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).



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.



Katie Herrmann is an undergraduate senior, majoring in psychology and minoring in economics and Spanish.  Katie fell in love with psychology during her first year at Duke, and since then has been interested in the many ways psychology plays into everyday life.  She has always wanted to be a teacher, and is particularly interested in  the role that psychology has in a classroom environment.  As her thesis research, Katie is creating an exam anxiety video intervention, hoping to mitigate the effects of exam anxiety on performance.  Katie is also a Costanzo Teaching Fellow, where she will gain teaching experience with other undergraduates and faculty in introductory psychology .  Outside of the classroom, Katie loves to travel and did DukeEngage in Peru and studied abroad in Spain.  She is also involved in Project BUILD, a pre-orientation program for first-year Duke students, is on the executive board of the Duke Best Buddies chapter, and gives campus tours.  Katie hopes to attend graduate school to gain a Ph.D. in psychology.




Anna Jenkins is an undergraduate senior, majoring in psychology and minoring in chemistry and German. Anna first considered studying psychology after tutoring in the Durham Public School system and for Veritas (with in-patient adolescents). She is interested in what motivates students to learn. While at Duke she ha

s interned for Carolina Ear and Hearing Clinic and has been mentored by the Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center. Her experience in these clinical settings has led to an interest in the psychological components of health. As a triathlete and a member of the Duke Women’s Rowing team, she is also interested in how stress affects performance. Her thesis research in the BRITElab focuses on how students’ beliefs or “mindsets” about stress can affect their well-being in college. Anna hopes to attend medical school after graduation.




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

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)