Assistant Professor (Teaching)
Areas of Expertise
Health Psychology, Learning Science, Social Psychology
I am interested in social justice and inequality, and in using social psychology to help understand and address the nature and causes of these issues in the real world. My research focuses on social identity. As a first-generation college student from rural Montana, I have long been particularly interested in the ways that who we are and where we come from affect our access to educational opportunities. Using lab and field studies, I test how people’s perceptions of social situations (and of themselves within those situations) affect immediate and long-term outcomes. I also conduct intervention research in real-world contexts, seeking to improve outcomes like academic performance, belonging, and wellbeing.
I run the Data Driven Diversity (D3) Lab, where I work with people in Social and Decision Sciences, the Human Computer Interaction Institute, and the Tepper School of Business. We focus on using data to understand, evaluate, and improve the impacts of diversity on student thriving at CMU. My main focuses are in stereotype threat and self-affirmation, especially in academic contexts. One of my lines of research looks at the way stereotype threat affects decision making styles and academic help seeking behaviors, and another examines how even a single experience of stereotype threat can have lasting effects on belonging and motivation, a process I've called "stereotype threat perseverance." Another line of research utilizes text messaging to deliver self-affirmation interventions to enhance wellbeing in times of stress.
B.S. in Psychology, minor in Religious Studies, from Arizona State University
Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University
Current Course Offerings
- Introduction to Psychology
- Social Psychology
- We're Not Beyond Race: Race and Identity in America
- Student Teaching Practicum