Olivia Kennedy

Joined 2019


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Dr. Maria Rosario T. de Guzman, advisor

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B.S., Psychology, Creighton University

Olivia is a passionate learner aiming for a career in higher education and teaching. With a background in psychology and specific interests in developmental psychology, she is interested in expanding her expertise to international contexts with an interdisciplinary approach, in line with the training and experience provided through CYAF. Olivia’s work is primarily qualitative, with traditionally underrepresented populations, including immigrants, indigenous, and rural.

Olivia’s past work has taken her to Namibia in southern Africa, where she was involved with the implementation of decolonized research methods with northern Namibians and San people. Her current work with extension faculty has her working with rural communities in Nebraska and the surrounding Heartland areas. In the future, Olivia hopes to participate in work involving families crossing the southern border of Mexico and the United States. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, she has resided in Nebraska for six years now for education and looks forward to warmer places in the future, whether it’s for leisure, work, or permanent!

Why CYAF at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“My contacts from undergrad introduced me to researchers in the department, and after meeting them and seeing their work style and collaboration, I fell in love. I knew I wanted to teach at the university level, and the department and school as a whole is very supportive of that goal. I also loved the ‘local impact, global scope’ aspect of the program.”

Lab Participation

Youth Entrepreneurship Clinics

Highlighted Publications & Presentations

  1. Padasas, I., and Kennedy, O., (2020, February). Youth Entrepreneurship Clinics: An Experimental Approach to Encourage Youth Connection to Rural Communities and Developing Entrepreneurial Mindsets. 49th annual meeting of the Society for Cross Cultural Research. Seattle, Washington

  2. Brown, J., Kennedy, O.,and Rangel, A. (2020, January). Parenting into two worlds: How Child Fosterage shapes development among pastor-agriculturalists in Namibia, southern Africa. Springer Publications