- Associate Professor of Psychology and Department Chair
- Office location: Harrington-Peachtree building, Room HP-123
- Office phone: 864.833.8345
- Teaching fields: Behavioral Neuroscience, Experimental Design, and Psychopharmacology.
- Research interests: Behavioral neuroscience, behavioral pharmacology, behavioral and neurobiological components of social defeat
I joined the faculty in 2004 as an experimental psychologist specializing in the area of behavioral neuroscience, the study of the biological basis behavior and mental processes. I graduated from PC with a B.S. in Psychology and completed my M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology in the Neuroscience and Behavior program at University of Georgia. I feel very fortunate to return to PC as a faculty member. It is a pleasure to teach our enthusiastic students and to work with such talented and dedicated colleagues.
Most of the courses that I teach are closely related to my area of specialization. I teach Physiological Psychology, Drugs and Behavior, Experimental Study of Behavior, and Introductory Psychology. I’m considering offering a few new courses in the near future…maybe Hormones and Behavior?
My current research interest is the investigation of the social memory of defeated male Syrian hamsters. This line of research has led to the construction of a new apparatus to assess memory of the defeat experience and the automation of data collection. My future plans include investigating the neurobiology of learned avoidance in defeated hamsters. I actively encourage students to participate in research and welcome students to join my research projects. Students are also encouraged to present their research at our Honors Day Symposium and regional conferences. I think what I enjoy most about research is the interaction that I have with the students. I love being part of this hands-on learning experience that allows students to apply what they have learned and to build self-confidence.
My husband (Fernando) is a retired psychology professor and researcher, so much our “downtime” includes discussing teaching and research. It’s a lot more fun than it may sound! Our son, Matthew, attends middle school in Clinton. Fernando, Matthew, and Moxie (our four-legged child) keep me busy and extremely happy.
Our students quickly learn that student-faculty interactions and relationships are very important to our department members. If you have any questions about the major or about PC, don’t hesitate to contact me.