Faculty Research Interests

Our mission is to promote research in psychology among undergraduate students through faculty mentoring, which prepares psychology students to become scholars, scientists, and leaders of tomorrow. Through undergraduate research, students acquire knowledge and understanding of the scientific method, including issues and methodologies specific to psychology.

Definition of Research:  An attempt by careful enquiry, experimentation, study, observation, analysis and recording to:

  • discover new facts, knowledge and information,
  • develop new interpretations of facts, knowledge or information, or
  • discover new means of applying existing knowledge.

Definition of Scholarship: For its definition of scholarship, the Department of Psychology uses Boyer’s (1990) model that describes scholarship as discovery, integration, service, application, and teaching. Scholarship involves a lifelong commitment to thinking, questioning, and pursuing answers.

Scholarship of Discovery: The scholarship of discovery takes the form of primary empirical research, historical research, theory development and testing, methodological studies, and philosophical inquiry and analysis.   

Scholarship of Practice (Application): The scholarship of practice answers a question to improve the application of psychological principles in order to benefit individuals and groups. It encompasses all aspects of psychology where evidence of direct impact is presented including questioning of certain methods and looking for possible improvements.

Scholarship of Integration: The scholarship of integration associates research with reality and clarifies the meaning of results. The scholarship of integration emphasizes the interconnection of ideas, and brings new insight to bear on original concepts and research. Critical analysis and interpretation are two common methodologies, but interdisciplinary work may take place through any medium for scholarship such as those described as discovery, teaching, or practice (Boyer, 1990).

Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities for the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

As a general rule, all psychology faculty are open to ideas beyond those listed below. These are provided as a guide only.

Steve Barney, Ph.D.
Expertise: Clinical, Assessment, Stigma reduction

Research Interests: clinical assessment, pedagogical assessment, program assessment, PTSD, performance enhancement and wellness

Grant Corser, Ph.D.
Expertise: Motivation, Emotion, and Personality

Research Interests: cognitive consequences of mood and emotion, personality factors affecting the experience of emotion

Ross Flom
Expertise: Developmental Psychology, neuroscience

Research Interests: My program of research focuses on early perceptual and cognitive development in infants and children. One area examines the behavioral and neurophysiological foundations in early attention. A second area examines infants’ perception of affect and its influence on early cognitive development. Specifically, what are the effects of an adult’s communicated affect or emotion on infants’ memory and learning? A third area of research examines flexibility within early perceptual development. For instance, several developmental psychologists have argued that development, including perceptual development, is a process of “narrowing.” My research is currently funded by the NIH/NICHD.

Kirsten L. Graham, Ph.D 
Research Interests: Dr. Graham's primary line of research is at the intersection of ageism and professional training, specifically related to promoting geropsychology (and other geriatric-focused healthcare) in order to address the service gap and improve care for older adults. Other research interests include positive psychology (meaning making, volunteerism in older adulthood), especially as it relates to cognitive processes (repetitive thought/rumination, reminiscence). Dr. Graham is also passionate about interdisciplinary collaboration, community-based research projects, and program development and evaluation.

Student Involvement: Dr. Graham enjoys mentoring students on both individual and group research projects. Past students have created posters accepted to national conferences and contributed to manuscripts to be submitted for publication. No prior research experience is needed, and students are welcome to participate in projects to varying degrees based on interest and availability. Feel free to reach out directly to learn more about current research opportunities!

Michelle Grimes, Ph.D.
Expertise: Clinical child psychology

Research Interests: disruptive behavior, sibling conflict, pediatric sleep disorders

Danny Hatch, Ph.D.
Expertise: Counseling, Clinical and Positive Psychology

Research Interests: Positive Psychology, Marital Satisfaction, Sexual Addiction

Julie Johnson-Pynn, Ph.D 
Expertise: Cultural, Developmental, and Eco-psychology

Research Interests: Humans and the natural environment; Emerging Adulthood in different cultural contexts; Civic engagement and purpose in life 

Bryan Koenig, Ph.D.
Expertise: Social and Evolutionary Psychology

Research Interests: moral psychology, romantic and sexual interests, emotions, evolutionary psychology, statistics, research practices

Availability: Dr. Koenig is currently open to mentoring individual student projects, and he is open to students joining these current projects: 1) a speed dating study, 2) a study on perceptions related to moral punishment, (3) student replications of a study evaluating the effects of emotion priming on moral judgments.

Kevan LaFrance, Ph.D.
Expertise: Counseling Psychology

Research Interests:  Mindfulness; Therapy outcomes; Career development- Social and cognitive factors

Britton Mace, Ph.D.
Expertise: Applied Experimental Psychology

Research Interests: Soundscapes; Natural and Virtual Environments

Availability: Dr. Mace currently is working on a soundscape project in the Grand Staircase National Monument. There are currently two positions available for students who would like to become familiar with listening and analyzing soundscape recordings.

Michael Steele
Expertise: Child clinical psychology

Garrett Strosser, Ph.D.
Expertise: Social and Cultural Psychology

Research Interests: Attitudes towards stigmatized groups, morality, political ideology, biculturalism, social norms, pedagogy, and cognition

ResearchGate Profile

Lynn White, Ph.D.
Expertise: Health psychology, Physiological psychology - human & animal

Research Interests: food cue sensitivity, pain, and stress-related issues

The SUU Psychology Department's Student Research Handbook is available to help students as they conduct research studies. We also have a guide for students participating in Research Studies

The psychology undergraduate research liaison encourages and supports undergraduate research and scholarship within the department.

Please contact Dr. Lynn White for questions or suggestions about undergraduate research and scholarship in the department of psychology.

Email: white_l@suu.edu
Office: GC 308G
Phone: 586-7913