Lab

Meet the strong, sharp, and spry backbone of the Mind-Body Trauma Care Research Team. 

Lab location: Cina Hall 22B/C, Duluth campus

To reach the team, email mindbodylab@umn.edu

The lower lefthand quadrant of the lotus flower in the lab logo, which equates to 2.5 overlapping off-gray, almond-shaped, intersecting abstract lotus petals

Preceded by: Julia Smith, Lexi Asplund

Lab Manager

The lower righthand quadrant of the lotus flower in the lab logo, which equates to 2.5 overlapping off-gray, almond-shaped, intersecting abstract lotus petals

Preceded by: Kelsey Dietrich, Linda Zheng

Research Team Coordinator

Research Team Members

A selection of current projects is listed below each team member's bio.

Ashley Baumann portrait, a person wearing a black and white patterned shirt with an open black blazer. Ashley has long brown wavy hair parted to one side and their hair tucked behind one ear. Ashley is facing forward and smiling with visible teeth and has two dimples. Ashley has light to medium skin tones and is front of a gray background.

Ashley Baumann

Postgraduate Research Assistant

Ashley Baumann earned her BA in psychology at Minnesota State University (2019), Mankato and her Master of Arts in Psychological Science (experimental track) at University of Minnesota, Duluth (2022). Ashley is working full-time as a Research Professional at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. Her research interests include complementary and alternative therapies for mental health as well as overall data analysis. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, working on paint by numbers, reading, and cooking.

bauma514@umn.edu

Projects: COVID-related traumatic stress and adjustment in the U.S.; Trauma-sensitive yoga and psychotherapy


Kelsey Dietrich portrait, a person wearing a maroon shirt and a silver locket. She has blue eyes, short brown hair parted to one side, and a light skin tone with rosy cheeks. Kelsey is facing forward with a smile and is front of a light wooden door.

Kelsey Dietrich

Graduate Research Affiliate & Research Mentor

Kelsey Dietrich 🔈 is a Graduate Research Affiliate and Research Mentor for the Mind-Body Trauma Care Lab. She earned her BA in English and Psychology from Bowling Green State University (2021) and MA in Psychological Science (clinical-counseling track) from the University of Minnesota Duluth (2023). Currently, Kelsey is a PhD student in the Clinical Health Psychology program at East Carolina University with a research assistantship in the Stress and Health Lab. Her research interests include mindfulness-based interventions, integrative primary care, resilience and coping related to chronic health conditions, and trauma-sensitive yoga. Kelsey is a 500-hour Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher and Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Facilitator who enjoys guiding sessions in the community. In her free time, she likes to read and play with her puppy, Leo. 

dietr133@d.umn.edu

Projects: Emotional abuse perceptions; Trauma-sensitive yoga and psychotherapy; Trauma-sensitive yoga with First Nations; Mindfulness and professional sports

Mikayla Falteisek portrait

Mikayla Falteisek

Undergraduate Research Assistant & Mindful Mornings Coordinator

Mikayla Falteisek is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota–Duluth. She is majoring in Psychology with minors in Cognitive Science and Early Childhood Studies. In the future, she hopes to continue her education and earn a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her primary research interests include the connections between nature and yoga with Somatic, Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral Therapies, especially in children and adolescents. She has participated in a Community of Practice focusing on deepening a child’s empathy through Indigenous perspectives. When Mikayla is not focusing on academic work, she enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, and working as a barista and behavioral health clinic admin.

falte034@umn.edu

Projects: Trauma-informed weight lifting with residential youth; Trauma-sensitive yoga and dialectical behavioral therapy

Sutapa Goswami portrait, a person wearing a dark blue floral top with dark, long hair parted to one side, length is extending halfway down torso. Sutapa is facing forward, smiling with visible teeth with her head tilting towards the left side on the photo. She has South Asian skin tones, and is in front of a colourful background with light decorations on the ceiling behind her.

Sutapa Goswami

Affiliate Postbaccalaureate Research Assistant

Sutapa Goswami 🔈 recently graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology (with Honours) from the University of Delhi, India. She harbours a keen research interest in understanding the impact of early-life stress and traumatic adversity on the socio-emotional development of children and adolescents. Through pursuing a career in research (as well as clinical practice), she intends to integrate mind-body contemplative practices from the east with the traditional biomedical models to foster a more holistic approach towards psychotherapeutic treatments. Apart from school, she is trained in Kathak (an Indian classical dance form) for 8 years, and enjoys reading, peaceful walks/runs in nature, and music. 


sutapa.gos1209@gmail.com

Projects: Emotional abuse perceptions

Elizabeth Lee portrait, a White person wearing a white square-neck short-sleeved t-shirt with brown, wavy, long hair parted down the middle extended to her chest and bangs covering her forehead.  Elizabeth's body is facing to the right and her head and torso are facing forward, smiling with visible teeth; and is in front of a white background.

Elizabeth Lee

Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Research Mentor, & Research Team Coordinator

Elizabeth Lee 🔉 (she/her) is a 2nd year graduate student at the University of Minnesota Duluth in the Master of Arts in Psychological Science (MAPS) program, counseling/clinical track. Elizabeth graduated from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience. While at the University of Minnesota, she volunteered at the Aurora Center as a direct service advocate for victim/survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual harassment, and stalking. After graduating, she worked for two years at the Avanti Center, a DBT-based youth residential facility for adolescents. Currently, Elizabeth is a clinical intern at Northwood Children’s Services.

Within the lab, Elizabeth is the lead graduate research assistant on her Plan B, Partially-Randomized Preference Trial of Trauma-Informed Weightlifting for Posttraumatic Stress Among Residential Youth, in partnership with Trauma-Informed Weight Lifting (TIWL) and the Center for Trauma and Embodiment. As someone who lifts weights regularly and has a passion for working with youth, this project aligned perfectly with her personal and professional interests. Elizabeth is also assisting on a systematic review of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, funded through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health.

With these experiences, Elizabeth has developed an interest in embodiment-based trauma interventions, mindfulness-based interventions, and TIC. Elizabeth started her journey at the Mind-Body Trauma Care Lab in summer 2021 to expand her research skills and knowledge. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, photography, and staying active. 

leex8075@umn.edu

Projects: Emotional abuse perceptions; Trauma-informed care in healthcare and education settings; Trauma-informed weight lifting with residential youth; Trauma-sensitive yoga and dialectical behavioral therapy

Portrait of Lizzy Nikcevich

Lizzy Nikcevich

Postbaccalaureate Research Assistant

Lizzy graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN with a major in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. Lizzy is originally from Duluth and, post graduation, she is currently a a pediatric and adult psychometrist with MN Epilepsy Group. She is a Research Assistant for the Mind-Body Trauma Care Lab. Her current research interests include trauma-impacted childhood development, human sexuality, attachment styles, and psychopathology as a precipitate of trauma. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, and mindfulness exercises.

nikce005@umn.edu

Projects: Prenatal hot yoga; Voice and psychology

Portrait of Val Niklas

Val Niklas

Postgraduate Research Assistant

Val Niklas (she/her) earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University (Holistic Studies track). She is a 500-hour certified yoga teacher with an interest in yoga therapeutics and trauma-informed yoga therapy. She completed clinical work at a community-based residential program for traumatized youth where she incorporated mindfulness and body-based interventions. As a former intern for JRI’s Center for Trauma and Embodiment, she hopes to continue integrating psychosomatic interventions into her clinical work. Val is interested in research to better understand the benefits or contraindications of mindfulness-based modalities, psychosomatic therapies, and trauma-informed yoga interventions.

nikla007@d.umn.edu

Projects: Trauma-sensitive yoga qualitative interviewing

Portrait of Lindsay Okindo

Lindsay Okindo

McNair Scholar Research Assistant

Lindsay Okindo is a junior at Carleton College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Africana Studies. She hopes to further her education by pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology. Her research interests include the impact of trauma on childhood development and improving access to mental health care, especially for marginalized communities. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and spending time outdoors.

okind010@umn.edu

Projects: Trauma-informed embodiment practices for youth

Julia Smith is wearing her graduation gown posing in front of the lift bridge and holding roses and a teddy bear.

Julia Smith

Affiliate Graduate Research Assistant

Julia Smith is a graduate student at St. Cloud State University - St. Cloud, MN and an alumnus of the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She is currently pursuing a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling where she will later receive her LPCC/LPC. Her (research) interests are the mind-body connection, holistic healing, trauma, and sexual health.

smi00861@d.umn.edu

Projects: Trauma-informed weight lifting audit

Nicole Strumbel portrait, a person wearing a black shirt with long, light colored hair over one shoulder. Nicole is looking towards the front, smiling with visible teeth; has pale Scandinavian skin tone and is in front of a beige background.

Nicole Strumbel

Undergraduate Research Assistant and Lab Manager

Nicole Strumbel 🔈 is an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota - Duluth seeking two bachelor's degrees in Psychology (BAS) and Cognitive Science (BA). She hopes to continue her education in a master's or Ph.D. program in clinical psychology. Her research interests include the physiological effects of stress, mind-body-based care for trauma, stress, depression, and anxiety. In her free time, she enjoys weight-lifting, running, singing, drawing, and writing.

strum031@d.umn.edu

Projects: Trauma-informed weight lifting with residential youth; Trauma-sensitive yoga and psychotherapy; Trauma-sensitive yoga and dialectical behavioral therapy

Reese Wilcox, a person wearing a multi-colored sweater and dark-wash jeans, sits in a chair in a cafe holding a hot cup of coffee. She has chin-length, red hair and European American skin tones. There is a white wall with a closed, white door in the background.

Reese Wilcox

Graduate Research Assistant

Reese Wilcox 🔈 (she/they) is earning her Master's of Psychological Sciences in the Clinical-Counseling track. They are interested in eating disorders, trauma-informed care, and the path to recovery after a traumatic event. 

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls with a Major in Psychology, a minor in Gender Studies, and an emphasis in Social Justice. Reese worked at The Emily Program for a year and a half prior to becoming a student at the University of Minnesota, Duluth which is where their interest in eating disorders originated. 

wilco336@d.umn.edu

Projects: Emotional abuse perceptions; Trauma-sensitive yoga and dialectical behavioral therapy for eating disorders

Rachel Willhite portrait, a person wearing a long, orange, thin-strapped dress and a red beaded choker necklace with long red hair that falls down the back and front bangs that fall just above the eyebrows. Rachel is holding a white cat with brown spots. He is laying on his back and looking up at Rachel, she is looking down at him with a small smile, no teeth showing. She has slightly tanned white skin and is standing on an apartment balcony with trees and grass in the background.

Rachel Willhite

Postbaccalaureate Research Assistant

Rachel Willhite graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Psychology as well as her Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Mathematics. She currently works remotely for a market research insight company called EthniFacts. She hopes to further her education and obtain her PhD in Clinical/Experimental Psychology. Rachel is an Postbaccalaureate Research Assistant for the Mind-Body Trauma Care Lab and hopes to gain insight into different research areas in preparation of graduate school. 

In the past, Rachel has studied psychological safety in the workplace, implicit theories of relationships, as well as assisted in a positive psychology meta-analysis. She has an extensive background in data analysis & statistical methods. Her research interests include improving mental health care, mood disorders, trauma recovery, dream analysis, and the healing properties of psychedelic drugs. She enjoys yoga, reading, cats, traveling, and bowling. 

willh021@d.umn.edu

Projects: Trauma-sensitive yoga and dialectical behavioral therapy

Linda Zheng portrait, a person wearing a black jumpsuit and beige cardigan, black hair parted in the middle and extending a few inches past her shoulders, covering both ears. Linda is facing forward, smiling with visible teeth, crossing her arms, standing next to a fake plant, has East Asian skin tones, and is in front of a solid beige background.

Linda Zheng

Postgraduate Research Assistant and Postgraduate Research Mentor

Linda Zheng 🔈 (she/her) is a Postgraduate Research Assistant and Mentor for the Mind-Body Trauma Care Lab and a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Duluth in the Master of Arts in Psychological Science program (clinical/counseling track). Her Plan B/thesis-equivalent project focused on early maladaptive schemas and coping responses after childhood maltreatment at a child advocacy center. She currently provides psychotherapy to adolescents and adults at Collaboration for Psychological Wellness, as she works toward becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Her practice attracts clients who are navigating adoption traumas, interpersonal and intergenerational traumas, mood disorders, relationship challenges, codependency, and self-esteem difficulties. Outside of service, she enjoys spending time outdoors, drawing, music, cooking, yoga, and reading.

zhen0355@d.umn.edu

Projects: Ecological momentary assessment and adults with autism; Emotional abuse and forensic interviewing; Emotional abuse and physical health; Emotional abuse perceptions; Trauma-sensitive yoga with First Nations

Lab logo, which comprises the words "Mind-Body Trauma Care" written in gently-slanted, black front layered on top of overlapping off-gray, almond-shaped, intersecting petals that form an abstract lotus flower

The Mind-Body Trauma Care Research Team is accepting a Graduate Student Research Assistant for the Fall 2024 cycle. 

In your application, please discuss research interests specific to the lab.

Please note that the lab is currently unable to take in short-term or remote research assistants.