Doctoral Students

Jaida Lilly


(Entered 2022-2023)


Emily Brooke


(Entering 2020-2021)

Hi there! My name is Emily Brooke, and I am originally from South Carolina. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree from Clemson University in 2020. As an undergraduate, I spent a lot of time researching stigma associated with autism spectrum disorder and worked as a behavior therapist within a school setting. These experiences led me to want to further explore the ways in which neurotypical and neurodiverse students may positively impact one another despite their differences. My core research interests regard reducing stigma and improving inclusion practices for students with developmental disorders, but I am also excited for opportunities to gain insight on the experiences of students from a variety of backgrounds as part of the School Psychology PhD program. I look forward to diving into the program as well as exploring the beautiful area surrounding the University of Montana. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, spending time with my Great Pyrenees, Bruce, and listening to good music.

Amy Violante


(entered 2019-2020)

Hello! My name is Amy Violante, and I am originally from Pennsylvania. I graduated from Gettysburg College, where I studied psychology, education, and Italian studies and had the opportunity to explore themes of identity and diversity in my courses, volunteer work, and research experiences. My passion for the intersection of education and social justice began during this time and was solidified during the two years that I worked as a college adviser through an AmeriCorps program at a rural high school after my graduation. Currently, my research work is exploring the relationship between spirituality and social-emotional learning in the public school setting. I love reading for fun, enjoying ice cream, and exploring new hiking trails!

Awards Received While at UM;

  • PEO Scholar Award-International Chapter ($20,000)
  • APA Interdisciplinary Minority Fellowship (Renewed; $23,000)
  • APA Interdisciplinary Minority Fellowship ($23,000)
  • APF COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarship ($2,000)
  • NASP Graduate Student Research Grant ($1,000)



Ashton Smith

Ashton Smith

(Entering 2017-2018)

Okii! My name is Ashton Smith. I am an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and a decendent of the Kiowa and Blackfeet tribes. I was born and raised in Browning, MT. I attended my undergraduate at Spokane Community College and University of Great Falls graduating with my B.A. in Psychology while playing collegiate golf. I am currently a third-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program involved in the Indians Into Psychology and CRESP Labs. My clinical interest is to return home to the Blackfeet reservation and provide mental health advocacy and treatment for the Blackfeet community. My research interests are exploring the relationship between cultural matching/identity safety and well-being in Native American students. I enjoy golfing, hiking, berry picking, being outdoors, and being back home spending time with my family and friends, especially my nieces and nephews.

Awards Received While at UM;

  • Indians into Psychology Fellow
  • Cobell Summer Research Scholarship ($5000)