Real

I am a Junior Chemistry major with minors in Mathematics and Psychology from Papillion, Nebraska. When I am not spending my time searching for cats on the web I involve myself with my fraternity Beta Theta Pi, Dance Marathon, NHRI, and teaching chemistry recitations. Initially, I applied for this lab because it sounded like an amazing experience and a great investment for myself and others. My future plans involve Medical School with a specific emphasis in Cardiology or Neurology along with opening up my own practice with the ultra-creative, hip name “Real Medicine.” I am particularly interested in traumatic brain injuries as well as pushing the limit. I came into this lab wanting to attempt novel research in which I have been given ample opportunity to do so. In my free time you will find me reading, biking, and attempting to get to “Master League” on Starcraft.