top of page

Current unicorns

Thekla poster.jpg

Dr. Thekla Morgenroth

Principal Investigator

My research examines why and how people maintain social categories and hierarchies, especially when these are challenged, with a particular focus on the gender/sex binary and its consequences for women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Some of my current projects include research on opposition to policies and practices that challenge the gender/sex binary, the psychology of different feminist ideologies, the link between gender nonconformity and identity denial, and moral arguments made in the context of regulating women's bodies (e.g., in the context of sex work or abortion).

Pronouns: They/them

Contact: tmorgenr@purdue.edu

CV

Google Scholar

Twitter

Favorite magical creature: Unicorn, obviously.

Dang headshot FA23.jpg

Layla Dang

5th year graduate student

I am broadly interested in examining the psychological factors which allow systemic social inequities to persist and those that facilitate social change. My ongoing research specifically examines psychological antecedents and consequences of neoliberal feminist ideology, how people respond to newcomers who challenge existing social systems, and how minority groups contend with information about group-based advantages relative to other minority groups. Prior to beginning my graduate work, I graduated from St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology along with concentrations in Women’s & Gender Studies and Management Studies and was subsequently the Lab Manager of the Social Cognition of Social Justice lab at Purdue University from 2018 to 2019. I received my M.S. in Social Psychology from Purdue in 2021.

Pronouns: She/her

Contact: dang24@purdue.edu

CV

Google Scholar

Favorite magical creature: Pixie

Switzerland.jpg

Kira Kay Means

2nd year graduate student

I am broadly interested in studying feminism, gender-based prejudice, and prejudice occurring within social groups. As a member of the UNICORN lab, I am excited to integrate my interests in feminist and queer theory with social psychological research on gender. I am also interested in advanced quantitative methods and best practices in data analysis. In spring 2017, I earned a B.A. in Psychology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Montana. After graduating, I participated in a year of AmeriCorps VISTA service in Washington, DC. I received my M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Western Washington University in spring 2021 and then was Lab Manager of the Brauer Group Lab at the University of Madison-Wisconsin during the following academic year.

Pronouns: She/her

Contact: means6@purdue.edu

CV

Google Scholar

Twitter

Favorite magical creature: Also unicorn! I actually have a tattoo of a unicorn, so joining the UNICORN Lab was clearly meant to be. 🦄

Heejoo headshot FA23.png

Heejoo Jennifer Chung

1st year graduate student

I am interested in studying how conceptions and ideas of gender shape and are shaped by personal identity, relationships between groups and individuals, and the sociocultural environment. I am excited to conduct social psychological research on gender while construing it as a multidimensional, not binary, and possibly flexible construct. Prior to joining the UNICORN lab, I earned a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from Yonsei University in South Korea.

Pronouns: She/her

Contact: chung341@purdue.edu

CV

Favorite magical creature: Haetae

Finn headshot FA23_edited_edited.jpg

Finn Frohn

Visiting student

I am broadly interested in the way individuals and culture shape each other. I am thrilled to find out how cultural variables such as race, class and gender influence the way individuals are perceived, perceive themselves and form relationships with others. Moreover, I like to think about the term culture as a broad term that applies to different types of social groups. I am specifically interested in queer subculture and the societal perceptions of gender nonconforming people such as trans and non-binary individuals. The navigation of these identities within different social contexts and the revolutionary potential of norm violating gender expression and identification fascinate me.

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Germany (Aachen) and I will degrade in my masters of intercultural psychology in Spring next year. During my master´s I had the chance to do a research stay in the Psychology of Social Change Lab in Granada to research about the relationship between feminists and trans persons. I am in the UNICORN lab to write my master´s thesis within my field of interest and I am thrilled to be here with all these wonderful researchers!

Pronouns: They/them

Contact: dfrohn@purdue.edu

Favorite magical creature: Troll

Austin headshot FA23

Austin Zeng

Lab Manager

I am interested in examining causal attributions and moral judgments in the context of intergroup relations. More specifically, I am interested in how majority group members make attributions about the disadvantages minority groups face as well as how moral judgments about individuals derive from these attributions. Before Purdue, I received my B.S. in Psychological & Brain Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Pronouns: He/him

Contact: zeng297@purdue.edu

CV

Favorite magical creature: Gnome

Lewis headshot FA22.jpg

Olivia Lewis

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am in my junior year here at Purdue University, majoring in Psychological Sciences. I am broadly interested in social categorization and the psychological factors that influence attitudes and stereotypes toward minority groups, particularly women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, and subsequently the impact prejudice has against the well-being and mental health of those who experience it.

Pronouns: She/her

Contact: orlewis@purdue.edu

Favorite magical creature: Dragon

Robertson headshot FA22.jpg

Angelina Robertson

Undergraduate Research Assistant

As a sophomore pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology, what I hope to specialize in is social psychology, specifically conducting research on the internet's facilitation of parasocial relationships, and how intersectional queer identities are evolving as an axis of cultural and self-identification. 

Pronouns: She/they

Contact: rober651@purdue.edu

Favorite magical creature: Sirens/elves

Click headshot SP23.jpg

Abi Click

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am a senior at Purdue University majoring in Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and minoring in Sociology. My research interests include perceptions of various gender and sexual minorities and how they can lead to prejudice and discrimination; I am specifically interested in gender essentialism. My secondary research interests include intersectional prejudice and ableism.

Pronouns: She/her

Contact: clicka@purdue.edu

Favorite magical creature: Phoenix

Sass headshot SP23.jpg

Kris Sass

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I’m a sophomore at Purdue majoring in Psychology and History. Currently I’m hoping to join a School Psychology graduate program in the future and continue working in the field. I’m mainly interested in how neurodivergence affects the development of identity and how growing up around prejudice, namely in schools, affects the socialization and development of identity in children and teens.

Pronouns: They/them

Contact: kdsass@purdue.edu

Favorite magical creature: Mothman

Mackenzie headshot FA23_edited.jpg

Mackenzie Napier

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am a Senior, working on a B.S in Psychological Sciences, at Purdue University. My broad interests include the interaction of culture and psychology, and the role they play in the existence of prejudice and discrimination towards minority groups including women and the LGBTQ+ community.

Pronouns: She/Her

Contact: mfnapier@purdue.edu

Favorite magical creature: Fairy

IMG_0956.jpg

Alexandria Mueller

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I'm a senior at Purdue majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology. I'm broadly interested in social psychology, but more specifically I am also interested in studying topics concerning gender, social inequalities, prejudice on the internet, and conformity.

Pronouns: She/Her

Contact: muell132@purdue.edu

Favorite magical creature: Balrog

Kartoffel

Lab mascot

My research interests include (1) food inequity with a specific focus on why the humans in my home always seem to get more exciting food than I do, (2) the best things to play with (preliminary results suggest that strings and kale are particularly great), and (3) finding the best spots to nap. 

Pronouns: She/her

Favorite magical creature: Myself! I am the most magical creature there is.

Least favorite magical creature: Vacuum cleaner. 

UNICORN alumni

Research Assistants

  • Estefani Olguin

  • Madisyn Arnold

Lab Managers

  • Casey McMahon (currently a PhD student at Columbia University)

bottom of page