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.

PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE:

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.

BACKGROUND

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.