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.

Principal Investigator: Stephanie Budge

Stephanie Budge (pronouns: she/her/hers) focuses her research and activism efforts on transgender and gender diverse people. She is an assistant 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 2006 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 activism 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 has chaired an ad-hoc committee at the University of Louisville committed to ensuring that bathrooms on its campus were visibly friendly and accessible spaces for all students. 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 Psychotherapy and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Transgenderism and Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

Stephanie also holds an appointment as a Health Psychologist at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin where she assists the Pediatric and Adolescent Trans Health (PATH) clinic with ensuring that trans youth have access to essential resources.

Stephanie Budge

Ben Andert

Ben is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They hope to research mental health disparities in trans people and to use the results of that research to fix the world. Why start small? Ben works at Fair Wisconsin, doing LGBTQ education and advocacy; FORGE, doing transgender anti-violence; and Trans Youth Resource Network, working to improve access to resources and assess barriers to care for trans and gender nonconforming youth in Wisconsin. They also participate in the WI Trans Health Coalition.

Ben Andert (with Paxil)

Sergio Domínguez, Jr.

Sergio is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. Their research interests center around intersectionality as a framework for understanding oppression and supremacy, specifically related to 1) psychotherapy processes and outcomes for TNG persons, 2) multiple minority stress within gender and sexual minority communities (e.g. sexual ableism, sexual racism), and 3) emotional processes of collective identity. In their free time, Sergio enjoys watching Black-ish and American Horror Story, shopping, and anything related to wine and cheese.

Rachel Dyer

Rachel is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Counseling Psychology. She is currently a counseling practicum trainee at UHS Mental Health Services and the suicide prevention graduate assistant at UHS Prevention Services. Rachel’s research interests include integrating reproductive justice perspectives into the counseling psychology field, and sex, sexual and intimate relationships, and sexual and reproductive trauma with an intersectional lens and particular focus on gender identity and sexual orientation. She is currently working on a project in collaboration with the Wisconsin Trans Health Coalition looking at protective factors for school safety for trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming youth in Wisconsin. In her free time, Rachel enjoys listening to podcasts, drinking coffee, and spending time outside.

Rachel Dyer

Eileen “Egg” Guo

Eileen “Egg” Guo is a second-year master’s student in the Counseling Psychology department and a practicum trainee at UHS Mental Health Services.  Egg’s research interests include mental health in historically underserved populations and the intersections of multiple marginalized identities.  She is currently working on a research project about minority stress interventions for transgender clients in psychotherapy.  Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Egg enjoys kayaking, skiing, and ice skating in her free time.  She is also passionate about sci-fi and critiquing local boba shops.

Egg Guo

Ezra Mauk

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

Ezra Mauk

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

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.

Cynthia Smith

Cynthia Smith (she/her/hers) is a first-year student in the master’s in Counseling Psychology program here at UW-Madison. She did her undergraduate course work here as well, majoring in psychology. Cynthia is interested in LGBTQ+ experiences of trauma and mood disorders and hopes to focus on the emotional coping processes of transgender, gender nonconforming, and other gender diverse individuals in research. Specifically, she hopes to integrate social justice, LGBTQ+ affirming therapeutic practices, and intersectionality approached into psychological research around trans and gender diverse individuals. In her free time, Cynthia enjoys spending time with her partner, participating in autumn activities, and drinking way too much coffee.

Cynthia Smith

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

Bayard Rustin