Meet Our Students

Brett DeWitt

Brett is a first-year graduate student studying ostracism and social belonging in Heather Claypool's lab. She completed her undergraduate degree at Butler University, where she studied the effects of emotion on memory.

Christina Fitzpatrick

Christina Fitzpatrick

My research focuses primarily on how race and social class influence educational outcomes. After graduation, I plan to continue to use my training in social psychology to design and implement brief interventions to improve outcomes for underrepresented students in higher education.

Melissa Fuesting

Melissa Fuesting

The US faces the challenge of encouraging more people to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) social roles, and increasing the number of women and other members of underrepresented groups who enter these roles is one route to strength. To further both social psychological theory and social progress, my work explores how and why people (and groups) gain and maintain interest in STEM roles. In combination with a broader interest in goals and motivation, I explore how stereotypes and beliefs about whether social roles fulfill valued goals guide motivation to enter and remain in roles.

J.P. Gonzales

My research is generally focused on the consequences of social power for social perceptual processes (e.g. perceiving sexual intent in others) and moral judgment and decision-making. Additionally, my research has explored how social motives, such as the desire to appear non-prejudiced, influence broader intergroup behaviors like collective action.

Brandon Humphrey

Brandon Humphrey

My research interests include mind perception, pets, social power, and persuasion. I currently have research projects investigating (1) moderators of the subjective experience of power and (2) pet ownership's effects on pro-environmental behavior

Tyler Jacobs

My research interests involve examining how people’s attitudes, motivations, emotions, and self-representations related to nature may promote or hinder their pro-environmental behaviors. I am also interested in how discrete positive emotions affect cognition and behavior by shifting the self-concept.

Brielle JohnsonBrielle Johnson

My primary research interests centralize existential concerns of mortality and the construction of meaning. My current work examines the importance of relationships, regret experiences, and the search for meaningfulness as a function of death awareness. Additionally, I am interested in exploring social issues surrounding class and gender from a psychological perspective.

Woojong Kim

My research broadly explores topics of social cognition, with a particular focus on what influences individual's thoughts on "what might have been" (counterfactual thinking) as well as how these thoughts affect intentions and emotions.

Ryan Moreno

Broadly, my research interests center around issues of diversity and inclusion. Specifically, most of my projects focus on the role of belonging in psychological phenomena such as stereotyping, mind perception, and intergroup relations.

LaCount "JJ" Togans

My research examines cross-cultural differences between East Asian and Western populations on various topics in social cognition (e.g., attitudes, communication processes). I'm also interested in investigating how people's attitudes toward traditional sports (e.g., basketball, soccer) influence their attitudes toward e-sports (i.e., professional gaming).

Alejandro Trujillo

In my research, I primarily focus on the fundamental need to belong and the consequences of not having this need met. My master's thesis examines if unmet belonging needs impact tolerance of abuse from a romantic partner, and if this tolerance can be considered a re-affiliative strategy. Other research projects of mine similarly consider the role that thwarted belonging has on other clinical phenomena such as eating disorders and suicide.