James Doorley, M.A.
I am currently a 6th year graduate student in Dr. Todd Kashdan's laboratory. Prior to graduate school, I worked as a research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital where I contributed to studies of novel depression treatments. Early in graduate school, my research focused on suicide and various high-risk behaviors. Since then, I have become increasingly interested in the phenomenology and treatment of anxiety and social anxiety through the lens of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I am particularly interested in psychological flexibility, self-compassion, savoring, and their influence on resilience, performance, and physical health.
Kerry Kelso, M.A.
I'm a third-year graduate student in Dr. Todd B. Kashdan's Well-Being Lab. Prior to attending George Mason University, I earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at Appalachian State University, where I studied brief interventions that targeted anxiety vulnerabilities such as anxiety sensitivity, discomfort intolerance, and distress tolerance. Additionally, I have a background in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which has refined my research interests. Presently, I am interested in sources of risk and resilience in anxiety including experiential avoidance, psychological flexibility, meaning in life, and purpose in life. I aim to understand the nuances of these relationships and how they unfold over time with the ultimate goal of identifying targets for anxiety prevention and intervention.
Dr. Laura Wallace is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Dr. Todd Kashdan’s laboratory. Laura received her BA in Organizational Communications from Xavier University in 2012 and her MA (2015) and Ph.D. (2019) from Ohio State University, where she primarily worked with Duane Wegener and Ken Fujita. Her research program integrates the traditions of attitudes/persuasion, social cognition, social motivation, and inter-group relations to understand the mechanisms underlying social change. Her multi-disciplinary approach to the psychology of change draws from each perspective to develop basic theory with an eye toward informing policy and interventions targeting issues related to diversity, politics, social movements, education, and health. You can learn more about her at her website: http://laura-e-wallace.com/.
Logan is the Well-Being Lab’s first full-time Director of Research Operations, joining the team in January of 2020. She graduated from Lee University in the Spring of 2018 with Bachelor’s degrees in Health Science and Psychology, and was a Research Coordinator at the Affective & Translational Neuroscience Lab at the University of Maryland for a year. Her interests in spirituality, psychological flexibility, and emotional disorders led her to join the Well-Being Lab, and she plans to use her time here to prepare for a PhD in Psychology. Logan enjoys traveling, writing, yoga, and spending time with her friends, family, and newly adopted cat.
Sai is a current undergraduate student at George Mason University (class of 2020), with a major in Neuroscience and minor in Forensic Psychology. She joined the Well-Being Lab in the fall of 2017, with the hopes of learning more about the ways of clinical research. In addition to working in the lab, Sai is also a mental health advocate and leads a student organization called Cure Mental Illness on campus. She is hoping to go to medical school with the aspirations of becoming a neurologist. In her free time, Sai enjoys reading, writing and watching too many true crime documentaries.
Shely graduated in December of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in Data Analysis at George Mason University. She joined the Well-being lab in January of 2019 full of excitement due to her interests in psychological flexibility, resilience, spirituality and positive psychology. During her time at George Mason, she co-founded a student led organization Pathways to Peace, to encourage dialogue in mutual understanding to promote peace on campus. She is passionate about the science of well-being, helping others, and her desire to make a lasting impact in people’s lives to make the world a better place. Some of her interests outside of school and work include reading, being outside in nature, traveling, hiking and watching the sunset.
Angela is an undergraduate student at George Mason University. She will be graduating in Spring 2020 with a BS in Psychology, concentration in Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience, and a minor in Art. She has been a Research Assistant in this lab since February 2019. Her main interests in Psychology include the various mechanisms of learning and different learning styles, psychological flexibility, creativity, curiosity, and inspiration. She will be applying to graduate and doctoral programs in the following year, dedicated to finding a path that constantly provokes inspiration within her. Outside of her education, Angela is a nature enthusiast who loves walking barefoot, climbing trees, and exploring the outdoors.
Annie Lewis is an undergraduate at George Mason University and will be graduating in Spring 2020 with a BA in Forensic Psychology. She joined the Well-Being lab in the Summer of 2019 and has enjoyed learning more about curiosity, anxiety, and intellectual humility. She intends to apply to graduate schools soon to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her interests lie in the realm of the Dark Triad: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism. Outside of school, Annie works as a freelance theatrical electrician with various theatres in DC as well as GMU’s Center for the Arts. When not working in the lab or on schoolwork, she enjoys traveling Europe, spending time with her family and friends, watching crime shows, reading, and going on adventures.
Eve is a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at George Mason University. Aside from working in the Well-Being Lab, she is also a Research Intern for The Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program, which focuses on developing strategies, policies, and ideas that help low-to-moderate income individuals thrive in an ever-changing economy. Some of her interests outside of school and work include hiking, reading, writing, and binge-watching Netflix series.
Tristan is a senior-year undergraduate student earning a B.S. in Clinical Psychology. She joined the Well-Being Lab in the fall of 2019. Within the field, she is primarily interested in psychological disorders, the effects of adoption on a parent or child, and animal behavior. Aside from gaining research experience, she has previously worked at an in-patient psychiatric hospital in her hometown. Outside of psychology, her interests include dance, photography, reading, and painting.
Discovering what leads to meaningful transformation has been at the center of my interests. How societies transform collectively has led me to study politics as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia (2016) and learn about the legislative process as a community organizer in Seattle and currently as a legislative aide with the Virginia General Assembly. But uncovering what’s at the center of transformation personally has led me to join the Well Being Lab in January 2020. My aim is to enroll in a graduate program in Clinical Psychology in the near future, and my research interests include the topics of suicide and depression, the intersection of theology and spirituality with psychology, and the psychology of political identities, especially in Asian American communities. When not at the lab, I am aspiring to be an above average public speaker and am eating my way through the NoVA's Best of Yelp. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nadia is an undergraduate student at George Mason University pursuing a Bachelors of Science in psychology with a concentration in clinical, graduating in Spring of 2021. Passionate about and inspired by psychology and planning to apply to doctoral programs to pursue a PhD following graduation, she joined the research lab in January of 2020 in hopes of gaining more insight and experience in the research field of psychology. Nadia aspires to become a licensed clinical psychologist and potentially an adjunct psychology professor in the future. In her free time outside of school, she enjoys reading, bullet-journaling, and painting.
David plans to graduate in the Fall of 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology with a double concentration in Clinical Psychology and Forensics and a minor in Data Analysis. After undergrad, he hopes to get into a PsyD program for Clinical Psychology, in order to work in therapy, the selection and questioning of jurors, or environmental wellbeing of businesses. When he is not doing things for school, he likes to take road trips and adventure, or sit inside and watch all different genres of movies. He is also the goalie for George Mason's club field hockey team, hoping to go back to in the fall if nature allows!
Nicole Azero is a rising undergraduate senior studying Psychology in the concentrations of Clinical & Health Psychology. Well-being has always been an important aspect of her life and her goal is to share that with others. She believes mental health comes from within, but some may need some extra tips and tricks along the way (which is what she hopes to do with her career). She is hoping to begin graduate school starting next year and receive a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, and to eventually (down the road) study for her Doctoral Degree.
Recent Lab Alumni (Since 2016)
Dr. Fallon Goodman
After completing her Ph.D. in 2019, Fallon is now an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Psychology Department at the University of South Florida. She studies how people experience and manage their emotions in everyday life. Her research agenda has three primary aims: (1) improve the measurement of daily emotion regulation efforts, (2) elucidate the underpinnings that guide the choice and effectiveness of emotion regulation strategies, and (3) identify emotion regulation patterns that lead to development and maintenance of anxiety disorders.
Dr. David Disabato
After completing his Ph.D. in 2019, David is now a post-doctoral researcher at Kent State University. David was the project manager for one of Todd's grant-funded studies currently in the data collection phase. His research focuses on emotional disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety) and well-being. However, he has a broad range of interests and has completed work on help-seeking, bullying, threat assessment, and criminal thinking. He specializes in various quantitative methods for analyzing psychological data (e.g., multiple imputation, latent profile analysis) and enjoys learning about new statistical techniques.
I am a second year, Clinical Psychology, doctoral student. My current research interests focus on the within-individual fluctuations in well-being over time and how this relates to health (e.g. nutrition and exercise) and underlying biological mechanisms (e.g. circadian rhythms and sleep cycles). My other interests of study include substance use, anxiety and personality. Within academia, I specialize in quantitative research and statistical methods. In my free time, my hobbies include photography and hiking.
I graduated from Iowa State University in 2016 and joined the Well-Being Lab shortly after. I am interested in studying how individual characteristics increase people's risk of experiencing symptoms of anxiety and presenting maladaptive personality traits. Specifically, I want to research personal beliefs, personality traits, emotion regulation skills, and related characteristics that make individuals more likely to experience increased symptoms of distress and diminished well-being. I will begin my graduate studies in the Fall of 2017 at the College of William & Mary, where I will pursue an MA in Experimental Psychology.
Cayla joined Dr. Kashdan's lab in the Spring of 2015 with the hopes of learning more about research in Clinical Psychology. Almost immediately, Cayla fell in love with the fast-paced, energetic lab culture and provocative research topics like sex, well-being, and meaning in life. Now, over two years later, Cayla is attending Villanova University for her Masters in Experimental Psychology and is planning on researching romantic relationships, breakups, and their impact on how a person views themselves. Although Cayla began her journey in Psychology wanting to become a Clinical therapist, she is now planning on eventually getting her PhD in Social Psychology.
John received his B.S. with honors in Psychology from George Mason University. He is interested in the ways in which emotion and emotional disorders affect information processing, with a particular interest in memory. John will be pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he will conduct research under the direction of Dr. Neil Mulligan. In his spare time, John enjoys playing guitar and reading.
Bill is a Navy veteran who has owned his own IT company, and raised his two sons as the primary stay-at-home parent. Bill was the project lead on a content management system, and ran several FPS game servers and their attendant forums and communities. When faced with the decision of moving back into the corporate workforce, Bill realized that turning his hobby into his career had been a huge mistake, and he would just love to shift gears to a position that would be more helpful to society and his own sanity. Psychology would do nicely. Bill received his BS (and first college degree) at 44 in Psychology with a Health Psychology concentration. Joining the Well-Being Lab at George Mason was a no-brainer, and Bill continues to learn substantial amounts about his field and the Psychology industry in general. His eventual goal is to attend graduate school in a program that would help him apply what he has learned to individuals having difficulties due to Anxiety – specifically PTSD, and the relationships that suffer because of these disorders.
MarLa Lauber has been a member of the Well-Being Lab since the Spring of 2015. She graduated from GMU in the Spring of 2017 with Bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology. She currently works as the Project Coordinator for the GMU 360 Personality Project, and she hopes to eventually get a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her research interests include, but are not limited to: creativity, gender, sex, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships.
Tony Smith is an Air Force Veteran and experienced management consultant. He returned to university to obtain an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Organizational Psychology and Diversity Studies. Tony's longer term academic goals are to pursue graduate studies in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with an emphasis on Diversity & Inclusion and Well-Being. He is interested in research and career opportunities focused on measuring the impacts of Diversity & Inclusion and Well-Being initiatives on organizational mission performance, which led him to Dr. Kashdan's research lab. When not studying or working in the lab, Tony enjoys cycling, traveling and spending quality time with his partner, family, and friends.
Irene Regalario is majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Health Psychology. After starting in a Nursing program, Irene found that her true passion was not only rehabilitating patients, but also caring for their mental and emotional well-being. While studying under Dr. Todd Kashdan, she solidified her interests to the study of personality theory and emotional regulation.
Molly Miller is a recent graduate of the University of Washington who has worked almost two years looking at variety of research surrounding anxiety. I have published on a genetic predisposition to Generalized Anxiety Disorder and found the work of Dr. Todd Kashdan and his research on Social Anxiety to be a direction I wanted to pursue. I will be applying for a PhD program in Clinical Psychology. I know the experiences in the Well-Being Lab will allow me to enhance my skillset and deepen my love of research.
Bella Corn graduated from Mason with a BA double major in Biology and Psychology. Her eventual goal is to attend medical school, with the intent of becoming a surgeon. Bella loves Psychology and enjoys working with people, making her a natural fit for the Well-Being Lab. During her time at George Mason, Bella rode for the GMU Equestrian Club and Show Team
Krista Cowen comes to Psychology by way of Theater, Theology and Education. Her educational background includes an M.F.A in Theater Directing from the University of California in Irvine and courses in Psychology at Northern Virginia Community College. Professional work includes acting, directing and teaching Theater in Boston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., as well as internationally in South Korea, Haiti and Kenya. Currently, she teaches Theater and Film at a local high school and performs with District Community Playback, a company that integrates Theater, therapy and social justice. She volunteers as a healing minister with the International Healing Center in Fairfax, VA and at All Nations D.C. Psychology research interests include attachment, neuroscience, psychodrama and cross-cultural psychology. She is thrilled to be working at the lab.
Emily Geyer was a research assistant in the Behavioral Health and Technology Lab and the Program for Anxiety, Cognition, & Treatment (PACT) Lab at the University of Virginia (UVA). I graduated from UVA in May of 2017 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Psychology and Cognitive Science, with a concentration in Cognitive Psychology. I am working on a poster and a manuscript for a study that I helped run at the PACT lab, involving analyses of affective self-reports obtained through ecological momentary assessment (EMA) related to measures of social anxiety and depression. I have found that my interests in EMA and well-being have overlapped well with studies at the George Mason University Well-Being Lab. Another one of my current interests is animal-assisted therapy—I am volunteering with therapeutic horseback riding and hope to become more involved in the implementation of this wonderful service. After gathering more research and clinical experience, my goal is to go to graduate school to become a therapist.
Salma Osman is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at George Mason University. She was a member of the lab from April 2018 to July 2020. Salma is passionate about helping others with disabilities as a volunteer for a respite facility. She has also volunteered at INOVA Children’s Hospital Pediatric Emergency and Urgent Care Unit in order to pursue a career as a pediatric physician. Her hobbies outside of school include cooking, reading, and traveling.
Dr. Todd Kashdan, Director
Dr. Todd Kashdan has published over 175 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is the author of The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self - Not Just Your “Good” Self - Drives Success and Fulfillment (Hudson Street Press) and Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life (HarperCollins), along with edited volumes such as Designing Positive Psychology (Oxford University Press) and Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology (New Harbinger). His books have been translated into over 15 languages. His research has advanced our understanding of why people suffer, with an emphasis on social anxiety and other emotional disturbances, and what is the nature of well-being, with an emphasis on the critical role of curiosity, meaning, and purpose in life, and psychological flexibility to living a well-lived life. Besides research, he is heavily invested in educating the public about science with a TEDx talk on psychological flexibility, and keynotes and workshops to organizations as diverse as the United States Department of Defense, the World Bank, Hormel, General Mills, Gensler, the Gap, and Standard Chartered Bank. He is also a scientific advisor for Time, Inc., National Geographic, and Merck. His research has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including multiple articles in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, and Washington Post. His work has been recognized with the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, and Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year at George Mason University. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and Association for Contextual and Behavioral Science. He's a twin with twin 10-year old daughters, with plans to rapidly populate the world with great conversationalists.