Doctoral Students

Kristy’s background as a peer mentor for undergraduates sparked her interest in the psychological processes of learning and becoming. She studies the development of academic and career identities through the lens of motivation theory. She is also interested in the role of emotions in the classroom. She loves teaching, and currently teaches an introductory educational psychology course.


Emily’s work in college admissions inspired her to study the process of academic decision-making, especially with relation to peer influences on choices. She studies how students’ feelings of belonging relate to motivation and fluctuating career intentions throughout college. She is also interested in the ways in which feelings of belonging develop throughout the college years, especially for traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering fields. She is passionate about sharing educational psychology with her students, and her teaching philosophy is centered around providing peer supports for learning.


Anna is a middle and high school science teacher and doctoral student in the hybrid EPET program at MSU. She is interested in understanding how participation in technology-driven activities impacts student motivation and achievement in science classes. Her experiences teaching overseas for Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) and other schools overseas have shaped her interest in understanding how connecting with other students in geographically disparate locations enhances student learning over shared but separate experiences.


Krystal Lira

Krystal is interested in understanding attrition in STEM education among underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities and women. Specifically, she is interested in the intersection between motivation interventions and mentoring on STEM persistence. Her passion for mentoring students has led her to pursue various teaching experiences and mentoring opportunities. Krystal comes to Michigan State University from Los Angeles, California and has a B.A. in Psychology.


Lab Affiliates:


After earning his BS from the University of Pittsburgh in Economics, Patrick Beymer taught high school mathematics for three years while earning his MEd in Educational Psychology at North Carolina State University. Patrick’s research aims to address issues of student motivation. He is interested in understanding student judgment and decision-making and how the economics and marketing literature can inform education. He is also interested in examining social processes and contextual factors that influence motivation.



Joshua Rosenberg is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program at Michigan State University. His research focuses on how teachers work to create better opportunities for all students. In particular, he examines how teachers think about and negotiate aspects of their context—social and motivational and in terms of curricular standards—in their practice. Before graduate school, Joshua was a high school science teacher in North Carolina.



Chris Seals is a Ph.D. student in MSU’s educational psychology and educational technology program with research interest around the success and motivation of urban and underrepresented students. Chris is working on an NIH-funded NRMN-CAN project focusing on the experiences of postdoctoral students of color and their pursuit of academic careers in STEM fields. Chris is also working on a WIPRO funded teacher development project, MSU UrbanSTEM Fellowship program, where he assesses the growth in teachers in an urban setting. Lastly, he focuses his personal research on the social psychological interventions, understanding the changes in the belief systems of students.