Research Interests

My research explores the intellectual and emotional development of college-age individuals. I am interested in questions about how to best understand and maximize the potential of this developmental period through projects that explicitly examine various aspects of college pedagogy and how it affects both the learning and emotional development of college students.

Projects currently underway:

—Existing research suggests that students benefit from working with and learning from peers. I am comparing students’ performance on quizzes exploring the understanding of primary research articles when they take those quizzes individually or with another student in the class.
—Research on academic dishonesty among college students has commonly surveyed students about whether they had engaged in various categories of dishonest behavior. In coordination with alumnae Anne Zapczynski, who developed a new type of survey in which participants read short scenarios about Sally and her friends engaging in various academically dishonest behaviors and then had to make decisions about the dishonesty portrayed, we are finding that students typically have a very different idea of what constitutes academic dishonesty than professors or even fellow students on the Honor Court.
—In earlier collaboration with Jessica Sommerville (University of Washington), we found that preschool children have a particular pattern of mis-remembering who did what during a joint activity and that this mis-remembering can improve longer-term learning. I am currently examining if this pattern of mis-remembering also exists in college-age adults.
—An exploration of immersive learning activities by studying the ways and the extent to which Centenary’s May Module transforms students’ view of themselves and the world around them. The goal of the research project is to explore the role of this type of immersive educational experience in the emotional and intellectual development of late adolescence. I hope to better understand how different types of experiences result in different types of reactions and consequences for student development.

Prior to coming to Centenary, I studied topics more closely related to language understanding in children. In my dissertation, I explored the development of action and motion event understanding by examining the impact of language on the expression of action events, observing how adults and children communicate about motion events in the absence of language.

I am very interested in involving undergraduates in my research program and in supervising students on their own projects. Students who work with me on my research do so at all levels-—from design discussions, to data collection and interpretation, to theoretical discussions of the implications of the work. If you are interested in working on a research project with me, please contact me, email.

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