Fall 2023 IDEA Lab

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), developmental seminars focused on emotions or emotion regulation (PSYC 745), and emotion and cognition (PSYC 780).

Graduate Students

Jeffrey Hughes, M.S.

Jeff is a sixth-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.

Matty Johnston

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

Avneet Batra

Avneet is a third-year 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.

Jeanette Pool, MSW, LGSW

Jeanie is a first-year graduate student from Morgantown, WV. She received a B.S. in Psychology from West Virginia University in 2017 and an MSW from Concord University in 2019. She is certified in several therapeutic modalities and in addition to her research in the I.D.E.A Lab also holds a small list of clients. Jeanie’s research interests include implicit beliefs of emotions, emotion regulation strategies, anxiety, and parental attachment. In her free time, Jeanie enjoys gardening, being outside, and cooking. 

Undergraduate Students

Riley Harris

Riley is a fourth year undergraduate student from Parkersburg, West Virginia. She is double majoring in Biology and Psychology. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school. In her free time, she likes to cook/bake, drink coffee, and hang out with her friends.

Vicki Shrensky

Vicki is in her third 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.

Kimia Izadinia

Kimia Izadinia is in her senior year of undergraduate studies majoring in Psychology. Her research interests are understanding how family systems, neonatal parental attachment, and cultural factors predict resiliency and emotion regulation in adolescence. After graduation, she intends to continue the path of research, hoping to join a PhD program. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, eating, and watching food videos. 

Ashley Cecconi

Ashley is a senior undergraduate student from Wheeling, WV. She is majoring in psychology with a minor in statistics. She also works part-time as a psychometrist. After graduation, she plans to go to graduate school for clinical psychology. In her free time, she likes to play the violin, read, and spend time with her cat.

I.D.E.A. Lab Alumni

Graduate alumni

Anna Park, Ph.D.

Anna (Ph.D., 2023) has been studying the development of courage and emotion regulation, positive and negative risk-taking and its development, and positive youth development, including social and cultural factors affecting well-being. Anna is now doing a postdoc at Fordham University, working in the Human Development and Social Justice Lab with Dr. Cecilia Fisher.

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. 

Katelyn Romm, Ph.D.

Katelyn’s (Ph.D., 2020; volunteered as a secondary lab) dissertation examined the role of adolescents’ reasoning about parenting behaviors on the associations among parental psychological control and adolescents’ health-risk behaviors. Katelyn completed a postdoc at George Washington University, and now is an Assistant Professor at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences, where she focuses on sociocontextual influences on young adults’ tobacco and other substance use.

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) studied parent socialization of gratitude and positive emotion regulation, and 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 an Associate Teaching Professor 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, particularly 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 postdoc 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 was a postdoc with Dr. Suzanne Segerstrom at the University of Kentucky and now is an Associate 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
  • Alyssa Carpenter
  • 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
  • Elizabeth (Shea) Wright