Current Graduate Students

| Cindy M. Meston, Ph.D. | Current Graduate Students | Former Graduate Students | Research Staff | Lab Scrapbook |


ameliaAmelia Stanton, B.A.
Graduate student

E-mail: amelia.stanton@gmail.com
Curriculum Vita [PDF]

Amelia was born and raised in New York City. She completed her Bachelors degree at Brown University in Providence, RI, where she studied both comparative literature and psychology. While at Brown, she worked with Dr. Lisa Uebelacker at Butler Hospital, the psychiatric hospital affiliated with Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School, on a study examining the potentially positive effects of a mindfulness-based yoga intervention on individuals with depression. She also worked as a research assistant at the Providence VA, where she developed an interest in sexual trauma. She entered UT Austin’s Sexual Psychophysiology lab in the fall of 2013.

Amelia’s research interests center on physiological indices of female sexual dysfunction. She is particularly interested in the role of biofeedback in clinical interventions for women who have been sexually abused, and she seeks to examine the relationship between mind and body in the wake of a traumatic incident. She also hopes to contribute to the development of specialized treatments for women who develop sexual problems post-abuse.

While living in Rhode Island, Amelia volunteered with Writers’ Group, which develops and runs creative writing programs for developmentally disabled adults. She also edited work for Street Sights, a newspaper produced for and by members of the homeless community in Providence. She will continue to engage in community work while living in Austin.

When she is not in the lab, Amelia enjoys reading, listening to country music, drinking coffee, and playing fetch with her dogs.

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Ariel

Ariel B. Handy, B. A.
Graduate student

E-mail: arielbhandy@utexas.edu
Curriculum Vita 
[PDF]

Ariel was born and raised in Vermont. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont where she majored in psychology and Spanish. During her time there, she worked in UVM’s Sexual Health Research Clinic researching the influence of emotions and sexual arousal on decision making in risky sexual situations. Upon graduating, she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to research mindfulness as treatment for low sexual desire and sexual quality of life in cancer survivors at Vancouver General Hospital. She entered UT Austin’s Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory in the fall of 2015.

Ariel’s research interests focus on male and female physiological sexual response. Specifically, she intends to explore multiple methods of measuring and analyzing physiological arousal. She is also interested in individual differences in the experiene and conceptualization of sexual arousal, particularly for those who have sexual difficulties or histories of negative sexual experiences.

Ariel was an active member of the psychology department at UVM. She developed two novel student programs to foster student involvement in research and to strengthen student-faculty relationships. She plans to serve on multiple psychology-related committees while at UT Austin.

Ariel enjoys riding her bicycle, cooking (and eating) with friends, and spending time with her partner, dog, and birds.

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chelsea_photoChelsea D. Kilimnik, M.Sc.
Graduate student

E-mail: chelseakilimnik@utexas.edu
Curriculum Vita 
[PDF]

Chelsea Kilimnik was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where she completed her Bachelors degree at the University of Winnipeg studying Psychology and Creative Writing. Her undergraduate thesis was completed under the supervision of Dr. Paul Trapnell on sexual satisfaction and attentional blinks in women with nonconsensual sexual experience history. Chelsea continued to graduate studies at Trent university in peterborough, Ontario, Canada, working with Dr. Terry Humphreys on the role of subjective identification of nonconsensual sexual experiences in sexual consent attitudes and sexual affectivity. Chelsea’s research interests include the impact of nonconsensual sexual experiences on sexual well-being, with a specific interest in the language that individuals use to identify their nonconsensual experiences (e.g., rape, sexual assault). Chelsea is also interested in the implicit cognitive processes involved in sexual functioning and satisfaction.

Chelsea has volunteered as a sexual assault crisis counselor and outreach support, and has also been involved in prevention and education programs such as Take Back the Night and the Trent University’s initiative to end campus sexual violence. Chelsea hopes to continue to be involved in sexual assault prevention and education in the Austin community and through her work in the Sexual Psychophysiology Lab.

Chelsea’s other interests include yoga, swimming, sailing, and writing.

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Bridget Freihart, M.S.W.
Graduate student

E-mail: bfreihart@utexas.edu
Curriculum Vita 
[PDF]

Bridget Freihart was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. She holds a Bachelors degree in Applied Psychology from New York University where she completed clinical internships with both youth and adults who had been impacted by sexual trauma. After developing an interest in the impacts of childhood sexual abuse and trauma, Bridget moved to California to attend UC Berkeley, completing a Master’s degree in Social Welfare. While at Berkeley, Bridget was a Graduate Student Researcher for the Sexual Health and Reproductive Equity Program, working specifically on analysis and measure development for a NIH-funded study of contraceptive decision-making and pregnancy planning in young couples.

In Fall 2017, Bridget entered the Female Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory. Her current research interests include the psychological and physiological factors that impact female sexual function and arousal. More specifically, she is interested in exploring neuroendocrine sources of sexual dysfunction, studying interventions that promote sexual health and well-being, and examining the role of sexual agency in sexual function and dysfunction, particularly in women who have experienced sexual trauma. Bridget is also interested in measure development, and plans to engage in sexual psychometric development during her time in the Meston Lab.

In her free time, Bridget enjoys singing and playing piano, crafting elaborate cheese plates, and talking about the Rolling Stones.

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Courtney Crosby, B.A.
Graduate student

E-mail: clcrosby@utexas.edu
Curriculum Vita 
[PDF]

Courtney was born and raised in central Texas. She completed her Bachelors degree at The University of Texas at Austin where she studied psychology. During her time there, she worked with Dr. Cristine Legare on a study examining the potential effects of evolutionary frameworks (i.e., attractiveness as an indicator of genetic fitness) on imitative fidelity in children. She also worked as a research assistant under Dr. Cindy Meston on a study examining the relationship between affective appraisal of physiological sexual arousal and sexual dysfunction among women with a history of childhood sexual abuse. During her time in both labs she developed an interest in the relationship between evolution and the behavioral correlates of human sexuality. She entered UT Austin’s Sexual Psychophysiology and Evolutionary Psychology Laboratories in the fall of 2017.

Courtney’s research interests include the potential role of sexual arousal on different evolutionary hypotheses. Specifically, Courtney hopes to explore the role of reproductive hormones on sexual decision-making behaviors in women. She also hopes to use her research to educate public policy about the importance of evolution on human behavior and why it is important to understand the theoretical framework of evolution.

While attending UT Austin as an undergraduate, Courtney volunteered with United Way for Greater Austin where she helped develop and provide learning tools for low-income, high-risk children and adolescents. Through this program, Courtney learned the importance of bridging the gap between quality of education and socioeconomic status. Courtney hopes to continue participating in community work while attending graduate school.

Courtney’s other interests include running, trying new restaurants, visiting coffee shops, and traveling.

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