Professor of Psychology

Hello! I am a Professor of Psychology at Maryville College, as well as a liaison for Maryville College’s campus wide academic partnerships (such as internship sites, research opportunities, and service projects). I regularly teach Child Development, Psychology of Culturally Diverse and Exceptional Children, International Child Welfare, Contemporary & Professional Issues in Psychology, and Introductory Psychology. I believe strongly that we learn through direct experience so many of my classes require engagement with children, families, and service providers across a variety of settings.


My early research focused on human-animal interaction, especially related to the use of service dogs for children with autism. I work closely with the University of Tennessee’s Human and Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT) program that brings human-animal interaction into many places including schools, courtrooms, and hospitals. I focus my professional interests on serving children who have experienced trauma. Working with the Tennessee Department of Education, I am a Building Strong Brains trainer regarding the neurological, social, emotional, and behavioral effects of child trauma. I am interested in system wide efforts to create trauma-sensitive schools and communities. I also teach a class on International Child Welfare in which I have traveled with students to Africa. Most recently, students studying Child Welfare travel with me to Switzerland to explore the role of the United Nations, international aid, and Swiss culture.


I was born in Switzerland and lived in England before relocating to California. I earned my BA in Psychology from California State, Sonoma, a MA in Psychology from California State University, Sacramento, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Tennessee. I joined the Maryville College faculty in 2000.