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Chair & Staff | Faculty | Instructors | Graduate Students |

Ph.D and Masters Graduate Students

Ph.D Students

Joy Qiao

Joy Qiao's research will focus on external factors that influence social/emotional and cognitive development in children, from birth to adolescence. Particularly the factors that impact the ability to handle stress and how to minimize negative and destructive influences from family and environmental factors. She received her Masters Degree in Human Development and Social Policy from the University of Utah.

Email Joy Qiao

Marin Christensen

Marin is an FCS aficionado, having received both her double major undergrad degree and her masters through Family and Consumer Studies at the U of U. Her primary interests include how the lack of affordable, accessible child care affects women's labor force participation and future earnings (wage gap); the market failure of the high- quality child care industry, ROI for businesses offering childcare solutions as an employee benefit.

Email Marin Christensen

Premkumar Narayanan

Prem is interested in healthcare delivery and contextas well as Statistics and Quantitative Analysis. He received an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from NIT India and has a Masters in Finance and a Masters in Statistics from the University of Utah.

Email Prem Narayanan

 Tessa Washburn

Tessa's Ph.D research will focus on family systems and a family-centered approach to global health interventions. She hopes to apply her research to facilitate family/community-driven solutions to prevent human trafficing in resource poor settings. Tessa received a Bachelors Degree from BYU and a Masters Degree in Public Heath from BYU.

Email Tessa Washburn

Masters Students (First Year)

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Angie Eliason

Angie graduated from the U of U with a BS in Sociology, as well as certificates in criminology and positive psychology. She is interested in community outreach, social isolation, and how environments impact socialization.

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Bridget Lynch

Bridget studies child development, healthcare and child life, social/emotional issues surrounding infant/youth development and developmental disorders. She has a BS
in Applied Health Science with a major in Human Development from Indiana

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Alex Locklear

Alex received a BS in Political Science from Marshall University. He is working
towards his MS in Human Development and Social Policy in hopes of giving back to struggling areas, communities, and families by helping communities access more resources.

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Savannah Merrill

Savannah is interested in research related to infant cognitive development,
specifically the relationships between infant feeding styles and temperament
development from infancy through early childhood. She received her Bachelors
Degree from BYU in Family Studies with a Human Development Emphasis.

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Jessica Stafford

Jessica received a BS in Communication and a Minor is Sociology from
Kennewaw State University in Georgia. She is looking forward to expanding her
Child Life knowledge base working at Primary Childrens Hospital.

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Ana Velasquez

Ana's research is focused on divorce, parent-child and other familial relationships,
child and healthcare and the predictors/ consequences of stressful events and
trauma. She received her undergrad degree at the University of Utah in Human
Development and Family Consumer Studies; Child Life Track.

Masters Students (Second Year)

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Grace Therber

Grace is creating a resource for families of children with developmental delays to
use in hospitals for higher quality patient/family experiences. This work fits along her interests in child life, developmental delays and how hospitalization affects families. She has a degree from BYU in Child and Developmental Psychology.

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Bridges Eatchel

Bridges area of research is with the Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically
strengths-based approaches and the transition from adolescence into adulthood.
She received a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from John Carroll University.

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Annie Frazier

Annie's research investigates mothering and how stress may influence maternal warmth and responsiveness. She is interested in early childhood social/emotional
development, modern parenting and social policy. Annie has a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Utah.

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 Lesley Garaycochea

Lesley is a University of Utah graduate and continues her education pursuing a
Master's Degree in Social Policy through the FCS department. Her research focus is on homicide/suicide events where there is a child custody dispute.

Masters Students (Third Year)

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Nicole Fischer

Nicole is interested in child/adolescent development and mental health, social interaction and online media use. Her research involves looking at traumatic brain injury in children and analyzing the future mental health outcomes. She has a BS from Westminster College.


We are excited you are considering an advanced degree in Human Development and Social Policy through Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah. 

We look forward to chatting further with you about our Masters and Ph.D programs and the opportunities FCS can offer you.


Become Familiar with the Application Process by Reviewing the Necessary Steps Involved






Last Updated: 3/25/21