I've always found human behavior interesting and have always sought to understand why people act as they do. As an undergraduate, I wasn't confident about what I wanted to pursue as a career, but I found my job working in a nursing home fascinating. I wondered what the Parkison's patient was thinking and feeling as he sat there unable to move. I wondered why the Alzheimer's patient couldn't remember her spouse of 50 years, but could play that Beethoven piece flawlessly from memory. I wondered how some medications could cause memory impairment, yet other medications seemed to slow the progression of cognitive decline. I found that I could make a career out of asking such questions by majoring in psychology. After graduate school, I immediately started teaching at Monmouth College. I loved the familial atmosphere on the campus when I first visited; it is this familial atmosphere that allows me to interact with and learn from other colleagues, staff, and students every day.
Most of my research interests come from interesting correlations discussed in the news media. Using a rat model, some of my recent research has focused on investigating the potential effects of acute or chronic exposure to low doses of herbicides/pesticides on cognition and behavior. Currently, I am also investigating the possible developmental cognitive and behavioral effects of exposure to medications during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, or during delivery.
Selected Research and/or Creative Work:
Aside from my teaching and research, I am also the advisor for students interested in pursuing Occupational Therapy and other health careers through the Psychology or Biopsychology major. Furthermore, I am the current coordinator of the Monmouth College Honors Program.
Courses Taught: Education:
PSYC-243 Mind, Brain, and Behavior
PSYC-303 Drugs and Behavior
PSYC-304 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC-215 Learning and Motivation
HONR-110 Honors I
HONR-310 Scholarship, Service and Leadership
HONR-410 Honors II: Capstone
B.S. Western Illinois University 2000
M.S. Western Illinois University 2003
Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia 2007