Advisor & Officer Biographies

Dr. Kanako Taku - Faculty Advisor
Aubrey Mercer - President

"I am a junior currently working toward a double major in Psychology and Spanish Language & Literature. After looking into ways to become involved with the Psychology Department, I decided to seek out an officer position within Psi Chi in order to take on a leadership role and collaborate with others that share a similar enthusiasm for psychology. My primary field of interest is Industrial Organizational Psychology, however I also enjoy learning about both Social and Consumer Psychology. In the future, I hope to combine my passion for Spanish and Psychology by conducting research on workplace diversity, or more specifically, the effects of stereotypes in the workplace and improving efficiency in a multilingual work environment."

"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."


- 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


Laina Townsend - Officer of Communications & Liaisons


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

"Hello! My name is Lauren and I am a junior Psychology major and Communications minor. After earning my Bachelors of Psychology I plan to continue my education and pursue a Masters of Social Work degree that specializes in Geriatrics. This is my first year serving on the Psi Chi E-Board and I will be the Treasurer of the club. I am looking forward to the collaboration that this position entails between faculty and members. Psi Chi is such a valuable resource to psychology students at Oakland University for many reasons. The organization offers students many resources and information that will benefit an educational career in psychology. An aspect of Psi Chi that I find to be most enticing is the unique opportunity to get connected with students that you might not otherwise get connected with. Oakland is predominantly a commuter campus and Psi Chi gives students the opportunity to form a community that can be difficult otherwise!"

"Besides being a Treasurer for Psi Chi, I am also a research assistant in Dr. Taku’s Posttraumatic Growth Lab (PTG). In the lab I am interested in researching the relationship between narcissism and PTG. The lab has presented me with so many amazing opportunities such as collecting data at high schools, creating a research proposal, presenting research findings at a local conference, and publishing in a local journal. I will also be a teaching assistant for Dr. Taku’s PSY 251 course in the upcoming Fall semester. Being involved in Psi Chi gets students in closer proximity to professors and can open doors to new opportunities!"


- 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

Stephanie Allor - PsychMatters Editor

"My name is Stephanie and I am a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in English. I am also working on getting my Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst certificate. I joined Psi Chi in 2015, my sophomore year. I have worked as a research assistant for the Detroit Zoo where I watched and recorded penguin behaviors. I also worked as a research assistant for Dr. McGinnis where I researched and wrote a paper on humor as a coping mechanism."

"My interests in psychology are varied as one can tell from my research experience; however, I am interested in getting my Master’s in social work to become a family counselor.  My goals for this year are to become more involved in PsiChi and to make PsychMatters more recognized to the student population. One of my goals is already underway by deciding to become the new PsychMatters Editor. I hope to fulfill my other goal sooner rather than later in the year of making PsychMatters more well-known to students. I would like to make it more well-known to all students but specifically students on the fence about joining PsiChi. I hope to put information that will be useful to those on the fence about joining so they can gain some insight about what PsiChi is all about."


- Stephaine Allor