I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH. After graduation, I entered a Developmental Psychology PhD program at the University of Maine-Orono where I studied the effects of prenatal methadone exposure on maternal-infant dyads. Prior to joining the Siena faculty, I was a visiting assistant professor for three years at another small, liberal arts college, Colby-Sawyer College, in New London, NH. Though my educational and career experiences have taken me to the mid-West and New England, I am a native of the mid-Atlantic region as I was born and raised in Allentown, PA. I’m thrilled my career trajectory has finally brought me “home”.
|Ph.D.||Developmental Psychology||University of Maine|
|B.A.||Psychology, English||Wittenberg University|
My Siena Experience
My Teaching Philosophy
My teaching philosophy focuses on the idea that psychology is an interdisciplinary, evidenced-based science with real-world application. In my classes, I work to help my students avoid common anecdotal misconceptions that plague public opinion regarding psychology and to debunk the view that psychology is a “soft science”. These goals are particularly important in my developmental courses because many people hold strong “gut” opinions and stereotypes about child and adolescent developmental processes that are not supported by research. Students in my classes learn to distinguish high-quality, credible sources based on research from anecdotal opinion pieces written by non-experts. Together, my students and I also grapple with controversies within the field of developmental psychology as we work to accept the ambiguous nature and many gray areas that exist when attempting to find solutions for real-world problems.
What I Love About Siena
The people. My students, colleagues, and the staff are wonderful. I love that my classes are small enough that I can learn everyone’s name and at least a little bit about each student over the course of a semester. I find myself frequently smiling as I walk to my car in the evening thinking about an awesome exchange of ideas I had with students that spilled over from class into an office hour. I value that my colleagues are overwhelmingly supportive of my teaching and research endeavors and I get excited to hear about the fascinating research and creative work they are doing themselves.
My Favorite Courses to Teach
While my developmental courses are close to my heart, I adore teaching Introduction to Psychology and Research Methods. I find teaching students about the breadth of our science as well as the tools we use to conduct our research incredibly rewarding.
My Professional Experience
|2013 - 2016||Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology||Colby-Sawyer College|
|2010 - 2013||Instructor||University of Maine|
Broadly defined, my research program focuses on socioemotional development, and more specifically, attachment relationships. Currently I am focused on conditions of adversity influencing the early maternal-infant attachment mechanism in samples of women in methadone maintenance treatment and their infants with prenatal methadone and polysubstance exposures. This research area brings together several psychological sub-disciplines including biological/physiological, social, clinical, and developmental.
Articles & Book Reviews
- Neonatal abstinence syndrome: Neurobehavior at 6 weeks of age in infants with or without pharmacological treatment for withdrawal
Developmental Psychobiology, vol. 59
- Association of maternal and infant variations in PNOC and COMT genes with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome severity
The American Journal on Addictions, vol. 26
- Development of auditory event-related potentials in infants prenatally exposed to methadone
Developmental Psychobiology, vol. 56
- An analysis of maternal parenting styles in Orange is the New Black
Northeast Popular/American Culture Association, Keene, New Hampshire
- Association of variants in COMT and PNOC genes with Noenal Abstinence Syndrome outcomes
Pediatric Academic Society, Baltimore, Maryland
- COMT allelic variation and sleep organization in human neonatal opioid withdrawal
International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society, Bar Harbor, Maine
- Oxytocin response to infant stimulation is impaired in opioid dependent mothers
Maine Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, Bar Harbor, Maine