Graduate Students

Kaetlyn Cordingley, M.Ed. - Doctoral Student

I am a second-year doctoral student in the University of Montana Experimental Psychology program. I currently serve as Assistant Dean and Director of Career Development, Community Partnerships, and Scholarships at the Davidson Honors College. I earned my undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Washington and my graduate degree (M.Ed.) from Harvard University in Education Policy and Management. Prior to moving back to my home state of Montana, I worked as a policy advisor in the United States Senate and as a government relations associate and consultant for universities and scientific research associations.

I’m thrilled to be part of the team at the Minds Lab and Living Lab. I am interested in the developmental significance of college for emerging adults, seeking to answer the question of why higher education is important, developmentally, in creating well-rounded individuals and what initiates and fosters this developmental transformation.

Tom Macko - Doctoral Student

I am a first-year doctoral student in the Experimental Psychology program at the University of Montana. I received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Akron in 2018 and have spent the intervening years working in Applied Behavior Analysis, delivering therapeutic services to children who have been diagnosed, typically, with Autism Spectrum Disorder through evidence-based practices. With respect to research, I am interested in understanding how children interface with humanoid artificial intelligence and the implications that relationship might have on moral development. Down the road, my aim is to remain in academia to continue the pursuit of my research interests while concurrently sharing my passion for psychological theories and phenomena with other like-minded individuals.

In my free time, I enjoy seeking out new adventures through either a book or the woods. Being a native Ohioan, I am looking forward to my time in Montana as an excellent opportunity to do the latter.

Sarah Sweezy - Doctoral Student

I am a second-year doctoral student in the Experimental Psychology program at the University of Montana studying developmental psychology and the manager of the UM Living Lab located in the Missoula Public Library. I obtained my B.S. in Psychology from Tennessee Technological University in the fall of 2019. I am interested in researching children’s interactions with embodied or personified technologies. Specifically, I aspire to further explore how children attribute internal states or perceive technologies, such as robots, to be alive. My long term career goals consist of remaining in academia as a researcher or teacher.

I enjoy being outside with my dog or hammocking, but I thrive being indoors drinking coffee, reading books, crocheting, and working on puzzles.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Pyper Trumble - Lab Manager

Major: Psychology and Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences

Year: Junior

I am Pyper Trumble, and I am from Maple Valley, Washington. I study Psychology and Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational Sciences. I plan to graduate Spring 2023. I hope to get a Ph.D. in Pediatric Occupational Therapy and potentially in Speech Language Pathology. I work at the ASUM Preschool with three-to-five-year old's and love to help and watch them grow.

In my free time I listen to many audiobooks as well as read different medical books in hope to better understand the people I may be working with. I also really love dancing and am currently an instructor for country swing dance for the club on campus, I hope to learn many other forms of dance.

Jenny Barnhill - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Minor: Anthropology

Year: Senior

I am a senior graduating in Fall 2021. I was born in Washington state but raised in Montana. After graduation, I plan to continue my education in either Clinical Psychology or Counseling. In my free time, I love to hike, read, and spend time with my friends and family.

Sarah Carbis - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Year: Junior

I am currently working on my undergraduate degree in Psychology. After graduating, I plan on continuing my education in either clinical or experimental psychology. In my free time I enjoy visiting my family in my hometown of Great Falls, Montana. I also love baking, running, hiking, and being outside!

Jasmine Doremus - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology and Spanish

Minor: Latin American Studies

Year: Senior

I’m finishing up my undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Spanish. After graduation, I plan to continue my education in Clinical Psychology with the goal of incorporating my Spanish degree somehow as well.

I’m from Eugene, Oregon but have fallen in love with Missoula during my undergrad education. I love to be in the outdoors and spend time hiking, climbing, and skiing!

Jennifer Johnson - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Minor: Native American Studies and Human & Family Development

Year: Junior

I plan to graduate in Spring 2023 with my Bachelors in Psychology. Once graduated I hope to attend graduate school to become a licensed clinical social worker. I was born and raised in Montana. In my free time I love being outdoors and hanging out with my family. I also enjoy studying at coffee shops during school and hanging out with friends.  

Brandon Overdorff - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Year: Senior

I love being a student at UM! I am currently a senior finishing up my undergraduate degree in psychology. My passion for psychology has influenced my goal of pursuing graduate school, focusing on school psychology, or becoming an LPC. I love living in Montana for all its beauty and recreational activities! I love hiking, fishing, riding my motorcycle on an open highway, and the art of fire dancing. 

Daniel Sims - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology and Sociology

Year: Senior

My name is Daniel Sims, and I'm from Houston, Tx. I'm a Psychology and Sociology major, and I'm a senior planning on graduating in Fall 2021. I hope to go to graduate school once I graduate from UM and obtain a Ph.D. in either Forensic Psychology or Criminology. I enjoy playing video games, going on hikes, taking pictures, and spending time with my friends and family.

Kit Smith - Research Assistant

Major: Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology

Year: Senior

I anticipate receiving my bachelors in May 2023, after which I intend to pursue a doctorate in Developmental Neuropsychology. I am interested in how children formulate theories and conceptions of both their own minds and others, and how environmental factors may benefit or detriment development.
I spend a lot of my free time learning or with Kai, my cat. We like adventuring and relaxing outside.

Lab Alumni

Graduate Student - Alumni

  • Shailee Woodard, PhD (Assistant Professor, Keene State College)
  • Lee Curran (Computer Science)
  • Jessica Hudson (Specialist in School Psychology)

Undergraduate Student - Alumni

  • Lauren Baeten (former Lab Manager)
  • Rachele Barker (former Lab Manager)
  • Lorri Bethel
  • Ben Cikutovich
  • Stephen Cooke
  • Meg Denny
  • Sydney Faul (School Psychology PhD Program, University of Colorado, Denver)
  • Damaris Gemmer
  • Caitlin Gillespie (Speech and Language Pathology Masters Program, University of Montana)
  • Kelsey Halvorson
  • Sarah Harrell
  • Lyndsay Hutton
  • Rita Lang
  • Bethany Lindner
  • Madeline Matia
  • Somer Messerly
  • Maryam Norton
  • Shaina Ore
  • Jamie Pauley
  • Shelby Rosston
  • Caitlin Ryan
  • Emily Schindeldecker
  • Dennis Schuster (Counselor Education Masters Program, University of Montana)
  • Grace Sievert
  • Kali Taylor (former Lab Manager; Blewett Law School, University of Montana)
  • Jenna Truax
  • Hannah Woods
  • William "Rob" Wyckoff (Speech and Language Pathology Masters Program, University of Montana)