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Meet The Team

Year 4 Social Science Advisory Board and Research Lab Team Directory

TxARM Social Science Advisory Team

A panel of experts with diverse backgrounds will contribute to various areas of the project to assist in the modifications of the research plan, dissemination of data findings, and discuss implications of broader impact outcomes.


Adrienne Carter-Sowell, Ph.D.

Co-PI on the Leadership Team and Director of the NSF TxARM Social Science Research Program

Dr. Carter-Sowell is a Social Psychologist with a research focus on individual differences among intersectional identities with the goal of reducing mistreatment of persons with those identities. She leads a program of research to address the costs of being “socially and/or professionally invisible.” She is a member of multiple External Advisory Boards for the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Carter-Sowell is a published scholar and featured expert speaker on issues affecting members of underserved and underrepresented groups within the academic communities at the individual, interpersonal, and institutional levels. She received the 2020 Jenessa Shapiro Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for Faculty Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Carter-Sowell serves as the inaugural, TAMU PBSI Associate Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


Kimberly Griffin, Ph.D.

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Kimberly Griffin is a Professor of Student Affairs and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs at the University of Maryland’s College of Education in College Park, MD. Dr. Griffin is an expert on diversity and equity concerns in higher education, studies barriers to faculty retention, and the effects of campus climate for faculty and students of color. She is co-PI on a grant from the Burroughs Welcome Fund, supporting a study of Ph.D. completers in biomedical science from diverse backgrounds, exploring their career development and changes in interest in academic careers. She is also the evaluator on an NIH Bridges to the Doctorate grant, examining the influence and effectiveness of a pipeline program between Alcorn State University’s (a historically Black college) Master’s program and Pennsylvania State University’s doctoral program in the sciences. Dr. Griffin’s diverse interests and background have provided the opportunity to become skilled in advance quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as the integration of these strategies in mixed methods research.


Stephen A. Maren, Ph.D.

Adivsory Board Member

Dr. Stephen A. Maren is a Professor in Texas A&M University’s Department of Psychology in College Station, TX.  He is a University Distinguished Professor and the Charles H. Gregory Chair of Liberal Arts. Dr. Maren studies Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience as well as collaborates on research projects examining Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – a disorder that affects an estimated 13 million people. For over 20 years, Dr. Maren’s laboratory has worked to define the neural circuits underlying the encoding and retrieval of fear memories. This work has used various methods to implicate a broad network of brain structures including the amygdala, hippocampus, and media prefrontal cortex in the regulation of emotional memory. Due to his demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors, Dr. Maren was named a Presidential Impact Fellow in 2017.


Isis H. Settles, Ph.D.

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Isis H. Settles is an Associate Director for the ADVANCE Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Also, she is a Professor of Psychology and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. She received her BA from Harvard College and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. After working at Michigan State University for fifteen years, Dr. Settles joined the faculty of University of Michigan in 2016. Using an intersectional framework, her research focuses on the experiences, perceptions, and consequences of unfair treatment (e.g., sexual harassment, racial discrimination) directed at devalued social group members (e.g., racial minorities, women). Dr. Settles is a fellow of the Society for the Psychology of Women, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation.


Carla Zimmerman, Ph.D.


Dr. Carla Zimmerman is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University – Pueblo. Her research examines the predictors and consequences of ostracism – being ignored and excluded by others. Specifically, she studies how people cope with ostracism and the psychological and interpersonal effects of such coping methods. Another area of study for her focuses on gender as a predictor of chronic ostracism in male-dominated workplaces. Dr. Zimmerman’s expertise in research methods and statistical analyses facilitates the Social Science Studies timetable for data collection and dissemination plans.


Vani A. Mathur, Ph.D.


Dr. Vani Mathur is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences at Texas A&M University. Dr. Mathur’s work focuses on understanding the sources of disparities in pain, and the specific mechanisms by which social and cultural factors alter pain experience and pain physiology. This research targets the problem of pain disparities from two directions – investigating the different ways social factors may influence one’s own pain, and also alter pain perception and empathy for others. Dr. Mathur’s postdoctoral training in Biobehavioral Pain Research and her expertise in Pain Neuroimaging contributes to the Social Science Studies data collection and dissemination plans.


Asha Ganesan, Ph.D.


Dr. Asha Ganesan is a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from The University of Sydney. Dr. Ganesan’s research focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to culture and gender, encompassing both intersectional and evolutionary frameworks – specifically looking at how power and privilege dynamics as well as related social cognition impact individuals and intergroup relations. Recently, her research has involved to include prejudice, gender-based power, and health-related cognition.


Sucharita Belavadi, Ph.D.


Dr. Sucharita Belavadi is a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Dr. Belavadi received her master’s degree from Ball State University and her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Her expertise on research related to group processes and intergroup relations, intergroup communication, intergroup threat, status maintenance mechanisms, ingroup marginalization, group entitativity, language maintenance and vitality, uncertainty-identity theory, and collective victimhood rhetoric helps to contribute to the Social Science Studies data collection and dissemination plans.


Emily Johnson, M.S.


Emily Johnson is a current doctoral student in the Social and Personality Psychology Program at Texas A&M University. She received her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Psychological Sciences from Arkansas State University. Emily’s research interests include how individuals can effectively cope with ostracism and assessing individual differences in sensitivity to perceived ostracism experiences.


Matthew Bunker

Web Developer

Matthew is a computer science major at Texas A&M University. Matthew's interests are in web development and software engineering. His role is a Web Developer for The Carter-Sowell Science for a Diverse Society (SDS) Research Group where he helps display the team's findings on ostracism through various websites.

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