Below you will find course descriptions for classes that I regularly teach. I have also mentored students through Independent Study (PSYC 391-392) projects, Advanced Research (PSYC 491-492), Honors Theses (PSYC 495-496), and Lafayette’s EXCEL Scholars Program. Some of these students have received Student Research Grants from Lafayette to support their work and/or have presented their findings at Lafayette’s Student Research Poster Session, the annual Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) Undergraduate Psychology and Neuroscience Conference, or professional conferences such as the annual meetings of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) or Eastern Psychological Association (EPA). I am proud to have been nominated for multiple teaching and advising awards at Lafayette and to have received funding for my pedagogy in the form of a Teaching with Technology grant. I regularly participate in workshops and seminars to keep my teaching skills sharp.

First-Year Seminar: Psychology and the Media (FYS 122)

Media have powerful effects on our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. In turn, psychology can help us understand how we consume and relate to the media. This seminar introduces students to the wide variety of ways in which media and psychology interact, while meeting the central goal of the First-Year Seminar Program: “to introduce students to intellectual inquiry through engaging them as thinkers, speakers, and writers.” Selected topics include advertising and persuasion, mobile health, news coverage of psychology-related stories, media depictions of violence, love and attraction, and how psychopathology is (mis)portrayed in the media. The central purpose of this course is to encourage students to become “media literate,” particularly with respect to psychological principles, topics, and issues. Click here for a profile of this course and a detailed description of Lafayette’s First-Year Seminar Program, posted on Lafayette’s website in December 2018.

Introduction to Psychological Science (PSYC 110)

The goal of this course is to provide a broad survey of the field of psychology, by introducing students to key theories, questions, methodologies, and empirical findings in the field. The course covers the scientific study of human behavior across many levels (ranging from neurochemical to societal). Specific topics include basic research methods in social science; the biological and physiological underpinnings of sensation, thought, and behavior; basic psychological principles that underlie learning, motivation, thought, behavior, and our social interactions; development across the lifespan; and the psychological disorders and treatment of mental health problems. Secondary goals of this course include learning about the ways in which psychological principles are at work in our day-to-day lives and becoming an educated and critical consumer of scientific media.

Psychological Diagnoses (PSYC 232)

This course provides students with a general introduction to the study of psychopathology.  We review the etiology, symptomatology, and empirically-supported treatment of major psychological disorders and outline diagnostic frameworks and theoretical perspectives in the field. We also cover the empirical bases of current knowledge of psychopathology and its treatment and discuss current ethical issues and controversies in the field. In addition to a standard text, case studies are used to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment of abnormal behavior. The influence of societal values, culture, and historical context in defining psychopathology and its treatment are discussed throughout the course.

Clinical Psychology with Lab (PSYC 329 & PSYC 329L)

This course provides an advanced study of how clinical psychologists ethically and effectively assess, research, and treat psychological diagnoses. This is a laboratory course, in which students will both learn about the kinds of questions and analyze the kinds of data that clinical scientists and practitioners do. Specific topics include the process of psychosocial treatment development, cultural competence in clinical science, common research strategies and data analytic techniques (e.g., qualitative research, single-case design, pilot studies, randomized controlled trials, ecological momentary assessment and intervention), ethical considerations, and future trends in clinical psychology research. The objectives of this course are to familiarize students with common clinical psychology research methods, to foster understanding of how research informs knowledge about psychological diagnoses and treatments, and to provide students hands-on exposure to selected research techniques, against a backdrop of ethical, culturally-competent practice.

Mood Disorders (PSYC 334)

This course provides students with an in-depth, detailed understanding of the symptomatology, etiology, and treatment of unipolar depression and bipolar disorders. The class takes a biopsychosocial approach to understanding how mood disorders develop and how they are effectively treated. We focus our overview on current topics of interest in the field, by discussing recent studies highlighting novel, cutting-edge research and treatment paradigms. Key topics such as comorbidity, diversity and cultural considerations, and suicide are explored. Attention is also devoted to current controversies in the field (e.g., What is behind the apparent recent epidemic of pediatric bipolar disorder? Does long-term maintenance treatment with psychotropic medication result in worse overall outcomes? Can suicide be contagious?)

Practicum in Psychology (PSYC 342-343)

Practicum in Psychology is an experience-based, service-learning course. Students volunteer in a self-selected field setting (i.e., an internship) that matches their individual interests. Coursework and individualized instruction emphasize development of professional vocational skills and the constructive resolution of commonly encountered professional problems. Specific learning objectives include: completing a semester-long internship in a work environment of students’ choosing; identifying the major areas of research and practice in applied psychology; understanding the fundamental goals, methods, and challenges of conducting empirical research to address practical problems in psychology; understanding the fundamental methods and challenges of applying evidence from psychological research discussed in coursework toward professional practices; developing self-directed work and academic skills; and developing skills and strategies for effectively addressing common challenges encountered in professional workplaces.

With student Leslie Villaverde (’18) at the 2018 LVAIC Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference

Me with Natalie Cardenas – who was my student, then my RA, & eventually my Excel Scholar – at the 2017 Posse Scholar graduation

Volleyball Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night, November, 2019

My Fall 2019 FYS 122 class at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

My honors student Julia Crawford (’19) presents her thesis work on a therapeutic coloring intervention at the 2019 Lafayette Student Research Poster Session

Me with two sections of my FYS class on a 2018 field trip to New York City

Psychology & the Media students Rannie Peng (’22) & Mouy An (’22) test out some interactive video games at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY