Lab Personnel

We are the PLEA Lab!

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Lab Director

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Melissa A. Baker, Ph.D.

Office: Gary Ransdell Hall 3043
Phone: 270-745-2199
Email: melissa.baker@wku.edu

My name is Mel Baker. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Western Kentucky University. My research interests include several lines of inquiry that apply both social and cognitive theory and experimentation to legal contexts. I teach courses in Social Psychology and Psychology and Law.

 

Students

Kayce Ebenkamp

Co-Lab Manager

I am a junior majoring in Social Work and Psychology. I would specifically like to work with children as my primary population of study. I like studying how topics such as past experiences influence the attitudes of children as they develop. After college, I am interested in working with either the Department of Child Services or within an adoption and fostering agency. I am from a small town in Southern Indiana. I ultimately plan to get certified in Indiana for my future career, but Bowling Green does feel like a second home to me.

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Alaina Caswell

Co-Lab Manager

I am a junior at WKU pursuing a major in forensic psychology and a minor in criminology. My research interests include eyewitness testimony and the effects of crime on victims. After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school and earning a master's degree in criminal justice. Eventually, I want to be a victim's advocate for the FBI.

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Ralphy Gardner

Research Assistant

I’m a junior at WKU majoring in Criminology and Forensic Psychology with a minor in Arabic Language. My interest in Criminology and Psychology is focused around the mind of criminals and how they think and act. I plan on pursuing a career in federal law enforcement.

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Morgan Todd

Research Assistant

I am a junior majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology and Arabic. I also have a minor in Criminology. I am interested in jury-decision making, criminal profiling, and eyewitness testimony. After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school and eventually work for the FBI.

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Dawson Young

Research Assistant

I am a senior psychology major at WKU and plan to graduate with degrees in both psychology and biology. I am particularly interested in working with individuals who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses and would like to earn my doctorate in clinical psychology post-graduation. Research wise, I am interested in a variety of topics, including the roles psychology plays in police-civilian interaction, metacognition, and the mental health of students.

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Chandler Flynt

Research Assistant

I am a senior at WKU, double majoring in Criminology and Psychology. My research interests include actions of police officers, children affected by the legal system, and jury-decision making. After graduation, I plan to attend Law School and further my interests in family law.

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Maggie Reisch

Research Assistant

I am a junior at WKU, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Clinical and Community Behavioral Health. My main interests include learning how to treat mental illnesses in children and adolescents. Specifically those who have experienced traumatic events. Once I graduate in the spring of 2023 my goal is to attend graduate school and eventually obtain my doctorate in clinical psychology to become a licensed therapist.

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Abi Kemper

Research Assistant

Hi my name is Abi Kemper, I am a sophomore at WKU. I am majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychyology. I want to use my degree to either be a rape victim's advocate or for the FBI. I am also minoring in Clinical and Community Behavioral Health. In addition to working in the lab I am also involved in the Phi Mu sorority on campus.

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Victoria Bractcher

Research Assistant

I am a sophomore at WKU and am currently double majoring in Forensic Psychology and Political Science. I have a great interest in the American prison systems, psychological impact of incarceration, and re-entry programs for felons. I plan to go on to pursue a masters degree in forensic psychology and work closely with America’s prison systems in the future.

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Monica Hines

Research Assistant

I am a senior at WKU majoring in forensic psychology with a minor in business administration. After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school to become a clinical psychologist. I want to be a play therapist to help young children who have experienced trauma. My career dream is to have my own therapy center for children and teens up to 18 years old.

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Adeline Hornsby

Research Assistant

I am a junior at WKU majoring in psychology with a minor in criminology. After I graduate I plan to obtain a masters degree in clinical psychology and become a licensed psychologist. I hope to help those who have suffered traumatic events specifically veterans who have returned to civilian life. My interest also include how the criminal justice system effects those who have been a part of it and how to better the system as a whole.

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Eliza Geis

Research Assistant

I am a Psychology major with a concentration in Forensic Psychology and a double minor in Criminology and American Sign Language. I want to learn more about how psychology effects courtroom decisions, testimony provided, and the arrest of criminals.  I want to go to grad school for Forensic Psychology and eventually work in the corrections system as a Forensic mental health counselor. I was born and raised in Iowa in a ridiculously small town so being in Bowling Green is a huge culture shock to me but Western is super fun!

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Meygan Oliver

Research Assistant

Hi I'm Meygan Oliver. I am a senior Psychology student at WKU minoring in Social Work. I am interested in the development of college students emotionally and academically and how related issues affect their development (i.e. perfectionism, anxiety, other mental health issues). After graduation I plan to go to graduate school and obtain a master's degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education to become an academic advisor.

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Skylar Bixby

Research Assistant

I am a sophomore at Western studying psychology with a concentration of forensics and criminology. After college I plan on going to law school to pursue a law career.

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Lab Mascot

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Digby

Digby is the PLEA Lab's mascot. Digby's role in the lab is to lick and provide support for all lab personnel. In his free time, Digby likes to play fetch, wear bows, chase crickets, and listen to classical music.