SAFE Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Twilia Wingrove

Dr. Twilia Wingrove, experimental psychology program director and associate professor, Department of Psychology

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient

Project: Gendered Perceptions of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs)

Dr. Twilia Wingrove, Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology, utilized SAFE funding to obtain an expansive sample group for her research project.

“SAFE funding has given me the opportunity to conduct a legally-relevant study with a more diverse sample of jury-eligible adults, rather than all undergraduate college students,” commented Wingrove.

The goal of the research project is to investigate gender stereotypes and whether people evaluate sexual assault cases and nurse credibility differently based on the gender of the complainant and the medical expert.

“Sexual assault is most commonly a crime against women, but reports of sexual assault against men seem to be on the rise. Sexism and gender role stereotypes might lead people to view these cases differently than cases with female complainants. Similarly, nurses are generally expected to be women, and a male nurse might be seen as less credible,” said Wingrove.

Wingrove worked closely with Patricia Ferreira ’21 and Dr. Evelyn Maeder, a professor from Carleton University. Together they collaborated on researching the issue and developing the trial details for the survey.

Ferreira received her masters in Experimental Psychology in May, and was also a SAFE grant recipient. She used SAFE funding to compensate those who participated in the research project. This project also served as a basis for her master thesis revolving around juror’s perceptions of sexual assault nurse examiners.

The sample group was found through Prolific, an online participant recruitment service that offers a nationally representative participant pool. This program aided in providing a variety of responses that were used for their research.

Currently, Wingrove and Ferreria have started their analysis of data collected and will present their findings at the 2022 International Academy of Law and Mental Health conference. They also have a submission under review for the 2022 American Psychology-Law Society conference.


About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:


About the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Appalachian’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,000 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 80 graduate students in three master’s programs (experimental psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management) and the clinical psychology (Psy.D.) doctoral program. Learn more at

Compiled and Written by James Johnston
November 10, 2021
Boone, N.C.


Dr. Twilia Wingrove, Department of Psychology, Photo Provided
Published: Nov 10, 2021 1:19pm