The GPP Team

Dr. Theresa Vescio, Principal Investigator

Terri Vescio’s research seeks to understand the factors that facilitate and temper the expression of sexism, racism, and heterosexism. Within that context, Terri is interested in the interplay between the stereotypic behaviors of powerful people and the consequences that those behaviors have for the emotions, motivation, and performance of low power women, gay men, and people of color. She also studies the role of hegemonic masculinity (as a personal identity and cultural ideology) in the maintenance of the status quo via political preferences, use and acceptance of sexual violence, preferences to dominate women, acceptance of violence against people of color.  She is particularly interested in how subtle and hegemonic processes reinforce and maintain the status quo. 

Katsumi Yamaguchi-Pedroza, Graduate Student

Katsumi Yamaguchi-Pedroza is a dual-title PhD student in Social Psychology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Katsumi aims to conduct research that addresses social inequalities and can be used to inform and improve lives of people who belong to historically underrepresented groups. By incorporating feminist theories and methodologies with psychological ones, she studies how intersecting social identities, such as race and gender, affect processes of power and experiences of prejudice. More specifically, Katsumi’s current research explores the unique threat that well-performing women of color present to white men and how sexual violence reinforces and maintains gender and racial disparities.

Katsumi received her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Gender Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a lab manager at the University of California, Irvine. In her free time, Katsumi enjoys reading, yoga, and trying new recipes!

Katsumi's Google Scholar |Katsumi’s ResearchGate | Katsumi’s Twitter

Abigail Loviscky, Graduate Student

Abigail Loviscky is a dual-title PhD student in Social Psychology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Abigail is broadly interested in identity threats, prejudice, and gender. She is currently examining how gender threats inspire prejudice toward LGBTQ+ identities. She is also working on the development of a framework that examines the differential pathways to prejudice dependent upon whether marginalized identites are visible or invisible. Ultimately, her work aims to explore how prejudice is psychologically motivated by the cultural construction of our identities, in order to develope effective prejudice reduction interventions. 

Abigail received her B.A. in Psychology and her B.A. in Women's Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. During and post-undergrad, she worked as a research assistant and subsequent lab manager for the Gender, Power, and Privilege Lab. She is currently celebrating her fifth year with the GPP lab!

Demet Başar, Graduate Student

Demet Başar is a PhD student in Social Psychology. Demet received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Psychology from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. Demet worked as a research assistant and lab manager at MEF University in Istanbul before beginning her journey at Penn State. In her master’s thesis, she investigated attitudes towards stalking as a gender-based violence and its relationship with honor endorsement. Her research interests center around gender inequalities across and within cultures. She is particularly interested in consequences of gender-based discrimination, perceptions of gender-based violence, masculinity threats and endorsement of honor beliefs. She aims to study cultural norms and practices to perpetuate gender inequalities and gender-based violence. In her free time Demet likes to spend time with her cat, enjoys watching movies and cooking.

Demet's ResearchGate | Demet's Twitter | Demet's Google Scholar

Current Undergraduate Research Assistants 

Teara Veney

Teara Veney is a third year Schreyer Honors Scholar majoring in both Psychology with a focus on neuropsychology and African American Studies. She is also minoring in Korean. During her time at Penn State, Teara has developed interests in looking at effects of intersectionality in Black women and plans to continue studies on the topic. Under the advice of Dr. Vescio, She will complete her honors thesis. Following undergrad, Teara plans to attend grad school, pursuing her PhD in Neuropsychology. She hopes to assist the mental health world in developing into a preventative system- one that provides preventative resources to those with mental disorders and concerns of mental health rather than assisting only after a certain threshold of severity and behavior is reached (ie., becoming proactive as opposed to reactive).

Eliza Glunt

Eliza Glunt is a second-year student majoring in Psychology. She is also completing an enhanced minor in Sociology. In addition, she is an aspiring Paterno Fellow. Her research interests include the presence of hegemonic masculinity in society–specifically in political atmospheres. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Eliza hopes to either further her passion in Social Psychology or attend law school. Outside of her studies, Eliza is a Penn State Blue Band clarinetist.

Evan Jones

Evan Jones is a second-year Schreyer Honors Scholar majoring in Psychology and History. He is fascinated by social responses to diverse gender identities and sexual orientations, and is interested in studying interactions between masculinity and sexuality across the allosexual/asexual spectrum. Evan is a hotline volunteer at a local non-profit agency called Centre Helps. He hopes to go to graduate school for psychology and one day become a practicing clinical psychologist. 

Lab Alumni

Graduate Student Alumni

Sarah J. Gervais (Ph.D., 2007, Psychology and Women’s Studies), Susan Rosowski Professor of Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Matthew Paolucci Callahan (Ph.D., 2008, Psychology), Professor of Psychology, Sonoma State University.

Margaret A. Thomas (Ph.D., 2009, Psychology). Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Earlham Program for Integrated Curriculum (EPIC), Earlham College.

Jessica A. Cundiff (Ph.D., 2013, Psychology and Women’s Studies). Assistant Professor of Psychology, Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Nathaniel Ratcliff (Ph.D., 2016, Psychology). Research Assistant Professor, Social and Decision Analytics, Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative. The University of Virginia.

Kevin Weaver (Ph.D., 2017, Psychology and Women’s Studies). Analyst, FactWorks, San Mateo, CA.

Jonathan Gallegos (Ph.D., 2019, Psychology). Post-Doctoral Research Associate. The University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Kathrine Lewis (Ph.D., 2022, Psychology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies). Post-Doctoral Research Associate. The University of Washington, St. Louis, Missouri.

Nathaniel Schermerhorn (Ph.D., 2023, Psychology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies). Lecturer. University of Essex, Essex, England.

Affiliated Graduate Student Alumni

Brooke A. Di Leone (Ph.D., 2012, Psychology). Director of Research, Evaluation, and Data. AccessMatters. Org: Transforming Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Julia Dahl (Ph.D., 2018). Senior Research Psychologist, Health and Resilience Research at the Office of People Analytics, U.S. Department of Defense. 

Troy Steiner (Ph.D., 2020, Psychology). Instructional Faculty. University of Maryland, Baltimore County. 

Previous Undergraduate Research Assistants

Taya Cohen, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, Carnegie Mellon University. 

Valerie Earnshaw, Associate Professor of Education and Human Development. University of Delaware. 

David Butz. 

Kristin Davies, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences, York College CUNY. 

Ann Hoover, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of South Carolina Upstate.  

Jason Moser, Associate Professor of Psychology, Michigan State University.  

Larissa Heiphetz, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Columbia University. 

Kathryn Dlugos, Assistant Professor, Human Resource Management, the Pennsylvania State University.  

Maria Sanchez, Graduate Student.

Megan Nadzen, PhD candidate, Department of Psychology, University of Delaware

Jacqueline Rofe.

Sophia Mills.

Marliana Laubach. 

Eden Loberant. 

Kayla Bert. 

Jada Scarboro, Nursing Master's Program, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. 

Karleigh Veglia, Research Technician, Girirajan Lab, the Pennsylvania State University. 

Mitch Dobbs, Research Assistant, Psychology of Misinformation Lab, Northeastern University.

Sarabeth Bowmaster.

Ray French.

Morgan Zipfel.