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

Gentzler Amy

Amy 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

Jeffrey Hughes, M.S.

Jeff is a fifth-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 interested in the effects of social media use on well-being, and how browsing social media influences adolescents’ and emerging adults’ happiness. In his free time he enjoys listening to music, biking, and cooking.

Anna Park, M.S.

Anna is a fourth-year doctoral student working in Dr. Gentzler’s I.D.E.A lab. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Biology. She received her M.A in Biblical Counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is interested in the development of courage and emotion regulation. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, watching Netflix, and working out.

Matthew Johnston

Matty is a second-year graduate student in the Life-Span Development program, working with Dr. Gentzler in the I.D.E.A Lab. He received a B.S. in Psychology from West Virginia University in 2021. His research interests include adolescent development broadly, with specific focus on parent-child relationships and the development of perceived control. In his free time, Matty enjoys spending time with his three cats: Zora, Zola, and Baby.

Avneet Batra

Avneet is a second-year International graduate student from India. She completed her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from University of Delhi. Her broader areas of interests include understanding parent-child relations and she is specifically interested in parenting. Apart from her academic interests, she enjoys reading poetry, hiking and listening to music.

Undergraduate Students

Alyssa Carpenter

Hello! My name is Alyssa Carpenter. I am a senior undergraduate student studying psychology and women and gender studies. My interests revolve around child and adolescent trauma and recovery and how it affects marginalized populations in different ways. I plan to pursue a Masters degree in social work with a clinical focus to practice therapeutic interventions with trauma affected populations. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends, reading, and trying countless coffee spots!

Riley Harris

Riley is a third-year undergraduate student from Parkersburg, West Virginia. She is double majoring in Biology and Psychology. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school to pursue an M.D. in psychiatry. In her free time, she likes to cook/bake, play video games, and hang out with her many pets.

Vicky Shrensky

Vicki is currently in her second year of undergrad and is majoring in both biology and psychology. Her area of interest includes learning about how romantic relationships impact the brain, the development of romantic relationships and why people are attracted to who they’re attracted to. Her career goals include relationship coaching/counseling. In her free time you can find her reading, writing poetry, or listening to Britney Spears.

Elizabeth (Shea) Wright

I am a senior undergraduate from Wheeling, West Virginia. I am majoring in psychology, with a special interest in either developmental, social, or abnormal psychology. I also have a minor in general business. After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school for clinical psychology, and eventually I would love to own a business with counseling for every area of psychology in one building. In my free time, I enjoy working out, traveling, cooking, and spending time with my family and friends.

I.D.E.A. Lab Alumni

Graduate alumni

Katelyn Romm, Ph.D.

Katelyn’s (Ph.D., 2020) research broadly focuses on the role of parenting behaviors and family processes on adolescents’ and young adults’ problematic outcomes. Her dissertation examined the role of adolescents’ reasoning about parenting behaviors on the associations among parental psychological control and adolescents’ health-risk behaviors. Katelyn is currently a postdoctoral research fellow working with Carla Berg at George Washington University. Her research is focused on the sociocontextual influences on young adults’ tobacco and other substance use.

Tyia Wilson, Ph.D.

Tyia (Ph.D., 2020) is currently a post doctoral research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh in the Pediatrics Department. Tyia often has studied negative and positive emotion socialization in families. She works with Dr. Elizabeth Miller on a NIH T32 grant in the division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine which focuses on adolescent and young adult health, development and decision making with an emphasis on enhancing resiliency. 

Katy DeLong, Ph.D.

Katy (Ph.D. 2020) is currently an Assistant Professor at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Pennsylvania where she teaches various psychology courses. Her research broadly focused on individual differences that contributed to self-regulation development across the lifespan (e.g., childhood adversity, implicit beliefs), and emotional abilities through acting training. More recently, she balances her time between her interests and on supporting her current student’s project ideas.

Karena Moran, Ph.D.

Karena (Ph.D., 2018) was interested in the regulation of positive and negative emotions, beliefs about emotions and emotion regulation strategies, and the socialization of emotions 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.


Meagan (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.


Frankie’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 F12

Cara 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 completed a postdoctoral position at the University of Houston and is now Assistant Professor of Psychology at Montana State University.

Jennifer Morey, Ph.D.

Jennifer Morey F12

Jennifer 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)


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


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

Danielle Nadorff (Ph.D., 2011) is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Mississippi State University.

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

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

Undergraduate alumni

  • Joseph Angioli
  • Amanda Barboza
  • Brandon Benchoff
  • Kaitlyn Berry
  • Jessica Billups
  • Caleb Brown
  • Derek Burns
  • Isabella Camerlin
  • Sasha Canan
  • Anthony Carilli
  • Anthony Casella
  • Ashley Clement
  • Chelsea Coder
  • Alyssa Cordani
  • Zach Dengler
  • Ben Duplaga
  • Carinna Ferguson
  • Helena Garren
  • Brianna Godfrey
  • Kiana Hayes
  • Rebecca (Catherine) Kincaid
  • Amanda King
  • Ben Kristanto
  • David Lewis
  • Sarah Lempka
  • Olivia Lin
  • Alexis Lohm
  • Alika Lopatka
  • Hannah Lubman
  • Liam McCabe
  • Kelsey McCoy
  • Lora McDonald
  • Molly McGhin
  • Emma Mendoza
  • Ginny Milsap
  • Robert Moles
  • Anna Moody
  • Kayley Morrow
  • Matthew Murry
  • Ashley Noah
  • Jackie Patzer
  • Kelly Pearse
  • Colton Peloquin
  • Madeline Price
  • Angela Pubal
  • Lorena Rose
  • Hattie Rowe
  • Emma Shaffer
  • Arik Sheets
  • Jesse Shorts
  • Brittaney Sikorski
  • Mary Kevan Smith
  • Larry Sobek
  • Skylar Spanburgh
  • Aaron Testoff
  • Taija Thomas
  • Chad Thompson
  • Stefani Thompson
  • Cal Wilson