Principal Investigator

Bridgette Martin Hard, PhD

Associate Professor of the Practice, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Dr. Bridgette Hard is an Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. She received her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Developmental Psychology at the University of Oregon. Her first professional passion is teaching. For 8 years, she led Stanford’s Psychology One Program, where she oversaw the curriculum for Stanford’s introductory psychology course and directed a year-long teacher training program for PhD students and advanced undergraduates to develop their teaching skills and discover creative ways to integrate research and teaching. She was awarded Stanford’s highest honor for contributions to undergraduate education: the Lloyd L. Dinkelspiel Award, and also  received the Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Dr. Hard’s second professional passion is exploring the intersection of psychology and pedagogy: She uses data from the classroom to extend psychological theories and uses insights from psychology to inform new classroom practices. She enjoys mentoring undergraduates in research and helping them learn about the classroom through a psychological lens.

Dr. Hard is also a textbook author and co-organizes two conferences for psychology teachers, the Psychology One Conference and the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (NITOP).


Research Coordinator

Vivian Iva, B.A.

Vivian Iva graduated from Duke University with a double-major in Psychology and Visual Arts. She earned her degree with distinction, completing her senior-year thesis research project at the Tomasello Lab with a study focused on 5-year-old children’s developing understanding of social norms. Her involvement in the art department of Duke was very meaningful to her as well: she regularly participated in student showcases throughout her college experience and curated a solo exhibit of her artworks during her Senior year. Vivian discovered her love for Psychology when she took Human Development taught by Dr. Pamela Maxson, who became her mentor, role-model, and inspiration. Vivian is particularly interested in social and evolutionary psychology: she is fascinated with questions relating to the causes and nature of group-based social inequality and science-based strategies to decrease it. After completing her work as a Research Coordinator, she plans on pursuing a PhD in Psychology. Outside of work, Vivian enjoys reading autobiographies and works of fiction, going to the gym, exploring Durham, spending time with her friends, and taking pictures of her adorable cat Mimi.

Undergraduate Researchers

Kayley Dotson is a sophomore, majoring in Psychology and French. Kayley found her passion for psychology in her first year at Duke in introductory psychology. She is interested in how students take notes and study, as well as strategies to improve such habits. She is also interested in how to maintain student attention in the classroom. In addition to working in the BRITE lab, Kayley works in the Tomasello lab, a child development lab at Duke. She has worked on a project investigating when and why children conform to norms, and she is currently working on a project investigating friendship. Outside of the classroom, Kayley loves comedy and is in a sketch comedy group on campus called Inside Joke. She loves to travel and participated in Duke-in-Aix and will participate in Duke in Paris this upcoming summer. She is also a first-year advisory counselor (FAC), where she welcomes new blue devils when they first arrive in the fall. Kayley hopes to attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology.


Nathan “Nate” Liang is a sophomore at Duke University majoring in psychology and neuroscience. Nate has long been fascinated by how cognition, behavior and their respective biological underpinnings clarify our still ambiguous understanding of human nature and seeks to better conceptualize the latter principally through research on learning and morality. In high school, he first conducted several years of educational psychology research under the guidance of Dr. C. Ryan Kinlaw, psychology professor at Marist College, studying gender stereotypes of academic ability, various models of motivation as well as personality as a predictor of various social and academic achievement outcomes. Nate has also maintained a longstanding commitment to educational initiatives—he worked both independently and in local libraries as an academic tutor before college and currently works as a head tutor for Duke’s America Reads/America Counts literacy and mathematics proficiency program. As an undergraduate Blue Devil, Nate plans to investigate and elucidate the complex relationships between human personality, character, spirituality and religiosity through the cognitive lens of human learning in BRITElab. Nate hopes to ultimately earn a Ph.D. in either cognitive neuroscience or developmental psychology to teach and work as a research professor.


Michelle Wong is a junior who is enrolled in a self-designed (Program II) major titled Neuroanthropology in Pedagogy, Policy, and Practice. Her program of study explores the intersections of human cognitive science, science communication, and building novel evidence-based practices for everyday classrooms. Prior to joining the BRITE lab, she worked in neurobiology research in her home city, San Diego, the Marsh Lab at Duke focusing on learning and memory, and also spent a summer in the Gopnik lab at UC Berkeley, seeing how toddlers use patterns to learn about cause-and-effect. She volunteered with Durham classrooms with Partners for Success, where her interest in science, society, and classrooms began. Michelle’s current research in the BRITE lab focuses on metaphorical lay theories and how they affect students’ attitudes and behaviors. Outside of research, Michelle serves on DUU Exec as the chair of Freewater Presentations, leads FEMMES Connect, volunteers at the puppy kindergarten and Duke Hospital, and trains aerial silks in her free time. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in cognitive or educational neuroscience/psychology.


Lab Alumni

Katie Herrmann graduated in 2019 with a major in psychology and minors in economics and Spanish. Katie began her involvement in the BRITE lab the summer before her senior year through the VIP program, where she had the opportunity to start her thesis research. Throughout senior year, she conducted her honors thesis which centered on an exam anxiety video intervention intended to help mitigate the effects of exam anxiety on performance.  While at Duke, Katie was a Costanzo Teaching Fellow, a Project BUILD leader, and participated in both DukeEngage and Duke in Madrid. She is beginning her post-graduation career at EAB, a best-practices education consulting firm, this August as an associate on their research team.  Here, she is excited to continue working at the cross of education and research.




Anna Jenkins graduated in 2019 with a major in psychology and minors in chemistry and German. Anna first joined the BRITE Lab her junior year when she began an independent study on stress mindsets. Her senior year, she conducted an honors thesis to examine how students’ beliefs about stress impact their health and academic performance. While at Duke, she was on the varsity rowing team and enjoyed applying her studies to think about how stress might affect athletic performance. Anna is spending the 2019-2020 school year teaching in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. She hopes to continue learning more about how students learn and how as a teacher she can keep them motivated. Anna hopes to matriculate into medical school in 2020.




Joshua Lovett is a recently graduated psychology major with a passion for teaching that began with his DukeEngage South Korea experience in 2015. In the BRITElab, Josh studied what students perceive as the long-term benefit of taking an introductory psychology course. Josh is actively involved in research broadly in educational psychology. As a first-generation college student, Josh hopes to improve educational outcomes for low-income and first-generation students using his knowledge from both education and psychology. In his senior honors thesis, Josh is exploring the barriers first-generation students encounter at highly-selective universities and how these challenges impact identity development. During his senior year, Josh served as a Philip R. Costanzo Teaching Fellow, where he worked as part of a team of faculty and undergraduates to deliver a high-quality educational experience in introductory psychology.  Josh was also involved is a variety of activities outside of the classroom at Duke. He served as the President of Liberty in North Korea, a human rights advocacy group, and the President of the Arts Theme House Selective Living Group. Furthermore, Josh served as a peer mentor for the Rubinstein Scholars Program, a competitive scholarship for first-generation students attending Duke University. For the next few years, Josh will be a Fulbright Fellow in South Korea. After his fellowship is complete, Josh plans to attend graduate school to obtain his Ph.D. in educational psychology and eventually become a professor.




Melissa Beers (The Ohio State University)

Christina Bejjani (Duke University)

Lucy Zhang Bencharit (Stanford University)

Shannon Brady (Wake Forest University)

Stephen Flusberg (SUNY Purchase)

Omid Fotuhi (University of Pittsburgh)

Parker Goyer (Stanford University)

James Gross (Stanford University)

Jessica Hill (Utah Valley University)

Cayce Hook (Stanford University)

Angela Lee (Stanford University)

Molly McNamara (UC Berkeley)

Marleyna Mohler (Stanford University)

Hannah Moshontz de la Rocha (Duke University)

Natasha Parikh (Duke University

Michael Schwalbe (Stanford University)

Jeanne Tsai (Stanford University)

Greg Walton (Stanford University)

Brenda Yang (Duke University)