About Me

I teach psychology at the University of Washington.

I’m interested in happiness — what makes people happy, how we can reach our best selves, and why we often fall short of this goal. I’m interested in what happens when people come together in collaboration, and when and why they (often unintentionally) isolate themselves. I’m interested in what happens when people are immersed in their present experience, and when and why they ‘go through the motions’ without thinking. I’m interested in how these different states impact emotion, social perception, and behavior — including student learning. I’m interested in best practices in teaching, and am always striving to improve as a teacher.

My philosophy of teaching and learning is centered on two principles: interaction and enthusiasm. In my classes, I seek to spark curiosity and interest among students and to engage them actively in exploring big questions and drawing connections among ideas. Learning occurs best when students are able to collaborate with one another and the instructor, and I am constantly seeking to discover more effective ways of doing this in large and small classes alike.

Among my top priorities is helping students develop their critical thinking skills to become better consumers of psychological information in everyday life.

Education

I have been fortunate to have had excellent advisors and mentors in my educational journey, including Piotr Winkielman and Nicholas Christenfeld at the University of California, San Diego, and Wil Cunningham at The Ohio State University (now at University of Toronto). Their guidance and enthusiasm fueled my development as a scholar and inspired me to pursue a career doing something I truly love. I am also forever indebted to the superb social psychology training program at The Ohio State University, which launched my teaching career and taught me all about public speaking. I am inspired when mentoring my own students by the guidance and support I received during my own (many!) years of higher education.

Ph.D. Social Psychology, The Ohio State University

M.A. Social Psychology, The Ohio State University

B.A. Psychology, University of California, San Diego