As a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology (Applied Cognition and Development) at the University of Georgia, I research the social and emotional development of loneliness and belonging in schools and universities. I’m particularly interested in epistemic loneliness, or loneliness that emerges from beliefs that one does not or cannot share the same knowledge as other people. For example, a student may feel epistemic loneliness with respect to a certain academic subject, like mathematics, if she perceives herself to be the only person in class who cannot understand the material. Conversely, a student may feel epistemically lonely if she perceives herself to be the only person who understands an academic subject and she lacks anyone with which to share her knowledge. I am very interested in the social development of intellectual and creative friendships, peer groups, and peer cultures. I aim to help schools and universities conduct peer learning interventions that promote more intellectual and creative friendships and peer groups.

My advisor is Dr. Michele Lease.

My Research Interests

  • Social and Emotional Development of Loneliness and Belonging in Schools and Universities (especially Epistemic Loneliness – feeling lonely because one has/lacks certain knowledge)
  • Intellectual and Creative Friendships, Peer Groups, and Peer Cultures
  • Cultural and Social Effects of Peer Learning in Schools and Universities
  • International Comparisons of Peer Cultures (USA, Canada, Nordic Europe and The Netherlands)
  • Mixed Methods: Ethnography, Experiments, Social Network Analysis and Social Matching Algorithms

My Current Research Projects

  • Loneliness in Elementary School Students

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