School of Humanities & Behavioral Science
Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes. It crosses many disciplines including biology, sociology and religion. The psychology program at Anderson University prepares students for working with people. By the time they graduate from the psychology program, they will be prepared for graduate work in psychiatric social work, professional training in clinical or counseling psychology, working with families, personnel work in industry, pre-ministry, careers in the not-for-profit sector, working with handicapped individuals, or for careers in teaching and research.
Graduates of this program will be given a solid background in the theoretical and applied study of Electrical Engineering, having been exposed to various techniques and instrumentation. Students will also have the opportunity to expand their creative abilities through design courses that challenge them to engineer products with cost and resources in mind. Whether the product is to be deployed in rural Africa or is being developed by a small start-up firm, materials and cost are becoming increasingly important. The ability of engineers to “be creative with less” is more essential than ever.
- Psychology (liberal arts emphasis): This major is for students not planning to attend graduate school in psychology. Classes vary according to the individual but typically include classes such as General Psychology, General Psychology Laboratory, Psychology Propaedeutics, Interpersonal Relationships, Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Counseling and Psychotherapy, Personality Theory, Philosophical Issues for the Psychologist, and an independent study course or research project.
- Psychology (pre-professional emphasis) (37 hours): The pre-professional psychology major is a recommended sequence geared toward the student who is majoring in psychology and plans to attend graduate school in psychology. The recommended program consists of psychology courses such as General Psychology, General Psychology Laboratory, Applied Statistics and Introduction to Research, Critical Issues and Theory in Psychology, and at least 26 hours from upper-division psychology courses.
- The 26-hour complementary major in psychology combines courses in psychology and varying hours from a primary field. The program includes General Psychology, General Psychology Laboratory, and at least 12 hours from upper-division psychology courses.
- The psychology minor (16 hours) requires General Psychology and at least six hours from upper-division psychology courses. Students have the opportunity to be a part of Psi Chi, National Honor Society for Psychology.
- Professional Issues for the Psychologist
- Social Psychology
- Personality Theory
- Abnormal Psychology
To gain valuable experience, students have an opportunity to work in the psychology department and the local mental health facilities, and to pursue relevant summer employment or internships.
Independent-study opportunities are available, including the chance to do original research and/or be involved in leading or facilitating assertiveness skills training programs for a variety of personnel, including Girl Scouts, individuals in an abuse shelter, or college leaders.
- Child Development Specialist
- Teacher or Professor
- Criminal Investigator
After taking Interpersonal Relationships Class her sophomore year, Denisse knew the class had an impact on her life and her relationships so much that she wanted to take the material back to Mexico City and let it impact other people’s lives as well. She worked alongside Dr. Wayne Priest, professor of psychology, in bringing her idea to fruition by spending a semester translating the material of the Interpersonal Relationships Class from English to Spanish. Dr. Priest recommended Denisse pairing with Dr. Tim Fox, professor of Spanish, in the translation of all the practical materials including flowcharts of the skills, PowerPoint presentations, and the observations and feedback sheets.
Throughout the process, Denisse kept in touch with her pastor at Fuente de vida Toluca in Toluca, Mexico State, as he was interested in the project and helped her figure out the logistics of the event. Denisse spent the summer in Mexico and taught the skills to approximately 72 people which consisted of 9 groups of 8 people each.
Along the way there were complications and challenges but I know that the preparation I have received from the department of psychology at Anderson University gave me the necessary skills to overcome all of those. I feel so privileged that the professors trusted and encouraged me throughout the process. I am also very honored to have witnessed the material of the class impacting people across the border and being a small part of that impact.
Denisse Bastida Ramirez BA ’18
Psychology Alumni Testimonials
All the professors in the psychology program had their own unique impacts on me but one common theme was consistent through it all…they were all in my corner and I never lost their support. Through the exams, the projects, the late nights, they were always there to offer advice, criticism, and investment. All the qualities I knew that would help grow my education at AU. And a little PSA to all students at AU and incoming students…If you have the chance to take Interpersonal Relationships class, DO IT. I promise it will be uncomfortable and it will be unusual, but it will change your life. It taught me life skills I use every day and if you can fit it in your schedule, please do! It does not matter who you are, you will be changed and also see the change in others.
Ben Belt BA ’17, Neighborhood Liaison at Children’s Bureau
While studying psychology as a student at Anderson University, I had the privilege of being an Interpersonal Trainer. I taught interpersonal and assertiveness skills to my peers in the classroom setting and to the community at conferences, schools, and workshops. I’m currently a therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, working with adolescents in the area of depression, anxiety, trauma, and self-worth. I train my clients in interpersonal and assertiveness skills, daily utilizing the different techniques and role plays I learned and trained for at AU.
Michael Heckendorn BA ’12
OUR Psychology FACULTY
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Having always had a passion for learning and teaching, Dr. Blunt’s area of expertise is student learning and memory. Her research focuses on answering questions such as: How do students learn? What study strategies promote lasting, meaningful learning? How can evidence-based strategies, like retrieval practice, be incorporated into classroom activities? Dr. Blunt received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Purdue University.
Dr. Blunt’s research has received funding from the National Science Foundation. Her work is published in several top academic journals including Science and has appeared in the New York Times.
Using her research to inform her teaching, Dr. Blunt’s goal is to engage and challenge her students. She enjoys introducing topics with interesting stories and providing evidence with tangible demonstrations and mini-experiments done in the classroom. Dr. Blunt is particularly passionate about teaching Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, and Memory. Dr. Blunt is especially interested in helping students apply psychological principles to everyday life, from understanding the pull of advertisements and wise decision making to creating robust interpersonal relationships.
Dr. Blunt is married to Dr. Andrew Pannabecker. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, mountain biking and spending sunny afternoons in her hammock. Dr. Blunt is an active member of Trinity church in Indianapolis.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.A. in Psychology, Purdue University
M.S., Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology, Purdue University
Dr. Griffith prepares students to help people by teaching skills that enable them to practice psychology doing counseling and training and research. He assists students in learning about Abnormal Psychology, Counseling, Statistics, Interpersonal Relationships and Leadership Skills.
In addition to his teaching, Dr. Griffith maintains an active private practice. With his colleagues, he coordinates the Anderson University Interpersonal Trainers. These groups give students the opportunity to work with children, youth and adults teaching a wide variety of skills from anti-bullying to anger management.
Dr. Griffith is particularly interested in helping students cultivate a Christian understanding of psychology. Students in Liberal Arts Seminar, Christian Living in a Postmodern World, and other classes learn to express the connections between their faith and the discipline of psychology.
Dr. Griffith is grateful to be a husband, father, and grandfather. He is committed to healthy living in both mind and body. He is actively involved with a group of other believers.
Dr. Griffith has served at Anderson University since 1977.
Professor of Psychology
B.A. in Psychology Cedarville University
M.A. in Counseling Psychology The University of Texas at Austin
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Priest began his professional career working with juveniles who were referred for residential treatment through the juvenile court system. After completing his Master’s degree, he worked as a therapist for a mental health agency for three years, serving older adults and the severely mentally ill in a partial hospitalization program. After completing his Ph.D. in counseling psychology, he worked for another mental health center as an outpatient psychologist and a supervisor of Ph.D. student interns.
This practical experience has been enlightening and growth-producing. It also informs his teaching. He has been teaching General Psychology part-time since he was working on his master’s degree. He has taught full-time for the last couple of decades, and especially loves his classes in Group Dynamics, Social Psychology and General Psychology.
Dr. Priest has a seminary degree and is very interested in how knowledge gained through scripture and knowledge gained through the scientific method cohere. Both try to help us understand who we are and what motivates us. Dr. Priest is a professor and chair of the psychology department. He is married to AU alumnae Sharon Gray Priest and has two girls, Leah & Anna. He enjoys carpentry work and genealogy. He runs and walks to stay fit only because it’s healthy!
Dr. Priest has served at Anderson University since 2009.
B.A. in psychology & religion studies, Anderson University
M.A. in Religion, Anderson University School of Theology
M.A. in Counseling Psychology, Ball State University
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Ball State University
Dr. Stull is a graduate of Anderson University. She returned to AU with the hope of impacting student’s lives as her AU professors impacted her. Dr. Stull’s tenure at Anderson University, she has taught a variety of psychology courses, including introductory and advanced research courses.
Her research has focused on the stigma of severe mental illness and the detrimental effects of that stigma, including decreased access to mental health care. She is particularly interested in both explicit and implicit stigmatizing attitudes that are held by mental health professionals, clergy, and clergy-in-training. She also has published in the areas of stigma among veterans, fidelity measure development for evidence-based practices, and recovery-oriented services. Her most recent work involves the stigma of mental illness in faith communities.
In addition to her own research, Dr. Stull has assisted students in completing independent undergraduate research projects. The completed work has been presented at professional psychology research conferences and submitted for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals.
Dr. Stull’s clinical training included a specialization in psychiatric rehabilitation and she has a particular interest in working with individuals with schizophrenia. She did a year-long clinical internship at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration (VA) and then did a postdoctorate Interprofessional Fellowship in Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Oriented Services at the San Diego VA. She is a licensed psychologist in Indiana.
Dr. Stull is married to AU alum Stephen, with whom she has one young son, Simon. In her spare time, she enjoys running (sometimes after her amazingly fast young son), eating ethnic food, and traveling.
Dr. Stull has served at Anderson University since 2012.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.A., Anderson University
M.S., Ph.D., Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis