Isaiah Spears, BA

FT Research Assistant

Isaiah is currently a full time Research Assistant for SPAN.  He received his BA IN 2021 in Cognitive Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked as a research assistant in Dr. Markson’s Cognition and Development Lab and in Dr. Abrams’ Attention & Performance Lab. Isaiah also spent four years working at the Las Vegas Neurology Center, where he worked with older individuals experiencing a number of neurological-related issues ranging from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s Disease. He is interested in investigating the intersection between personality pathology, life experiences, and cognitive decline. He also has a strong interest in developmental psychology, specifically the mechanisms and causes behind the development of Autism. Isaiah hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Outside of academics, he enjoys drawing and traveling.


Isabella Hansen, BA

FT Research Assistant (and phlebotomist extraordinaire)

Isabella Hansen is a recent graduate from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in cognitive neuroscience and a minor in computer science. She has been working in the BRAIN-Lab since her sophomore year of undergrad and has continued on in the role of Lab Manager since graduating. Her work involves longitudinal analysis of biomarkers (such as IL-6 and CRP) through collaboration with the St. Louis Personality and Aging Network (SPAN) study. She is interested in pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology in order to continue studying environmental and neurobiological risk factors for psychotic and internalizing disorders.

Amber Wilson (Bolton), MA, PLPC

Former FT Research Assistant

Amber joined the SPAN Study as a full-time research assistant shortly after she graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Psychological Science.  She is now the Director of Programs and Performance at Almost Home, a transitional living program for young mothers and their children. She also conducts individual therapy with adolescents and adults in private practice. In 2014, she completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling and became a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor in 2019. She will be an independently licensed therapist this Spring. Her interests are working with those who have been disenfranchised and have experienced trauma.

Betsy Edershile, MA

Former FT Research Assistant

Elizabeth (Betsy) Edershile graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014. She worked as a full-time research assistant in the SPAN lab from 2014-2016. She is currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Betsy is interested in the processes that underlie personality pathology. Currently, her work emphasizes movement away from thinking of constructs, such as narcissism, as static in nature, but rather as composed of more complex processes. Betsy uses ambulatory assessment techniques and experimental decision making paradigms to study various personality dynamics.

Joshua Oltmanns, PhD

Former FT Research Assistant

I am a Research Assistant Professor and received my PhD at the University of Kentucky in Clinical Psychology in 2020. I am interested in the multi-method assessment of personality and psychopathology and their effects on health across time. I use artificial intelligence to improve the assessment of personality and psychopathology through speech and language. My career began as a Research Assistant conducting interviews in the SPAN lab from 2010 to 2012.

Hera Tang, BA

Former FT Research Assistant

Hera Tang joined the SPAN Study as a full-time research assistant shortly after she graduated from Washington University.  She worked with us for two years and was largely responsible for the collection of life narrative interviews at Follow-up 12.  Hera left the project when she entered medical school at Loyola University in Chicago.

Karina Malkovsky, BA

Former FT Research Assistant

Karina formerly worked as a full-time research assistant for the St. Louis Personality and Aging Network (SPAN) Lab. While she is still interested in human development, personality, and well-being, she has stepped away from the field of psychology to work outdoors in the mountains of Vermont.  She hopes to eventually go back to school for a masters in social work or a PhD in clinical psychology.

Michaela Voss, BA

Former FT Research Assistant

Michaela began working in Dr. Bogdan’s lab as an undergraduate volunteer, and she was hired as a full-time research assistant when she graduated.  Her responsibilities focused heavily on data management and quantitative analyses as well as the processing of biological samples collected from our participants.  She left the lab in order to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Jessica Chinn, BA

Former FT Research Assistant

Jess joined the SPAN Study as a full-time research assistant shortly after graduating from Saint Louis University with a degree in Psychology.  She worked for two years, primarily focused on the completion of Life Narrative Interviews with participants at Follow-up 12.  Following her two-year service with the project, Jess was accepted to the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Molli Kennedy, BA

Former FT Research Assistant

Molli was hired by Dr. Bogdan to work as a full-time research assistant shortly after she graduated from college.  For her first two years in the lab, she was primarily involved in the processing and analysis of biological samples, including blood and saliva.  She was then trained to conduct life narrative interviews with our participants, and she spend the next two years doing follow-up assessments with participants who had been in the study for a few years.

Rickey Louis, MA

Former FT Research Assistant

Rickey Louis Boyher began working with the SPAN Study as a volunteer while she was an undergraduate student at WU.  After graduation, she agreed to stay on with us as a full-time research assistant, doing lots of clinical interviews as well as data management.  She left the lab after two years of successful service in order to pursue additional opportunities in elementary education. She currently holds a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education and is certified to teach early childhood, elementary, and special education

Andy Shields, BA

Former FT Research Assistant

Andy Shields was one of our original full-time research assistants on the SPAN Study.  He joined us shortly after he graduated from Washington University where he had worked in the laboratory of Professor Carpenter, specializing in geropsychology.  Andy was responsible for conducting a large percentage of the baseline assessment interviews with our participants as they entered the study.  He left after a little more than two years in order to accept a position with Blue Cross-Blue Shield in Kansas City, working as a health and fitness coach.