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Your passion is psychology and here you'll learn from faculty and staff who are just as passionate as you. We will support you while challenging you to understand new practices, ideas, and theories. Our team also enjoys working closely with you – through collaborative research, exploring new interests, and guiding you through your degree. No matter where you're at in your college journey, we're here for you.
Jessie Beckett | psychology minorBecause psychology is such a popular major, professors are very busy keeping up with so many students, but they know who each and every one of us are and are willing to give us their undivided attention to help answer any questions or offer advice.
I am currently a Professor in the Psychology Department, Director of the Human Development Center, and Chair of the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects. In the Psychology Department, I teach courses in the graduate School Psychology Program involving developmental psychopathology and evidence-based interventions, and supervise the school psychology internship. I teach undergraduate courses in child and adolescent development and the History of Psychology, and supervise independent studies in child clinical and pediatric psychology. I am a licensed psychologist and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. My clinical and research interests involve an area of psychology referred to as behavioral pediatrics. Behavioral pediatrics is the intersection of primary care pediatrics and behavioral psychology. I specifically address routine problems of childhood and adolescence that have potentially negative consequences including enuresis (bedwetting), temper tantrums, and childhood anxiety. I'm also interested in helping parents and teachers solve problems involving Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), delinquency, and learning.
As Director of the Human Development Center (HDC), I oversee the clinical training of undergraduate and graduate students from multiple disciplines including psychology. Students working in the HDC provide clinical services to children, adolescents, and families in the region under the direct supervision of faculty and staff. Many undergraduate students from the Psychology Department gain valuable clinical and research experiences in the HDC providing academic (e.g., reading, math) assessments and interventions to children with identified learning and behavioral problems.
I received a BA in English and Sociology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and Human Development from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. I received a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. I have formal clinical training through Father Flanagan's Girls and Boys Town and Creighton University School of Medicine, both in Omaha, NE. Prior to coming to UWEC in 2008, I held clinical, research, training, and administrative positions at Girls and Boys Town and the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, ME.
I love teaching because it offers me the opportunity to convey my passion for the field to students, whether they are already declared majors or minors or are taking an elective course.
My teaching interests focus on many aspects of human development and I most often teach courses such as Lifespan Human Development and the Psychology of Adulthood and Aging.
I also greatly enjoy teaching Introductory Psychology, which offers the opportunity to expose new students to the field and show them how an understanding of scientific methodology and psychology can be very useful in their own lives, regardless of their chosen life paths.
Recent opportunities have also allowed me to discover the joy of teaching research methods in psychology. Although methods is a challenging course, it is wonderful to be able to guide student projects from initial conception to completion at the end of the semester and watch students grow throughout the process.
My research interests relate broadly to developmental psychology and, more specifically, to cognitive aging and metacognition. I study adult age differences in the development and usage of learning strategies, memory confidence, and how these relate to memory performance. It is well-known that memory ability declines with age, so it is in our best interest to understand the context surrounding these changes and determine what means may be available to either lessen the degree of decline (e.g., exercise) or compensate for it (e.g., use effective learning and remembering strategies).
One of the best opportunities I have to engage students is through one-on-one interaction in my adult cognition lab. I involve students in every aspect of the research process in which they find interest, including discussing current literature, designing new studies, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting our findings to a broader audience. These experiences offer the potential of growth beyond that which is afforded by the classroom and can be foundational for those who are considering a graduate program in the social sciences. Students who are interested in this opportunity may email me or drop by my office to chat.
My research is heavily geared towards the social
justice and empowerment of students of African descent on college
campuses. As such, implications from my research projects aim to address
psychosocial, environmental and political structures within academic
institutions and the greater community which may be problematic for this
My research broadly focuses on understanding suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in youth and young adults. Specifically, I examine psychological and sociocultural factors that may increase, or reduce, an individual's vulnerability for engaging in NSSI and/or suicidal behavior. I also examine the complex and inter-related connections between NSSI, suicide, and body image disturbances. Recently my research has evolved to focus on suicide prevention program develop and evaluation. I utilize predominantly cross-sectional, survey-based methodologies but incorporate behavioral-based assessment and experimental designs into my work as well. I am a consulting editor for the journal, Archives of Suicide Research and regularly contribute scholarly reviews for a variety of clinical journals.
In addition to my research expertise area, I have begun to develop a small, secondary line of research examining the potential effectiveness of different pedagogical techniques at the college level. I'm particularly interested in how different approaches that use active and student-centered techniques impact student engagement, motivation, and course mastery relative to traditional methods.
I received my PhD in clinical psychology from Northern Illinois University in 2005 after completing a 1-year pre-doctoral internship at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. I am a licensed clinical psychologist and joined the faculty at UWEC in the fall of 2009.
The aspect of my faculty position that I enjoy the most is working alongside and mentoring students! I work with students in a wide variety of experiences including my research, program development and evaluation, service learning opportunities, and independent studies. The majority of my research is conducted in collaboration with undergraduate students who have been able to present our work at local, regional, national and international conferences. Students with an interest in the topics of suicide and self-injury or closely related content areas are encouraged to contact me about possible experiences.
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