About the Faculty
All faculty in the Psychology Department hold doctoral degrees from a variety of respected institutions. The faculty's primary commitment is to teaching; however, most are also active in research and community service, and they welcome student partners in these endeavors.
Faculty Interests and Research Specializations
Faculty areas of specialization include behavior disorders of childhood and adulthood, cognitive development, violence prevention in the schools, physiological bases of motivation, cognition, and perception, the use of computers in psychological research, and the social basis of gender.
Dr. Matthew Andrzejewski (Lecturer)
Dr. Andrzejewski completed his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and received his Master's and Ph.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. His primary interests are in neural plasticity and learning, especially the interaction of dopamine and glutamate. He is also interested in the neurobehavioral actions of drugs, applied behavior analysis, data analysis, and the philosophy of science. He teaches Statistics, Research Methods, and Learning & Conditioning.
Dr. Barbara Beaver (Professor)
Dr. Beaver came to UW-Whitewater in 1993. She earned a B.A. in Early Childhood studies from St. Xavier University in Chicago and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northern Illinois University. She is a licensed psychologist in Wisconsin and has practiced both individual and family therapy. Dr. Beaver teaches Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Personality, Field Training, Interview and Psychotherapy Techniques, Family Therapy, and Introductory Psychology in the undergraduate program. At the graduate level, she teaches Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence. Dr. Beaver received the UW-W WP Roseman Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011. Her research interests focus on emotion regulation and mindfulness.
Dr. Veronica Fruiht (Assistant Professor)
Dr. Fruiht came to UW-Whitewater in 2014 and teaches undergraduate courses including Individual and Society and Psychology of Adolescence and a graduate level course in Learning in Educational Contexts. She earned her Ph.D. in Positive Developmental Psychology from Claremont Graduate University in California where she studied strengths-based interventions for adolescents. Dr. Fruiht continues to study the development of hope, as well as mentoring and developmental relationships in higher educational contexts. Her current research focuses on the validation of a multidimensional measure of hope for use in developmental research.
Dr. David Havas (Assistant Professor)
Dr. Havas came to UW-Whitewater in 2012 after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Psychology in Cognitive and Perceptual Sciences. He specializes in language processing and affective neuroscience, and his area of research is in developing embodied theories of emotional language comprehension and of the role of emotions in interpersonal understanding. In his role as the director of the Laboratory for Language and Emotion at UW-Whitewater, he engages undergraduate students in applying behavioral and psychophysiological research methods and tools to a range of research questions in cognitive, affective, and social psychology. David teaches courses in cognitive psychology, the biology of emotion, and research methods.
Dr. Sasha Karnes (Assistant Professor)
Dr. Karnes completed a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, a Master's degree in Health Psychology, and a Doctorate in Health Science at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee prior to joining the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2013. Her research interests are in disease prevention and health promotion. Specific research activities include the development and testing of web-based programming to increase health behaviors such as physical activity. Dr. Karnes teaches general coursework in psychology, and plans to assist with development of courses emphasizing health psychology.
Dr. Kimberly Knesting-Lund (Associate Professor)
Dr. Knesting-Lund came to UW-Whitewater in 2011. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in School Psychology from Indiana University. Dr. Knesting-Lund teaches undergraduate courses in introductory psychology, field training in psychology, and psychology of women. She teaches graduate courses in the foundations of school psychology, behavioral therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Her research focuses on supporting students, school completion through the prevention of high school dropout and school-based supports for sexual minority youth.
Dr. Roger Knight (Lecturer)
Dr. Knight is a graduate of the University of Washington, earning a Bachelor's degree in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Psychology. He came to UW-Whitewater in 2006. Dr. Knight's research is aimed at understanding the mechanisms that mediate human color perception. In particular, the focus is on using psychophysical methods to isolate and characterize cone and rod photoreceptor contributions to surface color appearance. A current project uses the Munsell color system to characterize how signals originating from rod photoreceptors affect the perception of surface color. Additional interests include: sensory adaptation, visual ecology, and night vision. Dr. Knight has taught Individual & Society, Research Methods, Undergraduate Research, and is currently teaching Introductory Psychology and Psychology of Perception as online courses.
Dr. Elizabeth Kraemer (Lecturer)
Dr. Kraemer is a graduate of the doctoral program in School Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is also a practicing School Psychologist in Verona, WI. Dr. Kraemer lectures, advises on thesis projects, and is also one of our practicum field supervisors. In 2004, Dr. Kraemer was honored as Wisconsin School Psychologist of the Year.
Dr. James Larson (Professor Emeritus)
Dr. James Larson is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology and teaches part-time. Prior to his retirement in 2011, he was the Coordinator of the School Psychology Program for 21 years. His area of scholarship is school violence prevention. He currently resides in Milwaukee.
Dr. Carolyn Morgan (Chair, Professor)
Dr. Morgan came to UW-Whitewater in 1996 after receiving her doctoral degree in Social-Personality Psychology from the University of Utah. She teaches undergraduate courses in personality, research methods, and social psychology and a graduate course in the social bases of behavior for the School Psychology program. Dr. Morgan received the Everett Long Award for the Advancement of General Education from UW-W and a Psi Chi Chapter Award for outstanding teaching in 2010. Dr. Morgan has long-standing interests in intrinsic motivation and achievement motivation. Her current research focuses on identifying the distinct motivational and emotional characteristics of reactance and oppositionality and the roles reactance and oppositionality play in cognitive flexibility and creativity. She is currently serving as chairperson of the Psychology Department.
Dr. Christine Neddenriep (Associate Professor)
Dr. Neddenriep came to UW-Whitewater in 2005 after practicing as a school psychologist in Omaha (NE) Public Schools, where she specialized in the needs of children with behavioral disorders and autism. Dr. Neddenriep earned her doctoral degree in School Psychology at the University of Tennessee. Her research interests include the implementation and evaluation of academic and behavioral interventions in educational settings. Dr. Neddenriep teaches course work in the assessment of behavior and personality, academic interventions, school-based consultation, and research methods.
Dr. Heather Niemeier (Associate Professor)
Dr. Niemeier came to UW-Whitewater in 2008. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She completed both her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral training in Behavioral Medicine at Brown Medical School. Her research focuses on the prevention and treatment of obesity and eating disorders. Her most recent work applies acceptance based treatment approaches to behavioral weight loss. At UW-W, Dr. Niemeier teaches Individual & Society, Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Scientist-Practitioner Disciplines in Psychology, and Field Training in Psychology.
Dr. Clifford O'Beirne (Associate Professor Emeritus)
Dr. O'Beirne is the founder of UW-Whitewater's Nursing Home Visitation Program in which students may volunteer at nursing homes and senior living communities in Whitewater. He teaches Psychology of Human Adjustment and Field Training in Psychology.
Dr. Elizabeth Olson (Associate Professor)
Dr. Olson is a social psychologist (she earned her B.A. from Winona State University in 1999 and Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2004), and she teaches Individual & Society, Social Psychology, History of Psychology, and Research Methods here at UW-Whitewater. Her areas of research interest reside largely in legal psychology, especially examining how innocent individuals create alibis, how investigators use alibi information in their decisions of guilt and innocence, and how to reduce mistaken eyewitness identifications.
Dr. Tracey Scherr (Associate Professor)
Dr. Scherr earned her doctoral degree in School Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado, although she is orignally a native of Wisconsin. She joined the faculty of UW-Whitewater in 2004 after practicing school psychology in Northwestern Illinois. Her research interests include the needs of children in foster home placements and working with other marginalized populations of students. She also studies the use of Critical Incident Reporting as a pedagogical tool to help university students reflect on their field experiences effectively. Dr. Scherr is active in the international school psychology community. She teaches Introductory Psychology, school psychology courses in both academic and intellectual assessment, and she also supervises school psychology practicum students and interns.
Dr. Dan Stalder (Associate Professor)
Dr. Stalder came to UW-Whitewater in 2004. He has a Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from the University of Iowa and an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Stalder currently teaches Social Psychology, statistics, and general education courses. His recent research and talks cover cognitive dissonance theory, need for closure, group-centrism, and social-cognitive biases, in arenas including close relationships and politics. He also conducts research and presents on aspects of teaching, including exam writing and the use of humor, mnemonics, and popular culture in the classroom. Dr. Stalder has a social psychology blog at http://parbsanonymous.wordpress.com/.
Dr. Sandra Street (Assistant Professor)
Dr. Sandra Street came to UW-Whitewater in 2013 from Indiana University Bloomington. She teaches courses in developmental psychology and core general education courses in individual & society. Dr. Street conducts research in child development with a primary focus on cognitive development in infancy and early childhood. After receiving a B.S. in Psychology from Northwestern University she moved to Indiana University Bloomington where she obtained an M.S.Ed in Learning & Developmental Sciences from the School of Education and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. She stayed at IU to complete an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Current research in Dr. Street’s lab is focused on the development of perception and action in infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children.
Dr. Mark Thomas (Lecturer)
Dr. Thomas received his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Auburn Unversity, Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Mississippi State University, and Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Mississippi State University. Dr. Thomas specializes in visual cognition - the manner in which people look at and interpret the world. His visual cognition research investigates visual attention, perceptual categorization, mental representation, and visual memory. He also works on scientific discovery and invention. In addition, he has an external concentration in human factors and ergonomics and has conducted applied research with law enforcement, the military, and the automotive industry. As a clinician, he has worked with two populations; adults with mental impairments, and he provided acute care for people who attempted suicide. Dr. Thomas has also researched emotional intelligence, personality, and stereotypes of the scientist. Dr. Thomas teaches Introductory Psychology, Psychology of Personality, and Basic Statistical Methods.
Dr. Meg Waraczynski (Professor)
Dr. Waraczynski came to UW-Whitewater in 1992 where she teaches Basic Statistical Methods, Learning and Conditioning, and Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned her Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from Harvard University. She also received post-doctoral training at the Department of Psychology of the University of Pennsylvania and in the Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology at Concordia University in Montreal. Dr. Waraczynski is very much involved in the Undergraduate Research Program. Up to a dozen students majoring in both psychology and biological sciences work in her lab each semester. Several of her thesis students have published their work in neuroscience journals and presented it at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Waraczynski's research centers on understanding the neural circuitry of reward mechanisms in the mammalian brain. Her lab is focused on discovering how a structure called the extended amygdala plays a key role in the phenomenon of brain stimulation reward.
Dr. Rachelle Yankelevitz (Assistant Professor)
Dr. Yankelevitz teaches Research Methods and Statistics, and her general research interests surround experimental analyses of environmental influences on decision-making. She received her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Her initial research examined how economic (cost/benefit) conditions influenced pigeons' and humans' choices to act self-controlled (i.e. minimize unit price, or behave optimally). Next, as a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon, she studied alcohol's effects on people's impulsivity and risk-taking. She then taught at Willamette University and Portland State University before joining UW-Whitewater in 2013. Current interests include behavioral economics (how people's everyday decisions deviate from predictions based on rationality models), how drugs change decision-making, and how nonhumans such as birds, dogs, and primates make choices based on the environments they face.
Dr. Shen Zhang (Assistant Professor)
Dr. Zhang received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and came to UW-Whitewater in 2009 after working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arizona. She teaches undergraduate psychology coursework such as Cross-Cultural Psychology and the general education core course Individual and Society. Her research examines how socio-cultural factors influence people's attitude and behavior. She is also interested in studying the implicit processing of social information.