Ruscher's Current and Former Graduate Students

Elizabeth Yost Hammer

B.S. 1989 Troy State University

M.S. 1993 Tulane University Thesis: Relationship relevant attributions: The influence of affect and relationship satisfaction

Ph.D.1994 Tulane University Dissertation: What do we think of her now? The role of motivation and cognitive capacity in transactive impression formation

Elizabeth Hammer conducted her Master's research on relationship attributions under the direction of Ed O'Neal, and collaborated with him and Kelli Craig on various papers regarding aggression and stereotyping (published under Yost). In 1992, Elizabeth joined the Ruscher lab as a full-time research assistant, supported by a state research grant. She collaborated on several projects, which lead to publications in JPSP and PSPB. Her dissertation concerned the roles of distraction and consensus motivation in the development of shared stereotypic impressions. In 2000, Dr. Hammer left her tenured position at Belmont University in Nashville, and joined the faculty of Loyola University in New Orleans. After serving their as department chair, Elizabeth accepted a position at Xavier University as the director of their Center for Advancement of Teaching. She is a past-president of Psi Chi (the national honor society for psychology students), and has published recently on topics concerned with the teaching of psychology. Recent work includes a co-edited volume of social psychology readings for the Association for Psychological Science and a coathored book "Psychological Adjustment in Modern Life".


Elliott D. Hammer

B.A. 1991 University of Kansas

M.S. 1994 Tulane University Thesis: Why do you think that happened? Dyads' causal explanations for unexpected outcomes

Ph.D. 1996 Tulane University Dissertation: Willing but not able: Even low prejudiced individuals sometimes make stereotypical attributions

Elliott Hammer joined the Ruscher laboratory in 1991, after completing his BA at the University of Kansas. Elliott was awarded a 4-year research assistantship from the state to pursue his graduate studies. While at Tulane, he collaborated on several research papers, including papers published in JPSP and PSPB. His master's thesis, concerning on shared causal explanations, appeared in BJSP. Elliott's dissertation examined modern racism as a predictor of stereotypic attribution, and he currently is conducting follow-up research. After graduation, Dr. Hammer taught courses at Middle Tennesee State and Belmont Universities for a semester. For several years, he was an assistant professor at Tennesee State University in Nashville, where he held a $153,000 grant to study the stress experienced by African-American targets of racism. Elliott earned tenure at Xavier University in New Orleans, whose faculty he joined in 2000. He currently holds the John LaForge Professorship in Social Justice.


Laura Lawson Duval

A.B. 1987 Bowdoin College Honor's thesis: Encoding, decoding, and self-recognition of facial expressions of emotion Director: Paul Schaffner

M.S. 1995 Tulane University Thesis: Gender based inference of others' knowledge: Excessive linguistic detail as subtle sexism

Ph.D. 1997 Tulane University Dissertation: The effect of communicated exemplars on stereotyping and impression formation

Laura Duval joined the Ruscher lab in 1992, and became quickly interested in discriminatory communication. While she was on a state research fellowship, Laura conducted a series of studies on how men "talk down to" women on gender neutral tasks, which developed into a master's thesis; this work earned her the Shelley Coverman Memorial Award for research on women. Later she was supported on a state research grant, during which time she collaborated on a series of studies concerning the transmission of stereotypic impressions. These studies appeared in JPSP. Her dissertation addressed whether communication of stereotypic exemplars exaggerated or attenuated stereotypic impressions. A paper on this topic appeared in BASP, on which Laura is first author, with honor students Kathryn Welsh and Sarah Catanese. Since earning her degree, Dr. Duval has taught courses at Hofstra University, Nassau College, and the University of Tampa. She currently is teaching in the DC area.


Anh Thu Burks

B.A. 1993 Miami University

M.S. 1997 Tulane University Thesis: Persuasiveness of proattitudinal and counterattitudinal messages, as a function of message relevance and speaker group membership Anh Thu joined the lab in 1995. Early in her graduate career, Anh Thu conducted a follow-up study to Elizabeth Hammer's dissertation, and she presented this study at APS in 1997. Anh Thu served as a teaching assistant to various large lecture courses. After completing her thesis, Anh Thu decided to pursue her more applied interests.


Sherry B. Schnake

 B.S. 1991 Butler University Honor's Thesis: Prosodic differences in parental speech to children for correcting versus non-correcting responses. Director: J. Neil Bohannon

M.S. 1996 Tulane University Thesis: Nonverbal and linguistic indicators of prejudice in communication: The effects of anticipated audience and modern racism

Ph.D. 1999 Tulane University Dissertation: The subtle communication of prejudice in speech to outgroup members.

Awarded a 4 year state research fellowship, Sherry joined the Ruscher lab in 1992. She immediately initiated a research project concerning negative affect and aggression toward women. That project, combined with Kim Gratz's honor's thesis appeared in JSBP, with Sherry as senior author. In addition, she is co-author on an article concerned with interdependence and multiple impression goals, which appeared in BJSP. Throughout her graduate career, Sherry pursued her research interests in prejudiced communication, in both her MS thesis, which appeared in JLSP, and her PhD dissertation. Previously, she taught undergraduate courses in experimental social psychology, introductory psychology, and developmental psychology, here at Tulane and at neighboring Loyola. Dr. Schnake now is an associate professor at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana.


Elizabeth L. Cralley

B.A. 1991 Illinois State University

M.A. 1993 Illinois State University (Measurement and Statistics) Thesis:Fear of success in collegiate athletes: Individual versus team sport players Director: James Johnson

Ph.D. 1999 Tulane University Dissertation: Effortful egalitarianism: Stereotype suppression requires both motivation and cognitive resources.

Beth entered the social psychology program in 1994 with a masters degree in measurement. She co-authored a paper concerned with shared stereotyping among newly-acquainted mutually-attracted dyad members. A JLSP paper about sexism and biased language use is based in part on her dissertation. Beth also collaborated with Jeff Lockman on motor perception in infants. As a graduate student, Beth was a laboratory instructor for a variety of laboratory courses (e.g., Measurement, Experimental Social), and conducted research on the appropriateness of using unique data sets for statistics (published in College Student Journal. She previously has taught at Loyola University of New Orleans, University of South Carolina at Beaufort, and Georgia Southern University. Currently, Beth is teaching at American University.

Daniel J. Beal

B.A. 1994 Florida State University Honors Thesis: Relationship between personality characteristics and perceptions of the therapeutic alliance. Director: Daniel Boroto

M.S. 1996 Tulane University Thesis: Covert and overt aggression as a function of modern racism. Director by Edgar C. O'Neal

Ph.D. 2000 Tulane University Dissertation: Aggression and racism: Affective and inhibitory mechanisms Director Edgar C. O'Neal

Dan's research interests encompass affect, aggression, and stereotyping. One paper on the aggression-stereotyping interface published in PSPB, with Dan as the senior author. Dan also received a dissertation fellowship from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to study these topics further. Dan also is co-author on a Sex Roles article on masculine self-discrepancy and aggression, with Ed O'Neal and former Tulane undergraduate Max Weisbuch. In addition to research on aggression, Dan conducts research on statistics and measurement. For example, he worked on Monte Carlo simulations with Bill Dunlap (which appeared in Journal of Applied Psychology) and with Mike Burke, on a structural equations modeling problem with Ron Landis and Paul Tesluk (which appeared in Organizational Research Methods), and a meta-analysis with Mike Burke. Dan also collaborated occasionally on projects in the Ruscher lab; and is senior author on a recent BJSP article concerned with stereotyping and communication (abstract). In the past, Dan served as laboratory assistant for a variety of courses, including statistics, experimental social psychology, and measurement. Later, he taught experimental social psychology and measurement. Having completed a post-doc at Purdue University, Dan joined the industrial/organizational psychology faculty of Rice University in 2004.


Kimberly J. O'Farrell

B.A. University of California at Santa Cruz

M.S. 1999. Tulane University Thesis:Close friendship and information processing in response to overhearing self-relevant information.

Ph.D. 2002. Tulane University Dissertation: Relational devaluation and the self: Testing an integrative model of self-motivations and the theory of hurt feelings

After Kim entered the social psychology program in 1996, she became interested in the relation between group cohesiveness and self-stereotyping. Recently, she piloted a shortened version of Aron et al's manipulation of dyadic cohesion, then conducted a experiment using that procedure which was presented at the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. She co-authored a paper concerned with shared stereotyping among newly-acquainted mutually-attracted dyad members. She also has conducted research with Ed O'Neal on exclusivity in romantic relationships, which was presented recently at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality; this work appeared in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. In addition to serving as a teaching assistant for several large lecture courses, Kim served as the assistant for a writing intensive honors course for first year undergraduates and as lab assistant for experimental social psychology, research methods in social cognition, and graduate statistics. In the 1999-2000 year, she assisted with Tulane's Lagnaippe program, a program designed to introduce first year college students to the rich culture and history of New Orleans. She has taught Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, and Experimental Social Psychology. After earning tenure at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Kim began a consulting business in CA.

Alecia M. Santuzzi

B.A. 1998 Ohio University

M.S. 2001 Tulane University Thesis: Stigma salience and paranoid social cognition: The role of stigma disclosure and self-consciousness in the inferences and task performance of the stigmatized target

Ph.D. 2004 Tulane University Dissertation: Perceptions and Metaperceptions of the Stigma Experience: Accuracy and Bias in a Social Relations Model

Alecia entered the program in Fall 1998 with an interest in stigma and stereotyping. As an undergraduate, she assisted Daniel Lassiter with research and is co-author with him on a paper presented at the 1998 meeting of the American Psychological Society. She has conducted research on shared impression formation in dyads, which appeared in the British Journal of Social Psychology. She was the teaching assistant for an honor section of introductory psychology, experimental social psychology, multivariate statistics, as well as research methods in social cognition, and has taught introductory psychology, social psychology, and experimental social psychology. Alecia later was awarded a 30 month research fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on stigma and stereotyping. Her first work on this topic appeared in Social Cognition. Alecia's dissertation used the Social Relations Model to examine metaperceptions of stigmatized and nonstigmatized individuals. Alecia completed a post-doc focused on quantitative methods at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then joined the faculty at Syracuse University in the fall of 2006, and recently relocated to Northern Illinois University.

 Christy L. McLendon

B.A. 1998. University of Georgia

M.S. 2001. Tulane University Thesis: The effects of stereotype threat and evaluator sexism on women's performance in male-type work domains

Ph.D. 2004. Tulane University Dissertation: The Differential Perception and Reactivity Model of Occupational Stress Director: Ronald Landis

Christy entered the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program in 1998. During her initial year, she conducted field research with Paul Tesluk at Laitrem. Her current interests bridge social and organizational psychology, particularly in the areas of stereotype threat in prejudiced work environments, and she has presented on this topic at the Society of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She was a teaching assistant for Experimental Social Psychology, for Experimental Design, and Multivariate Statistics. She also has taught Personality and Research Methods in Personality. Dr. McLendon currently is an assistant professor at the business school at University of New Orleans

Seth A. Kaplan

B. S. 1998. University of Florida

M.S. 2003, Tulane University M.S. Thesis: Self-concordance as a mediator between goal orientation and worker well-being: Testing a theoretical model Director: Carl J. Thoresen

Ph.D. 2006, Tulane University Dissertation: The affective bases of team performance during nonroutine events: The case of nuclear power plant control room crews Directors: Ronald S. Landis and Mary Waller

Seth entered the Industrial/Organizational psychology program in 2000, with interests in personality, job stress, and teams. He is second author on a meta-analysis with Dr. Thoresen that appeared recently in Psychological Bulletin. Seth's work in our lab focuses on personality characteristics, including the relation between self-esteem and metaperception, and the relation between cynicism and social support. The latter work appeared in a paper with Jill Bradley Personality and Individual Differences. Seth served as laboratory instructor for experimental psychology, testing, quantitative methods, and research methods in social cognition. He also taught undergraduate statistics and research methods. Seth was the first recipient of the William P. Dunlap Memorial Award for graduate research in quantitative methods and measurement. In July 2006, Seth joined the I/O faculty at George Mason University


Jill C. Bradley

B. S. 1999. Truman State University

M.S. 2003, Tulane University Master's Thesis: Homogeneity of personality types within occupations and organizations: Another look at Schneider's attraction-selection-attrition model Director: Ronald S. Landis

Ph.D. 2006, Tulane University Dissertation: Rejection and deflection: The case of the "poor white trash" stereotype Director: Ronald Landis

Jill entered the Industrial/Organizational psychology program in 2000, with interests including personality and workplace discrimination. Along with articles published in industrial psychology journal, she is co-author on a paper with Seth Kaplan about cynicism and social support following the September 11 terrorist attacks. The latter work appeared in Personality and Individual Differences. At Tulane, Jill served as laboratory instructor for testing and quantitative methods, and also taught industrial psychology. During her final year, Jill was funded by a Murphy Institute fellowship. In July 2006, Jill joined the faculty at the Craig School of Business at California State University-Fresno


Kristin M. Walker

B.S. 2002 Xavier University of Louisiana

M.S. 2006 Tulane University Master's Thesis Virtual jigsaw classroom: A modern application of a classic method

Kristin completed her undergraduate research at Xavier University, under the direction of Elliott Hammer. She joined the Ruscher lab in 2002, and completed her M.S. thesis on jigsaw classrooms. Kristin elected to complete her Ph.D. at the University of Memphis, where she was a visiting student during the extended Katrina evacuation.


Eden Renee Pruitt

B. A. 2000. Wesleyan University Honor's thesis:The recycling of African American images on television Director: Robert Steele

M.S. 2003 Tulane University Master's thesis: Manifestation of the Linguistic Intergroup Bias Under the Motivation to Control Prejudice

 Ph.D. 2006. Tulane University Dissertation: The Influence of Role Conflict on Stress and Hypertension in African Americans

Eden Renee entered the program in the fall of 2000 with interests in media effects of stereotyping, and is conducting research on this topic. She has been the teaching assistant for personality psychology, and the laboratory instructor for research methods in social cognition and for experimental social psychology. After completing an NSF post-doctoral fellowship at the Pennsylvania State University, she joined the faculty  at Bard College at Simon's Rock.


Devin L. Wallace

B. S. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

M.A. 2003, California State University-Northridge Master's Thesis: Anxiety and coping as mediators of stereotype threat and academic performance Director: Sheila Grant

Ph.D. 2007 Tulane University Dissertation: If you've met one, you've met them all? Moderating outgroup homogeneity using the Stereotype Content Model

Devin entered the program in 2003 with interests in academic achievement among African American students, as well as prejudice and stereotyping. After serving as laboratory instructor for measurement, univariate and multivariate statistics, and attitudes, she taught univariate statistics during the "Lagniappe" session in the summer following Hurricane Katrina. Devin currently is an assistant professor at Towson State University


Alyssa Boasso


M.S. 2009 Tulane University Thesis:


Tara van Bommel

B.A. University of Denver


Caroline Tipler

B.S. 2011 Tulane University

Department of Psychology • 2007 Percival Stern Hall • New Orleans, LA 70118 • Phone: 504-865-5331 •