Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Lab Director

Lori M. Hilt, Ph.D.  is a Professor and Chair of psychology at Lawrence University.  She studies both typically developing youth and those at risk for psychopathology using parent- and self-report, cognitive tasks, 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 depression, anxiety, and self-injurious behavior.  She and her students are now examining alternate strategies to rumination, such as mindfulness meditation, to see how they help might help youth get out of the ruminative process. She developed a brief mindfulness intervention delivered via mobile app and found that adolescents who use it report reduced rumination and negative affect in multiple clinical trials.

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 and the PI for a Psi Chi grant on the effects of BTA on rumination. 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

Naomi Curran is a Senior Psychology major at LU. She is particularly interested in how demographics affect adolescents’ mental health. For fun, she likes to make art with her roommates or jump in a lake. After Lawrence, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Social Work or Counseling Psychology.


Moeka Kamiya is a Senior at Lawrence University. She is an international student from Japan and majors in Psychology and Neuroscience. Her research interests are rumination, depression, anxiety in youth, the gut-brain axis, and mindfulness. Outside of academics, she enjoys being in nature, cooking, trying new foods, reading, and watching Korean dramas.


Elizabeth Hermann is a fourth-year dual degree student at Lawrence. She is majoring in Neuroscience and Music Theory and minoring in Biology and Psychology. After Lawrence, she is interested in becoming a caseworker, child welfare specialist, professional foster parent, or educational psychologist. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games and going for walks.


Grace Fox is a sophomore at Lawrence, majoring in Psychology. She is interested in clinical psychology and how trauma and substance abuse affect psychopathology. She is a thrower for the Lawrence University Track & Field team and volunteers at Harbor House domestic abuse shelter. In her free time, she loves to watch anime with her brother. Her favorite anime is Hunter x Hunter!


John Berg is a senior at Lawrence University. He is studying Psychology and English. After graduating, it is his plan to look for more research opportunities and eventually attend graduate schools for clinical psychology. He is currently interested in understanding more about rumination and its effects on adolescents. When he is not studying, he is a part of the Lawrence Swimming and Diving Team, painting, or writing for fun.

Georgia Chau is a fourth-year double degree student at Lawrence, where she is majoring in Neuroscience and Clarinet Performance. She is currently interested in music therapy’s effects on neurodivergent individuals as well as Klezmer music. Outside of studying, she enjoys tutoring peers and cooking new dishes for her family and friends.


Elsa Hammerdahl is a junior at Lawrence University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Cognitive Science. While she is undecided in her future career plans, she is potentially interested in careers related to neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, or clinical psychology. She enjoys research and is currently interested in schizophrenia, rumination, attention control, memory, and behavioral neuroendocrinology. Outside of her academic pursuits she loves photography, athletics (strength training and Pilates), listening to podcasts, and playing guitar.


Nina Austria is a sophomore at Lawrence University, where she is majoring in Mathematics (statistics track). She is interested in exploring how data analysis can be used to examine the effects of social media and increased technology usage on children and teenagers’ mental and emotional wellness. She is currently involved in Lawrence’s VITAL program, Association for Women in Mathematics club, and Pan-Asian Organization, and is VP of the Lambda Sigma Honor Society. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano.


Laurel Soderquist is a Senior studying Psychology and Spanish at Lawrence University. After graduation, she plans to go to graduate school in Psychology. She is currently interested in understanding the development of different coping mechanisms, eating disorders, and self-harming behaviors. Outside of her studies, she enjoys weightlifting, running, cycling, swimming, and hiking.

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

Courtney Wilmington is a fifth year Dual Degree student studying Neuroscience and Music Education.

Andrea Lara graduated in 2021 with majors in Psychology and Theatre. She plans to attend graduate school for clinical or counseling psychology.

El Horner graduated in 2021 with majors in Psychology and German. They plan to attend graduate school for Psychology, and become a professor.

Eliana Whitehouse graduated in 2021 with majors in Art and Psychology. She is attending the University of Michigan for a MSW degree.

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 2020 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 is currently 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.