Lab Personnel

We are the PLEA Lab!

 

Lab Director

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 a Visiting 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

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Sydnie Young

Lab Coordinator

I'm in the second year of the Clinical Psychology Master's program. My interest in psychology and law is centered around corrections. I hope to go on to a forensic psychology doctorate program and eventually work in the prison system.

Sarah Price

Lab Manager

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Forensic concentration from WKU. I graduated in Fall 2019. I am currently working as a case manager with the family preservation unit at USPIRITUS/Centerstone in Bowling Green, KY. At my job I work with many families who have been affected by crime and other social problems. It is my goal to pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology in the near future. In the meantime, I enjoy getting work experience and I am excited to be working with the PLEA Lab as we all gain insight into our research studies.

Alley McDaniel

Research Assistant

I am a senior and I am majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. I am interested in the death penalty, criminal profiling, and serial killers. I plan to attend graduate school to become a counselor and work with children and teens.

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Austin McClain

Research Assistant

I am a senior and I am double majoring in Criminology and Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. I am interested in the death penalty, legal-decision making, and false confessions. I plan to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in Forensic and Legal Psychology.

Kristen Starr

Research Assistant

I am a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Clinical and Community Behavioral Health. I am interested in working with individuals with mental illness, specifically focusing on the individuals that have been diagnosed with more severe forms of mental illness. After I graduate, I plan on attending graduate school with the goal of receiving my doctorate in clinical psychology.

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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Rachel Greis

Research Assistant

I am a junior. I am double majoring in Psychology and Spanish and minoring in Criminology. My research interests included false confessions, false memories, and children as witnesses. I plan to pursue graduate programs in Law and Psychology. I hope to help reform the legal system in a meaningful way some day.

Carli Gambrell

Research Assistant

I am a junior here at Western, majoring in Forensic Psychology. My interests in psychology and law are police officers, eyewitness testimony, and inmate treatment. My long-term goals include getting my PhD in Psychology and then going on to work with inmates, focusing on their mental health while incarcerated. Eventually, I would love to have my own private practice working with trauma victims.

Katie Gorski

Research Assistant

I am currently a junior at Western and plan to graduate in May of 2021 with degrees in Psychology and Criminology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology and minor in Sociology. Also, I plan to attend graduate school to pursue a degree in Forensic Psychology.

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Chandler Flynt

Research Assistant

I am a junior 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.

Tori Hampton

Research Assistant

I am a sophomore at WKU pursuing a Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Economics. My research interests include  eyewitness testimony and jury-decision making. My long term goals are to attend law school and work as a trial lawyer.

Alaina Caswell

Research Assistant

I am a sophomore with a major in Forensic Psychology and a minor in Criminology. I am interested in the role eyewitnesses play in criminal investigations, the effects of crime on youth, and criminal profiling. I hope to attend graduate school and eventually work for the FBI.

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Ralphy Gardner

Research Assistant

I’m a Freshman at WKU majoring in Criminology with a minor Psychology. 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 in agencies such as the FBI or DEA.

Chloe Banaszak

Research Assistant

I am a Gatton Academy Senior. I have no major but I am focused on STEM classes. Jury-decision making is very interesting to me, as well as the actions of police officers. I would like to go straight from college into either a career for theatre or law school. I would like to major in theatre and psychology when I go to college.

 

Lab Mascot

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.

 

©2019 by Psychology, Law, Emotions, and Attitudes (PLEA) Lab.