2015 Cohort

Name: Jill Naar
Program of Study: Family Studies
Degrees: B.S. Recreation Management, B.A. French Appalachian State University; M.S. Recreation and Park Administration, East Carolina University
Previous Experiences: Experience working as activities director in retirement communities and in higher education as academic advisor for hospitality management program
Research Interests: Leisure and Aging, Intergenerational Programs, Encore Adulthood, Qualitative Methods
Advisor: Dr. Anisa Zvonkovic
Assistantships: CYFAR Grants with Virginia and Ohio Cooperative Extensions (Project TRIP and Food for a Long Life)
Expected Graduation Year: 2018
Other info about Jill: Love living in the southern Appalachian mountains with my husband, two kids and our dog.


Name: Jessica Stephen Premo
Program of Study: Marriage and Family Therapy
Degrees: BA Sociology/Psychology, Saginaw Valley State University (MI); MA Marital and Family Therapy, The University of San Diego (CA)
Other Background: YMCA Senior Program Director
Research Interests:
Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma, at-risk, adolescent, and veteran populations, health and Integrated Care, and mindfulness as a common factor in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Assistantships: Independent Instructor for HD 2304 Family Relationships, Graduate Assistant for Dr. Cindy Smith, and Research Assistant for SAMHSA’s SBIRT Initiative; “SBIRT Training for Students in Health Professions in Rural Southwest Virginia”
Expected Graduation Year: 2019
Birthday: July 6th
Other info about Jessica: Married, 5 pets


Name: Michelle M. Murray
Program of Study: Marriage and Family Therapy
Degrees: Bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Master’s degree from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Research Interests: Family communication about sex
Advisor: Dr. Erika Grafsky
Assistantships: Independent instructor of human sexuality, research assistant for Dr. Grafsky, Dr. Few-Demo, and Dr. Allen
Expected Graduation Year: May 2019

Birthday: July 9th


Name: Eunkyung Lucy Shin
Program of Study: Child and Adolescent Development
Degree: Master’s degree in South Korea (Yonsei University)
Other Background: A researcher at Korea Institute of Child Care and Education under Prime Minister’s Office.
Research Interests: Parent-child relationship and children’s social-emotional development
Advisor: Dr. Cindy Smith
Assistantships: Research Assistant
Expected Graduation Year: 2020
Birthday:December 5th


Name: Mary R. Nedela, LMFT
Program of Study: Marriage and Family Therapy
Degrees: B.S. in Psychology and Family Studies from Central Michigan University in 2008; M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University Calumet in 2011 (now Purdue Northwest)
Other background: After graduating with my Master’s degree and prior to enrolling at VT, I worked as an in-home therapist in Metro-Detroit from 2011- 2013 and as a therapist at a therapeutic boarding school from 2013-2015. I additionally have teaching experience from my time at Purdue, having taught Human Sexuality, Psychology and Adolescent Development. I also taught a psychology course at Danville Community College.
Research Interests: Mental health and well-being of Bisexual-identified individuals and couples, affirmative therapy practices, queer discourse
Advisors: Dr. Erika Grafsky and Dr. April Few-Demo
Graduate Teaching Apprentice for Human Sexuality, Fall 2015, under supervision of Victoria Blanchard
Graduate Instructor of Record for Human Sexuality course (in person and online) Spring 2016-Summer 2017
Graduate Instructor of Record for Marriage and Family Relationships, Fall 2017- Present
Graduate Teaching Assistant for Principles of Human Services, Summer 2017 and Fall 2017- Present, under supervision of Dr. Matthew Komelski
Graduate Research Assistant, Project SMYLE Fall 2015- Spring 2017, under supervision of Dr. Erika Grafsky
Expected Graduation Year: Spring 2019
Birthday: December 6th
Other info about Mary: I am married- my wife and I are both originally from Michigan. We have a dog (pug named Wilbur) and a cat (manx named Binx) who are our beloved fur babies.


Name: Katarina Krizova
Program of Study: Marriage and Family Therapy
Degrees: MS in Psychology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, MS in Couple and Family Therapy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Research Interests: Systemic understanding of childhood anxiety, Attachment, MFT training and education
Advisor: Megan Dolbin-MacNab, PhD
Assistantships: Independent instructor for Human Development I – Childhood and Adolescence