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Our Research Team


Jennifer L. Coffman, PhD (She/Her/Hers)

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Lab Director

Jennifer Coffman's program of research is focused on understanding the development of children’s cognitive and affective skills with an emphasis on conversations in the home and school contexts that impact developmental change.  She examines a variety of factors at home and school that may contribute to children’s acquisition of effective memory strategies, metacognitive knowledge, gratitude, regulation, mathematics, and academic achievement.  Moreover, she is interested in general questions regarding the contexts that support children’s adaptation and learning. Dr. Coffman focuses primarily on basic developmental questions involving social forces in the home and school settings that foster growth in children’s cognitive, social, and academic performance while simultaneously working toward interventions that can positively impact children’s developing skills. 

Amber E. Westover, MS (She/Her/Hers)

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Graduate Student & Research Assistant

Amber Westover is a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at UNC Greensboro. Before attending graduate school, she worked as an elementary school teacher. Her research interests center on the socialization of cognition during the early elementary school years. She is specifically interested in how parents and teachers can support children’s cognitive development in areas such as memory, metacognition, and academic skills.

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Miranda L. Denham, MA, MS (She/Her/Hers)

Graduate Student & Research Assistant

Miranda is a graduate student in Human Development and Family Studies pursuing her Ph.D. She worked for three years as an early interventionist, conducting home visits with families of children ages 0-3 with developmental delays or disabilities. Miranda's research interests are centered on children's play and informal learning in the first years of life and how these experiences change across contexts, such as outdoors and in museums. She is passionate about creating opportunities for children of all backgrounds and abilities to have access to high-quality spaces for play. 

Amanda Buchanan

Graduate Student & Research Assistant  (She/Her/Hers)

Amanda taught the NC Pre-K program with Guilford County Schools for seven years before branching out to the world of educational research as a research assistant while completing the Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support Master of Education program at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a doctoral student at UNC-Greensboro Amanda’s goals are to further explore the roles of language and literacy development in young children as they expand their abilities to engage in episodic forethought. Additionally, Amanda aims to find ways to further incorporate evidence-based practice from the fields of language and literacy into curriculum development and teacher preparation programs in the hopes of more broadly providing the availability of nurturing and inclusive early childhood classroom environments.


Kaitlyn L. Tran, BS (She/Her/Hers)

Research Assistant

Kaitlyn just graduated from UNCG with a BA in human development and family studies. She is continuing to volunteer in research labs to build her experience to apply for graduate school. In the meantime, she will be working as a daycare teacher. She values respect and kindness in every interaction she has. A fun fact about Kaitlyn is she has never broken a bone and she designed this website for the lab! 

Lianny Araujo Martinez (They/Them/Theirs)

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lianny is a rising Senior and HDFS major. They are a transfer student at UNCG. In addition to volunteering at the CinC Lab, Lianny serves as a director at an after school program and raises service dogs with the Guide Dog Foundation. After they graduate, they intend to go to a Master’s of Occupational Therapy Program in North Carolina. Their hope is to become a pediatric occupational therapist. 

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Kylan Davis (She/Her/Hers)

Undergraduate Research Assistant, HDFS Intern

Kylan is a senior Human Development and Family Studies major who is also minoring in Psychology. In addition to interning in the CinC Lab this semester, she is also interning with the counseling department at Greensboro Day School. She has worked in the childcare field for over 4 years now and is passionate about being a child advocate. After her time at UNCG, Kylan intends on going to Graduate school to obtain her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology or Human Development and Family Sciences. 

Georgia Araujo Martinez 

K-9 Research Assistant 

Georgia is a service dog in training with America's VetDogs, the sister organization of the Guide Dog Foundation. By the end of her training, she will be paired with a veteran, active-duty service member, or first responder with disabilities. Georgia will have her honorary HDFS associates degree by the end of her training with Lianny. In her free time, Georgia loves to play fetch, eat treats, and be with her people. 

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Future Lab Member

Undergraduate or Graduate Research Assistant

The Cognition in Context Lab recruits undergraduate research assistants on a rolling basis. Please reach out to Dr. Jennifer Coffman if you are interested in working in our lab!

Prospective Graduate Students: Please refer to the UNCG Department of Human Development and Family Studies webpage for more information. Please feel free to reach out to Dr. Jennifer Coffman with any questions you may have at


Lab Alumni

Dr. Olivia Cook

Dr. Olivia Cook MS/PhD Graduate (2023) Current Postdoctoral Researcher at Florida State University

Dr. Keadija Wiley

Dr. Keadija Wiley MS/PhD Graduate (2023) Current Postdoctoral Researcher at UNC-Chapel Hill

Sydney Revell

Sydney Revell Master of Science Graduate (2023) Current Recruitment Coordinator at Duke University's Child Studies Group

Catherine Ricci

Catherine Ricci Bachelor of Science Graduate (2023) Current M.A. Speech Language and Pathology student at UNC-Greensboro

Amarre Reid

Amarre Reid Bachelor of Science Graduate (2023) Current Research Assistant, UNC-Chapel Hill

KellyAnn Bonanno

KellyAnn Bonanno Former Project Coordinator Current PhD Student at University of Cincinnati

Dana Conlin

Dana Conlin Master of Science Graduate (2019) Current doctoral student at The University of California - Irvine

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