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Lab Personnel

We are the PLEA Lab!

Lab Personnel: Image
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Melissa A. Baker, Ph.D.

Lab Director

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

Office: Smith 217D

Phone: 843-349-2539



Samantha "Sammi" Leo

Research Assistant

I am a junior at Coastal Carolina University. I will be majoring in psychology with a forensics concentration, and I will be minoring in statistics. Once I graduate, I hope to enroll in a PhD program at a graduate school that offers forensic or criminal psychology. I hope to have a career alongside law enforcement or in the court room.

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Noah Pruett

Research Assistant

Hello! My name is Noah Pruett and I am a senior at Coastal Carolina University. I was born and raised right here in sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I moved to North Carolina when I was 10 but eventually found my way back down to Myrtle Beach. After I earn a B.S. in psychology I plan on attending graduate school this upcoming fall of 2023. I am interested in social and clinical psychology. I lam interested in how social situations impact our mental health, emotional development, and cognition.


Megan Smith

Research Assistant

Hi, my name is Megan Smith. I am a senior pursuing a bachelors degree in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. I plan on graduating in December and attending the University of New Haven in Connecticut to earn a masters in clinical and mental health counseling with a forensics concentration. I am originally from Litchfield Connecticut, and I love Morgan Wallen and playing field hockey!


Tracey Butler

Research Assistant

I am a senior psychology major and public health minor. My research interests include emotional intelligence, decision making, psychometrics, empathy, cognition, and motivation. After I graduate, I plan to pursue graduate school to study empathy and the social and emotional framework.

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Morgan Stum

Research Assistant

I am a first year Psychology major. After I graduate, I plan to pursue graduate school in forensic and/or developmental psychology. I am interested in cognitive dissonance and issues such as body image and social anxiety. I also have interest in researching the link between pressures to conform in the workplace and stress related to work.


Alexandra "Alex" Fusee

Research Assistant

I am a senior psychology major. After I graduate, I would like to get a job in forensic or legal psychology. My research interests include criminal justice, and legal and abnormal psychology. I plan to apply to graduate schools in the fall of 2023 and start to apply to jobs around the same time.


Kali Goldman

Research Assistant

I am a junior and a psychology major. 
My research interests include psychology with criminology, law, and abnormal behavior. I hope to begin applying to graduate school programs in the fall.
When I graduate I hope to get a job in clinical psychology working in criminology and/or the law.



Lab Mascot

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, take long walks on the beach, and listen to classical music.

Lab Personnel: Our Team


Western Kentucky University


Chandler Flynt (2022)
Nicholas "Ralphy" Gardner (2022)
Kayce Ebenkamp (2022)
Monica Hines (2022)
Miranda Reed (2022)
Victoria Bratcher (2022)
Dawson Young (2022)
Alaina Caswell (2022)
Adeline Hornsby (2022)
Marguerite "Maggie" Reisch (2022)
Abigail "Abi" Kemper (2022)
Morgan Todd (2022)
Skylar Bixby (2022)
Meygan Oliver (2022)
Grace Ray (2022)
Gabbrielle "Gabbie" Gilbert (2022)
Loren Pedroli (2022)
Madeline DeJesus (2022)
Bruce Kane (2022)
Sydney Garrison (2021)
Piper Scanell (2021)
Kathleen "Katie" Gorsky (2021)
Braiden Abbott (2021)
Rachel Greis (2021)
Kristen Starr (2020)
Tori Hampton (2020)
Sarah Price (2020)
Eliza Geis (2020)
Chloe Banaszak (2020)
Austin Smith (2020)
Carlecia "Carli" Gambrell (2020)
Austin McClain (2020)
Alexandria "Alley" McDaniel (2020)
Sydnie Young (2020)

Lab Personnel: Our Team
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