People

Faculty

Katherine Binder

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology; Chair of Psychology and Education

Kathy Binder is keenly interested in how adults with low literacy skills learn to read. She has examined how these readers use various “codes” of language - phonological codes (sounds), orthographic codes (spelling patterns), and morphological codes (roots and affixes). She examines how these codes influence spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension abilities. Binder teaches a CBL course in which her students become adult literacy tutors to better understand readers’ strengths and weaknesses. This work has been funded by the NIH and IES.

Katherine Binder

Mara Breen

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education
Mara Breen

Melissa Burch

Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology and Education

Melissa Burch’s research centers on the development of memory. She has conducted research using behavioral memory tasks with infants, studying the development of autobiographical memory in the context of parent-child conversations, and examining the role of emotion in adults’ autobiographical memory. She is interested in characteristics of narratives for personal stories as well as parent-child book reading interactions.

Melissa Burch

Jane Couperus

Visiting Professor of Psychology and Education

Jane Couperus is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist. Her research focuses on the neurological bases of visual selective attention and visual selective attention development. Her work utilizes event related potentials (i.e. electrical activity in the brain) to examine how we select out relevant visual information while simultaneously filtering out non-relevant information in both children (6-12 years) and adults. Couperus teaches courses in child and adolescent psychology and cognitive neuroscience, and courses that combine the two. She also teaches a course on the neuroscience and psychology of sex and gender.

Jane Couperus

Amber Douglas

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education; Dean of Studies; Director of Student Success Initiatives

Amber Douglas is a licensed clinical psychologist. She teaches courses related to psychological distress, mental health, trauma, resilience and research methods. Her work lies at the intersection of social psychology and clinical psychology, specifically the interactions between social contexts and individual differences. She examines the impact of traumatic stress on cognitive processes, interpersonal health, and mental health in her work. In addition, Douglas investigates how race and other aspects of identity intersect with one’s appraisal and experience of stress, trauma and psychological well-being. Most recently, her work examines the role of psychological distress and resilience in academic contexts.

Photo of Amber Douglas

Corey Flanders

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education

Corey Flanders’ research interests focus on issues of identity and health equity, particularly as they relate to the experiences of queer and trans people. She uses qualitative and quantitative approaches together with community-based research principles to understand how structural, community and individual factors like stigma and social support may impact people’s health and other lived experiences.

Corey Flanders

Danielle Godon-Decoteau

Visiting Lecturer in Psychology and Education

Danielle Godon-Decoteau was trained in clinical psychology and is interested in the mental health and well-being of marginalized communities. One facet of Godon-Decoteau’s research explores the experiences of transracial international adoptees (i.e., people of color who were adopted from abroad by white European American families), which highlights the complexities of race, ethnicity and culture. Her other major area of research is on the relation between internalized racism and Asian American mental health, a largely neglected area in the field of psychology. Danielle utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in her research and hopes to produce scholarship that promotes social justice.

Photo of Danielle Gordon Decoteau

Katherine C. (KC) Haydon

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education

KC Haydon investigates why we behave the way we do in our closest relationships. Taking a developmental perspective, Haydon studies how relationships in earlier life contribute to how adults navigate conflict with their romantic partners. She also investigates why some partners’ thoughts, feelings, behavior, and stress responses become linked over time. Most recently, her team began a study of links between conflict and sleep to determine why some people are more susceptible to sleep disruption following interpersonal stress than others. Broadly, Haydon’s research aims to identify ways that adults’ capacity for self-regulation emerges from early interpersonal experiences and contributes to the quality and course of close relationships across the lifespan.

Katherine C. (KC) Haydon

Jennifer Wallace Jacoby

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education

Jennifer Wallace Jacoby is an education researcher with an extensive professional background as a public school teacher. Her research is focused on supporting teachers to develop language and literacy skills among groups of linguistically diverse children. Jacoby and her students conduct mixed-methods research in local early childhood and elementary school classrooms. She teaches courses in education and child development. Jacoby is also a National Board certified teacher who taught grades K through 2 in Oakland and East Palo Alto, California.

Jennifer Wallace Jacoby

Molly Keehn

Visiting Lecturer in Intergroup Dialogue

Molly Keehn has been leading trainings and teaching courses at the undergraduate and graduate level about intergroup dialogue and Social Justice for the past fourteen years. Molly’s doctoral research focused on the role of personal storytelling about experience on student learning about race and racism in two social justice courses. Molly has co-authored book chapters on white identity development, listening engagement in intergroup dialogue and social justice education frameworks and pedagogy. Molly is also the co-creator of CoJourn, a peer support and accountability program and is currently completing a book about the program. 

Photo of Molly Keehn

Jennifer M. Matos

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education; Director of Middle, Secondary and the Arts Teacher Licensure Programs

Jen Matos is a licensed high school teacher and an educational researcher. Her research is focused on racial identities in classroom settings. She is currently working with students on two different research projects. In the first project, she and her research team are examining the student and familial longitudinal effects of a single-sex STEM program in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In the second project, they are collecting and comparing data on Puerto Rican parental academic engagement in Holyoke, Massachusetts and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Jen Matos

Lauren Mattone

Lecturer

Lauren Mattone has been an educator for over 30 years.  Since graduating from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in English, she has worked in private early childhood education, as well as the public schools.  In addition to currently teaching Math Science and Technology for the M.A.T. program, she continues to teach elementary education in the public schools.

Lauren Mattone

Becky Wai-Ling Packard

Professor of Psychology and Education

Becky Wai-Ling Packard's expertise in the areas of mentoring and diversity, examining how individuals from underrepresented groups persist in their career plans and how organizations can improve their climate. She has conducted professional workshops, designed programs, and assessed climate for numerous organizations. Packard has particular expertise in STEM persistence, with a book, over 30 published articles, and over a million dollars in funding to support her work. The founding director of the teaching and learning program, and an educational psychologist by training, Packard uses community-based partnerships and case scenarios to create relevant and authentic experiences for students.

Becky Wai-Ling Packard

Lenore Reilly

Senior Advisor to the President and Secretary of the College; Assistant Professor of Education
Lenore Reilly

Jasmine Robinson

Visiting Instructor in Psychology and Education; UMass Teaching Associate

Jared Schwartzer

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education

Using preclinical models, Jared Schwartzer studies the interaction of the immune system and nervous system during brain development in utero, and the effects of these interactions on behavior during postnatal development. Much of his research is inspired by clinical and epidemiological trends observed in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. In the Schwartzer Lab, specialized techniques from neuroimmunology and behavioral neuroscience come together to explore how changes in the mother’s immune system influence social behavior in offspring.

Jared Schwartzer, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor

John Tawa

Assistant Professor of Psychology; on leave spring 2021

John Tawa studies the role of race in intergroup interactions; his past research includes studies on how resource competition impacts relations between minority groups, and the influence of racial essentialism on intergroup behaviors. Methodologically, Tawa is interested in directly assessing people's "real-time" behavior through virtual technology. For example, his past research has used the virtual world Second Life to study racial interactions. He is currently developing a study using virtual reality to examine racial bias in police use of lethal force.

John Tawa, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Staff

Natasha Anderson

Laboratory Instructor in Psychology and Education

Natasha meets with students who need help with statistics in psychology and the SPSS software program. She also attends the lectures and labs to assist students and provides support for the lecturer.  Anderson trained as a music therapist and worked with a team to research and develop Best Practices for working with LGBTQ clients.

Photograph of Natasha Anderson

Kathleen (Katie) Byrne

Animal Care Technician

Katie Byrne is responsible for the care of animals in the Psychology and Biology departments,  including mice, rats, and various aquatics.  She is particularly interested in the complexity of the mind.

Katie Byrne

Jamie Church

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jamie Church is a nutritional psychologist interested in the biological basis of how different lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, affect mental health. Diets high in fiber, fat or sugar can alter risk for developing anxiety and depression, and dietary manipulation is now being considered as a complementary therapy to treat these conditions. Church's research targets the microbiome-gut-brain axis, which integrates multiple systems (including the nervous, immune and endocrine systems) to better understand how different microbes, signaling molecules, hormones and biological sex intersect to drive behavior.  

Jamie Church

Allegra Corwin-Renner

Post Baccalaureate Senior Research Associate in early Childhood Education
Photo of Allegra Corwin-Renner

Janet Crosby

Academic Department Coordinator

Janet Crosby is the Academic Department Coordinator for Psychology and Education. She manages the budget, purchasing, online course catalog submissions, events, awards, the Reese building and all the daily needs of faculty and majors. She also informally advises majors about the requirements of the major and supervises students who work in the department office.  She has been in this job since 1993.

Janet Crosby

Ahren Fitzroy

Visiting Lecturer in Psychology and Education

Ahren Fitzroy studies auditory and language processing, with an emphasis on plasticity in the underlying neural circuits. He employs behavior, electrophysiology (EEG, ERP, ABR) and neuroimaging (fMRI, DTI) to track auditory learning as it shifts from transient changes in listening to durable changes in the brain. He is particularly interested in the overlap between music and speech processing, especially rhythmic perception. At Mount Holyoke, Fitzroy directs the BEATSlab and assists Mara Breen in the CAPSlab. He also maintains a position at UMass Amherst investigating effects of sleep on learning in the Somneuro Lab.

Photograph of Ahren Fitzroy

Sarah Frenette

Director of Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Licensure Programs; Teacher Licensure Coordinator

Sarah Frenette is an early childhood educator, and a teacher educator. She serves as the Director of Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher Education and is the Coordinator of Teacher Licensure for Five Colleges, Inc. She takes pride in working with pre-service teachers that aspire to teach learners of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy, inclusion, curriculum design and reflective practice. Frenette is also the track chair for the Education Policy and Practice Nexus. She learns something new about teaching and learning, and about herself each day.

Photograph of Sarah Frenette

Janelle L. Gagnon

Laboratory Director & Instructor in Psychology and Education

Janelle serves as a research consultant for the Department of Psychology and Education.  As part of this role, she provides both qualitative and quantitative research support to honors projects and co-teaches the Seminar in Psychological Research.  Additionally, she serves as the SONA Administrator and is responsible for advertising student and faculty research on campus.  Lastly, she is the course manager for Introduction to Psychology.  Her research interests include studying how various social identities such as race and social class shape students’ experiences attending Mount Holyoke College. 

Janelle Gagnon

Nicole Gilbert Cote

Laboratory Instructor in Psychology and Education

Nicole Gilbert Cote teaches three sections of the Research Methods labs and provides behind-the-scenes support for Statistics. She also teaches summer courses through PaGE, including Introduction to Psychology and Social Psychology.  Gilbert Cote is a social psychologist by training and her early research focused on gender stereotypes and construction.  While working as a Research Associate with Dr. Kathy Binder, she studied literacy skills among children and adults learning to read.

Nicole Gilbert Cote

Cheryl Lavigne

Laboratory Director & Instructor in Psychology and Education

Cheryl Lavigne's primary interests in the area of psychology involve the processes of learning – particularly as these processes pertain to literacy development. In addition, she is passionate about scientific investigation and research methodology. From the planning and development phases to data analysis and presentation, scientific research inspires, stimulates, and motivates her career. Lavigne's teaching philosophy combines her passion for research with in-depth classroom discussions and hands-on activities that, hopefully, demystify scientific investigation.

Photograph of Cheryl Lee

Cheryl McGraw

Academic Department Coordinator
Photograph of Cheryl McGraw

Corrin Moss '19

Senior Research Associate

Corrin Moss is a post-baccalaureate senior research associate in Kathy Binder’s lab. Her responsibilities include data management and supervising student research assistants. Her research interests include children’s reading comprehension and how test-taking strategies influence students’ performance on standardized reading tests.

Corinn Moss

Kathryn Tremblay

Senior Research Associate

Kat Tremblay manages Kathy Binder's Reading and Cognition Lab.  Her responsibilities include supervising Kathy Binder's student research assistants and those working on independent studies and theses, coordinating data collection and tutoring placements at various ABE (Adult Basic Education) programs and schools in the area, and managing certain aspects of Kathy Binder's NIH Grant.  Tremblay's research interests include literacy skills in adult basic education students as compared to other populations.

Photograph of Kat Tremblay