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Principal Investigator

Dr. Katherine Ehrlich

Dr. Katie Ehrlich is the director of the Health and Development Lab and an associate professor in Psychology and at the Center for Family Research. She received her BA in psychology from Washington & Lee University and her PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed postdoctoral research training at Northwestern University before joining UGA in 2016.

Dr. Ehrlich's research takes an interdisciplinary approach to evaluating the ways in which the social world shapes mental and physical health. She is particularly interested in questions about risk and resilience, minority health disparities, and close relationships in adolescence. Her work has been funded by NICHD, NIDA, the NIH Common Fund, the Jacobs Foundation, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Graduate Students

Kelsey Corallo


Kelsey Corallo is a fifth-year psychology graduate student in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Georgia. Kelsey received her B.S. in Psychology with a Justice Studies minor from Arizona State University in 2015, and spent the following two years teaching pre-kindergarten through the Teach for America program.

Kelsey is interested in the study of how early life experiences influence developmental outcomes across the lifespan. Specifically, she is interested in studying how student-teacher relationships and school experiences in childhood can influence student health, by mediating or moderating the association between stress and biomarkers of immunity. Ultimately, she seeks to contribute to the research and implementation of school and community programs that promote healthy child development. She successfully defended her thesis: Early Environments, Parental Overprotection, and Susceptibility to the Common Cold in the fall of 2019.


Sarah Lyle

Sarah Lyle is a fifth-year psychology graduate student in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Georgia. She completed her M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) and her B.A. in Psychology from Ohio Northern University (Ada, Ohio). Additionally, Sarah spent two years working for City Year, an Americorps program that serves inner-city schools, where she tutored and mentored 4th and 7th graders.

Sarah is interested in exploring stress and resilience across the lifespan. Specifically, she is interested in studying how cognitive factors (e.g., executive functions and self-control), health behaviors (e.g., sleep), and biological variables (e.g., age, sex, genetics) might attenuate or exacerbate associations between psychosocial experiences and physical health.

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Julie Brisson

Julie Brisson is a first-year graduate student in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Georgia. Julie graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2021 with a B.A. in Human Development and Family Sciences and a B.A. in Psychological Sciences.

Julie is interested in risk and resilience in disadvantaged youth, including children who have experienced maltreatment and discrimination. She is interested in how their early-life experiences are associated with mental and physical health across the lifespan, as well as the role psychosocial factors (e.g., child-caregiver relationship, emotion regulation skills) have in buffering negative health outcomes.


Elizabeth Wiggins

Elizabeth Wiggins is a first-year psychology graduate student in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Ph.D. program at the University of Georgia from Washington, DC.  She received her BS in Psychology with a minor in Health Studies from Haverford College in 2021.  Elizabeth completed her undergraduate senior thesis titled, “The COVID-19 Crisis and Racial Health Disparities: Building Trust and Vaccine Confidence.”


She has held positions at the National Institutes of Health including in the Office of Global Research at NIAID and the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at NIA working on projects related to health disparities.  Elizabeth was also awarded a Haverford College Center for Peace and Global Citizenship Fellowship to study social determinants of health in Oaxaca, Mexico.



Dee Cole Vodicka

Dee Cole Vodicka is the Project Coordinator for the Health and Development Lab. She received her BA in Sociology from North Park College in Chicago, IL, and her MEd in Special Education from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus.

Dee and her husband John have three adult sons; their family lived and worked with people experiencing homelessness and ran a hospitality house for families of women in prison. After obtaining her master’s degree, she taught in special education settings and worked in teacher education for 19 years. Most recently, she has worked in church administration and at the AU-UGA Medical Partnership in curriculum coordination.


Manuela Celia-Sanchez

Manuela Celia-Sanchez is from Charlotte, NC. She received her B.S in Environmental Biology and Mathematics with honors, from Wingate University in Wingate, NC. Manuela's previous research experience includes working with Dr. Erika Niland (Wingate University), studying the identification and quantification of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) in Megacopta cribraria (kudzu bugs). Kudzu bugs are invasive insects that have become an agricultural pest in Georgia and the Carolinas.

Manuela was awarded the Budd E. and Ethel K. Smith Award for her contribution through leadership of fellow students at Wingate University.

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Anna Langer

Anna Langer is from Rockville, MD. She received her B.A. in Psychology with honors and minors in Environmental Humanities and Hebrew from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.


Anna’s previous research experience includes working with Dr. Judith Smetana in the Social Development and Family Processes Lab (University of Rochester), where she completed and defended an honors thesis entitled “‘I felt great sneaking out, but guilty lying about it to my parents’: Expressed emotions in adolescents’ narratives regarding disclosing, concealing and lying to parents”. She also worked with Dr. Laura Elenbaas (University of Rochester) in the Social Cognitive Development Lab, where she focused on children’s beliefs surrounding inequalities between racial groups. While studying abroad, she worked with Dr. Elyakim Kislev (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) to research the application of new technologies to better the lives of individuals experiencing loneliness.

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Daisy Gallegos

Daisy Gallegos received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Science at the University of Georgia. 


Daisy's previous research experience includes working with Dr. Assaf Oshri (University of Georgia) with the Youth Development Institute. She also worked with Dr. Cindy Suveg (University of Georgia) as the Project Coordinator of the DADS project which collected physiological data and qualitative data on how parents react to their children's stress. She is currently working in the Social Determinants of Child Development lab with Dr. Margaret Caughy (University of Georgia) in coding longitudinal child-parent interactions for joint engagement, respeto (parent calm authority and child affiliative obedience), active direction, and physicality items in a play setting.


Daisy is currently interested in researching the development of disadvantaged youth in Latino populations. She plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Child Life Specialty.

Lab Alumni

Leah Cha (Summer 2021 - Spring 2022)

Sol Moreno (Winter 2020 - Spring 2022)

Isabel Wasilewski (Fall 2019 - Summer 2021)

Aishat Sadiq (Fall 2019 - Summer 2021)

Anita Minniefield (Spring 2020 - Spring 2021)

Deb Bastien (Spring 2019 - Spring 2020)

Tiffany Adike (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Chinonso Ani (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Colby Cochran (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Morgan Cox (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Iyanu Daomi (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Payton Eason (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Rashidatu "Tope" Olorunsola (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Isis Owusu (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Dalton Sircy (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Josie Guitton (Fall 2018 - Spring 2020)

Connor Lambert (Fall 2018 - Spring 2020)

Alyssa Moffitt (Fall 2018 - Spring 2020)

Yakia Clark (Fall 2019)

Gabrielle "Bria" Hubinger (Fall 2019)

Anna Brachey (Spring 2019 - Fall 2019)

Fiona Cashin (Spring 2019 - Fall 2019)

Rebecca Guerreso (Fall 2018 - Summer 2019)

Santosh Nimkar (Fall 2018 - Summer 2019)

Stephanie Hayes (Spring 2019 - Summer 2019)

Kamsi Ubezonu (Spring 2019)

Sara Atama (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019)

Orobosa Idehen (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019)

Mackenzie "Blue" Harvill (Fall 2017- Spring 2018)

Hope Skypek (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

Mary Mitchell Morris (Summer 2017- Spring 2018)

Lauren Geiser (Summer 2017)