Current Lab Members




Joe Anistranski, Amy Niu, Angela Calvin, GeckHong Yeo, B. Bradford Brown, Aygul Hoffman, and Maame Adomako.
2017 Early Adolescents and Social Media team: Angela Calvin, Ashley Prudhom, Kyra Gravelle, Tori Shear, Cole Schenck, GeckHong Yeo.


2017 College Adjustment Study team; Dylan Hastings, Cole Nelson, Josh Hang, Nathan Stack.


2017 Parent-Tenn Communication Study team; Elizabeth Travis, Acton Feng, Sophia Traven, Mimi Le, GeckHong Yeo

2017 College Self-Authorship Study team; Kalia Vang, Katie O’Brien, Maiyer Vang, Lizzy Shatz. Aygul Hoffman

B. Bradford Brown


  • B.A., 1971, Princeton University, Sociology
  • Ph.D., 1979, University of Chicago, Human Development


Since joining the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty in 1979, Dr. Brown has become one of the nation’s leading authorities on adolescent peer relations, particularly the formation and functioning of adolescent peer groups. He has authored nearly 100 scientific papers and co- edited 5 scholarly volumes, including two award winning books (The World’s Youth, 2002; Encyclopedia of Adolescence, 2011). Dr. Brown is past Editor of the Journal of Research on Adolescence; he has served the Society for Research on Adolescence in several capacities, including a term on the Executive Council. His energetic teaching has won him awards from several campus student organizations. For his contributions in teaching, research, and service he received the U. W. School of Education Distinguished Achievement Award. Dr. Brown’s current research focuses on late adolescents’ adjustment to the transition to college, teens’ use of social media (especialy in early adolescence), and parental involvement in adolescent peer relations.

Joe Anistranski


  • B.A., University of Colorado Boulder, History
  • M.A., University of Colorado Denver, Educational Psychology


Joe is a doctoral student in the Human Development area. Joe has a variety of experience working with adolescents, including tutoring a high-school student with dyslexia, coaching soccer and ultimate frisbee, teaching snowboarding, and running a summer day camp. Joe’s research focuses on the first-year transition to college with a specific interest in social processes that facilitate students’ transitions to college. He is interested in qualitative research design and the practical implications of qualitative research.

Amy Niu

IMG_3527   B.A., Changchun University of Science and Technology, Teaching Chinese as Second Language


Amy Niu is a PhD student in Human Development Area in the Department of Educational Psychology. Prior to her attending to U.S., she was involved in a volunteer program and working as a middle school teacher in China. This experience helped her to acquaint her with the social dynamics of adolescent peer relations. Working with Prof. Brad Brown and other members of the Peer Relations Study Group, her research interest currently centers on the college transition process, especially the international students’ adjustment to colleges in the US. Her FYP (First Year Project) mainly focused on the association between the social networking sites (SNS) use and international students’ adjustment to college life. By conducting focus groups and interviews with international students on campus, she examined (1) how international students build their identities in online settings (e.g. facebook) as a transition strategy; (2) how they balance their relations with their old friends which are left behind in their home country and new connections which are established after they arrived on campus by participating in different social networking sites. For her master thesis, she will switch the emphasis to freshmen’s roommate relationship and there success of college transition.

Angela “Angie” Calvin


  • B.A., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Psychology
  • M.S., Illinois State University, Developmental Psychology


Angela “Angie” Calvin is a doctoral student in the Human Development area of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her primary research interests focus on the risks and opportunities of social media use on the psychosocial development of adolescents. Particularly, she is interested in the motivations behind the disclosure and self-presentation processes of adolescents on social media and the implications of social media on relationships with parents and peers.

Maame Adomako


  • B.A., Central Michigan University, Psychology and Sociology with a Youth Studies Concentration


Maame Adomako is a PhD student in the Human Development area. Her professional and research experiences are aimed toward enhancing leadership and diversity among adolescents in education. Her skills include multicultural programming, tutoring and mentoring high and middle school students. Maame is former scholar of the Summer Education Research Program at UW-Madison during which her research focused on the racial and ethnic differences in student satisfaction of college on a predominantly white campus and the implications of social and academic adjustment for students’ satisfaction with college. Currently advised by Dr. Brad Brown her research interests include examining the transition processes among underrepresented students in higher education. Specifically, she explores the impact of social and academic experiences on identity development and achievement.

GeckHong Yeo

GeckHongYeo 2016b

  • B.S., National University of Singapore
  • M.S., National University of Singapore


GeckHong Yeo is a doctoral candidate in the Human Development area of the Educational Psychology department. She received her BA and MS in Psychology from the National University of Singapore. Her research interests include parental emotion socialization, adolescents’ emotion regulation and adolescents’ reactions to peer cyber-ostracism.

Aygul Hoffman

Hoffman Aygul

  • B.A., Kazan Federal University (Russia)
  • M.S., Kazan Federal University (Russia)
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ed. Leadership & Policy Analysis


Aygul is a Ph.D. student in the Human Development area of the Educational Psychology department. Her professional experiences involve working with the first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students of color in the Center for Academic Excellence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through these experiences, she became interested in the research on issues involving achievement gap and underrepresented students’ experiences at predominantly white institutions. Her current projects focus on identity constructs as they relate to minority students’ development in college. Specifically, she is interested in the emergence of the self-authoring ways of knowing in underrepresented students on predominantly white campuses.

Pauline Ho

  • B.A., University of Calinfornia, Irvine


Pauline is a PhD student in the Human Development area of the Educational Psychology department. Her work at UC-Irvine have primarily focused on investigating effective pedagogies for teaching English and discipline-specific knowledge to diverse student learners. Her research interests include examining factors that influence underrepresented students’ experiences in higher education. More specifically, she is interested in students who are learning English as a foreign language.


Acton Feng

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Acton Feng is now a sophomore in University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is pursuing a degree in sociology and looking forward to also majoring in educational studies. He has considerable tutoring experience in elementary and secondary math education in both China and the US. His academic interests focus on sociology of education and Chinese studies.


Kyra Gravelle

Kyra Gravelle is a senior at UW-Madison majoring in Rehabilitation Psychology with the hopes of getting into a masters program in Occupational Therapy. Kyra grew up in Fond du Lac, WI and has always been a Badger fan! For the past two years Kyra has worked as a Residential Coordinator for a company that provides services to individuals with disabilities and seniors with aging conners and has also been a part of the student event staff at the Olin House on campus. Besides being a part of the Adolescence and Social Media study, Kyra loves to spend her time volunteering for Badgers for Special Olympics and the Adaptive Fitness program. When Kyra isn’t studying, she loves to play volleyball, basketball, soccer and participated in yoga.

Josh Hang

Hang Josh 2016gJosh Hang is a freshman undergraduate student at UW-Madison. He is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Scholarship award and is also apart of the Letters and Science Honors Program. He hopes to pursue a double major in Neurobiology as well as East Asian Studies. For the past five years he has been volunteering to aid his master in mentoring his fellow martial arts students and leading them in class. The PRSG research on college adjustment has ignited a very strong passion in him, as he, too, has faced various dilemmas when transiting into his first-year of college.

Onika Hartwell

Hartwell Oni1
Onika Hartwell is a third year undergraduate student in Computer Sciences. In addition to the Peer Relations Study Group, Onika works as an electrical engineer with the UW Engineering Department. Having worked with Professor Brad Brown since her very first semester in college, she considers her studies in Educational Psychology just as important as her CS work. Throughout her time in the lab, she has worked on how the transition from high school to college is affected by the influence of social media, and will continue that along with a new study regarding the transition for those of racial and ethnic diversity. With a particular affinity for programming and an interest in robotics, she is considering one day incorporating what she has learned from working with the group into technology that can serve to both educate and support those in these potential tough transitions in life.

Dylan Hastings

Hastings DylanDylan Hastings is a current sophomore-transfer student at UW-Madison from The George Washington University. He is a native of Waukesha, WI where he grew up as an only child with his mother and two dogs. Dylan is studying for his bachelors in History and Economics. He plans to attend graduate school to receive his Masters in Secondary Education and hopes to teach Social Studies in or near Wisconsin.


Mimi Le

Mimi is a Sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a Direct Admit into the Nursing School. Her end goal is to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, and wants to focus in on patients with schizophrenia. In addition to interning for the PRSG, Mimi is a UW Chancellor’s Scholar and is a member of the Delta Gamma- Omega chapter. She loves photography, enjoys hiking, and hopes to backpack Europe after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in 2019.


Na Lynch-Shaw

Na Lynch-Shaw is currently a sophomore at UW-Madison pursing a degree in psychology and the education and educational services certificate. She hopes to become a clinical psychologist working with adolescents. In her free time, Na loves to spend time with her friends and go to concerts in the Madison area. She is also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity on campus for which members volunteer around Madison.


Cole Nelson

Martin Cole 2016fCole Nelson is a senior at UW-Madison. He is a transfer student from Minnesota State-Mankato and is in his second year at Madison. He is pursuing a degree in Psychology and his future goals include teaching English abroad after he graduates and eventually become a high school guidance counselor. Other than working in the PRSG lab, Cole works with MSCR at Midvale elementary school in the after school program.



Katie O’Brien

Katie O’Brien is a junior at University of Wisconsin-Madison, pursuing a degree in Economics and International Studies. Her future goals include working in economic access and development as well as attending graduate school for public policy. In addition to working with PRSG, she is a CAE Academic Mentor and the Fund Development intern at The Rainbow Project, a nonprofit that provides therapy to families with children who have experienced trauma. Additionally, she volunteers at Street Pulse, Madison’s newspaper for the homeless and marginalized.


Ashley Prudhom

Ashley is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, pursuing a degree in elementary and special education. She is determined to continue furthering her education after obtaining her undergraduate degree. She spends her free time co-leading two student organizations on campus known as Project 1808 and the Center for Urban Teaching. Project 1808 focuses on creating sustainable education in Sierra Leone, Africa. Ashley is from Racine, Wisconsin. She loves volunteering at Lincoln Elementary School, and is excited to tutor at the Neighborhood House. This is her third semester working on the PRSG’s study of early adolescents’ social media use.


Lizzy Schatz

Lizzy is a senior at UW-Madison pursuing both a Legal Studies and Sociology major as well as the Criminal Justice certificate. She plans to attend law school a couple years after her Summer 2017 graduation date and hopes to focus on juvenile justice within the Criminal Justice system. Lizzy loves taking classes regarding intersectionality as well as racial injustices that are present within the legal system. She also enjoys running, playing card games, and spending as much time outside as possible. This is her first semester as a research intern for the PRSG.


Cole Schenck

IMG_4286Cole is currently a senior school of psychology student also working on attaining a leadership certificate from UW-Madison. His future goal is to become a school psychologist and work in underserved urban areas. He currently works primarily as a behavior interventionist for MMSD where he is a member of his school-based leadership team and is a primary facilitator for the student services team. He is a certified restorative/racial justice facilitator and helped to pilot the first elementary school restorative justice program in Madison. During the summer, Cole is a director for a YMCA summer program. He is very active in volunteerism and has volunteered long-term on a weekly basis with a teenager with asperger’s syndrome.

Tori Shear

Tori Shear is a Senior at UW Madison majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She hopes to go to graduate school and become a Speech Language Pathologist to assist children with speaking impediments. In addition to interning for PRSG, she is a member of Delta Gamma that promotes Service for Sight, is a member of National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, and participates in the Speech Therapy shadowing program at Madison Meriter Hospital.

Nathan Stack

Stack-1aNathan is a junior studying Molecular Biology and Anthropology. He has goals of studying abroad and pursuing a medical degree. This is his fourth semester working in the PRSG Lab as an undergraduate Research Intern. He also works for the UWPD as a First Responder.


Sophia Traven

Sophia is a sophomore at UW-Madison, hoping to pursue a health sciences major. She has a goal of working in healthcare administration, and later on as a physician’s assistant, specializing in pediatric practice. Sophia is from Chicago, IL and loves to spend her time volunteering with children with disabilities, biking, and running. This is her first semester as a research intern for the PRSG.


Elizabeth Travis

Elizabeth is currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from Woodbury, MN. She is pursuing a degree in Psychology and certificate in Global Health on the pre-NP track and aspires to continue her education by obtaining her RN and doctorate to become a pediatric nurse practitioner with a specialty in psychiatry. Other than working as a research intern in the PRSG lab, Elizabeth is the co-founder and president of STEP (Students to End Parkinson’s, volunteers as a cardiac inpatient host at UW Health, and is actively involved as a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

Kalia Vang

Kalia is a junior at UW-Madison completing her undergrad in psychology. She hopes to become an occupational therapist or a psychologist focusing on assisting adolescents. Her passion to work with adolescents developed as she became the aunt of ten nieces and nephews. Kalia also began working with a free-of-charge program called Play and Learn through the Madison Metropolitan School District. The program strives to educate children as well as their caregivers who may not have the accessibility for similar programs.


Maiyer Vang

Maiyer Vang is a sophomore with intentions of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She is an active member of the student organization, Hmong American Student Association (HASA). Maiyer volunteers at many events through organizations such as the Salvation Army and Memorial Union. During her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball, the piano, as well as reading.

University of Wisconsin-Madison