I have adopted the “Big Picture” approach to teaching. It stems from an intellectual curiosity about how knowledge in one subfield within psychology complements and enhances our understanding of other fields with the discipline. While a psychologist may have one or several specialties, ultimately our mission is to provide a general explanation of psychological life that can be applied to all aspects of our lives. Thus, each course provides a piece to the “grand puzzle” which will help unlock the mystery of human nature. I encourage students to travel this intellectual path with me as we seek to understand the specifics of course material and their connection to the “Big Picture.”
I was trained as a developmental Psychologist. Developmental theory provides the foundation of my thinking and gives structure to my inquiry into new subject matter within psychology. I am curious about how developmental forces shape human behavior, particularly as they influence the development of mental disorder and health-related activity. I am curious about how parenting styles and early childhood experience help form the attitudes, values, and actions which first appear in adolescence and consolidated in early adulthood. Also, once established and if essential for psychological well-being, how can these behaviors be changed.
- Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison