Professor and Chair, Psychology
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 patient with Parkinson’s disease was thinking and feeling as he sat unable to move. I wondered why the patient with Alzheimer’s disease 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. 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. I am also investigating the possible developmental cognitive and behavioral effects of exposure to medications during the third trimester of pregnancy or during delivery.
B.S. – Western Illinois University, 2000
M.S. – Western Illinois University, 2003
Ph.D. – University of Missouri-Columbia, 2007
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
Aside from my teaching and research, I am the adviser for students interested in pursuing occupational therapy and other health careers through the psychology or biopsychology majors. I am also the coordinator of the Monmouth Honors Program.