Meet the team

Primary Investigator

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Jennifer M. Taber, PhD

she/her/hers

Graduate Students

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Nicolle Simonovic, MA

Jeremy Profile

Jeremy Foust, MA

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Abigail O'Brien, BA

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Kaitlyn Warakomski

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Shannon Aber

Muyi Li

Charlie Coward

 

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Jennifer M. Taber, PhD

Jennifer Taber (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor at Kent State University in the Department of Psychological Sciences. She received her BA in Psychology at American University and her MS and PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Utah. Dr. Taber was a postdoctoral cancer research training award (CRTA) fellow for 2 years in the Behavioral Research Program of the National Cancer Institute. Her research lies at the intersection of social and health psychology and centers on promoting health behavior change across multiple domains. One of her major research interests is understanding when and why risk perceptions predict behavior and how to intervene to increase the likelihood that providing risk information will lead to behavior change, particularly in the domain of providing genetic risk feedback.

Contact Info:

Email: jtaber1@kent.edu

Office: Kent Hall Annex 309

Phone: (330) 672-3783

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Courses Taught:

Health Psychology (41581)

Psychology of Risk Communication (Seminar, 41495/81591)

Social Psychology (61580/71580)

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Nicolle Simonovic, MA

Nicolle is a fifth year PhD student in the Psychological Sciences program at Kent State University. She is interested in the intersection of social psychology and health psychology. In her line of research, she uses social psychological theory and methods to understand engagement in health behaviors, particularly how perceptions of risk and ambiguity as well as defensiveness influence psychological responses to health information. Other areas of focus include the use of self-affirmations and construal tasks as intervention strategies for health promotion. Nicolle received her Bachelor's degree in Psychological Science from John Carroll University. In her free time she enjoys running, cooking, and taking adventures with family, friends, and her adorable dog Eddie.

Contact Info:

nsimonov@kent.edu

Office: Kent Hall 390

Phone: (330) 672-2319

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Courses Taught:

Psychology of Everyday Life

Health Psychology

Career Pathways In Psychology

Research Methods

Social Psychology

 
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Jeremy Foust, MA

Jeremy is a third year PhD student in the Psychological Sciences program at Kent State University. He is interested in studying how people understand their health risk information, including instances in which people chose not to learn their health information—health information avoidance. He is also interested in learning about different research methodologies and statistical techniques that can be leveraged to understand health risk perceptions. Jeremy received his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Baldwin Wallace University and his Master's degree from Kent State University. In his free time, Jeremy likes to spend time with his partner, friends, and family. He also enjoys all things soccer related: watching soccer, reading about soccer, and playing soccer video games.  

Contact Info:

jfoust2@kent.edu

Office: Kent Hall 390

Phone: (440) 554-8045

Pronouns: He/him/his

Courses Taught:

Quantitative Methods in Psychology

Health Psychology

 

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Abigail O'Brien, BA

Abigail is a second year PhD student in the Psychological Sciences program at Kent State University. She is interested in utilizing social psychological theory to understand how people think about their health. Particularly, Abigail is interested in defensive responses to health information and how that subsequently influences engagement in health behaviors.  Abigail received her Bachelor's degree from Kent State University. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her friends and family. 

Contact Info:

Aobrie10@kent.edu

Office: Kent Hall 390

Phone: (330) 410-4497

Pronouns: She/her/hers

 
 
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Kaitlyn Warakomski
She/her/hers

Kaitlyn is currently a senior majoring in Psychology with a Counseling Careers concentration and minoring in Anthropology. After graduating, she plans on getting her Master’s in School Psychology. Kaitlyn is especially interested in social and cognitive psychology, and archeology. In her free time, she likes to read, make art, travel, and spend time with her friends and family.

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Muyi Li
She/her/hers

Muyi is currently a senior majoring in Psychology. After graduation, she plans to continue gaining experience in a research lab. She plans to attend graduate school where she is interested in child development, including their trajectory and the development of risks. Muyi is also interested in how familial relationships affect child development. In her free time, Muyi enjoys photography, traveling, her cats, taking walks, and playing video games. 

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Shannon Aber
She/her/hers

Shannon is a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in human sexuality. After she graduates, she will go onto graduate school to pursue her goal of becoming a clinical or counseling psychologist. Her research interests include health psychology, assessment, discrimination in health care, and chronic illness. She is also a RA in Dr. Himmelstein’s SWAG Lab. In her free time she likes to travel, play cozy games like Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, and work on her family tree.

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Charlie Coward They/them/theirs

Charlie is a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in biology. After graduating, they plan to attend graduate school and get their Ph.D. in Health Psychology. Specifically, they are interested in the various reasons why people choose to avoid healthcare information and what strategies they may use to cope with learning their risk. Outside the lab, they love to travel, play Dungeons and Dragons, and complete paint-by-numbers of their favorite game concept art.