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Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

Psychology Department

Faculty Research Interests


Aloni-2016Maya Aloni, Ph.D.

I earned my Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, and my Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Toledo. My research interests are in the areas of close romantic relationships and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. In the area of close relationships I focus on people’s impressions of romantic partners in the context of dating. In another line of research I study people’s purchasing preferences following romantic rejection. I also conduct research related to teaching and learning. This research has focused on teaching strategies for improving the quality of discussions both within the classroom and in online discussion boards. To learn more about my research you can visit my lab website: https://sites.wcsu.edu/relationshipresearch/

I teach Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology of Personality, Advanced Personality-Social Psychology, The Psychology of Close Relationships and the Orientation to the Psychology Major course.



Daniel W. Barrett, Ph.D.

I earned my Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Arizona State University and served as a post-doctoral fellow in health communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.  My primary research interests are persuasion, social influence, and cross-cultural psychology.  I investigate how people assess the validity of persuasive messages (i.e., why do we accept or reject messages?), how norms impact behavior, and how cultural affects the social influence process.  I recently published a social psychology textbook Social Psychology:  Core Concepts and Emerging Trends with Sage Publications.  I co-edited a book on social influence and culture called The Practice of Social Influence in Multiple Cultures.  At WCSU I have taught Introduction to Psychology, Personality Psychology, Social Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Social Psychology and the Law, Psychology of Persuasion, Psychology of Good and Evil, and the Advanced Seminar in Social Psychology.  In my spare time I dabble in art and woodworking.

Robin Gustafson, Ph.D.

I have a Ph.D. in Human Cognition and Learning from Columbia University. I usually teach Psychology of Cognition, Experimental Psychology, and Applied Multivariate Statistics.

My research interests include instructional media effects, math learning, the ecological and embodied context of cognition, and the relationship between neural network and algorithmic learning strategies in humans and machines.




Nicholas T. Gallucci, Ph.D.

My area of specialization is clinical psychology and my areas of interest include psychological assessment, substance abuse counseling and assessment, sport psychology, and gifted children. I welcome student participation in my research projects in these areas.

Among the courses that I teach are Community Psychology and Substance Abuse Counseling: Applied Counseling. These courses have practicum requirements and interested students should plan their schedules to accommodate these placements.


Rondall Khoo, Ph.D.

I completed my graduate training in experimental/cognitive psychology with specialties in attention, reasoning, problem solving, statistics, human factors, and human computer interactions. My research interests are in thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and visual and auditory perception. I teach Introductory Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, Psychological Statistics, Experimental Psychology, Psychology of Perception, Psychology of Cognition, and Senior Seminar. My interests outside of school include music, audio equipment, photography and video, bad cartoons and movies, traveling, fantasy books, and science fiction books.

Jess Kraybill, Ph.D.

I have a Ph.D. in Developmental and Biological Psychology from Virginia Tech. My research interests include examining individual differences in executive functioning abilities during the transition from more external (i.e., parent-based) to more internal means of regulating behavior in early childhood.

I teach Introductory Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, Psychological Statistics, Developmental Psychology, and Adolescent Psychology. In the classroom, I aim to be the sort of professor that I would want to have – engaged, inspired, authentic, and passionate. I love introducing students to new ideas and experiences and especially enjoy helping students learn more effective and efficient ways of studying.


Tara Kuther, Ph.D. 

I earned a PhD Developmental Psychology from Fordham University. My research examines social cognition in adolescence and adulthood, specifically, influences on risky activities. I have researched and written about the effects of exposure to violence, moral reasoning, and ethical issues that arise in applied developmental science and teaching.

I write textbooks in developmental psychology (Lifespan Development: Lives in Context, Child and Adolescent Development: Lives in Context, and others) and professional development books for psychology students. (The Psychology Major’s Handbook, Careers in Psychology: Opportunities in a Changing World, and others). 

I teach Child Development (PSY210), Adolescent Development (PSY211), Adult Years (PSY322), Moral Development (PSY346), and Advanced Developmental Psychology (PSY412).

Shane Murphy, Ph.D.

I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University, completed my post-doc at the Medical University of South Carolina, and was the Head of Sport Psychology at the United States Olympic Committee from 1987 to 1994.  I am interested in individual, community, social and global health and performance, and at WCSU I have created courses in health psychology, sport psychology, and the psychology of sustainability.

An active writer in the field of sport psychology, I have written and edited a number of books on sport psychology, including the Oxford handbook of Sport and Performance Psychology, Sport Psychology Interventions, and The Sport Psych Handbook. I serve as Graduate Coordinator for the WCSU M.S. in Addiction Studies. I welcome students who would like to receive mentoring in therapy interventions, substance use counseling, research and literature review.


Lindsay Oberleitner, Ph.D.

I earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Albion College in Albion, Michigan. After completing my PhD I completed a NIDA T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine. Prior to joining WCSU I was faculty at the Yale University School of Medicine and was the Associate Director of a forensic addiction program.

My research interests are in understanding the intersections of substance use disorders and chronic health conditions (e.g., chronic pain and opioid use), including in criminal justice populations. I am also interested in developing treatments that effectively target the role of emotion regulation, trauma, and gender differences in individuals with co-occurring addiction, chronic health conditions, and/or criminal justice involvement.


O'Neill_smallPatricia O’Neill, Ph.D.
I am interested in cognitive psychology and evolutionary psychology. More specifically, my research centers around decision-making, and evolutionary influences on decision making. I explore the types of decisions that people make in hypothetical life-and-death situations. I have published in such journals as Perception and Psychophysics, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Evolution and Human Behavior. I like teaching intro, cognition, perception and experimental psychology. Some day, I hope to offer a course in evolutionary psychology, and I also hope to offer a course on how society has created a mythology of psychology. I am interested in having students work with me on ongoing research projects.


Mary Nelson, Ph.D.
Bernard P. Gee, Ph.D.

I earned bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Biology at San Jose State University, and received my doctorate in Neuroscience at the University of Rochester. Courses routinely taught at WCSU are Introduction to Psychology and Brain and Behavior. My research focuses on investigating the brain circuits and cognitive processes related to vision. Specific studies address various aspects of visual experience, including perception, learning, memory, and eye movements.


Janan Wyatt, Ph.D.

I earned my PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Rhode Island, with a specialty concentration in multicultural psychology. I completed my undergraduate studies at Syracuse University where I majored in Psychology and double-minored in Education and African American Studies. I received my pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training at Yale University, School of Medicine. During my post-doctoral training I secured the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program award.

My program of research focuses on providing efficacious treatment for traditionally underserved and minoritized groups, which is reflected in my clinical practice. As a clinician I have worked with individuals confronting issues such as substance use, mood disorders, interpersonal trauma, pervasive community violence, chronic homelessness, and serious mental illness. I have a specialty interest working with individuals involved in the legal system or who have been most recently released from incarceration. My program of research has focused on substance use in African American communities, and specifically targets increasing treatment utilization, improving outcomes, and expanding access to equitable health services and culturally congruent care.

O'Connor_smallCarol O’Connor
Department Secretary