Amy Gentzler, Ph.D. – Lab Director and Associate Professor of Psychology

Gentzler AmyAmy received a B.A. (Psychology major) from Miami University. She then trained in Experimental Psychology (specializing in Social Psychology) at Kent State University, working with Dr. Kathryn Kerns as her advisor. Amy completed a NIMH postdoctoral position in Developmental Psychopathology at George Washington University, then gained additional, valuable research experience by working at the University of Pittsburgh within the Childhood Depression Research Program. Since starting at WVU in 2007, Amy runs the I.D.E.A. Lab and has taught undergraduate courses in Applied Social Psychology (PSYC 351), Emotions & Mood (PSYC 370), and Positive Psychology (PSYC 493), and graduate courses in Child Development (PSYC 542), Developmental Research Methods (PSYC 546), Social Psychology (PSYC 725), and developmental seminars focused on emotions or emotion regulation (PSYC 745).

Graduate Students

Katy Delong, M.S.

Katy is a fourth-year doctoral student working in Dr. Gentzler’s I.D.E.A. Lab. She graduated from West Chester University in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Psychology in 2015. She is interested in the development of self-regulation across the life-span, including behavioral, cognitive, and emotional components. She is especially interested in what leads to the development of, improvement of, and the outcomes of having good or poor self-regulation. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching Netflix, and taking her puppy, Pepper, on walks.

Tyia Wilson, M.S.

Tyia is a third-year doctoral student working in Dr. Gentzler’s I.D.E.A. Lab. She graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She is interested in the development of emotion and emotion regulation. Specifically, she is interested in how environmental factors, such as parenting, influence a child’s emotional behavior. In her free time, she enjoys sleeping, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Katelyn Romm, M.S.

Katelyn is a fourth-year doctoral student working in Dr. Metzger’s Adolescent Development Lab and Dr. Gentzler’s I.D.E.A. Lab. She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from York College of PA in 2013 and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Maryland in 2015. She is interested in the role of parenting behaviors, particularly parental psychological control and its relation to adolescents’ health-risk behaviors. She is especially interested in exploring the pathways and moderators of these links, and how adolescents reason about and evaluate parents’ use of psychological control. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her adorable dog, Penny, and spending time with family and friends.

Jeffrey Hughes, M.S.

Jeff is a first-year doctoral student working in Dr. Amy Gentzler’s I.D.E.A Lab. He graduated from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania with a B.A in Psychology in 2016 and an M.S in Psychological Science in 2018. He is currently interested in how early life adversity, specifically childhood abuse, impacts the development of social and emotional functioning. He is also interested in how resiliency can act as a buffer between adversity and the negative repercussions that come of it. In his free time he enjoys listening to music, biking, and cooking.


Undergraduate Students

Alika Lopatka

Alika Lopatka is a junior at WVU double majoring in Biology and Psychology. Alika is also pursuing a Biology area of emphasis in Genomics and a minor in Religious Studies. She is currently in her third semester in Dr. Gentzler’s I.D.E.A. lab. She is interested in pursuing a career in genetic counseling, with Huntington’s disease and abnormal psychology being areas of interest. In her free time, Alika enjoys hanging out with friends and family, watching TV and movies, listening to music, and playing badminton and tennis.

Emma Mendoza

Emma Mendoza is a first year student at WVU majoring in Psychology and plans to get a Ph.D. in the future. She is interested in neuropsychology and forensic psychology. Emma has not decided exactly what she wants to focus on once she gets to graduate school, but she is very excited to be working with graduate students and Dr. Gentzler so help her find her passions. In her free time, she likes to watch YouTube, spend time with her friends, and sleep.

Kaitlyn Berry 

Kaitlyn Berry is a junior Psychology major from Barboursville, West Virginia. She has been working in the lab since the summer of 2018. She is in the process of earning her BCABA certification and she is pursuing a minor in Addiction Studies with the hopes of returning to her hometown to do addiction therapy. She plans to obtain her PhD in Behavioral Psychology after obtaining her undergraduate degree and working in her field for a few years. In her free time she loves to hang out with her friends, watch Game of Thrones, explore new music, and play with her adorable cat, Aster.

Kayley Morrow

Kayley Morrow is a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Religious Studies. Her current research interests include emotion regulation, positive affect, and depression in adolescence. She plans to earn her PhD in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys drinking Diet Coke, singing in an a cappella group, and being outdoors.

Lora McDonald

Lora McDonald is from Clarksburg, WV and is a junior Psychology major with minors in Communication Studies and Human Services. She plans to pursue a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology after graduation. Her research interests include parent-child relationships as well as emotion socialization and regulation in children and adolescents. In her spare time, she loves binge watching shows on Netflix, reading, and spending time outdoors. You can usually find her drinking coffee.

Emma Shaffer

Emma Shaffer is a junior at WVU from Hurricane, West Virginia. She is studying Psychology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. This is her second semester working in Dr. Gentzler’s I.D.E.A. lab. She has not found research interests as of yet but is intrigued by the role of socialization on aspects of development and abnormal psychology. She hopes to attend grad school for a M.A. in Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, reading, baking, and being with her friends.

Hattie Rowe

Hattie is from Charleston, WV and a junior at WVU. She is double majoring in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Human Services. After graduation she hopes to obtain a Masters degree in Counseling or Clinical Psychology. She is passionate about service and hopes to one day use her degree to provide help for those in need. Her research interests include adolescent development, abnormal psychology, and the effects socialization of gender has on development. This is her second semester in the I.D.E.A. Lab and she is excited to learn more about the real life research process. Her interests include helping others, visiting art museums, hanging out with friends, and (most importantly) hot sauce.

Skylar Spanburgh

Skylar Spanburgh is a senior Psychology Major from Keyser, West Virginia. She is minoring in Human Services, which she is most intrigued with and plans to pursue a career. She wants to further her education with an M.A. in Counseling and hopes to become a school counselor. Skylar is also an active member of the WVU Psychology Club and she is the Social Media Chair. In her free time she enjoys shopping, watching Netflix, and spending time with her family and friends.

Madeline Price

Madeline Price is currently a junior at WVU from Saint Albans, West Virginia. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Political Science and Addiction Studies. This is her second semester in Dr. Gentzler’s I.D.E.A. lab. Her research interests include abnormal psychology, the role of drugs in behavior, and mental health in modern society. Upon graduation, she will pursue a MA and then a PsyD in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, you may find her watching Parks & Rec, searching for a Corgi to adopt, traveling, or somewhere eating any type of dessert.

Sarah Lempka

Sarah Lempka is a junior from Churchville, Maryland.  She is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Human Services and Addiction Studies.  After graduating, she plans to pursue a masters degree in School Counseling and work in a high school.  Her current research interests include adolescent development, abnormal psychology and addiction research.  In her free time, she enjoys making music, cooking, and playing with her fur baby, Teddy Bear.

Cherish Heard

Cherish is a sophomore at WVU, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and Spanish. She is interested in the prison population of America. Specifically, why solitary confinement are still incorporated into the prison system when there is no research showing a beneficial outcome. She enjoys cooking, traveling, amusement parks, and meeting new people. She also enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her adorable cat, Cuteness.

Anthony Carilli

Anthony is a junior majoring in Psychology from Pittsburgh, PA. This is his first semester working in the I.D.E.A lab. He plans to obtain his master’s in Organizational Psychology. Consequently, he has interests in emotion regulation and behavior analysis. In his free time he watches Game of Thrones, plays video games, and reads books.

I.D.E.A. Lab Alumni

Karena Moran, Ph.D.

Karena (Ph.D., 2018) is interested in the regulation of positive and negative emotions, beliefs about emotions and emotion regulation strategies, and the socialization of emotions and how to regulate them across the life span. Her dissertation extended previous work on children and adolescents by examining how parents and friends socialize emotions with emerging adults.

Meagan Ramsey, Ph.D.

MeaganMeagan (Ph.D., 2015) had three main research interests:: 1) parent socialization of gratitude, 2) parent socialization of positive emotion regulation, and 3) the regulation of positive emotions in adulthood. For her dissertation, she created and conducted gratitude interventions in the family context. She had a postdoctoral position with Cindy Berg at the University of Utah and now works at the University of Michigan as a Grant Development Specialist.

Chit Yuen Yi, Ph.D.

FrankieFrankie’s (Ph.D., 2015) main interests were in emotion regulation and substance use. Her dissertation examined emotion regulation flexibility of negative and positive emotions in relation to substance use among adolescents. Her thesis focused on mood effects on emotion perception and social interactions. Frankie is currently an Instructor of Psychology at Florida International University.

Cara Palmer, Ph.D.

Cara Palmer F12Cara Palmer (Ph.D., 2014). Cara’s research broadly focuses on the regulation of emotions, especially the regulation of positive affect. Her thesis focused on children’s regulation of emotion and parental socialization of this process in a sports context. In her dissertation, she experimentally manipulated savoring in adults to understand variability in ability to sustain positive affect. Cara is currently completing a postdoctoral position at the University of Houston working with Dr. Candice Alfano.

Jennifer Morey, Ph.D.

Jennifer Morey F12Jennifer Morey (Ph.D., 2013). Jennifer’s master’s thesis focused on how attachment related to the sharing of and responses to positive events in romantic relationships. Her dissertation examined parents’ perception of and responses toward children’s negative and positive emotions, and how these responses were predicted by parents’ attachment and meta-emotion philosophy. Jennifer became a postdoctoral scholar with Dr. Suzanne Segerstrom at the University of Kentucky and now is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Thomas Nelson Community College.

Amanda Wheat, Ph.D. (volunteered as a secondary lab)

Amanda Whited, (Ph.D., 2012), was a member of the Gentzler lab at WVU from 2009-2012 to supplement her Clinical Psychology research training in the area of psychophysiology from a developmental perspective. She is currently completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology at East Carolina University with dual appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Cardiovascular Sciences. This fellowship followed an initial fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology at the Center for Transplant Care at UNC Hospitals. The majority of her current clinical work and research focuses on cardiovascular disease, including the role of psychosocial and psychophysiological factors in CVD risk, prevention, and treatment.

Brian Creasy, Ph.D. (volunteered as a secondary lab)

Brian Creasy (Ph.D., 2012) is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in San Antonio, Texas.

Danielle Nadorff, Ph.D. (volunteered as a secondary lab)

Danielle Nadorff (Ph.D., 2011) is currently an Assistant Psychology at Mississippi State University.

Emily Keener, Ph.D. (volunteered as a secondary lab)

Emily Keener (Ph.D., 2010) currently is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Slippery Rock University.

Past Undergraduate Students

  • Joseph Angioli
  • Amanda Barboza
  • Caleb Brown
  • Brandon Benchoff
  • Jessica Billups
  • Derek Burns
  • Sasha Canan
  • Anthony Casella
  • Ashley Clement
  • Chelsea Coder
  • Alyssa Cordani
  • Zach Dengler
  • Ben Duplaga
  • Carinna Ferguson
  • Brianna Godfrey
  • Kiana Hayes
  • Rebecca (Catherine) Kincaid
  • Amanda King
  • Ben Kristanto
  • David Lewis
  • Hannah Lubman
  • Kelsey McCoy
  • Ginny Milsap
  • Matthew Murry
  • Ashley Noah
  • Jackie Patzer
  • Kelly Pearse
  • Colton Peloquin
  • Angela Pubal
  • Lorena Rose
  • Arik Sheets
  • Jesse Shorts
  • Brittaney Sikorski
  • Mary Kevan Smith
  • Larry Sobek
  • Aaron Testoff
  • Taija Thomas
  • Chad Thompson
  • Cal Wilson