I am a licensed Counseling Psychologist and full-time, residential faculty member. I have a strong background in both research and practice. My specialty areas are gender, diversity, and health psychology. Counseling psychology as a discipline was developed as veterans were returning home after the Vietnam War with a new set of symptoms identified as "shell shock" (now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a way to specialize in assisting individuals with necessary adjustments in living (which of course does not just relate to individuals returning from combat, but also individuals dealing with significant relationship adjustments such as divorce, identity transitions, and all of the other changes that life brings). Counseling psychologists have training extremely similar to clinical psychologists, but our focus is more on adjustment issues and creating happy, meaningful lives; versus treating psychopathology per se. Counseling psychologists also explicitly have a role in working towards social justice. I particularly enjoy teaching Abnormal Psychology (PSY 266) and breaking down stereotypes that students have about mental health and mental illness to challenge the paradigm that reinforces the stigma around mental suffering. I take the same approach in Psychology of Gender (PSY 235) in terms of critical analysis of the current paradigm of binary gender, the suffering that it causes, and exploring alternative paradigms that support the well-being and empowerment of all humans.
My teaching style is casual, friendly, but firm in terms of structure and deadlines. I believe that it is my job as a professor to assist students in learning how to succeed in college, as well as to engage students in all of the aspects of Psychology that are personally meaningful to them. I believe that people learn best when they feel supported, connected, and challenged to do just a little more than what they thought was possible. Since I teach entirely online (even prior to the pandemic), I am always interested in finding innovative and effective ways to engage students online and create the class community that we all need to succeed.
My passions outside of teaching and Psychology include vegetable gardening, dogs (well, my dog specifically, but I am a serious dog person), politics, and activism around social justice issues. A little known fact about me: I was determined to either get a law degree in Social Justice or a PhD in Psychology. I could have gone either way. My father (an attorney) said that I would live at home, with my parents, forever if I did the JD because all of the issues I wanted to work on would be pro bono. So off to graduate school I went! I still think about that law degree....maybe after retirement!
2018 CATS (Classroom Assessment Technique) of the month, Will a Peer Sample Motivate Growth?
2017 CATS of the Month, Learning Inquiry Grant: Who stays, who doesn't and why?: A survival analysis of BSCS students in non-prerequisite required courses.
2016 CATS of the Month, Critical Thinking about Invisible Histories
2014 Diversity Advisory Council Award of Excellence, In recognition for developing the ADA Task Force, which is now called the EMpower Committee to address the physical access limitations on the EMCC campus and give a voice to individuals with disabilities to create a more inclusive college environment for students and employees.
Higher Learning Commission's (HLC) Student Success Initiative. Invited participant in the year-long Institute for studying factors important to college student retention and persistence.