SHAG LAB RESEARCH TEAM

Lab Director

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Brian A. Feinstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Brian A. Feinstein (he/him) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. He obtained his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2015 after completing an APA-accredited internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Then, he completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship (F32) at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University from 2015-2018. Following the completion of his postdoctoral fellowship, he served as a Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University from 2018-2020. He joined the Department of Psychology at RFUMS in 2020. Dr. Feinstein is also involved in a number of professional activities including serving as an Associate Editor at Archives of Sexual Behavior and the Behavior Therapist. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois.

His research interests include:

  • Sexual and gender minority (SGM) health

  • Bisexuality and pansexuality

  • Stigma-related stress and coping

  • Mental health, substance use, sexual health, and relationship functioning in SGM populations

  • Developing and testing interventions to improve SGM health

Postdoctoral Research Associate

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Roberto Rentería, Ph.D.

Roberto Rentería (he/him) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the lab. He received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Arizona State University and his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Truman State University. Broadly, Roberto's research and clinical interests focus on health outcomes and disparities among SGM communities of color, particularly assessing how intersectional structural and individual factors contribute to health disparities. Clinically, he has trained in a variety of settings (e.g., primary care) providing services for culturally diverse populations, including services in Spanish. Outside of the lab he loves to go on walks, cooking all types of food, going to the movies, and traveling to new places. 

Zig (they/them) is a first year PhD student in the lab. They graduated from Florida State University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Leadership Studies. After graduation, they worked as a psychology technician in the National Center for PTSD’s Behavioral Science Division housed within the VA Boston Healthcare System. Their areas of clinical and research interests include the impacts and associations between negative interpersonal experiences and substance use, as well as, the resiliency of LGBTQ+ communities and ways that strengths can be further amplified through community-specific intervention development. When they are not in the lab, Zig enjoys painting, making music, watching cartoons, and spending time outside.

Graduate Students

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Zig Hinds, B.S.

Zig (they/them) is a first year PhD student in the lab. They graduated from Florida State University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Leadership Studies. After graduation, they worked as a psychology technician in the National Center for PTSD’s Behavioral Science Division housed within the VA Boston Healthcare System. Their areas of clinical and research interests include the impacts and associations between negative interpersonal experiences and substance use, as well as, the resiliency of LGBTQ+ communities and ways that strengths can be further amplified through community-specific intervention development. When they are not in the lab, Zig enjoys painting, making music, watching cartoons, and spending time outside.

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Spencer Royer, B.A.

Spencer (they/them) is a first-year Master's student in the lab. They earned their Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in music performance from Marian University-Indianapolis in 2022. They completed a research internship investigating the relationship between levels of outness as they relate to levels of perceived satisfaction in SGM relationships. Broadly, their current areas of research interest include human sexuality, SGM mental health, and trauma and psychopathology among children. Clinically, they are interested in working with SGM youth and pediatric behavioral health. Spencer spends their free time performing music, hanging out with friends and family, reading, or running their non-profit music program with their wife. 

Isabel Benjamin, B.A.

Isabel (she/her) is a second year PhD student in the lab. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Theatre from Williams College in 2019. She subsequently worked as a post-bacc research assistant at the Rhode Island Hospital at the MIDAS study. Broadly, her research interests include stigmatizing experiences contributing to SGM mental health, with a particular interest in bi+ populations and targeted psychotherapy interventions. Clinically, she is interested in working with SGM individuals and older adults. Outside of the lab, you can find her with her kitten Tooth, hanging with Kate’s dog Greta, or at her local community theatre.

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Isabel Benjamin, B.A.

Isabel (she/her) is a second year PhD student in the lab. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Theatre from Williams College in 2019. She subsequently worked as a post-bacc research assistant at the Rhode Island Hospital at the MIDAS study. Broadly, her research interests include stigmatizing experiences contributing to SGM mental health, with a particular interest in bi+ populations and targeted psychotherapy interventions. Clinically, she is interested in working with SGM individuals and older adults. Outside of the lab, you can find her with her kitten Tooth, hanging with Kate’s dog Greta, or at her local community theatre.

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Kate Dorrell, B.S.

Kate (she/her) is a second year PhD student in the lab. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Chemistry. After graduation, Kate pursued a post-bacc research assistantship at the Pittsburgh Girls Study through Pitt Psychiatry, where she worked on studies of the impact of discrimination stress in sexual minority women. Her research interests include the etiology of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in sexual and gender minority individuals, with a focus on interpersonal contexts and bi+ youth. She is also a volunteer crisis counselor for SGM youth through the Trevor Project. In her free time, you can find Kate at Lake Michigan beaches with her dog Greta, playing with Isabel’s kitten, or exploring thrift shops in Chicago.

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Taylor Macaulay, M.S.

Taylor (they/them) is a fourth year PhD student in the lab. They received their Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Dance at Wayne State University in 2015. They went on to obtain a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Eastern Michigan University in 2019, during which they conducted research in a pediatric health psychology lab focusing on health behaviors of children with food allergies. Their research interests are in the development of health behaviors and their impact on SGM youth health outcomes. Clinically, they are interested in pediatric healthcare and working with SGM youth. Taylor spends their free time baking, making art, dancing, supporting Chicago's drag scene, and taking long walks with their sister and dog nephew. 

Sibel Sarac, M.S.

Sibel (she/her) is a fifth year PhD student in the lab. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Justice Studies from Miami University in 2018. Her research interests focus on intersectionality of race/ethnicity in sexual and gender minority individuals and related mental health outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD). Clinically, she is interested in working with adults presenting with traumatic experiences/PTSD, as well as CPTSD. Outside of the lab, you can find her at the dog park with her dog Ralph, spending time with friends, playing the cello, or repotting one of her 30 plants.