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Mason Lab Members

Chelsea Foudray is a doctoral candidate in the Criminology, Law and Society department at George Mason University and a graduate research assistant at the EJS Lab. Having moved to the United States from the Netherlands, she attended the University of Mount Olive in NC for her BS Criminal Justice & Criminology and BA Psychology, where she received the Edwin Sutherland Criminal Justice Award from her department. She has been working closely with Dr. Evan Lowder to validate the implementation of the Indiana Risk Assessment System – Pretrial Assessment Tool (IRAS-PAT) in several jurisdictions. Additionally, her research within the EJS lab has focused on other interventions aimed at redirecting individuals’ early release from the criminal-legal system. Outside of the EJS lab, her research focuses on individuals housed within the U.S. correctional system, as well as broader correctional policies and organizations. When not working on her research or degree, Chelsea enjoys spending time with her wife and dog, traveling, reading books, and drinking coffee.   

Chelsea Foudray 

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Sydney Ingel is a fifth year Criminology, Law and Society doctoral student at George Mason University and a new graduate research assistant at the EJS Lab. She attended Quinnipiac University for her BS in Criminal Justice & Psychology and then attended George Mason University for her MA in Criminology, Law and Society. Within the EJS Lab, her research is focused on exploring pretrial defendants’ perceptions of their risks and needs during the pretrial period. Outside of the EJS lab, her research focuses on currently and formerly incarcerated individuals.  

Sydney Ingel

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Hayley Carlisle is a first-year doctoral student in George Mason University's Department of Criminology, Law & Society. Originally from Rhode Island, Hayley received her Master of Science from American University in Justice, Law & Criminology with a specialization in Justice and Public Policy. Prior to starting her doctoral journey at George Mason University, Hayley worked for the D.C. Department of Corrections, during which time she designed and supported programs for returning citizens and incarcerated residents in the D.C. Jail. Hayley's research interests focus on carceral environments, correctional organization, and intervention programs, while her non-academic passions include ballet, painting, and hiking with her partner and dog. 

Hayley Carlisle

Autumn Reilly Kent is a junior in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and an undergraduate researcher at the Early Justice Strategies Lab under the supervision of Dr. Lowder. Her research focuses on pretrial risk, court processes, evidence, jury decision-making, and justice-involved youth. Currently, she is investigating the weight of pretrial risk assessment matrices across 36 different counties in Indiana. Beyond her academic and research endeavors, Autumn enjoys reading mystery books and spending time with her dogs, Sherlock and Macky. 

Autumn Kent 

Madeline (Maddie) McPherson is a fifth-year doctoral student in Criminology, Law & Society at George Mason University. She works part-time in the EJS Lab working on projects related to the nexus of justice involvement and behavioral health. Maddie also assists with report and article preparation. Prior to attending Mason, Maddie worked in public policy and legislative affairs for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Her research interests relate to criminal justice administration and crime policy in corrections and reentry. Originally from Hershey, Pennsylvania, Maddie is a dedicated bibliophile and proud cat mom. 

Madeline McPherson 


Mindy Thai is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at George Mason University. Her research interests include corrections, interstate prisoners, and policing. Currently, she is working on projects related to disparities in probation pathways and the impact of media framing on pretrial perceptions. Outside of her academic endeavors, Mindy enjoys watching true crime documentaries and reading. 

Mindy Thai


Hrishi is pursuing his master’s degree in Computer Science at George Mason University. His work in the EJS lab focuses on designing and engineering scripts in the R programming language. This work has most recently been applied to pretrial risk assessment validations. Prior to his involvement in the EJS lab, he worked as a Software Engineer in the field of Web Technologies and Machine Learning. His research interests mainly include Machine Learning and Deep Learning, and Hrishi is aiming for a career as a Machine Learning Engineer. In his spare time, he enjoys playing badminton, sketching, and watching Sci-Fi movies. His favorite movie franchise is Marvel.  

Hrishikesh Vibhute 


Jae-lynn Tavarez-Brown

Jae-lynn is currently a graduate student at George Mason University working on her Master of Arts in Anthropology and Sociology as well as a certificate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She currently holds a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University in Anthropology and Sociology with a double minor in History and African and African American Studies. As a lab member at EJS, she works with on the MacArthur team conducting qualitative interviews of justice-involved people to assess experiences and perceptions of the pretrial period. Her research interests explore the hegemonic structures upholding the U.S. carceral system and ethnography as a method to highlight justice-involved people’s lived experiences. Jae-lynn is proud to be a passionate abolitionist and an advocate for radical empathy. Her favorite quote is “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Lilla Watson

Affiliate Lab Members

Ashley Rodriguez 

Ashley E. Rodriguez is a first-year criminology doctoral student at the Pennsylvania State University and an affiliate EJS Lab member. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University (GMU). Her research interests focus on judicial decision-making, pretrial processing and outcomes, disparities in the criminal justice system, and undocumented immigrant populations. Previously as an EJS Lab member, Ashley assisted with projects on systemic racism in the criminal justice system, pretrial risk assessment validations, pretrial sanctions and incentives, and racial disparities in pretrial supervision. Outside of the EJS Lab, Ashley participated in a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the University of South Carolina where she studied disparities in virtual bond hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, GMU’s Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities and Research (OSCAR) funded Ashley’s study on risk perception and communication from the perspective of pretrial court actors. 

Carmen L. Diaz, M.S., is a third-year doctoral student, associate instructor, and research assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University. She earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Public Safety from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. As an affiliate member of the EJS Lab, Carmen has collaborated on research investigating the effects of pretrial risk assessments in practice. Broadly, her research interests include issues related to race, ethnicity, and class in the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on pretrial and prosecutorial decision making. Outside of the EJS lab Carmen works with the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney (Indiana) to examine racial and ethnic disparities in prosecutorial decision-making. Her recent work has appeared in the Journal of Criminal Justice, the Journal of Experimental Criminology, and the Federal Sentencing Reporter. 

Carmen Diaz 

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Spencer G. Lawson, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral Sr. Research Scientist in the Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center (iSPARC) at UMass Chan Medical School and an Instructor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Dr. Lawson is also an affiliate member of the EJS Lab. He received a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Dr. Lawson’s research considers the practical implications for managing and preventing behavioral health conditions among adults with criminal-legal involvement and the safety and wellness of criminal-legal professionals. More recently, his research agenda has been driven by questions surrounding stress and suicide within criminal-legal systems. His recent work has appeared in Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Criminology & Public Policy, American Journal of Criminal Justice, and BMC Psychiatry. Dr. Lawson has used sophisticated quantitative strategies (e.g., meta-analysis, propensity score analysis, and multi-level modeling) and qualitative approaches (e.g., narrative inquiry and constant comparative analysis) in his research. 

Spencer Lawson 

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Peyton Frye recently graduated from NC State University with a B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Business IT where she worked in psychology research as an undergraduate research assistant. Now, she is working as the project coordinator for a MacArthur-funded project in the EJS lab focusing on assessing defendants' perceptions of their own criminogenic risks, needs, and protective factors in the pretrial context. Outside of the EJS lab, Peyton works as a project coordinator for a NIMH grant at Meredith College focusing on improving social support in prenatal care for pregnant people. In her spare time, Peyton enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, traveling, binging her favorite comfort shows, reading, yoga, and hiking. 

Peyton Frye


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Zainab Bakarr Kamara 

Zainab is a second-year doctoral student in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. Her research interests are hate crimes, victimization, mental health, ethnoracial violence, policing, social movements, and comparative research. She is currently working on research on hate crime victimization in the Hate Crime Research and Policy Institute and previously worked on early intervention criminal justice programs in the Early Justice Strategies Lab and research on cybercrime victimization. She earned her Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution also at George Mason University where her studies focused on ethnic conflict, inequality, and power. She has nearly a decade of experience providing mental health services to clients with a history of trauma and substance use disorders in community, hospital, and school settings. She also has experience traveling abroad investigating ethnoracial discrimination and community conflicts in Brazil, Malta, and Northern Ireland.

Weiyu Zhou 

Weiyu Zhou is a recent graduate from the Statistical Science doctoral program at George Mason University, focusing on developing innovative statistical methods for spatial analyses. During his time at EJS lab, he worked on an evaluation of the Striving to Achieve Recovery Commencement (STAR) 360 program, which operates under the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office and provides medication assisted treatment (MAT) and reentry support to individuals in the Adult Detention Center who screen positive for opioid use and other substance use disorders. This study involved conducting a retrospective evaluation of the STAR 360 program on fatal overdose and other community outcomes. He has two cats, and he likes dancing. 

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