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Student Researchers & Support Staff


Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Research Assistant

University of Oklahoma-Tulsa 

Email: adrien.d.wright-1@ou.edu

Adrien Malek-Lasater is a doctoral candidate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Mrs. Malek-Lasater also currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant in the department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum where she has collaborated on projects related to infant-toddler and preschool teacher well-being. Given her background working as a Registered Dietitian, an early childhood education teacher, and child development specialist, Mrs. Malek-Lasater’s research interests are mealtimes and nutrition in early childhood education, children’s social and emotional development, and interdisciplinary collaborations to improve children’s outcomes.

Fun Fact:

Many people don't like heights, but I really do. I've been skydiving once and hope to go at least once more. I also love hiking and reaching the top of whatever peak (or hill) I'm on. 

Happy note for early childhood teachers:

Dear Teachers, you are valuable and needed! We appreciate you and your insight, and hope that our work will lead to changes that help you feel better supported and important. Thank you for all you do!


Doctoral Student and Graduate Research Assistant

Email: sgkim1112@ou.edu

Sun Geun is a second-year doctorate student at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa major in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, focusing on Early Childhood Education. She was born in Seoul, Korea, and has migrated to the Philippines at eight with her family. She spent her childhood years in a Chinese community and studied in a Chinese school. After graduating from De La Salle University in Manila, the Philippines, with a major in bachelor’s in early childhood education, she moved to Seoul, Korea, where she spent six years teaching children in kindergarten and earned her master’s in Early Childhood Education in Sookmyung Women’s University.

Her living experience in the Philippines has exposed her to witness economic inequality and its consequence on families and children. She is interested in narrowing the gap of the disparities the children are experiencing by supporting and providing appropriate interaction and education in the classroom. 

Fun fact:

She can run 2miles in 20 minutes! This is a fact that she is very proud of.

Happy note for early childhood teachers:

Teachers, you are the key to the children’s development and happiness! Thank you for your sincere service to help and support these children who need you! Happy Teacher Project will work harder to bring changes and happiness to you!”


Graduate Research Assistant

Email: peyton-pielsticker@ouhsc.edu

Peyton Pielsticker is a recent OU Master of Prevention Science graduate. She works as a Graduate Research Assistant alongside Dr. Tsotsoros and Dr. Randall with the Y-OU IMPACT Program and varying Rehab Science programs. She has a Bachelors in Psychology, which led her to OU’s prevention program, which focuses on the development of prevention programming for addiction services. Peyton has a passion for helping others. Her hands-on experience includes serving those in need from inpatient adults in Ortho Neuro-Trauma units to pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Outpatient Clinics. Peyton has formed a wide variety of skills and knowledge. She has enjoyed working within the realm of research to help give back to her community.

Fun Fact:

Peyton is a hot sauce connoisseur. Her goal is to one day start her own hot sauce company!

Happy Note for Teachers:

The impact you make on a child from all levels of development is needed, valued, and respected. Thank you for your dedication before, during, and after COVID-19.


Graduate Research Assistant

Email: minyoung.cmk@gmail.com

Christine Kim is a student in the Humanities Magnet Program at Poolesville High School. She is veryexcited to assist the members of the Happy Teacher Project as education has always been a field ofinterest for her. She believes in education’s power to transform lives and provide an avenue for social mobility.

Throughout high school, she founded and instructed at a debate program at her local middleschool; helped create a nonprofit and student-run international Model UN conference; interned at acreative writing lab for younger students; volunteered to teach Korean language and culture; andorganized science-based activities for children at KIDSMuseum. Her passion for education emanatesfrom the passionate instruction she received from her teachers.

Working alongside Dr. Kwon, her research will focus on HeadStart Teachers’ Well-being and racial identity among preschool students.Christine gained research experience from her participation in debate, which has won her several awardsat national-level tournaments.

Some of her other extracurricular commitments include playing volleyballfor her school’s varsity team; leading meetings and organizing conference preparations for her ModelUnited Nations team; and writing both short stories and journalistic articles about social issues for ajournal that she founded, called 2020 Vision. In 2020, she was nominated by her peers to speak about racial inequality in the U.S. education system at her school’s TEDxYouth event.

Fun fact:

During her free time, Christine enjoys taking drives around scenic areas with her friends; baking a variety of sweet pastries with her mom; and playing piano for her dog, who loves music.

Encouraging note to early childhood teachers:

Behind every great student is an even greater teacher -- we recognize and appreciate your endless sacrifice to keep students educated and eager to learn. As you continue to inspire, foster, and enrich the young minds of our future generations, the Happy Teacher Project will continue to support and advocatefor you. Thank you for everything you do!

Taylor Lee (Graduate student at OUHSC)

Joshua Baer (Graduate student at OUHSC)

Sarah Ford-Hampton (Former student at OU)

Nicole Hardenberg (Former students at OU)

Dr. Bethany Williams (Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University Health Sciences- Spokane)

Becca Grimes (Doctoral Student Early Childhood Program, Dept. of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, University of Oklahoma)

Support Staff

Jacobi Campbell, Web Designer and Developer

Email: jcampbell@ou.edu