Faculty Research Interests


Filter Faculty

Nancy Blank

My research interests include the impact of experiential (e.g. service-learning, diversity) learning on university student outcomes, the development and assessment of literacy programs for youthful offenders, and mental health among justice-involved female youth.

Bret A. Boyer

Although my research interests are broad, most of my research investigates the relationships between psychological factors and adjustment to chronic physical health conditions. These studies have explored relationships among variables such as family functioning, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress and adjustment, self-management, rehabilitation, and medical outcomes for individuals experiencing diabetes, cancer, spinal cord injury, and cardiac conditions. I am also interested in the development and application of therapies to help individuals, couples, and families who face chronic health conditions, and in the integration of therapeutic methods toward optimal effectiveness for these problems. I have piloted many interventions utilizing imagery as a medium for exploration and intervention. I have also worked in primary care medical settings, specialty care medical settings, and physical medicine & rehabilitation settings over the years, integrating psychological services into the integrated interdisciplinary medical care.

Erika M. Dawkins 260x300

My clinical and research interests include minority identity development, microaggressions, intersectionality, grief, trauma, couples therapy, human sexuality, community psychology, and more recently, the impact that social media has on both self-image/worth/esteem and the development and maintenance of intra- and interpersonal relationships. I look forward to partnering with students and faculty across disciplines around research that speaks to the lived experiences of Black people within those interest areas.

Elizabeth E. Foster

My research centers on psychology and the law. In particular, I am interested in jury decision-making, forensic assessments, and experiences of correctional personnel (primarily mental health professionals). I currently have many ongoing research projects in various stages of development. 

Linda K. Knauss

My areas of scholarly writing include ethics and professional issues, supervision and training, interprofessional education and practice, and treatment of children and adolescents with serious mental illness.

Shana L. Maier

My research interests include the treatment of rape victims by the criminal justice, medical and legal systems, the transformation of rape crisis centers, and the experiences and struggles of rape victim advocates, and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.   In addition, I have conducted research on the effect of marijuana legalization on crime rates, mock jurors’ understanding of sentencing instructions, and students’ fear of crime on campus.

Mary T. Rourke

Mary T. Rourke

Director of Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology

My scholarship has been concentrated in the areas of pediatric and school psychology, with a focus on the clinical applications of research and the formulation of practice guidelines for health care and school professionals. Student dissertations under my mentorship have explored child and family adjustment to cancer and other major pediatric medical issues.

Recent publications have included chapters providing guidelines to medical care providers on meeting the psychological needs of children and families with severe illness, guidelines to school teams on meeting the needs of traumatized or maltreated students, and a formulation of the role of gender in cognitive assessment.

Lauren O. Shermer

I have research interests across many avenues of criminal justice. Some of my more recent interests are within the areas of eyewitness reliability and prison experiences. I also continue to research peer processes and how one's friends in adolescence shape outcomes later in life. In addition, I am involved in pedagogical research on how certain educational strategies influence student attitudes and outcomes.

Courtney L. Slater

Broadly speaking, I am interested in researching the topics of psychodynamic psychotherapy, culture, and relationships. For the last few years my work has focused primarily on the study of an applied psychology of religion and spirituality. I am interested in the integration of religion and spirituality into psychoanalytic theory, psychotherapy, and professional training. I also enjoy partnering with students to better understand the psychological experiences of marginalized groups, such as gay black men, individuals diagnosed with stigmatizing mental illness, and transgender clients seeking gender confirmation surgery.