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Department of Psychological Sciences

Current Undergraduate Research Assistants

Elassia Cunningham-Younger

Major/Minor: Life Science on a pre-med track with minors in biology and english

Why did you join the lab?: "I joined the lab to gain further knowledge in psychology and experience in research. I was especially interested in learning more about the relationship between behavioral neuroscience and endocrinology."

Career goals: "I hope to pursue a career as a medical doctor and work with underserved communities."

MacKenzie Gwinner

Major/Minor: Nutritional Sciences on a pre-med track with a minor in Biology

Why did you join the lab?: "I joined the lab to gain research experience and explore a new field. I wanted to see if research was something I was interested in. I was particularly excited because of the connections this research has to nutrition and medicine!"

Career goals: "Medical doctor"

Torrey Lonker

Major/Minor: Life Science and Gerontology

Why did you join the lab?: "I joined to gain a better understanding of how our everyday impulsive decisions can have a profound impact. Another reason I joined was for the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people and gain insight and knowledge in the field of research which can only be accomplished through hands-on experience."

Career goals: "Pre-health field"

Aaron Schnegelsiepen

Major/Minor: Biochemistry on a pre-med track

Why did you join the lab?: "I joined the lab for the current research projects. I think these questions are profound in significance and any ground that can be made is important. Our lab is also more inclusive than many, allowing for a student to receive as much training and as many opportunities as they wish, which is awesome."

Career goals: "Become a doctor (M.D.)."

Robert Small

Major/Minor: Medical Biochemistry, Honors Program

Why did you join the lab?: "I joined the RTD lab to apply what I have learned in my classes and to gain valuable research experience."

Career goals: "Currently, my goal is to work in the health and medicine field. I would really like to go to medical school after my time here at K-State!"


Recent Undergraduate Alumni

Brynn Critcher

In the lab?: "Summer 2016 to Spring 2018"

Current Whereabouts: "I am a veterinary student at Western University of Health Sciences located in Southern California."

Best Memory from the Lab: "My favorite memories from lab is our weekly lab meetings. Since most of us worked on different projects, it was great to get together and hear about everyone's work. Plus we had a lot of fun!"

Ian Davis

In the lab?: "Summer 2016 to Spring 2018"

Current Whereabouts: "Currently at the University of Maryland College Park as a research technician for the Li Neuroscience Lab"

Best Memory from the Lab: "Driving out to Philadelphia with Aaron for the Pavlov Conference"

Julia Duran

In the lab?: "Summer 2017 to Fall 2018"

Current Whereabouts: "I'm working as a Case Manager for children and adolescents at Pawnee Mental Health. This has allowed me to gain experience in the mental health field before applying to graduate schools, as well as confirmed my passion for helping individuals suffering from mental illnesses."

Best Memory from the Lab: "Getting second place for my first ever research presentation at KansABA conference."

Pallie Koehn

In the lab?: "Fall 2016 to Spring 2018"

Current Whereabouts: "Currently a doctoral student in Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University"

Best Memory from the Lab: "The RTD lab's fun and friendly environment is pretty rare for a lab. I loved lab meetings! Especially when food was involved, and especially when it was not my turn to present :)"

Annie Mains

In the lab?: "Spring 2016 to Spring 2018"

Current Whereabouts: "Working at Martin City Elementary School with the Special Education Program"

Best Memory from the Lab: "meeting and working with all the wonderful graduate students and lab mates"

Jesseca Pirkle

In the lab?: "Spring 2015 to Spring 2018"

Current Whereabouts: "I am currently attending medical school at the University of Illinois in Rockford."

Best Memory from the Lab: "Lab dinners at conferences. It was always fun to meet old lab members and see what they had accomplished."

Sydney Edmisten

In the lab?: "Fall 2014 to Spring 2017"

Current Whereabouts: "I am going to medical student at The University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City."

Best Memory from the Lab: "Going to the Society for Neuroscience conference with the RTD lab and presenting a poster."

Christian Davis

In the lab?: "Fall 2014 to Spring 2016."

Current Whereabouts: "I am now a medical student at KU in Kansas City."

Best Memory from the Lab: "My favorite memory from lab would be going to Society for Neuroscience and getting to interact with the other lab members outside of lab, which was really fun."

Carrie Turpen

In the lab?: "Spring 2015 to Spring 2016."

Current Whereabouts: "I'm still at Kansas State, but as a research assistant in the RTD lab."

Best Memory from the Lab? "Prepping for the undergraduate research convocation. It's nice to see all of your work come together!"

Jeremy Lott

In the lab?: "Fall 2013 to Spring 2016." 

Current Whereabouts: "Kansas University Medical School."

Best Memory from the Lab: "Relaxing in the Trump Tower in Chicago after presenting a poster at a conference."

Ashton Triplett

In the lab?: "Fall 2014 to Spring 2015"

Current Whereabouts: "Oswego, NY, pursuing my MS/ED.S in school psychology at SUNY Oswego."

Best Memory from the Lab?: "I have tons of really great memories but I think one of my favorite things was getting to hand-shape a rat."

Jon Smith

In the lab?: "Spring 2012 to Fall 2013"

Current Whereabouts: "I am currently living in Overland Park and working as a medical staffing coordinator for Saint Luke's Health System and will begin working on my Masters of Public Health at KU Med this August."

Best Memory from the Lab?: "The lab meetings and generally how well everyone meshed. I also really enjoyed the intense day of histology when we were prepping brain slides."

Jeff Hyder

In the lab?: "Spring 2012 to Spring 2013"

Current Whereabouts: "I am currently attending medical school at The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City."

Best Memory from the Lab?: "I really enjoyed playing with the baby rats for the enrichment study. I also enjoyed being able to participate in every step of the experimental process: from design to conclusion."

 Aaron Smith

In the lab?: "Spring 2011 to Summer 2013"

Current Whereabouts: "I'm at the University of Kentucky studying animal learning and cognition and neurological mediators of subjective reward value."

Best Memory from the Lab?: "One of my best memories in lab was working over the summer during the men's World Cup. Most days we would spend our time running subjects or analyzing data while at the same time watching and keeping track of the tournament. Despite working, that summer was still very fun."

Paul Brungardt

In the lab?: "Summer 2011 to Spring 2014"

Current Whereabouts: "I am currently living in Olathe, KS, attending the KU School of Medicine."

Best Memory from the Lab?: "My best memory of the lab was my time working with Tiff to develop the stereotactic brain aspiration technique, as well as the chromatographic neurotransmitter analysis with Tiff and Andrew."

Maya Wang

In the lab?: "Summer 2013 - Summer 2014"

Current Whereabouts: "I'm at University of Rochester, studying neuroeconomics with electrophysiology and behavioral methods."

Best Memory from the Lab?: "Whenever I was facing a challenge, I knew there's a whole lab ready to help by teaching me new cool stuff so that I was never afraid."