Back to Faculty Directory

Office Hours

T 09:40 AM-11:40 AM
W 01:35 PM-02:35 PM
R 09:40 AM-11:40 AM

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”.

Degree Program University
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

Year Title University
2013 - 2016 Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Colby-Sawyer College
2010 - 2013 Instructor University of Maine

Current Research

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
    2017
  • Association of maternal and infant variations in PNOC and COMT genes with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome severity
    The American Journal on Addictions, vol. 26
    2016
  • Development of auditory event-related potentials in infants prenatally exposed to methadone
    Developmental Psychobiology, vol. 56
    2014

Presentations

  • An analysis of maternal parenting styles in Orange is the New Black
    2016
    Northeast Popular/American Culture Association, Keene, New Hampshire
  • Association of variants in COMT and PNOC genes with Noenal Abstinence Syndrome outcomes
    2016
    Pediatric Academic Society, Baltimore, Maryland
  • COMT allelic variation and sleep organization in human neonatal opioid withdrawal
    2016
    International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society, Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Oxytocin response to infant stimulation is impaired in opioid dependent mothers
    2016
    Maine Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, Bar Harbor, Maine