I regularly teach courses to support both our undergraduate and graduate curricula. In recent years, I have taught the following courses:
Psychology of Adjustment (Psyc 2150) – This course explores the adjustment of children, youth, and families, with particular emphasis placed on factors that may influence this adaptation (e.g., major life stress, poverty, divorce, bereavement, etc.). In addition, we examine approaches to intervention and treatment used to meet the needs of children and families, as well as strategies for the prevention of maladaptation and the promotion of wellness.
Community Psychology (Psyc 2165 / Psyc 3155) – This course is an introduction to Community Psychology. As outlined by the Society for Community Research, community psychologists go beyond a focus on individuals to integrate social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and international influences to promote positive change, health, and empowerment at individual and systemic levels. As we work to understand community psychology and the roles and functions of community psychologists, we consider:
- How this field evolved, its core values and emphases, as well as important concepts
- Relevant social and contextual issues for viewing community psychology in context (e.g., poverty)
- Applications of community psychology, in such areas as program evaluation, prevention, intervention, wellness promotion, and policy.
Senior Seminar (Psyc 4650) – Human Adaptation – The Adjustment of Children and Families – The Senior Seminar is one of the Psychology Department’s capstone courses for undergraduates. It is designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate information from prior classes, refine critical thinking skills, and improve written and oral communication. This Senior Seminar course provides an overview of major theories, constructs, and findings relevant to the adjustment of children, youth, and families. While it is not possible to cover the diverse content across different domains in this vast area exhaustively (or even adequately – in fact, there are multiple volumes dedicated to many of the theories, constructs, and ideas we will consider) in a semester-long class, we will highlight selected content and place particular emphasis on factors that may influence adaptation (e.g., major life stress, poverty, divorce, bereavement, etc.). We will work to explore the ‘real world’ relevance of theory, concepts, and research findings and, critically, how they might relate to approaches to intervention and treatment used to meet the needs of children and families, as well as strategies for the prevention of maladaptation and the promotion of wellness.
Developmental Psychology (Cross-listed: Psyc 6120 / Psyc 8099) – This course provides an overview of major theories, constructs, and findings in developmental psychology, using a lifespan approach. While it is not possible to cover the diverse content across different domains in this vast area exhaustively (or even adequately – in fact, there are multiple volumes dedicated to many of the theories, constructs, and ideas we will consider) in a semester-long class, we will highlight content and domains of central relevance across major developmental periods. That is, the course is organized ‘developmentally’ such that, after considering some key theoretical frameworks and constructs, we will discuss infancy, toddlerhood and early childhood, childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, and adulthood and aging in turn. Although we may read about or emphasize a particular area or idea in one period of development (e.g., childhood), we will also consider its ongoing (or varying) relevance in other periods via our class discussions. Moreover, in our discussions, we will also explore the “real world” relevance and application of developmental concepts. Primary course objectives include: (1) building knowledge related to core developmental theory, content, and processes; (2) increasing capacity to consider, frame, and draw on developmental research; and (3) fostering an understanding of the applicability of this content in multiple settings.
Applied Developmental Psychology : Topics in Developmental Psychology/Topics in Psychology (Cross-listed: Psyc 6020 and Psyc 8099) – This course explores the “real world” relevance and application of developmental concepts. With an emphasis on children and families, we will address some foundation-laying background material in developmental psychology, then examine a range of factors, conditions, or experiences that may influence youngsters’ developmental trajectories. A final unit will consider how developmental research can inform intervention and prevention efforts, as well as the policy applications of developmental knowledge. Primary course objectives include conveying core developmental content and processes and fostering an understanding of their applicability in multiple settings.
Personality Assessment (Psyc 6142/8142 and 6142L/8142L, i.e., course and lab) – In this course students learn to select, administer, score, and interpret individually-administered personality assessment instruments. We address both theoretical and applied issues in the field, with an over-arching course goal of providing preparation for the day-to-day demands of your clinical practica and later professional experiences. We explore a range of instruments, both objective and projective, and consider their development, uses, limits, strengths and weaknesses. The major foci of the course include: a) developing skill in selecting test batteries that best address given referral questions; b) demonstrating reliable, competent administration, scoring, and interpretation of some of the most prominent measures of personality assessment (i.e., MMPI-2, Rorschach, and TAT); c) analyzing and using behavioral observations, influential non-test factors, and collateral information (when relevant) in generating hypotheses and synthesizing data; d) considering cultural factors, broadly defined, and their relevance to personality assessment; e) writing clear, well-integrated (i.e., incorporating test data, clinical observations, etc.) reports; and f) understanding methods of providing practical feedback to clients and referral sources.
I also regularly serve as a co-instructor for our graduate community practica:
Research Practicum in Community Psychology (Psyc 8355)
Practicum in Community Psychology (Psyc 8455)