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Meet the Team

​​​​​​​​​​​Dr. Birmingham​​​

My program of research is guided by previous research indicating that the quality and quantity of one’s social relationships are linked to lower morbidity and mortality and protect against the adverse effect of stress. My research focuses on two pathways linking relationship quality and quantity to health outcomes: physiological pathways and behavioral pathways. In terms of examining physiological pathways, I am interested in how marital relationship quality and family processes can impact blood pressure, a predictor of cardiovascular disease risk. In terms of examining behavioral pathways, I am interested in how relationship processes such as relationship quality, familial support and influence, spousal support and influence, and patient-provider influence can impact behaviors such as cancer screening adherence (e.g., HPV vaccination adherence, colorectal cancer screening adherence, mammography adherence), and diet and lifestyle choices, specifically in individuals who are at increased risk for cancer due to a family history.

Postdoc, Cancer Control , Huntsman Cancer Institute (2013)

PhD, Social Psychology , Health Psychology, University of Utah (2011)

MS, Social Psychology , Health Psychology, University of Utah (2009)

Lab Manager

Abby Williams Olsen

Abby is a Psychology major from Boston, Massachusetts. She plans on attending graduate school to study clinical psychology with an emphasis on health and social psychology. Her prior research experience at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston studying cardiometabolic diseases led to an interest in how psychological factors affect cardiovascular risks. Her goal is to become an academic clinical psychologist and researcher in the fields of health and social psychology. In her free time, Abby enjoys skiing, hiking, traveling, watching movies, and spending time with her friends, family, and husband.


Abby Baker

Abby is a psychology major from Dayton, Ohio. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she plans on obtaining a PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology and hopes to conduct research on the relationship between schizophrenia and its biological and environmental factors. She also hopes to bridge the gap between physical and mental health by fighting the stigma mental health issues carry in our society. In her free time, Abby enjoys weightlifting, playing guitar, and reading.

Ella Sieg

Ella is a Psychology major double minoring in Philosophy and Sociology from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She plans to attend graduate school for Marriage and Family Therapy after BYU, with the goal of working as a therapist to strengthen relationships and foster communication between spouses. In her free time, Ella enjoys listening to music, thrifting, and reading philosophy.

Kelsie Minga

Kelsie is a psychology major minoring in German. She is from Provo, Utah, and after graduating, she wants to go to grad school to study Social Psychology, since she is interested in how social factors affect an individual’s psychology. Specifically, she wants to learn more about how these social factors affect racism, discrimination, and prejudices. In her free time, she likes learning K-pop choreographies, drawing, and figure skating. She longs for fall every year just to eat more pomegranates.

Olivia Harris

Olivia is a psychology major from Massachusetts in her senior year at BYU. Through her role as a peer mentor for the Office of First-Year Experience last year, she gained a passion for helping students connect to resources and succeed in school — especially those who are multicultural or experience mental illness. After she graduates, she hopes to attend graduate school for school psychology in order to better serve these populations. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, playing/listening to music, painting, and watching movies with family and friends.

Ellina Fisher

Ellina is a sophomore in the Psychology major with a business minor from San Antonio, Texas. After graduation she plans to go to graduate school for a PhD in Clinical Psychology. After taking introductory psychology classes she fell in love with the developing field and the insight into the human brain psychology provides. She loves to work with people and is excited for the next two years at BYU! In her free time Ellina loves eating street tacos with friends and taking care of plants.