Stanford University

Faculty and Staff


Jeremy Bailenson

Jeremy Bailenson, Founding Director

Thomas More Storke Professor of Communication

CV VHIL Publications

Jeremy Bailenson is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Thomas More Storke Professor in the Department of Communication, a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, Faculty Director of Stanford’s Digital Learning Forum, and a Faculty Leader at Stanford’s Center for Longevity. He earned a B.A. cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1994 and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Northwestern University in 1999. He spent four years at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then an Assistant Research Professor.

Bailenson studies the psychology of Virtual Reality (VR), in particular how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others.  His lab builds and studies systems that allow people to meet in virtual space, and explores the changes in the nature of social interaction. His most recent research focuses on how VR can transform education, environmental conservation, empathy, and health.

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Tobin Asher

Tobin Asher, Lab Manager

Tobin Asher earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Stanford in June 2016. His initial interest in VR was immersive journalism as way of making people feel closer to seemingly distant topics. Tobin helps facilitate VHIL's research projects, coordinates lab logistics and outreach, and maintains the lab's software and hardware. He also helps program virtual worlds, edit video, and compose scores for various VR experiences.

Shawnee Baughman

Shawnee Baughman, Director of Operations

VHIL Publications

Shawnee Baughman earned her BA and MA degrees in Communication from Stanford in 2014. Her research focused on using virtual reality to encourage helping behaviors. Shawnee's Honors Thesis, "Virtual Superheros: Using Superpowers in Virtual Reality to Encourage Prosocial Behavior" was published in PLOS ONE in 2013. As the lab manager, Shawnee helps facilitate the lab's research projects, maintains and upgrades the lab's VR equipment and software, and handles outreach and communication, sharing the lab's work with media and industry leaders. Since becoming lab manager in September 2014, she has conducted over 500 tours at VHIL for thousands of attendees.

Elise Ogle

Elise Ogle, Project Manager

VHIL Publications

Elise Ogle graduated from Stanford with her Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Communication in June 2015. Her VHIL research of past and present focuses on using VR to invoke feelings of empathy for others, as well as using VR to design immersive, educational narratives that raise awareness about ocean acidification. Her lab work involves managing projects and developers, designing VR simulations, 3D modeling, and voice acting.

John J. Walker

John J. Walker, Web Admin

John J. Walker earned an MA degree in Communication from Stanford  and MS and BS degrees in Computer Science from the University of California, Riverside. He has been in charge of the lab's website since its inception. Along with his website development work within the Dept. of Communication he aspires to utilize software and technology to improve social science research.