Graduate Students

Shailee Woodard, M.A. - Doctoral Student

Doctoral Student, Developmental Psychology

I am a doctoral student in the Experimental Psychology program at UM. I earned my B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic Studies from Pacific Lutheran University in the spring of 2017 and my M.A. in Psychology from University of Montana in 2019. My research interests lie in the realm of social development, specifically regarding the concept of worldviews. I wish to investigate how and when worldviews form and change, as well as and how they affect (or don’t affect) aspects of our daily lives, such as emotion, interpersonal interactions, self-talk, and other behaviors and cognitions. 
After graduate school, I would love to be employed as an academic and make a career out of asking questions, investigating, learning, and sharing my knowledge and passion for psychology with other students.
In my free time, I enjoy visiting my hometown, Spokane, WA where my family, friends, and beloved dog live, and the Seattle area, where my significant other and his kitten live. I also love outdoor pastimes (running, boating, camping) and indoor pastimes (shopping, reading, dabbling in crafts) equally. 

Jessica Hudson - Graduate Research Assistant

Graduate Student, Specialist in School Psychology

I am a graduate student in the School Psychology Specialist program at University of Montana. I earned my B.A. in Psychology from University of Montana in the fall of 2017. I have been a member of the Minds Lab since January, 2017. My professional goal is to work in an elementary or middle school in Montana as a school psychologist.

In my free time I enjoy skiing, hiking, traveling and watching Disney movies.


Kali Taylor - Lab Co-Manager

Major: Psychology and Social Work

Year: Senior

I plan to earn my Bachelor Degrees in both Psychology and Social Work and then pursue a PhD in Psychology. I would then like to become a professor of Psychology at a University where I can conduct my own research and share my knowledge.  

I enjoy watching movies, playing with dogs, and traveling.

Lauren Baeten - Lab Co-Manager

Major: Psychology

Minor: Human and Family Development

Year: Junior

I am a full-time undergraduate student at the University of Montana aspiring to obtain further education and profession in the field of child development. I am pursuing the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential through my employment with a nationally accredited preschool and am incredibly passionate about Early Childhood Education. My career aspirations revolve around working with children and helping young people flourish into happy, healthy adults. Born in Missoula and raised in the Bitterroot Valley, I am instilled with a passion for nature. I make the most of my leisure time enjoying hiking with my dog or snowboarding, depending on the season. I have a love for good books, music and conversation and my dreams involve exploration of this beautiful world.

Undergraduate Students

Meg Denny - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Year: Post-baccalaureate

I’m very excited to be working in the Minds Lab during the final leg of my post-bacc career. I’ve worked with children in a variety of settings, and my time in the University of Montana’s Psychology department has served to further my passion for supporting and helping children, particularly those coming from or dealing with traumatic experiences. In my free time, I volunteer as a CASA, work as a freelance graphic designer, and perform as a clown. I also love to read, paint, and hike - no matter what weather Montana tries to throw at me!

Sarah Harrell - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology and Sociology

Year: Senior

After completing my Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Sociology, I plan to pursue a PhD in Psychology. I hope to have a career as a juvenile counselor one day. 

Currently, I am a Resident Assistant at UM so I spend a lot of my time with my responsibilites associated with my job. I also love hanging out with my friends, family, and boyfriend. Hammocking, traveling, eating, and exploring are what I love doing the most. 

Rita Lang - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Minor: Human Biology

Year: Junior

I would like to go into the medical field, working with children as a pediatrician or nurse.

I am on the UM Lady Griz Soccer team, so I spend a lot of my time playing soccer. I also enjoy reading, hiking, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and trying new and fun things!

Shaina Ore - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Minor: Biology (pre-med)

Year: Junior

Emily Schindeldecker - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Minor: Anthropology

Year: Senior

I'm working to complete a Bachelor's in Psychology and I hope to eventually pursue a PhD in clinical psychology, though I'm still deciding my exact path. I hope to continue working with children and expand my research experience. I also have a passion for anthropology and am excited to be completing an Anthropology minor at UM. 

I have lived in Montana for 14 years and I love to go camping and hiking in the summer. I also enjoy traveling, reading, and science. 

Grace Sievert - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Year: Senior

I hope to use psychology to pursue a career in pediatric occupational therapy. I am from the flathead lake area, I like to be outside, hike, kayak, and travel. I also love concerts and local Missoula events.

Jenna Truax - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Minor: Human and Family Development

Year: Senior

I want to pursue a career in school counseling because I am very passionate about working with students and helping them along with their goals and aspirations.
I'm from a rural town in Montana, where I've lived my entire life. I enjoy hiking, kayaking, playing tennis, and anything related to dogs. I love photography and I hope to travel around the world someday. 

Hannah Woods - Research Assistant

Major: Psychology

Year: Senior

I am a Navy veteran and a New Orleans native. I fell in love with psychology on accident; when I transferred to the University of Montana, my credits made the most sense for a psychology degree. I haven't looked back since declaring my major. I'm still not sure what is on the horizon for my career, so for now, I'm just enjoying the fulfilling journey of learning and researching. In my free time, I like to take my dogs on walks and play ukulele (usually not at the same time!) I also do make-up, draw, paint, and make decorated desserts when I'm not playing board games with my friends. 

Lab Alumni

Minds Lab - Graduate Student Alumni

  • Lee Curran (Computer Science)

Minds Lab - Undergraduate Alumni

  • Rachele Barker (former Lab Manager)
  • Lorri Bethel
  • Stephen Cooke
  • 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
  • Lyndsay Hutton
  • Bethany Lindner
  • Madeline Matia
  • Somer Messerly
  • Jamie Pauley
  • Shelby Rosston
  • Caitlin Ryan
  • Dennis Schuster
  • William "Rob" Wyckoff (Speech and Language Pathology Masters Program, University of Montana)