Advisor & Officer Biographies

Dr. Cynthia Sifonis - Faculty Advisor
Aubrey Mercer - President

"Hello! My name is Aubrey and I am a senior at Oakland University pursuing a double-major in Psychology and Spanish Language & Literature. My primary field of interest is Industrial/Organizational Psychology, however I also enjoy learning about various other topics in the field of Social Psychology. In the future, I hope to combine my passion for Spanish and Psychology as an I/O consultant specializing in workplace diversity, or more specifically, the effects of stereotypes in the workplace and improving efficiency in a multilingual work environment."

"This past year has given me numerous opportunities to become involved within the Psychology Department. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as President of Psi Chi and I am looking forward to another great term, with the hope of offering a variety of interesting events that are beneficial to psychology students here at Oakland. In addition to my Psi Chi duties, I am also a Research Assistant in Dr. McLarnon’s Resilience at Work Lab."

"For students interested in becoming more involved in the Psychology Department, I would encourage them to attend Psi Chi’s many workshops and meetings to discover what learning opportunities there are at Oakland University outside of the classrooms. It is important to take advantage of all that the Psychology Department has to offer in order to pave the way for future success. If anyone has any questions about involvement opportunities or Psi Chi membership, please do not hesitate to contact me!"


- Aubrey Mercer

Krystyn Niescier - Vice President

"Hello, my name is Krystyn and I am this year’s Psi Chi Vice President. I am a senior psychology major with a sociology minor and a concentration in gerontology. I am interested in going to get my masters in social work to work with the elderly population in hospice. Currently I live and work on campus. I joined Psi Chi in March 2015 as a sophomore."

"I have been a research assistant for over a year now working two different projects. These positions have been a great hands-on experience for me. This year my goal is to create a safe environment for students, psychology interest or not, to help prepare them for careers down the road. This includes a variety of workshops to learn about different careers, research, GRE prep, leadership and more."

"My advice to students at OU is to ask a lot of questions. Get involved as much as you can. Everything you do here is beneficial. There are a lot of resources out there for every topic and interest. Just start with asking questions. From research with professors on campus to clubs and sports, OU is waiting for you! If you are interested in Psi Chi you will find me or another officer on campus to give you further detail on this awesome honor society designed to building relationships and pursuing psychology. Psi Chi is a great way to meet people with interests like you!"


- Krystyn Niescier

Jennifer Ishaq - Officer of Major Workshops

"My name is Jennifer Ishaq. I am a psychology major with a business minor and am starting my Junior year. My main interests in psychology are developmental, social and cognitive theories. I plan to pursue a research-oriented career in one of these subfields. Currently, I am interning as a research assistant in Prof. Raman's developmental lab and serving as the Major Workshop officer for Psi Chi this year."

"I joined Psi Chi in order to become more involved while attaining my undergraduate. I have already met amazing people that have similar interests in psychology and made connections with professors that I would not have been able to do otherwise. Planning the major events for psychology has taught me to stay on top of things and keep organized. I would highly recommend anybody interested in joining Psi Chi to do so and become as involved as possible by applying to leadership roles next year."


- Jennifer Ishaq

Mark Shoemaker - Officer of Minor Workshops


Sara Frost - Officer of Communications & Liaisons

 "Hello everyone! My name is Sara Frost and I am the Communications & Liaisons Officer for the 2017-2018 year. I am a senior pursuing my degree in Psychology with a Sociologyminor. I am interested in going into the counseling aspect of psychology—specifically school counseling. My main goal is to become a guidance counselor for children and adolescents. In addition to being a Psi Chi officer, I am a Research Assistant inDr. Sifonis’ lab as well as working in the ABA Clinic on campus." 

"I decided to join Psi Chi in order to become further involved inthe psychology department. Psi Chi offers a great pathway to build networks among peers and professors alike. This year, I hope to get underclassman more involved with Psi Chi and encourage them to branch out of their comfort zone. This is my first year as a member of Psi Chi and my only regret is not joining sooner! The best advice I can give to those interested or curious about Psi Chi is to ask questions, and reach out to me or other officers to help guide you along your journey at OU!"


- Sara Frost

Emily Mertz - Officer of Publicity & Web Managment

"Hi! My name is Emily and I am a senior at Oakland University with a major in Psychology. I am very excited to be the Officer of Publicity for the 2016-2017 school year because Psi Chi is the perfect place for psychology enthusiasts. I am interested in pretty much every area of psychology, but am particularly intrigued by evolutionary and social psychology as well as social cognition and psychopathology. I love learning about how and why we do what we do as humans. I will be starting research with Dr. Welling in her lab this fall as well, so I am very excited to learn more about the research side of things. In the future I hope to attend graduate school to study clinical or counseling psychology and eventually work with children."

"If you were to ask any member of Psi Chi to give you advice, I’m sure they will tell you to get involved as early as possible. I definitely agree with this, but don’t think that if you haven’t yet that it is too late. It is never too late to get involved. Whether it is on campus or outside of school, try to find things that will give you experience and inspire you for your future career."


- Emily Mertz

Adam Buesching - Officer of Publicity & Web Managment

"My name is Adam Buesching. Oakland University graduate of the School of Arts and Sciences with a major in psychology and a minor in creative writing. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been changing my mind as to what I wanted to do “when I grow up” – only now that I have, I’m still not sure."

"Since my freshman year, I made it my goal to get into Psi Chi. I didn’t really have a reason then, but I defiantly felt like it was something I could do; I’d taken every available psychology course in high school and my affinity for writing made the grueling essays and research papers possible. Before I knew it, my senior year came along and I was made a member (as well as the Officer of Publicity and the Web Manager) in the spring of 2016. Though, it was around this same time that I became aware that much of my involvement in the organization came too late for me to realistically go forth with the rest of my plans…"

"I’d made some loose-fitted plans to attend grad school after my graduation. Problem was, grad school prep often times takes the full four or so years you’re an undergraduate. I did not know this, until I went to Psi Chi’s Getting into Grad School Workshop (go your freshman year)."

"All is not lost, however. Even though grad school is off the table for now, a degree in the field can still get you places. The demand the classes place on writing techniques, group leadership, data analysis, and understanding human behavior are all highly favored traits in the workforce. So if you don’t have grad school plans, don’t worry. If you do…"

"Get on it before everyone else beats you to all the research assistant openings! GO!"


- Adam Buesching

Matthew Bahoura - Officer of Research Colloquia


Janelle Smith - Officer of Philanthropy

"My name is Janelle, and I am currently a junior at Oakland University double majoring in Psychology and Sociology. I have always had an interest in the social sciences, particularly the behavioral and developmental aspects. After completing my undergraduate degree, I plan to further my education by pursuing my Ph. D in Psychology with a Social and Behavioral concentration. In addition to being a Psi Chi officer, I am also involved in various other organizations at Oakland University including Sociology Club, Active Minds, and Fleece and Thank You. I am also a research assistant in Dr. Lisa Welling’s lab."

"I chose to join Psi Chi because I was looking to get more involved on campus and with my major. I feel that Psi Chi has helped me to meet people with similar interests, become more involved in the psychological community, and open doors to many opportunities. I encourage all Psychology majors and minors to get involved with Psi Chi early on and be as active as possible in the department. Just coming to meetings or being a class liaison is beneficial to anyone’s academic career. Involvement will help you to stay updated on psychology related events, meet people with similar interests, and form connections that could lead to endless opportunities in your future."


- Janelle Smith

Lauren Harrison - Treasurer

"My name is Lauren Harrison and I am a senior Psychology major and Communications minor. I am a returning E-Board member in Psi Chi and will be serving as the Treasurer of the club once again. Aside from my role as Treasurer for Psi Chi, I am a research assistant in Dr. Taku’s Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) Lab, and in Dr. Purdie and Dr. Pickett’s CASS Project 3.0. In the upcoming fall 2017 semester I will also be volunteering as a research assistant for Dr. McGinnis and as a teaching assistant in her Adulthood and Aging course. Being heavily involved in research has inspired me to pursue a PhD in geriatrics. I will be applying to graduate schools this fall and hopefully interviewing with schools in the winter semester!"


"My goals for the year as the Psi Chi Treasurer are to maintain organization in Psi Chi finances, communicate efficiently with other members and faculty, and to train a prospective Treasurer as I plan to graduate and leave behind this position. I am happy with my first year as a Treasurer for Psi Chi and all that we accomplished together. I had first joined Psi Chi because I was told it would look good on an application to graduate school. However, the skills developed through Psi Chi proved to be invaluable and have helped mold me into the student I am today. Becoming involved in Psi Chi will first give you roots and then wings. The international society will help build your foundation as a psychology student, teaching you what you enjoy and what you may not fancy. The many opportunities offered through Psi Chi will then give you endless options to pursue. Whether those options be faculty connections, research opportunities, or graduate school interests, I am certain that Psi Chi will be the reason that one of those doors opened for you."


- Lauren Harrison

Geena Osowski - Secretary

"I am a senior obtaining a psychology major and a women and gender studies minor. I became an officer to get more involved in the psychology department and to help others realize how they can get involved. As secretary, I will make note of meetings but also attend workshops and events to help other psychology students see what they can do to better enhance their experience as a psychology major."

"In addition to an officer in Psi Chi, I have been a research assistant in Dr. Taku's Posttraumatic Growth Lab since Winter 2016. In the lab, I am interested in researching adolescents and youth and the growth they experience after going through stress. I will also be a teaching assistant for Dr. Taku's PSY 251 class in the Winter 2016 semester. There, I hope to encourage and assist students in succeeding with statistics and to help them realize how they can use statistics in the real world."

"After receiving my undergraduate degree, I plan to continue to get a master’s degree in counseling. I then hope to work with children and adolescents to help them overcome everyday stressors that they may face."


- Geena Osowski

Vacant - PsychMatters Editor