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Studying The Inivisible Guises and Marginalized Appearances

The STIGMA Lab is directed by Dr. Caitlin Mercier. The goal of the STIGMA Lab is to uncover the impact of understudied stigmas that influence the lived experiences and well-being of marginalized communities. Within the broader areas, the lab focuses on two topic areas:

a) Vegetarianism

b) Anti-Black Racism and Colorism

The lab draws upon intersectionality, concealable stigmatized identity (CSI), and minority stress as guiding frameworks and employ multiple methodologies, including mixed method and qualitative methods.

Meet Our Members!

Our Graduate Students!

Jaylen Bychowski, B.S. is a second year master’s student in the clinical-counseling psychology program. Her research interests include trauma, self-compassion, mindfulness, and experiences of minority discrimination and stigma. Her goal is to obtain her counseling licensure as well as her certification in women and gender studies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and painting

Michelle Duong (she/her) is a 2nd year Master of Clinical-Counseling Psychology student. Michelle’s research interests broadly include public health/community health (specifically focused on health disparities, access to care, and vulnerable populations), substance use/addiction disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and the impacts of intersectionality on well-being. Her current research is focused on investigating the impacts of perfectionism in college students on outcomes of substance use (alcohol use, cannabis use, and co-use) with emotion dysregulation as a possible mediator. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, watching horror movies and reality TV, and spending time with friends.  

Hi! My name is Aleena Mangold and I am a second year Clinical-Counseling Psychology M.A. Student. I am interested in research involving the etiology of disordered eating behaviors, and social issues such as stigma, discrimination, and biases. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

Hi! I’m Sanjana Vasisht and I am a first-year student in the master’s in clinical-counseling psychology program. My research/practical interests include personality and interpersonal relationships, and I hope to work with diverse and underserved communities in the future. My goal is to gain licensure for counseling and work with adolescents. In my free time, I enjoy travelling, painting and drawing!

Our Undergraduates!

Hello! My name is Brooke Zaccone! I am in my fourth year at ISU. I am a psychology major. I hope to be a therapist for people struggling with mental health.

Hello! My name is Anna Koerwitz. I am in my final year of undergraduate honors Psychology studies at Illinois State University. I hope to continue my education in Clinical Psychology as a graduate student next year.  My goal is to obtain a PhD and start my own private practice or work in a hospital while continuing to pursue my interests in research. Some of my research interests include Substance Abuse in Adolescence, Social Economical Context, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Minority Discrimination and Stigma. 

My name is Caitlyn Donnelly and I’m a senior psychology major with minors in sociology and criminal justice sciences at Illinois State University. I hope to continue my education in Clinical/Counseling psychology next year. My end goal is to become a clinical psychologist or counselor for those in the criminal justice system. I enjoy traveling, being outside, and spending time with friends and family. 

I am a senior undergraduate student at Illinois State University studying journalism and psychology. I am a news editor at The Vidette and the vice president of Girls Club. I am excited to gain experience working in a lab before going to graduate school! 

My name is Aaliyah Rogel (she/her) I am currently a senior as Illinois state university. I plan to graduate in December 2023 and go to graduate school to obtain a clinical mental health counseling degree. Becoming a clinical mental health counselor will allow me to help people struggling to navigate their emotional and mental health struggles. Fun fact! My favorite color is yellow, and I love sushi! 🙂

Lab Alumni

Lily Downing

 Isis Essex

Nana Frimpong

Wan-Ju (Louan) Yang

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