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Organizational Psychology/Wellness Research Groups

  • Many members of Dr. Scherer's group participate in the annual Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Activity Fair (UCRCA)

    Learn more about UCRCA


Dr. Scherer’s Undergraduate Research Labs

Positive Psychology, Arts, & Humanities (PPAH)

The goal of this research group is to analyze literature, music and art for Positive Psychology themes and strength

Members

Sloane Cornelius
Sloane Cornelius
Sloane Cornelius is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota tribal nation and student at the University of Nebraska Omaha majoring in Multidisciplinary Studies with a focus in Psychology. After graduation, Sloane hopes to earn a PhD in Counseling or Clinical Psychology to both further research about Native/Indigenous populations and experiences, as well as serve their community through teaching and direct clinical services. Sloane is currently examining character strength themes in music. She is also assisting in data collection at QLI with patients with spinal damage to determine predictors of their adherence to the healthcare team’s treatment plan. Sloane works for the University of Nebraska Lincoln, serves on several community organizational boards and committees concerning racial equity and representation, and is active in their community both on and off campus. Outside of school, Sloane enjoys staying current on Native issues, critical race theory, taking naps, gardening, true crime, YouTube, memes, and educational documentaries (particularly about history and nature).

Sloane’s top 5 signature strengths are: Humor, Creativity, Love of Learning, Curiosity, and Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.
Madison Diederich
Madison Diederich
Madison Diederich Diederich is a student at the University of Nebraska Omaha majoring in Psychology with a concentration in mental health. After graduation, Madison hopes to continue her education and earn a Master of Social Work to become a therapist and further her knowledge and experiences through these two disciplines and continue to help others, and fight the stigmatization of mental health and illness. Madison is currently examining character strength themes in music. She is also assisting in data collection at QLI with patients with spinal damage to determine predictors of their adherence to the healthcare team’s treatment plan. Madison works at a health club in swim instruction, focusing on the importance of education and execution of water safety for children, and is active in her community by spending time at her local library assisting the owner with organization and research. Outside of school, Madison enjoys being outside, hiking, spending quality time with loved ones, reading, lifting weights, and practicing yoga.

Madison’s top five signature strengths are Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, Honesty, Spirituality, Gratitude, and Social Intelligence.
Torrie Long
Torrie Long
Torrie Long is from Omaha, Nebraska and is a Psychology major with a concentration in Mental Health and a minor in Sociology. She is examining all genres of music that reflect positive psychology strengths and other positive constructs. She is expected to graduate in May 2022, and she aspires to attend graduate school to become a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She wants to serve people with diverse backgrounds. She currently works in Montessori schools and helps develop children's independence through teaching. In her free time, Torrie enjoys spending time with family and friends, creating art, and enjoys playing volleyball.

Torrie’s top 5 signature strengths are Love, Humor, Fairness, Curiosity, and Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.
Nickol Payne
Nickol Payne
Nickol Payne, from Elgin, Nebraska, is majoring in Psychology with a Concentration in Mental Health. Nickol is examining character strengths of the 24 strengths from the VIA Institute as represented in children’s and young adults’ literature. She is also working with the Positive Psychology, Health and Medicine group, helping with understanding the treatment adherence and wellbeing of QLI residents recovering from spinal cord injuries. Nickol’s goal is to become a licensed mental health therapist, working with victims of sexual abuse. Nickol enjoys working out, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with family, friends, and dogs of any kind.

Nickol’s top 5 signature strengths are Kindness, Social Intelligence, Honesty, Humor, Fairness.
Madison Diederich
Izzy Vargas

Izzy Vargas is a student at the University of Nebraska Omaha getting a dual degree; (BS) in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior, and a (BA) in Medical Humanities. With a minor in Philosophy. Izzy is examining the 24-character strengths in the 7 classical-music sub-genres that emulate (PERMA). After graduation, Izzy anticipates furthering her education in a postgraduate school where she aspires to become a psychological researcher. With research in the psychological field, she hopes to help others find better solutions, explanations of why/what, and how to imitate her findings to better the lives and well-being of individuals. Outside of school, Izzy enjoys finding new ways to deepen her knowledge on topics of interest to her, she enjoys listening to classical music, playing the cello and piano, going to symphonies and the opera, having self-care days, and spending quality time with her partner and three cats.

Izzy’s top 5 signature strengths are Love of Learning, Forgiveness, Love, Perspective, and Hope.

 

Positive Psychology, Health, and Medicine (PPHM Lab)

This lab seeks to understand how positive psychology can be applied to improve health and medicine of healthcare providers as well as their patients and families.

Members

Hailey Bartz
Hailey Bartz

Hailey Bartz is a University of Nebraska at Omaha alumna, and graduated in May of 2021 with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Mental Health. Her current research is focusing on veteran’s trust in physician’s associated with trait forgiveness. Hailey aspires to attend PA school and ultimately work in the dermatology field to help others feel beautiful and healthy inside and out. She currently works part-time as a certified nursing assistant at the VA hospital. In her time as an undergrad, she was a member of the UNO softball team. In her moments away from school and work, she enjoys spending time at the lake, music, and relaxing with her family, friends, and two dogs.

Hailey’s top 5 signature strengths are Love, Humor, Gratitude, Social Intelligence, and Honesty.

Emily Champion
Emily Champion

Emily Champion is majoring in Molecular and Biomedical Biology and minoring in Medical Humanities and Psychology. Her overall ambition is to become a physician assistant. Emily serves as a student co-leader of the Positive Psychology, Health and Medicine group under Dr. Scherer, and she was awarded a FUSE scholarship to explore the effects of patients' perceptions and trust in physicians on patient adherence to medical treatment plan. Emily's interests outside of school include working part-time at Lakeside Hospital, serving on UNO Dance Marathon's Executive Board, and spending quality time with friends, family, and her beloved dog Wilson.
Emily’s top 5 signature strengths are Kindness, Fairness, Forgiveness, Teamwork, and Honesty.

Kiley Dinsmore
Kiley Dinsmore
Kiley Dinsmore is from Omaha and is majoring in Molecular and Biomedical Biology with minors in Medical Humanities and Chemistry. Her research interests include identifying positive psychology predictors of patient adherence to treatment plans and predictors of medical student well-being.  Kiley will apply to medical school in the future with the hope of becoming an OB-GYN. She currently works as a Patient Care Technician at Nebraska Medicine, and as an Advanced Simulation Intern for iExcel at UNMC. She is also very involved on campus. In her free time Kiley enjoys spending time with family and friends, being outside, travelling, and relaxing while watching TV shows.

Kiley’s top 5 signature strengths are Leadership, Kindness, Love, Love of Learning, and Teamwork.
Ally Glaser
Ally Glaser

Ally Glaser, an Omaha, Nebraska native, is a Junior at the University of Nebraska-Omaha majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. She plans to graduate in May of 2022 and attend medical school in hopes of becoming a physician. Her research interests include positive psychology inventions with regards to patient wholistic health. Ally is currently studying the intervention roles music can play in human psychology. She hopes to one day apply these findings in the clinical setting to provide her future patients with not only physical health support, but also mental health maintenance within their treatment. She is a licensed SCUBA diver and a licensed pilot, and enjoys backpacking, reading, recreational sports, and talking openly with others about mental health issues.

Ally’s top 5 signature strengths are Kindness, Humor, Curiosity, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, and Spirituality.

Sydney Hampton
Sydney Hampton

Sydney Hampton, ffrom Durant, Oklahoma, is a Biology major, minoring in Chemistry, Psychology and Spanish. Sydney is the student co-leader of the Positive Psychology, Health, and Medicine group under Dr. Scherer. She was awarded a FUSE scholarship to examine patient adherence and wellbeing of spinal cord residents of QLI, where she works as a certified nursing assistant. Sydney aspires to become a physician assistant. She is a pitcher for the UNO softball team and enjoys spending time with her one-year old Australian shepherd, Baker.
Sydney’s top 5 signature strengths are Humor, Gratitude, Judgment, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, and Kindness

Abby Lingelbach
Abby Lingelbach

Abby Lingelbach, from Omaha, Nebraska, is majoring in Spanish language and literature with a minor in chemistry. Abby is currently focusing on positive psychology predictors of patient adherence to treatment plans and positive psychology interventions to buffer burnout among physicians in the Doctors Without Borders program. Abby will apply to medical school with the hope of working in underserved communities. She has two pugs named Georgia and Lucy.

Abby’s top 5 signature strengths are Self-Regulation, Teamwork, Honesty, Love, and Fairness.

 

Positive Psychology and Well-being Among College Students Lab (PPW-C Lab)

This lab seeks to understand the stressors experienced by working college students and how principles and practices of positive psychology can serve as protective factors in reducing and even preventing negative outcomes and facilitate student flourishing.

Members

Isha Dhakal
Isha Dhakal
Isha Dhakal Dhakal is pursuing a bachelor's in psychology with a concentration in Mental Health and a minor in Chemistry. She in on the pre-med route in hopes of becoming a psychiatrist. She was awarded a FUSE scholarship, under Dr. Scherer, for her project which examines whether the strength of the relationship between mindfulness and wellbeing differ for nontraditional versus traditional college students. She is currently a Senator for the College of Arts and Science in Student Government and is a Board Member of the Women and Gender Equity Center. She currently works part-time as a pharmacy technician at CVS as well as a patient attendant at UNMC. In her free time, Isha loves to go biking and spend time with her family and friends.
Isha’s top 5 signature strengths are Love, Fairness, Curiosity, Love of Learning, and Hope.
Emily McQuade
Rae Morales

Rae Morales was raised in Michigan until she moved to Omaha during her adolescent years. Rae is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha to complete her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a concentration in mental health. Her research interests include positive psychology, multicultural psychology, and work-life balance. Rae’s research is currently focused on the influence of mindfulness on working college students’ stress, well-being, and school engagement. Rae received a FUSE scholarship for the 2020-2021 school year for her research project The Effects of General Stress Level on Student Burnout and Student Engagement, and she is a co-author on a paper with Dr. Scherer, Shaina Kumar and Emily McQuade that was accepted for a podium presentation at the World Congress for the International Positive Psychology Association. Rae is hoping to pursue a graduate degree in either counseling or clinical psychology. Rae’s current occupation is waitressing at the locally owned restaurants Pacific Eating House and the Twisted Cork. In her free time Rae enjoys creating art, reading, playing with her cats, and spending time with her husband.

Rae’s top 5 signature strengths are Kindness, Social Intelligence, Love, Creativity, and Judgment.


Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Working with an active research group gives students the opportunity to put book knowledge to work in a more 'real world' research setting. While textbooks often present science as a series of topics and facts, in a research group you participate in the activity of science, where answers to questions are not known, you build on the work of others, collaborate with others, gather and interpret data, and present the results for peer review and feedback.

Other Research Domains Explored
Because Psychology is such a broad area covering multiple areas of daily life, the Dr. Scherer’s undergraduate research groups have varied in their focus over the years. Some of the topic areas students have explored include:

Work-Life Conflict, Stress and Burnout
We have examined various issues relevant to the traditional areas of work-family and work-school conflict and balance among employees, volunteers, and working college students. Most recently we have expanded the non-work domains of interest to include volunteer/extracurricular and friendship/personal relationship roles. We are exploring individual and situational variables that buffer the negative influence of work-life conflict on stress and burnout.

Workplace Mistreatment and Violence
This research prong has focused on incivility, sexual harassment, bullying, workplace politics, ostracism, physical aggression and homicide in the workplace. Current efforts are focused on workplace violence prevention at universities, health care facilities, and court rooms.

Problem Solving and Decision Making and the Role of Mood & Emotion
Studies in this domain have included basic research on problem solving and decision making with particular emphasis on solution generation, alternative evaluation, and post-decisional regret. In addition, other decision-making studies have examined the role of mood, emotion, and emotional regulation of the decision making and behavior of college students, employees, and volunteers.

Volunteerism
This research has investigated numerous antecedents of volunteer engagement and burnout, with a focus on volunteer retention and well-being.

Past members and Research Fair Participants

Director

Lisa Scherer
Dr. Lisa Scherer
Dr. Lisa Scherer received her BA, MA, and PhD. from the Ohio State University, specializing in Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychology. In addition to serving in the psychology department, she is a faculty member for the Medical Humanities undergraduate program and the interdisciplinary, online graduate program in Critical and Creative Thought (CACT). She represents the Organizational Science and Leadership Concentration on the Graduate Leadership Committee for the CACT program. She has served as a research mentor for more than 100 graduate students in I/O Psychology and 8 students in the CACT graduate program. She is active in the International Positive Psychology Association and in the Society for Occupational Health Psychology, focusing on employee, volunteer and student well-being, particularly through the application of positive psychology tools and strengths use and resilience. She has taught research skills and led over 300 undergraduate students conducting studies via Independent Study, Senior Thesis courses and FUSE grants. She has taught 18 different courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level. She has been awarded both the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Excellence in Teaching Award and the Outstanding Graduate Student Mentoring Award. As the former director of the UNO Volunteer Program Assessment outreach, Dr. Scherer provided consulting services to over 50 non-profit organizations to enhance volunteer program success, representing over 1.5 million of in-kind donations. Her signature strengths are Spirituality, Creativity, Leadership, Zest, and Love of Learning

For more information about undergraduate research in Psychology, contact Dr. Lisa Scherer.