The Social Context & Inequality (SCI) Lab is led by Assistant Professor of Psychology Heidi Vuletich. We are currently recruiting for both Research Assistants (RAs) and prospective graduate students. 

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Principal Investigator

Heidi Anahi Vuletich

Heidi A. Vuletich

Assistant Professor

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Our Team

  • Graduate Students
    Ayla Winegar








    Ayla Winegar

    Ayla received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Indiana University with a minor in sociology. Her broad research interests include stereotyping, bias, and social implications for individuals with intersectional marginalized identities and/or gender diverse individuals. In her free time, she enjoys creating various forms of art and spending time with her pup, Rosie.

    Kevin Summers








    Kevin Summers

    Kevin is a fifth-year PhD student studying psychology at the University of Denver in the affect, social, and cognitive (ASC) area. Kevin works in the Lloyd Social Detection Lab with his primary mentor, Dr. Lloyd, and in the Time & Context Lab with Dr. Vuletich. He earned his BA at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio majoring in psychology and premedical studies. He spent one year as a lab manager at the University of Denver before pursuing his PhD there. In his research, Kevin investigates the mechanisms underlying group-based biases in person perception and the downstream consequences for differential treatment in a variety of contexts (e.g., healthcare, policing, education) with the ultimate goal of informing psychological theory and the development of interventions to attenuate these biases. Outside of his research, you can find Kevin in the mountains hiking or skiing, going to concerts, and enjoying Denver’s local live music scene.

    Gina Paganini Headshot

    Gina Paganini

    Gina is a fifth-year social psychology PhD student. Gina works primarily in the Lloyd Social Detection lab, and is a member of the Social Context & Inequality lab. Gina received her B.S. in psychology from Ohio State University (2018) and M.A. in psychology from the University of Denver (2021). Her research assesses how social cognitive and social perceptual processes may contribute to biases and disparities in health care and sexual trauma domains. Outside of research, Gina enjoys hanging out with her cat, playing video games, and exploring Colorado.

    Simrat Samra headshot

    Simrat Samra

    Simrat is a third-year graduate student in the ASC area working primarily with Dr. Paige Lloyd. Simrat graduated with a BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice and a minor in Social Science Research Methods. Her research interests are in how social identities and intergroup processes can shape perception, attitudes, and action. Specifically, she is interested in looking at biased perception of Multiracial individuals and how we can tackle the implicit biases related to these perceptions. She has taken particular interest in the domain of healthcare but also is interested in implications within law and the criminal justice system.


  • Research Assistants
    Yarrow Ator








    Yarrow Ator

    Yarrow is a second year DU student majoring in psychology and philosophy. She joined the Time and Context lab in March of 2023 with an interest in the psychological affects that inequality has on disadvantaged groups. Yarrow loves painting, spending time with her cats and hanging out at coffee shops in her free time!

    Marika chupp headshot

    Marika Chupp

    Marika is a 5th year undergraduate majoring in physics and psychology with a minor in math. Marika became interested in social dynamics contributing to inequality during her time as a STEM student and joined the Social Context & Inequality lab excited to help with research on attributional bias and time perception. Marika enjoys lifting weights, tutoring math, and playing video games.

    Brandon Cohen headshot

    Brandon Cohen

    Brandon is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Denver studying Psychology. He is primarily interested in exploring how social categories such as gender, race, and age influence person perception, face processing, social comparisons, social judgements, and impression formation. He is also interested in how different contextual variables (e.g., culture, time, place, space, social density, etc.) can affect the way individuals perceive and interpret other people's characteristics, actions, or intentions, as well as the downstream consequences of these perceptions (e.g., prejudice, stereotyping). After graduating, Brandon hopes to attend a graduate program in Social Psychology.

    Lydia gengler headshot

    Lydia Gengler

    Lydia is a third year undergraduate student at DU pursuing a major in Psychology with minors in Sociology and Entrepreneurship. She is interested in researching biases, specifically held in educational and workplace environments, and finding interventions to make these environments more equitable and inclusive. Outside of her studies, Lydia enjoys reading, skiing, hiking, and pretty much anything that keeps her outdoors and active.

    Tara O'Brien headshot

    Tara O'Brien

    Tara is a sophomore majoring in Psychology. She is very interested in looking specifically at bias and how it can impact groups daily. She wants to investigate how different factors including the environment cause bias and stereotypes. In her free time, she loves to hike, ski and spend time with loved ones.

    lana marshall headshot

    Lana Marshall

    Lana is a third-year undergraduate majoring in Psychology and Sociology, with a minor in Business Administration. She is interested in studying inequality regarding intersectional identities, as well as the effects of racial bias and stereotyping. In her free time, Lana can be found photosynthesizing outside in the forms of hiking, camping, climbing, or all three at once.


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