Our Lab Team

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb

Principal Investigator

Dr. Valerie Jones Taylor CV

My research areas include intergroup relations, social identity threat, stereotyping and discrimination, and cultural psychology. Specifically, I investigate how stereotyping and prejudice affect the academic performance of underrepresented groups, interracial interactions, and the treatment of racialized physical spaces. I also examine ways to improve interracial encounters in academic and social contexts using virtual reality. In my work, I draw on theories such as social identity threat, and apply frameworks such as models of stress and coping and intergroup processes, to answer such questions that loom large for those working to implement successful diversity strategies to reduce inequities and promote positive social change.
More Information→

Graduate Students

Juan Valladares 📎
Graduate Student
I am a graduate student in the Social Psychology Ph.D. program at Lehigh University. I work under the advisement of Dr. Valerie Jones Taylor. My research interests revolve around interracial and interracial interactions as they are affected by stereotypes, prejudice, in-group bias, etc. Relatedly, I am interested in how understanding socio-cultural contexts can contribute to positive experiences in intergroup contact situations and toward reducing inequities. I want to address some of the cross-cultural gaps concerning group behavior, stereotypes, and racial attitudes- especially as these phenomena apply to areas and groups that have been underrepresented in the literature.

Rita Knasel
Graduate Student
I am a first year graduate student working in the Stereotyping & Social Interactions Lab (SSI) here at Lehigh University. I received my B.S. from The Ohio State University in 2019 where I worked with Steven Spencer. Broadly, my research interest are centered around social identity threat and intergroup relations. More specifically, I am interested in investigating factors which determine the quality of intergroup interactions as well as investigating ways to improve intergroup interactions. Additionally, I want to examine how these effects translate across multiple types of intergroup interactions and contexts.

Claire Siepser
Affiliated Graduate Student
I am a graduate student in the Counseling and Human Services program at Lehigh University. In addition to the Stereotyping & Social Interactions (SSI) lab, I am also working in the Resistance Lab studying gender-based violence and in the Study Abroad Office. My research interests are intersectionality, non-binary gender, adult games and play, humor, power dynamics, sex and sexuality, and social justice.
I graduated with a B.A. in French Literature from Reed College, an M.A. in Printmaking and M.F.A. in Book Arts from the University of Alabama. I like to go mushroom hunting, cook, garden, play games, read, hike, and fight systemic injustices in my free time.

Lab Manager

Sandi Manfreda

I will be graduating from Lafayette College in May 2021 with a B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology & Sociology. I work as the Lab Manager / post bachelor researcher for the Stereotyping & Social Interactions (SSI) lab. My researcher interests focus on understanding how attitudes and behaviors interact with prejudice and intergroup dynamic. Additionally, I am interested exploring the effects of group involvement, such as sorority affiliation, on wellbeing predictors, such as state self-esteem, objectified body-consciousness, and self-perceptions of body shape.

Research Assistants

Psychology Team

Coding Team

Allison Graham

Allison is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in Psychology with minors in HMS and Sociology and Anthropology.

Joyce Park

Joyce is a sophomore undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology.

Nick is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Design in Lehigh’s IDEAS program.

Caroline Spindel is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University in the IDEAS program with a concentration in electrical engineering and psychology.

Courteney Parry

Courteney is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University who is double majoring in Psychology and Sociology.

Ben Rosshirt

Ben is a junior undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Computer Science.

Spencer is a sophomore undergraduate student at Lehigh University pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science and Business.

Matthew is a junior at Lehigh University pursuing a B.S in Computer Engineering.

Jack is a junior undergraduate at Lehigh University double-majoring in Psychology and Computer Science.

Isabel Koval

Isabel is a first year undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in the IDEAS program with concentrations in Psychology, Computer Science, and Population Health.

Jack is a junior undergraduate at Lehigh University double-majoring in Psychology and Computer Science.

Isabel is a first year undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in the IDEAS program with concentrations in Psychology, Computer Science, and Population Health.

Junmoke James

Junmoke is a sophomore undergraduate at Lehigh University double-majoring in Psychology and English.

Chris is a first year undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in the IDEAS program with concentrations in Comp Sci, Mechanical Engineering, Design, and Theater.

Our Team at Work

Lab Alumni

Caitlyn Yantis, Ph.D
Postdoc/Research Associate

JohnDerek Daniels
Coding Team

Romeo Bahoumda
Coding Team

Arleene Castillo
Psychology Team

Garrett Rosenboom
Psychology Team

Khalid Khamis
Lab Manager

Emily Tasik
Psychology Team

Mya Tucker
Psychology Team

Hannah Fabian
Coding Team

Michaela Lewis
Coding Team

Sara Smolenyak
Psychology Team

Myunggee Sung
Psychology Team

Swetha Ramesh
Coding Team