Growing up in Colorado as a young student interested in the causes and consequences of social problems, I was drawn to psychology when I recognized it as a field that could help me understand why so much of our social interaction is divisive, what motivates the persistence of prejudice and inequality, and how to develop remedies to these issues and promote more positive social relations. After earning my Bachelor's degree at Colorado College, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women's Studies, I went on to earn my Masters and Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara studying social stigma, intergroup relations, and social psychophysiology. During my time in graduate school, I focused on understanding the experiences of targets of prejudice, studying the academic and motivational consequences of perceiving negative stereotypes as well as a variety of coping strategies that targets of prejudice might use for self-protection. Knowing I was a teacher at heart, I also spent significant time developing my teaching skills, earning my Certificate in College and University Teaching.
Since arriving at Whitman in 2006, my research continues to investigate strategies that can improve outcomes for members of a variety of socially devalued groups, including racial and sexual minorities, women, and overweight people, from self-acceptance to confronting discrimination. My most recent work focuses on allyship, working to understand the characteristics of effective ally relationships as well as the consequences of allyship for non-target allies and targets of prejudice. I share my work and broader social psychological understanding of these issues in classes that I teach, including Social Stigma, Lab in Intergroup Relations, The Psychology of Prejudice, and Social Psychology, in trainings and workshops I have conducted on Whitman's campus for faculty, staff, and students, in my role as co-chair of the Whitman Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (WIDE) council, as a student advocate, and through invited talks in the community. When I'm not keeping busy with all of the above, my husband Matt, sons Brady and Tate, Newfoundland Sasha and I spend as much time together as we can, much of the time rooting for our Denver-based sports teams.