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WSU Department of Psychology SCENe Lab



Dr. Kimberly Meidenbauer

Dr. Meidenbauer is an Assistant Professor in the Washington State University Department of Psychology and a faculty affiliate of the Health Equity Research Center. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2020 and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012. Dr. Meidenbauer worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago’s Environmental Neuroscience Lab before joining WSU. In her spare time, she enjoys biking and hiking, smothering her cats with affection, and reading mystery and sci-fi novels.
Contact Info: Johnson Tower 319 (office), (email)
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Tiara Rose Freeman

Tiara is a first-year Ph.D. student in the experimental psychology program at WSU. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Portland State University in 2021. After graduating she spent time working as a post-bacc researcher studying health-related contexts like wellness, interpersonal relationships, and substance use at PSU. She also worked at the Portland Veteran Affairs studying suicide prevention and intervention on an experimental treatment trial. Her research interests are geared towards understanding how environments (built and natural) impact mental health and emotional well-being. She is also interested in ecopsychology and other nature-based interventions. Tiara is an avid environmentalist, hot springs enthusiast, and landscape painter, preferring to spend as much of her free time exploring places outdoors. Morrel and Tonx are her two minions that keep life eternally fun and sweet.
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Darren Caruso

Darren is currently an undergrad studying Psychology here at WSU! When Darren is not studying or here at the lab you can find him at the rock climbing gym or reading a book. 

Isabella Santiago

Isabella is a junior at WSU pursuing a double major in Psychology and Human Development, and is also a research assistant in the Early Learning Lab. Her research interests focus on built classroom environments, curriculum, and teaching styles that foster motivation in students. She plans to continue her education by earn a master’s in teaching and eventually a doctoral degree in education after she graduates. She joined the SCENe lab to learn more about how environments affect behavior and motivation. She also loves research and wants to gain more experience working in behavioral and social science labs. In her spare time, Isabella loves going to the gym and lifting weights and telling terrible jokes to her friends. She also likes going back home to Spokane, WA to see her family, her two dogs Britta and Chloe, and her cat, Penny.

[Bios forthcoming!]
Kaylee Gibbs
Jack Hermanson
Abigail Wilkinson

PJ Stilson
Yanin Duarte-Acosta
Amanda Doyle


Sydney Meidenbauer

Having never learned to sound cute at cat school, Sydney shouts more than meows at you when she wants something. She may seem filled with rage but her hard exterior hides her true nature – she is fueled by pets and affection. Despite being “the smart one” of the two Meidenbauer cats, she cannot be trusted around Christmas trees or plastic of any kind.

Uno Meidenbauer

Uno, the one-eyed, one-eared wonder, was named after a favorite Wheel of Time character and has a love of food matched only by her fixation with chomping on cables. Given the opportunity, she would spend all day on your lap, catch a ride on your shoulders, or hang out under the same blanket as you.

Morrel Freeman

Between attending business meetings and cat naps, Morrel makes an effort to get her cardio in by zipping around the house. On occasion, she joins her humans out for a hike or enjoys a good game of fetch. 

Tonx Freeman

Trained in the sacred art of napping, Tonx has spent her life exploring the rich and adventurous world of dreams. Only the sound of kibble hitting a plastic dish has the majesty to move her back into the “real-world” where she then eats her dinner with distinguished grace and speed.

Ozzy Caruso

A greenies fanatic, Ozzy can be found chasing the laser monster that lives in our apartment. When he’s not chewing plastic or looking at birds you can find him sprawled out on the carpet or in his man cave ( under the couch).

Penny Santiago

Penny has a full-time job that consists of sleeping and eating. Nobody knows how she manages this utterly exhausting, time-consuming, taxing career, but she does it so that we don’t have to. She’s also mastered the art of work-life balance. Some of her favorite things to do on her days off include hissing at her German Shepard sisters, playing soccer with ice cubes, and relaxing with her favorite sister Isabella.

Britta Santiago

Britta may be a German Shepard, but unfortunately, she had to drop out of Police Dog school on account of hyperactivity and a lack of a sharp olfactory system. Nonetheless, she still protects her family’s yard from squirrels and birds with her life and loses her marbles over her sister Isabella’s mere existence

Chloe Santiago

Chloe is the newest addition to the Santiago family. She loves to play with her sister Britta and teach her how to dig massive holes in the flower bed. Her favorite things to do are get head pats and belly rubs from her sister Isabella, and nap under the kitchen table.