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Applied Public Policy and Leadership Experiments (APPLE) Lab

If you are interested in becoming a research assistant, please email We typically recruit RAs towards the end of each semester to join in the following semester.

Lab Manager


Marie Larounis

Marie graduated from James Madison University in May 2023 with a B.S. in Psychology and two minors in Statistics and Sociology. Her research interests include the role of group-based disparities and how inequality persists in modern social systems. She intends to attend graduate school for Social Psychology. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time outside, and exploring the local Charlottesville area. 

Post-doctoral Fellows


Maura Austin

Maura is a postdoc with Eileen Chou, who also leads a project with Ben Converse and Gabe Adams about how people update their judgments of moral character and perceive changes or growth in others' moral character. She is interested in the interesting paradox that people seem to enjoy successful redemption stories, but - conflictingly - hesitate to offer second chances to people who are in the process of attempting to redeem themselves. Maura grew up in Japan, which inspired her to study social psychology.

Undergraduate Students

Grace Zdebski '24

Annabelle is a fourth-year double majoring in Psychology and Politics with a concentration in Government. Outside of the lab she is a part of Hoos for Good Trouble and Camp Kesem. 


Hannah Mulhern '24

Hannah is a fourth-year in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Computer Science and is currently on the pre-med track. She is VP of chapter relations and standards for her sorority Alpha Chi Omega, and is also involved in Hoothon, UVA ambassadors, and Survivor at UVA.

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Kayla Kusel '24

Kayla is a fourth-year double majoring in Youth and Social Innovation and Psychology. In addition to being a research assistant for the APPLE Lab, she also works in the Early Social Development Lab, is a facilitator for HoosConnected, is co-chair of the Operations and Morale committee for Hoothon, and volunteers with the local Boys and Girls Club through the Early Visions program at the Fralin Museum. She hopes to attend graduate school in order to continue working with youth in the future. And loves fried pickle Fridays. 

Sara Grace Kennedy '24

Sara Grace is a third-year psychology major with a minor in history. In addition to being a research assistant, she is a member of Kappa Delta sorority and teaches tennis lessons through IM-REC UVA. After graduation she hopes to attend law school and work in media law.


Ben Istvan '25

Ben is a third-year in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Psychology. Outside of the lab, he studies in the UVA Catalyst program and is a senior associate of the sports desk at The Cavalier Daily.

Annabelle Claypoole '25

Annabelle is a second year in the College, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Outside of the lab, she's a member of UVA's mock trail team and executive board, serving 2022-2023 Tournament Director. Currently, she's part of UVA's Democracy Initiative, conducing exit interviews for One Small Step in hopes to help find similarities across party lines.  


Xin Jin '25

Xin is a third-year double majoring in Psychology and Statistics with a concentration in data analysis. She is also a senior editor at Cavalier Daily and a member of LumiLink. She hopes to continue pursuing clinical psychology in graduate school after graduation.


XinYuan Hu '26

XinYuan is a second-year majoring in Applied Statistics on a pre-comm track. He is also the Activity Department Chair of CSSS and an associate in Frank Batten Investment Fund. In the future, he hopes to start something that can keep him busy all the time.

Graduate Students


Peter Greubel

Peter is a master's student at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. His main policy interest lies at the intersection of leadership development and education policy. He aspires to use to help build leaders through research-based best practices. 

Lab Alumni

Lab Managers


Teju Ogungbadero 

Teju graduated from Miami University of Ohio in May 2020 with a Bachelor's in Psychology. Her research interests include racial biases in pain perception and workplace culture. She intends to attend graduate school for I/O psychology and settle down in Canada. Her favorite classic psychology experiment is Ashe's line study, and in her free time she attempts to play the ukulele.


Margaret Wiwuga 

Margaret graduated from the University of Virginia in 2018 with BAs in Psychology and Studio Art. She is applying to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs to pursue a variety of research interests ranging from psychopathology formation and prevention to coping mechanisms, trauma, and methods to bolster wellbeing in underrepresented and at-risk communities. Currently, Margaret works with teams of clinicians, nurses, doctors, and case managers at the Wellness Recovery Center in Charlottesville, a residential crisis stabilization facility aiding members of the community in addressing mental health issues. In her free time, Margaret enjoys learning Spanish, playing instruments, and raving about how amazing Colombia is.


Tamera Shaw

Tamera graduated from University of Rochester in May 2021 with a Bachelor's in Psychology and African & African American Studies. She is currently an Organization and Management Ph.D. student at Goizueta Business School, Emory University. In her free time, Tamera enjoys playing volleyball. 

Post-Doctoral Fellows


Andy Hales


Erin Frey

Erin received her Ph.D in Organizational Behavior from Harvard Business School in 2018 and was a post-doctoral fellow at UVA’s Darden School of Business. She has an undergraduate degree in environmental science and public policy. Erin currently is a mixed-methods researcher studying the aftermath of bad behavior in organizations, and her topics of study range from how transgressors reintegrate into organizations following ethical violations to how victims and transgressors repair relationships. Erin joined the USC Marshall School of Business in Fall 2021 as a tenure-track assistant professor.

Graduate students


Evan Bruno

Evan is a Ph.D candidate in his fifth year of the program for leadership and organizational behavior. He is currently studying the impact of voice and silence, ethical judgments, and perspective in organizations. Evan will join the College of Business at James Madison University in Fall 2021 as a tenure-track assistant professor.


Laurel Detert

Laurel graduated in May 2020 from The College of William & Mary with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Public Health. During her undergraduate time, she was involved in research on decision making during political conversations and utilized physiological data to explore political disengagement. Laurel joined the Management & Organizations PhD program at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2021.

Undergraduate Students


Vika Herrera '19​


Maya Ewart ‘21

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Saahithi Budharaju ‘20


Faiza Khanbozai '21


Madeline DeRose ‘21


Ben Kilpatrick ‘21


Joanne Kim '21

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David Wornow ‘21


Hannah Koizumi ‘21


Lily Brucker ‘22


Ben Stein ‘21


Caroline Daniel '22


Nidhi Desal '22


Jenny Kim '22


Lisette Dubow '22


Luc Teyssier '22


Charlie Groscup '22


Will Butler '23

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Sydney Wayand '23


Carson Weiss '23

Abby Keatts '22

David Li '23


Catherine Nash '23

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Jordan Taliaferro '23

Tara Andrews '23

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