Dr. Elizabeth Stegemöller is the lab director. She is a music therapist and neuroscientist. She joined Iowa State University in 2013 and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology. She is also the director of the Graduate Neuroscience Program at Iowa State University. Dr. Stegemöller’s main research focus is to determine how music and/or music therapy facilitates movement and modulates associated brain activity in persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD). She currently has multiple funded projects and has over 50 publications in her career. Along with her research, Dr. Stegemöller offers several outreach programs for persons with PD, including weekly singing, dance, and boxing groups, and well as yearly events such as the PD Singing Festival. Dr. Stegemöller is very passionate about her work and hopes that through her research and outreach efforts, she can contribute to the development of new and innovated therapies involving music that improve the treatment and care of persons with Parkinson's Disease.
CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS
Maddie Brant is a Neuroscience Master's student. Her research focuses on the effects of pre-practice music listening on soccer performance. As a member of the Iowa State Soccer team, she was inspired to pursue research that could potentially improve her own and her teammates' performances. She am originally from Maidstone, England, and in her personal time, she enjoys reading for pleasure, spending time with friends and family, and dreaming about running her first marathon!
Brandon Brockshus is a MS student in Kinesiology at ISU and Recognized Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) Actor/Combatant. Mr. Brockshus has served as fight choreographer for Iowa Stage Theater Company, Shot in the Dark Productions, Central College, and Iowa high schools. His research interests include methods of teaching stage combat and the effects of stage combat training and practice on aging populations. He lives in Stratford, Iowa with his wife, daughter, and son.
Jessy Brown is a PhD student in Gerontology. She is a speech-language pathologist and board-certified music therapist. Her research focuses on how singing can help to improve respiratory control in people with PD. She often works internationally with Therapy Abroad, a company she co-founded with her husband. She has two very entertaining children who keep her on her toes.
Crystal Jewell is PhD-track and first-generation student in Neuroscience and Psychology studying the neural and psychological bases of mindfulness meditation. Crystal also serves as a mindfulness meditation teacher, and science communicator. In her free time, she enjoys hosting drum circles, traditional foraging, gardening, dancing to local music with the Ames community, yoga, and cuddling her pet snake Gyrus.
Cailie Logue is a Master’s student in Kinesiology. As a person who enjoys distance running and a former cross country athlete at Iowa State University, her research focuses on understanding fatigue and its effects on performance in cross country athletes. She values spending time with her family and friends and encouraging her former teammates as a graduate assistant coach for the ISU track & field team. Additionally, she prioritizes meeting new people and serving through Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) on campus and teaching and assisting with research for the Kinesiology department.
Caelia Marshall is a neuroscience PhD student. She joined the Alternative Medicine and Music laboratory in 2023. Caelia’s research interests include the junction of neurodegenerative diseases, memory, and music. Professionally, Caelia will work to bridge the gap between the Black community and the benefits of biomedical research. When she’s not in the lab, Caelia enjoys singing, traveling internationally, and playing with her cat, Meg.
Aron Nakama is a PhD student in Neuroscience. He completed his Masters in Cell Biology and Neuroscience in 2017 studying Asymmetric Cell Division in embryos. Aron currently serves as the Teaching Lab Coordinator for Human Anatomy and Physiology. Aron’s research will focus on curiosity and its effects on learning and memory within the college classroom. Apart from ISU, Aron coaches swimming at the local swim club and spends his time with his wife and three kids.
Lucrecia trained at the University of Buenos Aires as a Music Therapist and certified in Gerontology by the Argentine Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Iowa State University in Gerontology. She is passionate about working with older adults and exploring how music and interpersonal interactions can be used to enhance and contribute to their quality of life.
Courtney Schaeffer is a Master's Student in the Kinesiology Department studying exercise physiology. She is a volunteer coach with the Iowa State Swimming and Diving team. As a former collegiate swimmer and current coach, her goals include delivering research-based swimming information and tools to athletes and coaches. She is also a teaching assistant in the department, mainly teaching the exercise physiology lab and beginner-level swimming courses. Apart from school, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and traveling.
Ryan Smith joined the AAMPD lab as a PhD student in Kinesiology in 2023. He holds the credential music therapist-board certified (MT-BC) and has experience working as a music therapist in neurologic rehabilitation, hospice, and mental health. Ryan’s research interests center around examining the working mechanisms of therapeutic music experiences, especially movement with music. His personal interests include rock climbing, promoting active transit, and making music in various settings.
Andrea received her M.S. in Applied Biopsychology at the University of New Orleans and is currently a PhD student in HDFS. Though her current research interests remain broad, she is particularly interested in how stress, hormones, and inflammation may relate to cognitive functioning, mood, and mental and physical health outcomes. Andrea hopes her future research will incorporate epigenetics and the human microbiome. Andrea enjoys live music performances, reading, and spending time with friends and family. She has increasingly been cultivating her cooking skills since moving to Iowa.