The Department of Psychology helps students develop an understanding of human behavior and experience a variety of theoretical perspectives. The faculty specialize in a wide variety of topics, including physiological, clinical, health, cognitive, social, developmental psychology, and education. 

Honors in Psychology

Members of the faculty of the Department of Psychology encourage students of exceptional academic accomplishment to pursue research with a departmental faculty sponsor that is of an in-depth, rigorous nature; this work will introduce the student to the quality of research one would normally experience in a graduate program. Because the level of involvement of the student and his or her faculty sponsor will be greater in Honors research than that in either a Tutorial or Directed Inquiry, the faculty of the Department of Psychology have established rules for student admission into the Departmental Honors Program. The policies are described on the department website. It is recommended that students interested in pursuing department honors enroll in Junior Seminar 399.

Major Essay

When declaring a major in psychology, students must submit an essay in which they articulate their educational goals. The essay should be four paragraphs, with one paragraph dedicated to each of the questions below (question 3 has two parts.)

  1. In your opinion, what are the defining characteristics of the discipline of Psychology?
  2. How do the requirements for the Psychology major complement your program of liberal arts study and support your career or life goals?
  3. As a Psychology major, how will you (a) build on your strengths and (b) address your weaknesses?

The entire essay should be between 250 and 1000 words and must accompany the Declaration of Major form when a student has the initial meeting with her/his major advisor. A student may choose to revise the essay after meeting with the advisor. Students will electronically submit the final, advisor approved, version of the essay as a Word document to the psychology departmental assistant so that it can be archived. The file name for the essay should be as follows: student’s last name, student’s first name, and graduation year. Each student will revisit the major essay in the senior seminar course.

Psychology: Faculty and Staff


Natalie K. Person. 1994. Chair. B.A., University of Mississippi; M.S. and Ph.D., University of Memphis. (Cognitive; learning technologies; educational psychology.)
Marsha D. Walton. 1979. B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (Developmental; narrative and social interaction.)

Associate Professors

Anita A. Davis. 1996. B.A., Rhodes College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (Clinical; community; interventions with minority populations; adolescent motherhood.)
Kimberly M. Gerecke. 2006. B.S., Muskingum College; M.S., University of Richmond. Ph.D. University of Alabama at Birmingham. (Neuroscience; exercise and neurodegeneration.)
Elizabeth Thomas. 2011. B.A., Georgetown University, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (Urban Studies; community psychology; psychology and the arts.)
Christopher G. Wetzel. 1982. B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (Social; social cognition; prejudice.)
Matthew Weeks. 2015. B.A. Kentucky Wesleyan College; M.S. and Ph.D., University of Memphis. (Social; social cognition; stereotyping.)
Katherine White. 2009. B.A., Rhodes College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Florida. (Cognitive and sensory processing; cognitive aging.)

Assistant Professors

Jonathan Cook. 2013. B.S., Andrews University; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Missouri. (Clinical; stigma and mental illness; media portrayal of mental illness.)
Erin Cue. 2016. B.S., Vanderbilt University; M.A. and Ph.D., University of California in Los Angeles. (Educational psychology; African-American achievement and motivation.)
Jason Haberman. 2014. B.A., University of Miami; M.A. and Ph.D., University of California - Davis. (Neuroscience: visual psychophysics; object recognition, ensemble perception.)
Jamie Jirout. 2014. B.A., Colgate University; Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University. (Educational psychology: scientific curiosity and persistence; spatial processing.)
Rebecca Klatzkin. 2011. B.S., University of Richmond; M.A., and Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (Behavioral neuroscience: stress; eating behavior; binge eating disorder.)
Geoffrey Maddox. 2013. B.A., University of Missouri; M.A., and Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis. (Cognitive: Aging and development.)
Ry Testa. 2015. B.A., Tufts University; M.A., and Ph.D., Temple University. (Clinical: Mental and medical health disparities in marginalized communities.)


Christy Waldkirch. Departmental Assistant.

Requirements for a Major in Psychology

A total of 11 courses or forty-four (44) credits in the major as follows: 

  1. Psychology 150 to be taken as early as possible in the student’s course of study.
  2. Psychology 200 and 211 should be taken as early as possible. Ideally they should be completed by the spring semester of the sophomore year.
  3. At least one course from each of the following four content domains (At least two of these courses must be core courses (underlined) from separate domains): 
    1. Developmental: Psychology 229, 230, 231; 
    2. Cognition and Learning: Psychology 306, 326, 327; Education 300 
    3. Biological: Psychology 216, 220, 270
    4. Sociocultural: Psychology 232, 250, 280, 323; Urban Studies 250. 
  4. One advanced methods course from among Psychology 350 – 352 that should be taken junior year. Before taking a particular advanced methods course, students should complete the core course that relates to it.
  5. One community-based or independent investigation course: Psychology 229 (some sections), 231, 250, 338, 451, 452, 460, 495, or 496; Education  360 or 460.
  6. One other course in psychology (only one 105 course may count). 
  7. Psychology 485 to be taken during the senior year.


Requirements for a Minor in Psychology

A total of 6 courses or twenty-four (24) credits as follows:

  1. Psychology 150.
  2. Psychology 200.
  3. Four additional psychology courses to be chosen in consultation with a departmental advisor and to be approved by the department chair. These will be selected to coordinate with the student’s major and career aspirations, and will normally include at least one 300- or 400-level course. Only one 105 course may count.