People


Director and Principal Investigator

Dr. Burke is an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at LSU. After earning her B.S. in Psychology from Bowling Green State University as well as her M.S. and Ph.D.  in I/O Psychology from Penn State, Dr. Burke joined the Psychology Department at LSU. Her work applies the scientific method to understanding power dynamics at work, focusing primarily on the topics of leadership and diversity. Partnering with organizations to apply her expertise, she has helped clients with member retention, attitudes, and recruitment as well as leadership assessment and development.

In her free time, Dr. Burke enjoys playing tennis, often competing in local leagues and tournaments.  She also spends time working on her garden and learning new recipes.  

Graduate Students

Sydney Green is a fourth-year student and Huel Perkins scholar in the industrial-organizational psychology program on Dr. Vanessa Burke’s team. Originally from Ohio, she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kent State University in 2018. She received her master’s degree in psychology from Louisiana State University in 2021 under the direction of Dr. Rachel Smith. Her research focuses on supporting socially marginalized employees through improving organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and fellow graduate students, reading, and exploring the city of Baton Rouge.
Sydney Roux is a first-year graduate student in the LEAD laboratory. She grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.S. in Psychology and Communication Studies. As an undergraduate, she worked a lot with food insecurity by volunteering at the on-campus student pantry as well as taking on an internship there.
Her research interests include diversity for women of color in corporate workplaces as well as leadership and worker well-being. More specifically, she is interested in how being a woman of color in corporate workspaces affects their mental health, productivity, and feelings of safety and satisfaction.
In her free time, Sydney enjoys spending time in her hammock with a good book, working out, or playing video games with friends.

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Russell Marshall
is a senior undergrad psychology student. He is originally from New Jersey. He hopes to go on to get a PhD in organizational psychology. His research interests include leadership, 360-degree feedback, and diversity. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends and exploring cities. 
Gabrielle Mellor is a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in psychology and English literature. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana where she grew up–Geaux Saints! She is still defining her specific research interests and is grateful to be able to do so as a research assistant for both Dr. Burke and Dr. Beck. She is currently working towards earning the LSU Discover Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher distinction and, in the future, hopes to attain a Ph.D. in psychology. In her free time, Gabrielle enjoys attempting to complete impossible puzzles with her roommates, learning about several useless fun facts, and being the cool older sister to Sadie and Nora.
Kennedi George is a third-year undergraduate student in the LEAD laboratory. She was born and raised in New Orleans. At LSU, she is in the Roer Hadfield Ogden Honors college pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a Forensic Psychology concentration and a Spanish Minor. She is also on the Pre-Law track with aspirations of becoming a bi-lingual attorney and conducting research for her honors thesis this semester. Her research interests include racial bias's influences and moderation of the juror's judgment and decision-making processes as well as how stereotyping and discrimination influence employers' decisions. In her free time, Kennedi enjoys tutoring students at the CAS Shell Tutorial Center, playing on the LSU club volleyball team, and planning events as the Assistant Director of the Athletics Department of the Executive branch of Student Government.
Aaron Gotte is a senior psychology undergraduate student with special interests in business, statistics, and industrial/organizational psychology. He grew up in southwest Louisiana and moved to Baton Rouge in late 2020. His research interests include leadership, equity for persons with disabilities, and judgment/decision making. Outside of the lab, he is also a statistics tutor for the Academic Center for Student Athletes. He will be attending LSU in the fall for the Flores MBA program, with hopes to achieve a doctoral degree in organizational behavior. In his free time, Aaron likes to exercise, learn Chinese (since the age of 15!), and spend time with his two cats.
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