Our Team

Lab Director

Tom Armstrong, PhD.

Tom earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Vanderbilt University and completed his internship training at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical school. He joined the faculty of Whitman’s Psychology Department in 2014. Tom’s interest in disgust was inspired by his graduate mentor, Bunmi Olatunji. His approach to faculty-student collaborative research was inspired by his undergraduate mentors at Lewis & Clark College. In addition to his work at Whitman, Tom provides therapy to community members who lack access to evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders.

Lab Members

Grace Hammarlund


Grace Hammarlund is a Junior psychology major with a chemistry and biology minor. Her interests include child development and disgust as it relates in the healthcare field. Outside of the lab, Grace enjoys being a ZFit instructor, working as a sexual violence prevention intern, and a member of the A-Team. 

Jessica Bowlus

Jessica is a senior psychology major with a minor in biology. She is currently most interested in studying addiction from both a neurological and psychological perspective. Outside of PEEP lab, Jessica is doing research for her thesis on how corticosterone affects learning in zebra finches.

Devi Payne


Devi is a Senior Psychology major and possible art minor. She is interested in User Experience Design, and is a co-founder of Whitman Design Alliance. Outside of the classroom, Devi is the RA of MECCA, runs, and drinks way too much caffeine. Devi should probably drink more water..oh well!

Atish Batliwalla


Atish is a Senior psychology major with a minor in computer science. He is passionate about mental health treatment as well as animal research. Outside of the lab, Atish likes to play basketball, go hiking, and listen to music. 

Nisha Gharti Magar

Nisha Gharti Magar is a Junior psychology major with anthropology minor. She is interested in mental health and learning behavior in children. Outside of the lab, she enjoys cooking Nepali food, hiking, rafting, and dancing to Nepali music.

Sam Patterson

Sam Patterson is a junior psychology and economics double major. He is interested in cognitive psychology and decision-making. Outside of the lab, Sam is into hiking, fitness and all kinds of music. 

Lab Alumni

Ben Weitzel

Email: weitzebh@whitman.edu

Ben majored in psychology and minored in religion. His main area of interest in psychology is abnormal due to his passion for mental health. In his free time, Ben likes to listen to podcasts, exercise, and spend time with family and friends.

Siri Danielson


Siri is a sophomore intended psychology and philosophy major. Her interests include child development, gender development, and disgust as it relates to anxiety disorders. Outside of the lab, Siri enjoys being a part of Whitman Glean Team leadership, working as a sexual violence prevention intern, and drinking lots of coffee.

Daniel Leong

Daniel is a sophomore intended psychology major. He’s interested in researching mental health issues in Asia and previously worked in a lab studying autism. Other than psychology, Daniel enjoys exercise and plays tenor saxophone in the Whitman College Jazz ensemble

Gökay Abaci


Gökay is a senior Psychology major with a background in product design and affective computing. He is interested in improving people’s lives through products that deliver treatment and coaching in conjunction with wearable measures of emotion.

Kari Hampson

email: hampsokg@whitman.edu

Kari Hampson studied conceptual reorientation and disgust for her thesis. Outside of the lab, Kari enjoyed being a part of Whitman GlobeMed leadership, road biking, and attempting to Facetime her dog.  She is now completing the Critical Language Scholarship Program in South Korea. 

Nikki Delgado

Email: delgadnm@whitman.edu

Nikki is a junior psychology major with an intended chemistry minor. She is interested in abnormal psychology, social psychology, and neuropsychology. Outside of the lab, Nikki enjoys working as a Resident Assistant (RA), being part of Pre-Health Society, and bullet journaling.

Sara Federman

Email: federmsj@whitman.edu

Sara is a junior psychology major with a history minor. She is particularly interested in abnormal psychology, language acquisition, and learning theory. Outside of the lab, she enjoys cooking, participating in the Whitman Glean Team, and working behind the circulation desk of the Penrose Library.

Leah Shaffner ’19

Email: shaffnlr@whitman.edu

Leah Shaffner did a thesis study on the role of disgust in ableism.  While at Whitman, she volunteered with Special Olympics, ran the Buddy Program and played tennis.

Owen Crabtree ’19

Email: crabtroh@whitman.edu

Owen studied conceptual reorientation and disgust in the PEEP lab. He is now working with visually impaired students near Boston as he prepares for a career in clinical psychology. He likes to play the piano, write creatively, and play tennis.

Katie Davie ’19

Email: davieka@whitman.edu

Katie Davie is a senior Psychology major with an intended Music minor. She is particularly interested in Abnormal Psychology, stigma, the criminal justice system, and how these three topics overlap. When she is not in the lab she enjoys playing piano, reading in parks, and striving to bake the perfect loaf of banana bread.

Omar Aldahleh ’18


Omar is junior Biophysics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology major who is interested in neuroscience and psychiatry. He performs in the Whitman Orchestra and Chamber Choir and volunteers at the Crisis Text Line.

Alex Lee ’18

Alex is interested in research related to culture and its impact on cognition. Specifically, he focuses on how differences between Eastern and Western culture lead to differences in somatization and expression of mental illness. Interests outside the lab include swimming, piano, cooking, and teaching. He is now working in the Japan Exchange and Teaching program.

Mira Engel '18

Mira majored in psychology and completed her senior thesis on attentional bias toward threat stimuli during fear conditioning. She hopes to attend graduate school in clinical psychology. She became interested in psychology during her first year at Whitman when she took an introductory class and learned more about learning theory and conditioning paradigms. Growing up, she trained and showed dogs using positive reinforcement and a “clicker,” which gave her first hand experience in how effective both operant and classical conditioning are in changing behavior.

Rachel Leiter ’18

Rachel Leiter is interested in educational psychology and disability studies. She started the PEEP lab’s line of research on disgust and ableism. She plans to pursue a career in special education and work with people with disabilities in underserved communities. Rachel was recently accepted into the Master’s program in special education at Columbia University.

Zoe Brown


Zoe Brown is a sophomore intended psychology major. She is interested in abnormal psychology, social psychology, and how psychology interacts with the political system. Besides working in the PEEP Lab, Zoe enjoys biking, reading, and spending time with her cat.