Nice to meet you.

Meet Our Lab

We are always interested in hearing from you.  On this page, you can hear a little bit about us.

Stephanie Budge

Stephanie Budge (pronouns: she/her/hers) focuses her research and advocacy efforts on transgender and gender diverse people. She is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in and received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on emotional and coping processes for transgender youth and adults, as well as the effectiveness of medical and psychotherapeutic treatments for transgender clients. She provides clinical trainings nationally and internationally related to LGBTQ issues, focusing on practitioners’ self-efficacy, knowledge, awareness, and skills. At the University of Wisconsin, she promotes transgender advocacy on campus by providing workshops to students, faculty, and staff related to navigating gender identity within a university environment. As a licensed psychologist, she has provided pro-bono therapy to transgender youth and adults. For her research efforts, she received the American Psychological Association LGBT Outstanding Community Contributions award (2011) and the APA LGBT Early Career Professional Award (2015) from the Society for Counseling Psychology. Stephanie is currently an Associate Editor of two journals: Psychotherapy and Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. She is also on the editorial board of the International Journal of Transgender Health.

Stephanie enjoys going on hikes with her wife and toddler, cooking (especially anything with potatoes), and rappelling down waterfalls.

Sergio Domínguez, Jr.

Sergio is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. Broadly, they are invested in trans wellbeing, ethical and legal professional issues in psychology, and relationship-centered research and clinical approaches. In their free time, Sergio enjoys outdoor activities (e.g., hiking, canoeing), cooking, and shopping.

Louis Lindley

Louis is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. His research interests focus on gender dysphoria’s interactions with gender minority stress and how transgender individuals navigate sex and sexuality. Due to being raised in Texas, Lou enjoys spending time outdoors with his partner and their three dogs in the summer and hiding under a blanket indoors during the winter.

Ben Andert

Ben (they/them/theirs) recently graduated from UW-Madison with a master’s degree in public health. They were accepted into the Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellowship program with a placement at the Department of Health Services in the Chronic Disease Prevention Unit. They are excited to contribute to the health equity lens these groups are incorporating into their work. Ben’s interests include working toward health equity in many areas, building resilience, and focusing on strengths and positive experiences of trans people and other minority and/or stigmatized communities. In their free time, Ben likes to read, enjoy the sunshine (while it lasts!), and cuddle their three fluffy cats.

Joonwoo Lee

Joonwoo Lee (pronouns: he/him/his) is a PhD student in Counseling Psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interest is on internalized transnegativity among transgender and nonbinary individuals. More specifically, his focus is on investigating antecedents (e.g. parental relationship, self-variables) and effective intervention strategies for internalized transnegativity.

J.Nyla McNeill

J. Nyla McNeill (they, them, theirs) is a writer, early career researcher, educator, poet, musician, skateboarding community/industry member, and land tender. They are a 2018 Magna Cum Laude graduate from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), honored with the Exceptional Student Award for beginning their body of work during their undergraduate career. During their time at CSULB, J. Nyla worked closely (as a lab assistant, volunteer, or mentee) with a team of guides that taught methods in their respective studies, including the fields of: biocultural anthropology, transgender health psychology, trans/feminist and gender standpoint theories, communication studies, performance, and psychology of stress. They earned their Bachelor’s degree in the departments of Psychology and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. Born, raised, and working on Tongva land in California, J. Nyla is an independent, D.I.Y.-minded scholar who focuses their work on the health and wellness of their diasporic communities.

Rachel L. Dyer

Rachel is a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. As a scholar-activist, she aims to harness counseling psychology in service of reproductive justice. Her research centers on reproductive experiences, health, and rights, particularly abortion and queer reproduction, as well as psychotherapist and psychologist training and competency related to sexual and reproductive experiences. Rachel offers a supporting role in the Trans Research Lab and has worked on projects related to trans youth and school safety, as well as gender euphoria. Outside of research, Rachel can be found drinking coffee, taking walks, and listening to podcasts.

Darren Schoenike

Darren is a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in LGBTQ+ studies. He is hoping to go to medical school where he will become a surgeon who provides all types of gender-affirmation surgery for trans and gender non-conforming folks. Darren also works as a House Fellow (RA) for the Open House Gender and Sexuality Learning Community in the residence halls where he gets to work with many lgbtq+ identified first-year students and build community among them. His passions in life include going to the gym and pretending that it’s not because he’s vain along with loving his cat-son Viita.

Darren Schoenike

Gideon C. Elliott

Gideon C. Elliott (he/him/his) works as a program assistant at UW-Madison. He has previously worked for a branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and served on a nonprofit as a facilitator for trans support groups. His major research interests are in resiliency, resources for the broader LGBTQ community, and in particular for the trans folks who are a part of industrial complexes, such as the prison system, and the particular challenges that those with intersectional identities face in these environments. He has a B.A. in Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology and a love of dogs that remains unrivaled.

TRL and T*STAR Alum

Eileen “Egg” Guo

Eileen “Egg” Guo graduated from the UW-Madison Master’s in Counseling program in 2019. She currently works at University Health Services as a Mental Health Provider and Outreach Coordinator. Egg is passionate about providing therapy and conducting outreach to historically underserved communities, including students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and those at the intersection of these identities. In her free time, Egg enjoys ice skating, candlemaking, cooking, watching reality dating shows, and drinking boba.

Ezra Mauk

Ezra’s passions in life include psychology, gender and sexuality scholarship, and cheese. He graduated from UW-Madison with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. He completed his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at UW in 2019.

Ezra Mauk

Morgan Sinnard

Morgan Sinnard (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology.  She earned a master’s degree in counseling and educational psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.  Morgan is interested in 1) psychotherapy processes and outcomes for TNG individuals and 2) factors contributing to health and wellbeing among LGBTQ individuals.

Jayden Thai

Dr. Jayden Thai (he/him/his) was an original member of T*STAR at the University of Louisville, founded in 2011.  He graduated with his PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville in 2018.  Dr. Thai is currently a licensed staff psychologist at Brown University’s Counseling and Psychological Services.  He is also currently serving as co-chair of Division 44’s Committee for Transgender People and Gender Diversity.  Dr. Thai is interested in the identity development processes and mental health outcomes of trans and gender diverse folx, particularly those of color, as well as providing psychotherapy through liberation and social justice lenses.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his partner and animals, cooking, and all things Doctor Who.

Jacob Eleazer

Dr. Jacob Eleazer (he/him) served in the Army National Guard for 12 years and was among the first actively serving transgender soldiers to come out publicly in 2014. He advocates for open service and access to care for transgender military personnel as the Director of Advocacy for SPART*A, A Professional Association for Transgender Service Members. Jacob completed his doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of Louisville, predoctoral internship at the VA Puget Sound-American Lake Division, and clinical postdoctoral fellowship in LGBTQ+ Health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation at the Connecticut VA Healthcare System. Jacob is currently an Advanced Postdoctoral Fellow in Health Service Research and Development at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Yale School of Medicine. He is a member of the PRIDE Cohort research lab in the PRIME (Pain, Research, Informatics, Multi-morbidities, and Education) Center of Innovation.  His active research projects investigate the experiences of actively serving transgender military personnel, health disparities for LGBTQ+ Veterans, and patient-centered interventions to improve access to care for transgender Veterans. 

Laura Patricia Minero, PhD (She/Her/Ella)

Laura graduated with her PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-
Madison. As an undocumented, queer, muXer of color, advocate and social
justice researcher, Laura examines how policy impacts the lived experiences of undocumented immigrant
and LGBTQ+ communities to identify how to better-serve these populations through more inclusive
implementation of policy and distribution of services. Laura worked on national, consensus scientific
studies that were utilized to influence and inform policy as a 2019 Christine Mirzayan Science Policy and
Technology Fellow with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Her scholarship on undocumented and asylum-seeking transgender immigrants and their lived experience in the intersection of gender identity, race, citizenship status, and mental health has been supported by Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation fellowship awards.
Laura  weaves her interest in reforming policies and creating inclusive and equitable systems and environments into her
provision of trauma-informed, affirming, and evidenced-based clinical care and training other professional as a current LGBTQ Youth Trauma, Resilience and Community Education Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.-drlminero@gmail.com

Sidra Dillard

Sidra Dillard graduated from the UW-Madison’s Counseling Psychology Master’s program in 2018. They currently work at UW-Madison’s University Health Services/Mental Health Services as the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Services Coordinator. They provide individual and group therapy services utilizing a Relational-Cultural approach. Their clinical work with TGNC students can include processing internalized societal narratives about transness and facilitating increased ability to access gender euphoria and empowerment. Sidra also enjoys cuddling with their dog, taking naps, and creative writing.

"We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers."

Bayard Rustin