I value mentoring. I wouldn't be where I am today without mentors who invested in me. I hope to pay that forward to my students.

Front row, L to R: Steph, Aubrey, Allysia, & Mary. Back row, L to R: Ashley, Sean, Siri, Kris, John, Caleb, & Me. End-of-year lab lunch @ Lucky Slice, 05-10-22. 


  1. Overview
  2. Prospective Students
  3. PhD Students
  4. EdS Students


I mentor grad students who are completing the School Psychology Program here at USU. They are usually accepted into the Program to work specifically with me and my lab. I serve as their primary faculty mentor throughout the Program.  

I also mentor undergrad RAs who help out with our research lab. They are usually undergrad psychology majors with strong interests in youth mental health. And they are almost always gearing up for grad school themselves.  

Right now, I'm mentoring 7 PhD and 3 EdS students. (Note. I won't be accepting any more EdS students because USU has discontinued that Program.) We don't currently have any undergrad RAs, as they are all headed off to grad school, but we'll likely recruit a few starting Fall 2022.

Our extended lab family also includes 5 grad alums that I mentored once upon a time. You can learn more about these folks on my grad alums page.

Prospective Students

Are you interested in joining my lab as a PhD student? If so, please check out my prospective PhDs page first, then go from there.
Are you looking for an undergrad RA opportunity? If so, please check out my prospective RAs page before reaching out to me. 

PhD Students

Sean Weeks is a 6th year student on predoctoral internship at Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare in NJ. He is interested in interventions and mental health outcomes related to school climate, especially for LGBTQ+ adolescents. Prior to USU, Sean completed undergrad schooling at the University of Kentucky and took time to teach, work, and volunteer across four continents. He enjoys skiing, climbing, traveling, and tennis.

Stephanie Vinal is a 5th year student. She's interested in assessing social-emotional learning and therapeutic interventions for emotional and behavioral problems. Prior to USU, Steph completed an undergrad degree at Roanke College, worked as a high school special education teacher in Massachusetts, and earned a master’s degree from Boston University in curriculum and teaching. She enjoys traveling, watching movies, cooking for friends, and hiking with her Golden-doodle pup, Piper.

Caleb Farley is a 4th year student. He's interested in mindfulness, mindful self-compassion, psychological flexibility, and how these behaviors influence mental health outcomes in school and family contexts. Prior to USU, Caleb studied psychology at Brigham Young University and volunteered internationally. He is also a concert pianist and private instructor of piano and cello. In his free time, Caleb enjoys hiking, skiing, reading, and practicing yoga.

Kris Franzmann is a 4th year student. He is broadly interested in behavior analysis and its application to clinically relevant problems. Prior to USU, Kris completed his undergrad studies at Oklahoma State University where he worked as as RA in the psychobiology lab. Post-graduation, he worked as a special education teaching assistant in a program for youth with behavioral challenges and served on PBIS and leadership teams. Kris enjoys spending free time with his wife and dog, reading, weightlifting, and watching TV.

L to R: Mary, Kris, & me. Show Up for Teachers conference @ Salt Lake City, UT, 07-12-22. 

Mary Phan is a 3rd year student. She is is interested in implementing mindfulness-based interventions with underserved youth in public schools as well as promoting racial equity through policy changes. Prior to USU, she received her BA in psychology at Temple University. She also worked as a clinical research coordinator at UPenn and was the director at a psychiatrist’s office. Her interest in research began when she interned at Temple University’s Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center, in which she continued her interest by interning at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Mary enjoys the outdoors, playing video games, reading, and watching anime. You can find her on Twitter @marylyndphan and learn more about her at her professional website.

Nai-Jiin Yang is a 3rd year student. She's broadly interested in the identification of individual- and system-level determinants that affect and promote the integration of mental health services within schools. Prior to USU, Jiin completed an undergraduate degree in educational psychology and counseling at National Taiwan Normal University, worked as a middle school guidance teacher, earned an EdS degree in school psychology from the University of Iowa, and worked as a school psychologist for several years. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Ashley Herd is a 1st year student. She is interested in understanding the effects of post-traumatic stress on academic functioning among adolescents. She aims to apply her research to the improvement of trauma-informed school frameworks. Ashley completed her undergraduate degree here at USU and spent time reinforcing DBT techniques with adolescents in a residential treatment program. In her free time, Ashley enjoys a good psychological thriller, playing the piano, and spending time outdoors with her husband and two dogs.

EdS Students

Siri Sedgwick is an EdS student on full-time internship with the Davis School District in UT. She is interested in creating protocols for MTSS to be more effective in the school environment, and in working with parents to improve young children’s behavior. Prior to USU, Siri completed her undergraduate education at Brigham Young University. She hails from Salt Lake City, UT, and enjoys reading books, hiking, and spending her free time with friends and family.

Allysia Rainey is an EdS student on full-time internship with the Canyons School District in UT. She is interested in the mental health of diverse youth in underrepresented and underprivileged populations. Prior to USU, Allysia completed her undergraduate degree at University of Oregon. At UO she was a McNair Scholar, research assistant in several child development labs, and headed introductory psychology courses. Allysia enjoys spending her free time at the gym, training her dog, and watching sitcoms.

Aubrey Taylor-Hiatt is an EdS student on full-time internship with the Nebo School District in UT. She is interested in creative psychological interventions as well as mindfulness-based approaches to treatment in schools. Prior to USU, Aubrey completed her undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University and studied the science of happiness and longevity as a research assistant in Italy, Greece, and Denmark. She also worked as a private voice instructor and volunteered with children at the Utah State Hospital. Aubrey enjoys singing, songwriting, true crime podcasts, and playing pickle-ball with her husband. ▲