Lab Members

Professor Lisa Finkelstein is the Area Coordinator/Program Director of the Social-I/O psychology area of the Department of Psychology at Northern Illinois University. Her research very broadly focuses on understanding how people perceive others and/or themselves in different situations and relationships at work, and how those perceptions impact those situations and relationships. The majority of her work has concentrated on issues of age – a topic of growing interest over the years with the changes in the demographics of the global workforce. She also studies other sources of stigma, such as disability and obesity, perceptions of humorous people at work, mentoring relationships and behaviors, and high potential designation systems.

Professor Finkelstein serves on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Management, the Journal of Business and Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Work, Aging and Retirement.  She is a fellow of SIOP, a senior consortium research fellow at the Army Research Institute and an associate investigator at the ARC Centre for Population Ageing Research.

Graduate Students

Student Name: Cody Gibson

Joined Program: Fall 2018

Sublab: HAWL

Research Interests: Humor and creativity in the workplace.

Current Finklab Projects: Humor scale development, encouraging creativity in the workplace.

Reason for Joining Finklab: following up on Lisa class project for thesis.

Appreciates Finklab Because: upbeat and welcoming environment with a variety of areas, unique organization tactics such as “parking lot” and rituals to end projects which help to take the pressure off of a struggling project.

Future Career Plans: academic, but open.

Non-Research Interests: getting outside for bikes rides, Chicago, or a nature park and playing games.

Student Name: Courtney L. Thomas

Joined Program: 2015 (as a student at large), 2014 (as an official graduate student), ABD

Sublabs: ZUMBA, Sneetches, HAWL, M-Rap, SWORDS

Research Interests: My primary focus to all of my research is person perception. I am particularly interested in the way that we view others based on our own category information and personality and others' category information and personality. To focus this broad interest, I primarily study how age affects our perceptions and experiences. Particularly, I focus on the perceptual process of stereotyping and metastereotyping. I also investigate high potential as an outcome (so what leads someone to be designated as HiPo or evaluated as possessing characteristics of high potential. I also evaluate how humor influences our perceptions of others. Specifically, I like to focus on humor that focuses on category membership (e.g., how is it perceived if you derogate an age group?).

Current Finklab Projects: In my master's thesis, I evaluated a model created by Finkelstein, King, and Voyles (2015) which put age metastereotype activation at the core of how our personality and category information influence our interpersonal interactions. In doing so, I created a measure of implicit age metastereotypes. In my dissertation, I am aiming to evaluate how age-based incivility influences our daily interactions with our colleagues at work.

Reason for Joining Finklab: I joined Finklab because the focus of the entire lab is my primary focus, person perception. This lab has allowed me to focus on this broad interest.

Appreciates Finklab Because: I would 100% recommend Finklab! The climate of Finklab is that of a family support system. We are all support for each other both professionally and personally. Plus, Lisa is a fabulous and supportive advisor that is a tremendous help while navigating graduate school.

Accomplishments within Finklab: published one manuscript, one book chapter, a Harvard Business Review online article, along with many other achievements.

Future Career Plans: academic

Non-Research Interests: loving her three cats, as well as enjoying fitness, makeup, and organization.

Student Name: Nicholas Smith

Joined Program: Fall 2020

Research Interests: Workplace diversity, mentoring relationships, and high potential identification and designation.

Current Finklab Projects: 1st year project (witnessing gender discriminatory communication through the electronic medium and how these occurrences affect work attitudes and behaviors.)

Reason for Joining Finklab: pre-acceptance conversations with Lisa and some of her students who each showed admiration for the program and the people in it and alignment between personal and Finklab research interests.

Appreciates Finklab Because: positive culture with relevant and worthwhile research areas, lab is collaborative and allows friendships to develop.

Future Career Plans: applied I/O (consulting, HR management, etc.)

Non-Research Interests: Making and listening to music and during the pandemic, improving culinary skills.

Joined Program: Fall 2020

Research Interests: mentoring, leadership, and diversity.

Reason for Joining Finklab: Lisa’s energy and M-Rap

Appreciates Finklab Because: You’re given a lot of autonomy but also a lot of support.

Future Career Plans: Director or some position in diversity or leadership and development.

Non-Research Interests: spending time with my boyfriend, a lot of studying, learning to juggle with four balls.

Student Name: Alexandria Brown

Joined Program: Fall 2017, ABD

Sublab: Sneetches

Research Interests: High potential employees in the workplace, their designation and outcomes of high potential programs.     

Current Finklab Projects: dissertation (physical characteristics of high potentials)

Appreciates Finklab Because: Lisa is an amazing professor who demonstrates integrity and intelligence. She balances work and life extremely well and allows us to learn not only research from her but also how to have fun.

Future Career Plans: Currently Assessment & Development Specialist at Vaya Group, planning to continue in management/leadership consulting and expanding into executive coaching.

Non-Research Interests: working out! (gym and Pure Barre)

Student Name: Rob Keating

Joined Program: Fall 2015, ABD

Sublab: SWORDS

Research Interests: INclusion and identity management in the workplace; stigmatized occupations (dirty jobs).

Current Finklab Projects: dirty jobs and the role of perceptions of occupations in career decisions.

Reason for Joining Finklab: to collaborate with Lisa given overlapping interests and experience working together on other projects.

Appreciates Finklab Because: great community experience (professional and research skill building along with supportiveness); plus the great lab parties.

Future Career Plans: academic

Non-Research Interests: playing guitar, building things, reading and being outdoors.

Student Name: Jesus Jose Martinez

Joined Program: Fall 2015, ABD


Research Interests: discrimination towards people with disabilities in the hiring process along with the underrepresentation of women in executive positions, overseen undergraduate research studies on high potential employees.

Current Finklab Projects: dissertation (impact of intersecting identities on hiring and whether or not occupational stereotypes can be used to explain hiring preferences.)

Reason for Joining Finklab: LISA!

Appreciates Finklab Because: everyone should join Finklab because you can’t find a faculty member more supportive and enthusiastic than Lisa.

Accomplishments within Finklab: collaborated with Interpersonal Evaluation and Measurement lab to publish our online disability identity management study.

Future Career Plans: individual assessment, coaching, measure validation, diversity and inclusion as an external consultant.

Non-Research Interests: summer days are spent at the ballpark with an italian beef and a craft beer cheering on the White Sox.

Student Name: Audra Jensen

Joined Program: Spring 2018, ABD

Sublabs: Sneetches

Research Interests: High-potential designation, motivation, typical intellectual engagement, achievement, growth and learning competencies, learning agility, developability.

Current Finklab Projects: measurement and role of Typical Intellectual Engagement (TIE) in high-potential designation processes.

Reason for Joining Finklab: to get involved in research applying my social psychology research interest (achievement motivation research) to the workplace.

Appreciates Finklab Because: easy to become involved, plenty of variety in projects, lots of great resources/connections in lab.

Student Name: Morgan Tillery

Joined Program: Fall 2019

Sublabs: HAWL, Sneetches

Research Interests: focused on humor at work, especially the impact of a leaders’ use of self-deprecating humor and continuing to develop humor research methodology; also interested in development potential.

Current Finklab Projects: dissertation (working to develop a taxonomy of humor based on perceived intentions of the user), creating a scale to measure perceptions of a humor user, 1st year project (distinguishing between forms of self-derogating humor), measurement of Typical Intellectual Engagement (TIE) in high-potential designation.

Reason for Joining Finklab: excited to work in HAWL with Lisa, who has previously studied humor at work.

Appreciates Finklab Because: the variety of areas to get involved and the communal atmosphere of sharing and trying new strategies for each stage of research.

Future Career Plans: academia

Non-Research Interests: hiking/generally getting outside and away from any computers, reading, exploring the area and trying new things, board games/puzzles/escape rooms.

Undergraduate Students

  • Megan Stricker
  • Matt Atterberg
  • Marta Chrzanowski
  • Krista Eckberg
  • Jordan Kerbis
  • Veronica LeRoy
  • Neysra (Nina) Rivera

Active Alumni

Amanda Conlin

In 2014 I joined the Social and I/O Program as a student-at-large before being officially accepted as a graduate student in 2015. In Finklab, I am a member of the Sneetches group with an interest in the link between indicators of performance and how they influence leadership success. I am an I/O practitioner and play a role in sharing and examining field data with the lab. I work at a leadership consulting firm and my team's benchmarking database is used to provide archival measures of performance, personality, potential and HiPo designation. In my free time, I train and compete my horse in dressage and when time permits I love running around with my dog in nearby forest preserves.

Rushika DeBruin, Ph.D.

I graduated from NIU in May 2019 and am currently working as a Senior HR Analyst. My work involves incorporating research and analytics to tell a story with the data and guide my organization to make data- and research-driven decisions. I am an active member of Finklab and incorporate work from all the labs into my current position. I helped set up a mentoring program based on work from M-RAP and am helping with D&I initiatives driven by work in SWORDS. I am interested in workplace interactions and how that impacts employee well-being and behavioral outcomes like engagement behaviors and turnover intentions. In my free time, I love hiking and exploring the Appalachian Trail where I live, and then finding new restaurants!

Arielle Rogers

I graduated from NIU in May 2019 and currently work as a research scientist at Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO). I am an active member of Finklab in the Mentoring Relationships and Processes (M-RAP) sublab. I am particularly interested in the relationship between mentoring and occupational health, such as how mentors can help to mitigate mentee stress and facilitate positive health outcomes (e.g., satisfaction with work-life balance). I also conduct research in the areas of personality, measurement development, sleep, and workplace emotions. When I'm not conducting research, I like to practice yoga, listen to live music, go hiking and eat sushi.

Contact Us

Lisa Finkelstein, Ph.D.
Psychology-Computer Science Building
Office: room 571
Lab: room 30

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