Brief Biography

In 1994, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science with Honors from the University of Wyoming in Psychology.  I was an active undergraduate researcher in Dr. Narina Nunez’ lab for over 2 years. I co-authored and presented two posters at the Joint Meeting of the Western and Rocky Mountain Psychological Associations and I completed a senior Honors Thesis examining the effect of elderly victim/witness stereotypes on jurors’ decisions (Law and Human Behavior, 1999, 23 (4), 413-423).

I followed my passion and pursued a doctorate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Utah. I collaborated with Dr. Cecilia Wainryb on research examining children’s and adolescents’ moral reasoning and understandings of diversity. The findings from these studies were presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, the Society for Research on Adolescence, and the Jean Piaget Society, and published in the journals of Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. I defended my dissertation on children’s and adolescents’ understandings of unfairness in May, 2002.

I was hired in 2003 as an Assistant Professor in Psychology, and earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009. I was promoted to Full Professor in 2015. I enjoy teaching Introductory Psychology, Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Theories of Development, Psychology and the Media, and special-topics seminars (i.e., moral development, attachment). I am the faculty supervisor for Teaching Practicum students. My current research, with Dr. Cade Mansfield, examines maternal narratives of anger experiences with their children. I mentor student work in directed readings and research courses on topics ranging from disorganized attachment to mindfulness and self-compassion. I serve my department, college, university, and profession in a variety of roles (e.g., Department Adviser, CSBS Rank and Tenure Committee, ad-hoc reviewer for many professional journals). Finally, I am the Director of General Education responsible for the implementation of general education revitalization and the WSU Program.

On the personal side, my husband, Garth, is a Principal of a thriving architecture firm in Salt Lake City who creates sustainable and energy efficient designs. We are fortunate to love and to be continually challenged by our careers. My daughter, Hannah, and son, Liam, are my pride and joy and bring developmental theory to life. As a family, we enjoy travel, the outdoors, and playing with our dog, Juno. My personal hobbies include reading, yoga, pilates, and Irish dancing.