I am delighted to be offering psychophysiology, health psychology, and related research opportunities for WPI students. My primary research includes assessing acute and chronic stress as related to implicit biases, resilience, cognitive effort, and factors associated with health disparities. I am not only interested in delineating these relationships, but also assessing what protective factors are titrated to each unique stressors.
My research also investigates how appraisal processes can shape physiological responses. For example, we know that the way we appraise a stressor can have very different physiological cascading effects: viewed as a challenge, physiology is more efficient to meet the challenge; viewed as a threat, physiology has to work much harder to mount a response and then also to return to baseline. Overtime, more threat appraisals and related physiology will have health consequences in terms of wear and tear on the stress and immune systems.
I enjoy engaging students in both the “hot off the presses” research and the classic psychological studies. Whether it is a student’s first time learning about the definitive- and sometimes controversial –early psychological studies or discussing new social research, it is never boring. Some of the most valuable outcomes of biological and psychological research are the natural interactions with other disciplines, including health psychology, public health, sociology, sustainability, and organizational and environmental psychology.
I hope to support each student’s unique abilities to create lifetime opportunities of achievement with enthusiasm, insight, and accessibility. I have mentored hundreds of undergraduates and graduate students, many of whom are now in medical school or higher education. Outside of the classroom and lab, I enjoy everything about nature and (almost) any kind of dance, yoga, running, or hiking, especially after a day of statistics!