Pedagogy Day 2016

2016 Conference Theme

The theme of this year’s conference is Student Centered Pedagogy. The goal of the conference is to help graduate students and early career professionals get a firm footing in using active learning strategies, aimed at developing liberal arts/general education skills through student engagement. This year’s conference adds to the momentum created by the Graduate Student Teaching Association (GSTA) of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA, Division 2). The Graduate Center proudly serves as the host institution of the GSTA, and as part of its mission strives to stimulate discussions around evidence-based pedagogy and to share resources and ideas with graduate student instructors both locally and nationally. We are delighted to welcome the President of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Dr. Janie Wilson, as this year’s Keynote Speaker. We have quite a day planned with hands-on workshops and a blitz of teaching activities and we thank you for joining us!


Morning Events: 1st Floor, Segal Theater

8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Quantitative Skills Workshop, led by Dr. Rebecca Weiss, Dr. Daryl Wout, and Kim Schanz, John Jay College, CUNY

Bringing Research into the classroom

Rebecca Weiss Presentation

Daryl Wout Presentation

Kim Schanz Presentation

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Keynote Talk by Dr. Janie Wilson, Georgia Southern University

Teaching challenging courses: Focus on Statistics and Research Methods

Sample Worksheet for Correlation Activity

Afternoon Events: 6th Floor, Sylvia Scribner Conference Room (6304.01)

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Food and Refreshments Available to All Attendees

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Interactive Technology Workshop led by Julie Hecht and Dr. Phil Kreniske, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Blogging Within and Beyond the College Classroom

     Check out the talk here.


2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Critical Thinking Workshop, led by Dr. Paige H. Fisher, Dr. Janine P. Buckner, Dr. Amy S. Hunter, and Dr. Susan A. Nolan, Seton Hall University

Beyond “I know it when I see it”. Developing Concrete examples of critical thinking in psychology classrooms.

4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Class Activity Blitz! Check it out here.


5:30 pm.  – 6:00 p.m.

Wrap-up and Reception

Quantitative Skills Workshop

Rebecca Weiss is an Assistant Professor of Forensic Assessment at John Jay College and a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of New York. Before joining the faculty at John Jay, she completed her clinical training at Yale University School of Medicine. She received her PhD and MA in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University.  She received her BA in Psychology and International Studies from Northwestern University.  Dr. Weiss teaches in the undergraduate psychology program at John Jay College and the doctoral program in clinical psychology through the Graduate Center.  She is a mentor in the Ronald E. McNair Program and the John Jay Honors Program.  In 2016, she received McNair’s Kwando Kinshasa Excellence in Mentoring Award. Her research interests include the effect of culture on validity in forensic assessment and psychological diagnosis.   Her current projects include an examination of the utility of measures of feigning in bilingual and monolingual Spanish-speaking samples.  She is also collaborating with Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in an examination of competency to stand trial evaluations.

Daryl Wout received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan in 2004. After graduation, Dr. Wout completed a NSF postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. He joined the psychology faculty of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007. Since joining John Jay, Dr. Wout has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods and a graduate level course on social stigmas. His research focuses on 1) how people cope with being the target of stereotyping and prejudice, 2) how to foster intergroup interactions and interracial friendships and 3) how Whites and racial minorities categorize and perceive biracial individuals. Dr. Wout recently completed a NSF grant that looked at how racial friendship networks interaction goals can either foster or hinder the development of interracial friendships.

Kim Schanz is a 5th year PhD student in the Psychology and Law training area at the GC. She became particularly interested in pedagogy, specifically incorporating research in the classroom, two years ago when she starting teaching a first-year seminar on memory. She is particularly interested in creating and testing ways to get students fully engaged in the classroom through the use of hands-on activities, including research projects. She also enjoys mentoring students and helping them to determine their next steps towards their career goals. Outside of pedagogy, Kim’s research interests include understanding behavioral patterns that occur in serial, violent crimes and using that understanding to improve both investigation and supervision procedures.

Bringing Research into the Classroom

Students who are more actively engaged in the learning process are more likely to complete their degree (Tinto, 2006).  This panel will focus on bringing research into the classroom, developing students’ quantitative literacy and forming a foundation for their future academic goals.  The panel speakers will present examples of how research can be directly and indirectly introduced into the classroom across a range of class size and levels.  Dr. Weiss will discuss the creation of a research-intensive course, which incorporated student-run research studies for advanced undergraduate students. Dr. Wout will discuss strategies to incorporate student data collection into a research methods course.  Ms. Schanz will discuss how to scaffold the research process for first-year students.

Keynote Talk

Janie Wilson received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1994. Since that time, she has been teaching and conducting research at Georgia Southern University. In the classroom, Dr. Wilson specializes in teaching and learning in statistics and research methods. Research interests include rapport in teaching based on empirical data on the first day of class, electronic communications, interactions with students in a traditional classroom, syllabus design, and the development and validation of the Professor-Student Rapport Scale. Publications include a statistics textbook, Essential Statistics, with Pearson, as well as two brief texts with Sage: An EasyGuide to Research Presentations and An EasyGuide to Research Design and SPSS. Along with her colleague, Shauna Joye, she recently published Research Methods and Statistics: An Integrated Approach (Sage). Dr. Wilson has contributed numerous chapters to edited books and has co-edited several books related to teaching and learning. She has published extensively on the scholarship of teaching and learning and has offered over 60 conference presentations, including several invited keynote addresses. Dr. Wilson serves as the President of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP), Division Two of APA.

Teaching challenging courses: Focus on Statistics and Research Methods

This session will focus on approaches to teaching statistics and research methods, two topics generally considered by psychology undergraduates to be challenging. First we will discuss creating classroom rapport and common pitfalls associated with teaching undergraduates. How might we prevent problems rather than deal with them after they occur? Creating rapport and class preparation are particularly important in high-stress courses.  After setting the stage, we will consider approaches to teaching statistics and research methods, including a proposed order of topics and the role of active learning.

Interactive Technology Workshop

Julie Hecht is a doctoral candidate in the CUNY Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology program and is based at Hunter College under the supervision of animal cognition researcher Diana Reiss. Julie received a MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and her research focuses on the behavior, welfare, and cognition of companion animals, specifically dogs and cats. She aims to expand what is known about companion animals while simultaneously bringing animal lovers into the scientific process through citizen science. Julie is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and pens the blog ‘Dog Spies’ on Scientific American. She would really like to meet your dog.

Phil Krenskie received his PhD. in Psychology from The Graduate Center, CUNY in 2016. Phil is a developmental psychologist interested in the intersection of education, technology and life transitions. He has designed and evaluated educational interventions and conducted research in the United States and internationally. He is currently a Community Facilitator for the New York City College of Technology OpenLab.

Blogging Within and Beyond the College Classroom 

Meet blogs: a fun tool to incorporate in the classroom with the potential to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes. This session will introduce you to a number of different ways — varying in complexity and effort — that blogs can be included in the classroom. First, we begin with an introduction to blogs and the history of blogging — what they are, who writes them, and where to find blogs that would complement existing content and learning goals. From there, we explore two ways to use blogs in the classroom — reading blog posts created by others or creating blog posts for internal learning and community-building. We will then work individually and in small groups to generate and then respond to potential blogging prompts. Instructors will leave the session with a strong understanding of the uses of blogging in the classroom, and with a series of relevant and ready-made writing activities.

Critical Thinking Workshop

Janine P. Buckner is a professor of psychology and Associate Dean of Academic Analysis & Planning in the College of Arts & Sciences at Seton Hall University (South Orange, New Jersey).

Janine received a B.A. in Psychology from Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, New York), and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia). Her research focuses upon Autobiographical Memory and how identity and memory are shaped by and influence social interactions over time. She also explores how gender beliefs may impact development of career identities, particularly in STEM fields (this work has been prestigious funded by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, American Chemical Society and the National Science Foundation).

Janine is Past President of the Council of Undergraduate Psychology Programs, and regularly co-organizes teaching-related symposia/workshops on gender, development and pedagogical issues in teaching and learning. Her favorite teaching-related project is My Virtual Life (Pearson Education), an online program she authored to demonstrate principles relevant to lifespan development through immersion in the virtual lifetime of a character created by users.

Susan A. Nolan is a professor of psychology at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. She earned her A.B. from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Illinois. Susan has conducted research on interpersonal consequences of mental illness and the role of gender in STEM careers; the latter work has been funded in part by the National Science Foundation. She was a 2015-2016 U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Bosnia and Herzegovina where she was researching psychology higher education, including the Bologna Process. Susan also co-authors statistics and introductory psychology textbooks with Macmillan Publishers. She enjoys teaching a wide range of courses, including Introductory Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, International Psychology, and Statistics.

Susan is currently a member of the Committee on International Relations in Psychology for the American Psychological Association, an On-Call Scientist working with human rights organizations through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Associate Editor for the international journal Psychology Learning and Teaching, and the Vice President of Diversity and International Relations for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. She is Past President of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA), and a Fellow of EPA, APA, and the Association for Psychological Science.

Amy Silvestri Hunter is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. She earned her PhD at the University of Vermont studying the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. After a postdoctoral position at the University of Pennsylvania investigating the neurobiology of sleep, Amy has focused her own research on the importance of REM sleep for learning and memory. She teaches a variety of traditional courses, such as Biological Psychology and Research Methods, and has also had the opportunity to develop and teach new courses such as Orientation to the Psychology Major and Neuropsychology of Religious Experience. She is the Associate Director of Project Syllabus, an initiative of APA’s Division Two (Teaching of Psychology), which is a peer-reviewed compendium of syllabi for a wide variety of psychology courses.

Paige H. Fisher is an associate professor of psychology at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.  She has a B.A. from Brown University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University at Massachusetts at Amherst.  Before joining Seton Hall, she was a Project Manager for several NIMH grants related to cognitive-behavioral treatment for childhood anxiety.  Her current research focuses on socio-emotional development in educational settings, specifically academic interest in preschool children, and the relationship between mental health and adjustment in college students.  Along with colleagues Amy Hunter and Janine Buckner, Paige has organized several conference sessions related to teaching critical thinking skills.  She predominantly teaches clinically-focused courses such as Abnormal Psychology, Foundations of Clinical Psychology and Psychology Internship, though she also enjoys teaching Introduction to Psychology.

Beyond “I know it when I see it”: Developing concrete examples of critical thinking in psychology classrooms

Students do not typically have a conceptualization or vocabulary for critical thinking (i.e., they rarely understand what critical thinking is or why it is important).   This workshop will emphasize the importance of embedding explicit discussion of critical thinking and its value into our courses, and discuss classroom structures that support critical thinking.



Rita Obeid

Anna Schwartz

Pedagogy Day Committee

Kasey Powers, Teresa Ober, Ethlyn Salzman, Charles Raffaele

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Patricia Brooks, College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center, CUNY

A special thank you to

Dr. Richard Bodner, Executive Officer of the Doctoral Program in Psychology
Psychology Executive Office Staff: Judith Kubran and Marimer Berberena
All volunteers that helped us make this conference a success!

The Pedagogy Day committee would also like to thank the following parties for their financial support:
Graduate Students Teaching Association (GSTA)
Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA Division 2)
American Psychological Association Board of Educational Affairs (APA-BEA)
Doctoral Student Council (DSC), CUNY

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Pedagogy Day 2016