Meet the Team

Lab Director

Lori M. Hilt, Ph.D.  is an Associate Professor of psychology at Lawrence University.  She studies both typically developing youth and those at risk for psychopathology using parent- and self-report, tests of executive functioning, psychophysiology, eye tracking, and genetics.  Much of her recent research has focused on rumination, which is the tendency to passively dwell on negative thoughts and get stuck in one’s head.  She has found that this maladaptive emotion-regulation strategy puts children at risk for developing high levels of depression and nonsuicidal self-injury.  She and her students are now examining alternate strategies to rumination, such as mindfulness and reappraisal, to see how they help might help youth get out of the ruminative process.

Research Associate

Caroline Swords graduated from Lawrence University in 2019 with majors in psychology and neuroscience. She is the study coordinator for the Adolescent Mobile App RCT. Her research interests include rumination, non-suicidal self-injury, facial electromyography and mindfulness. After graduating, she hopes to attend graduate school for affective neuroscience or clinical psychology.   

Research Assistants

Eliana Whitehouse is a senior at Lawrence University. She is studying Art and Psychology. After graduation, she intends to go to graduate school in psychology. She is currently interested in art therapy and mindfulness. When she is not studying she is the Residence Life Manager for Lawrence University’s Baking and Cooking Club, a CORE Leader, and a DIY craft enthusiast.


El Horner is a senior at Lawrence University, where they are studying Psychology and German. After getting their BA, they plan on getting a PhD in Psychology, and becoming a professor. Their research interests are primarily adolescent psychology and identity development. Outside of their studies, they are a CORE leader, a musician, and an avid baker.


Courtney Wilmington is a fourth year Dual Degree student studying Neuroscience and Music Education. She has a love of teaching, and is interested in the research areas of educational neuroscience, electrophysiology, and development. Outside of studying, she enjoys playing fiddle music and working in the scene shop for Lawrence University’s theater department.


Naomi Curran is a Junior Psychology major at LU. After graduation, she plans to attend grad school, studying Social Work or Counseling Psychology. She is particularly interested in adolescent mental health and is thankful for the opportunity to work with students in and around the Appleton community. For fun, she likes to study existentialism, or play the clarinet, or jump in a lake. 



Morgan Fisher is a Junior at Lawrence University, where she studies Neuroscience. She the coordinator of (and a participant in) the LARY Buddy program at Lawrence, captain of the varsity tennis team, and co-chair of LUCC’s Committee on Community Service and Engagement. She is currently interested in understanding the impact of trauma on adolescent development. After graduation, she is considering graduate school in clinical or counseling psychology.

Lab Alumni

CARE Lab 2018-2019

Back row CARE kids, Prof. Hilt, Violin Wang, Qiushan Liu, Caroline Swords, Courtney Fine; Front row Sara Prostko, Meredith Luo, Jialun Yang


Liesl Hostetter graduated from Lawrence in 2020 with majors in Psychology and Government. She is interested in how better understanding the cognitive and emotional processes of individuals can be applied to address key social issues. She is also a member of the Lawrence University Women’s Basketball team.

Jialun Yang graduated with a Psychology major. She is an international student from China and is interested in cross-cultural psychology in this background. She is also interested in music therapy, with technical competence on piano.

Sara Prostko graduated from Lawrence in 202 with degrees in Flute Performance (BM) and Psychology (BA). She plans to go to graduate school for clinical psychology. Her research interests include depression and suicide prevention. In her free time she enjoys listening to true crime podcasts and volunteering at the pet shelter.            

Kieran Laursen graduated from Lawrence in 2019 with a double major in Psychology and History. His research interests are in emotions/emotion regulation, perception, and behavior in specific social settings. He hopes to attend graduate school for social psychology. In his spare time, he enjoys playing games, playing tennis, and snuggling all good dogs.

Renae Tuschner graduated from Lawrence in 2018 with a major in Bassoon Performance (BM) and Psychology (BA) and a minor in neuroscience. She will soon be attending graduate school for neurologic music therapy. Her research interests include neurodevelopmental and mood disorders in children and adolescents as well as non-suicidal self injury.

Trang Le graduated from Lawrence in 2018 with majors in Psychology and Math. She is now pursuing a PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology. Her research interests include social and cognitive development in children, eating disorders, and mindfulness techniques. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and solving challenging problems.

Cassidy Salentine graduated from Lawrence in 2018 with a major in Psychology and minors in English and Neuroscience. She is currently working as a research assistant at the University of Chicago. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school for clinical psychology. She is interested in studying non-suicidal self-injury and dissociative disorders.

Peter P. Ehlinger (LU ’14) is pursuing a PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Oregon. His primary research interests in include the role body image plays in influencing health behaviors and mental illness, particularly across multiple populations, including sexual minorities and individuals living with HIV and cancer.

Kelsey Fischer currently lives in Tacoma, Washington and works as a Youth Advocate for the YWCA, where she runs support groups for teens affected by domestic violence and gives presentations on healthy relationships to high school classes.

Stephanie Vahsling

Daniel Larson

Alison Kleppin

Elizabeth Bruun

Ruya Zhang

Vijayashree Krishnan

Kalle Nelson

Alana Myatt

Mary Curtin

Vivian Burnette

Emily Hamm

Andrew Jacobson

Elyse Daly

Gina Torcasso

Lauren Gross

Krista Bohme

Sarah Liu

CARE Lab 2012-2013

Back row: Mary Schultz, Kalle Nelson, Andrew Jacobson, Peter Ehlinger, Vivian Burnette, Emily Hamm, Liz Tracey and Professor Hilt.
Front row: Mary Curtin, Stephanie Vahlsing, Elyse Daly, Gina Torcasso, and Daniel Larson.