Sara Emily Burke

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Dr. Burke received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2016. She is an assistant professor in social psychology at Syracuse University. She studies intergroup bias—stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and experiences of stigma. Specifically, her research focuses on variations in the way bias operates depending on the groups it targets, and one of her central goals is expanding the scientific knowledge base to better account for underexamined targets of bias. For example, some of her studies about perceptions of biracial and bisexual people indicate that dismissive reactions to the very concept of a group can help explain prejudice. These results might have been difficult to predict based on traditionally studied groups alone. The research section of this website provides some examples of the research conducted in the lab. For details about Dr. Burke, see her personal website, which includes statistics resources and contact information. Here is a recent version of her CV.

Ph.D. Students

Alexandria Jaurique

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Ally Jaurique is a graduate student in the social psychology program at Syracuse University. Her research focuses on intergroup relations, prejudice, and discrimination from a social identity perspective. Specifically, she is interested in the psychological antecedents of prejudice toward people with multiple marginalized identities (e.g., transgender women).


Minnie McMillian

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Minnie McMillian is a graduate student in the social psychology program at Syracuse University. Her research, more broadly, focuses on exploring manifestations of racism on those from marginalized communities. Specifically, she is interested in studying vicarious racism experiences through media sources and its impact on African Americans’ psychological and physiological wellbeing.

Ben Valen

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Ben Valen is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and graduate student in the social psychology Ph.D. program at Syracuse University. Their research broadly falls at the intersection of intergroup bias/close relationships and LGBTQ+ identity. Specifically, Ben’s current research interests include outgroup perceptions of transgender and non-binary people, affectionate touch among sexual minority couples, and experiences of LGBTQ+ Christians.


Mackenzie Ess

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Mack received her Ph.D. from the Social Psychology program at Syracuse in 2023. Their research interests broadly include intergroup relations, stereotyping, and prejudice. They are particularly drawn to under-studied topics and populations, such as class prejudice and prejudice toward sexual and gender minorities (e.g., bisexual, pansexual identities and non-binary, agender identities). Their work on class prejudice involves identifying factors that influence evaluations of targets based on their class status, such as perceptions of work ethic and situational or dispositional attributions. In future work, they hope to examine intragroup prejudice and strategies for fostering solidarity within marginalized communities.

CV · Faculty Profile at University of Southern Maine