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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Katherine C. (KC) Haydon
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.
Jennifer Wallace Jacoby
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 M. Matos
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.
Becky Wai-Ling Packard
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kathleen (Katie) Byrne
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.
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.
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.
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.
Janelle L. Gagnon
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.
Nicole Gilbert Cote
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.
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.
Corrin Moss '19
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.
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.