The Youth Development Lab at UAB, under thedevelopment of Dr. Sylvie Mrug, is interested in a variety of risk factors that can negatively affect development in adolescence. Our primary funding comes from two long-term longitudinal studies–the Birmingham Youth Violence Study (BYVS) and the Coping with Violence (CVV) Study–that look at violence exposure in at-risk families in the Birmingham area. However, our students are able to explore a wide variety of research topics according to their interests, from sleep to spiritual coping, sexual minority status to substance use. As the lab manager, it is my job to ensure that the day-to-day operations of the lab and our data collections run smoothly for both our research assistants and the families we work with. I also have the privilege of helping our students develop their independent research skills, guiding them as they begin to pursue their own research projects. To date, several of my mentees have had success presenting and discussing their research at local, regional, and national conferences. Some of them have even graduated and chosen to continue pursuing psychological research at the graduate level. You can learn more about individual students here.