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Kayla Burd

Kayla A. Burd, PhD



*Currently accepting graduate students for Fall 2022* 

Dr. Burd will be recruiting graduate students wishing to apply to the Social Cognition & Law Lab for Fall 2022. You are encouraged to email Dr. Burd regarding your application.

Dr. Burd grew up in New Jersey and earned her BA in psychology at Hofstra University in 2010. She earned her MS in Psychology at Arizona State University in 2013, her MA in Developmental Psychology at Cornell University in 2016, and her PhD with a concentration in law, psychology, and human development at Cornell University in 2018. She then spent two years at Iowa State University as a postdoctoral research associate examining the impact of uncertainty and contextual bias on firearms examiner decision-making. She joined the faculty at the University of Wyoming in Fall 2020. Her research examines how individuals’ beliefs, backgrounds, and predispositions bias memory, reasoning, and decision-making within legal contexts, particularly with respect to juries and jurors. She spends her free time with her family (husband, daughter, two crazy dogs) hiking, camping, rock climbing, and traveling (mostly to NJ to visit family). She also enjoys (attempting) to take pictures of nature.



Brittany Cangialosi, BS

Brittany grew up in Jacksonville, Alabama and obtained her BS in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Jacksonville State University, in her hometown. She is currently a second-year graduate student in the Psychology and Law PhD program. Her research interests broadly include probation officer decision making, disparities in the juvenile justice system, and perceptions of juvenile offenders. In her free time, Brittany enjoys hiking, cooking, and spending time with her husband, Chase, and her pets, Honey and Boba. To learn more, please check out Brittany's personal website.


Brittany Cangialosi


CJ Erion

CJ Erion

CJ grew up in Salem, Oregon, and received his BA in psychology at Point Loma Nazarene University. He is currently a second-year graduate student in the Motivation and Cognition Lab. His research interests broadly include intergroup behavior, public shaming, and goal striving mindsets. CJ is currently collaborating with the Social Cognition and Law lab, primarily investigating how cognitive and situational differences influence perceptions regarding police use of force. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, skiing, and playing various sports.

Cassandra Flick, MA

Cassie grew up in Maryland and earned her BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice from University of Delaware in 2015. She earned her MA in Forensic and Legal Psychology at Roger Williams University in 2019. She is currently a doctoral student in the Psychology and Law PhD program. Her research interests broadly include juror decision-making in civil litigation cases, jurors’ processing of trial information, perceptions of expert testimony, and capital sentencing decisions. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, trying new foods (although not always cooking them) and spending time with her dog, Oakley.
Cassie Flick
Nick Michalski

Nicholas Michalski, MS

Nick grew up in Buffalo, New York. He obtained his BA in Psychology from SUNY Buffalo State and his MS here at the University of Wyoming. Nick is a third-year graduate student in the Psychology and Law PhD program. His research interests include jury decision making, stereotyping/prejudice/discrimination, juror perceptions of evidence, and moral psychology. In his free time, Nick enjoys both playing and watching sports as well as exploring Wyoming’s beautiful scenery.

Emilio Rivera

Originally from Junction City, Kansas, Emilio obtained his B.S. in psychology from Kansas State University in May of 2018. Emilio joined the Emotion and Cognition lab, with advisor Ben Wilkowski, as a graduate student in August of 2018. Emilio is primarily interested in the various ways in which individuals perceive situations within an interdependence theory perspective and how these perceptions impact overall behavior, with a focus on aggressive behavior. Emilio is an active collaborator with the Social Cognition and Law lab, where he is primarily interested in police shooting decisions, general misuse of force, and the social-cognitive perspectives surrounding such instances of misuse of force. In his free time, Emilio enjoys cooking, playing video games, and watching college and professional sports.
Emilio Rivera
Haley Sturges

Haley Sturges, MS

Haley was raised in Omaha, NE and received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Creighton University. She is a third-year graduate student in the Psychology and Law Program. Her research interests include jury decision making, specifically in relation to: (1) child victims, (2) vulnerable adults, and (3) sexual abuse or sexual assault crimes; post-exoneration compensation in civil trials; policing; and individuals with disabilities in the criminal justice system. Outside of academics and research, Haley likes to explore the outdoors, read, and spend time with family and friends.



Hannah Arnold - Lab Manager

Hannah was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, but she has lived in Wyoming since late 2013. She earned her AS in Psychology from Casper College and is currently in her final year of her BA in Psychology. Her past research contributed to child development and maternal health, working in our lab during her junior year, and getting involved with the Defender Aid Clinic at UW. Hannah plans on getting her MA and attend law school after she graduates. Her research interests include prison reform, jury decision making & confidence, criminal justice reform, and psychology & criminal justice research. Her hobbies include landscape photography, hiking, traveling, cooking, and taking care of her two cats, Richard and Bean.


Hannah Arnold
Kyle Otminski Photo

Kyle Otminski - Assistant Lab Manager

Kyle grew up in Niagara Falls, New York and is currently working towards a BS in Psychology with minors in Honors and Neuroscience.  After graduation, he plans to apply to a PhD program studying Criminology/Criminal Psychology and Behavior.  Kyle has helped in previous research looking at Spatial Cognition in the UW Psych Department.  During his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, and playing volleyball.

Research Assistants:

Kaycee Dellos

Kaycee was born in Onslow, North Carolina and has grown up moving every two to three years as her dad served in the United States Marine Corps. She moved to Wyoming in 2016 and is currently studying psychology with a minor in criminal justice. Upon graduation, she hopes to move to Washington D.C to pursue her goal of becoming an agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her pets, traveling, and being with friends.
Kaycee Dellos Picture
Sara Horsley Picture

Sara Horsley

Sara grew up in Wheatland, Wyoming where she graduated high school from in 2018. She is currently working towards a BA in Criminal Justice and a BS in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. After graduation, she plans to apply to a law program for a dual JD and MPA to work in public defense. Sara has previously worked in the Emotion and Cognition Lab in the UW Psych Department. During her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching true crime documentaries, listening to music, reading, and hanging out with friends and family.

Morgan Martinez

Morgan Martinez grew up in Laramie, Wyoming and is currently obtaining her BS in Psychology with a Sociology minor at the University of Wyoming. She is currently a third-year undergraduate student in Psychology and Sociology. Her research interests include probation officer decision making, jury decision making, and perceptions of juvenile offenders. In her free time, Morgan enjoys playing video games such as Terraria, reading, cooking, and spending time with animals and friends.
Morgan Martinez
Madeline Verheydt Picture

Madeline Verheydt

Madeline grew up in Rock Springs, Wyoming and is attending the University of Wyoming to pursue a career in Psychology. She is currently in her third year pursuing her Bachelors in psychology at the University. In her free time, she likes to paint, embroider, watch Disney movies, and spend time with her friends and family.

Contact Us

Department of Psychology

1000 E University Ave.

Dept. 3415

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6303

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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