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Faculty Research Interests

Dr. Renee Bator

  • Ph.D. (1997) Arizona State University, Social Psychology
  • M.A. (1994) Arizona State University, Social Psychology
  • B.A. (1991) University of California at Santa Cruz, Psychology

My research interests include the application of persuasion theory to pro-social outcomes, especially those with environmental or health benefits. I have created and tested anti-littering public service announcements, as well as examined persuasion attempts to motivate safer sex, to promote a commitment to exercise, and to encourage an anti-smoking commitment among adolescents.

Dr. Wendy Braje

  • Ph.D. (1997) University of Minnesota, Cognitive and Biological Psychology
  • B.A. (1990) Hope College, Psychology

My research investigates visual perception and cognition, including object recognition, face perception, synesthesia, and memory.

Visit Dr. Braje’s web pages for more information.

Dr. Gary Brannigan

  • Ph.D. (1973) University of Delaware, Clinical Psychology
  • M.A. (1972) University of Delaware, Clinical Psychology
  • B.A. (1969) Fairfield University, Psychology

My research and writing are in the general area of psychoeducational assessment and intervention. Most recently, I revised the Qualitative Scoring System for the Modified Version of the Bender-Gestalt Test (published by Charles C. Thomas, 2002) and worked on the development of the Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, Second Edition (published by Riverside Pub., 2003). I am currently completing work on a coauthored book entitled Reading Disabilities: Beating the Odds.

Laci Charette

  • Psy.D. (2007) Alfred University, School Psychology
  • M.A. (2003) & CAS (2004) Alfred University, School Psychology
  • B.A. (2001) SUNY Plattsburgh, Psychology

My research interests include academic and non-academic factors that affect achievement in college. Academic factors include previous achievement such as high school GPA and SAT scores while non-academic factors include locus of control and self-efficacy. In the future, I would like to investigate the effectiveness of school discipline strategies such as in-school and out-of-school suspensions.

Dr. Katherine Dunham

  • Ph.D. (1997) University of Windsor, Applied Social Psychology
  • M.A. (1991) University of Guelph, Personality Psychology
  • M.Sc. (1988) Dalhousie University, Biology
  • B.Sc.(1986) Dalhousie University, Biology

The main focus of my research is social support, specifically social support from friends or relatives (i.e., not from formal sources such as counsellors). I ask some basic questions about the social support process that occurs when people disclose various personal problems. So far, my research has focused on disclosures of experiences of partner abuse and of suicidal thoughts or behaviors. I hope to expand this research to disclosures of other kinds of personal crises. Recently, I have also done studies on perceptions of incidents of sexual harassment and the effects of the victim’s response to the harassment on observers’ reactions. I also have interests and experience in applied research, including program evaluation and needs assessments for community and health-related services.

Dr. Richard Durant

  • Post-Doctoral Specialization in Clinical Neuropsychology (2010-2012) Comprehensive Neuropsychological Services, PLLC 
  • Psy.D. (2011) Antioch University New England, Clinical Psychology
  • M.S. (2008) Antioch University New England, Clinical Psychology
  • B.S. (2005) Empire State College, Human Development & Psychology

My dissertation research focused on the education and support needs of young families who have a parent diagnosed with cancer. Currently, I am interested in investigating the education and support needs of care — givers of people with various neurological, developmental, and neuropsychiatric disorders (such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder). I am also interested in assessing and mapping the neuropsychology of organizational and political leadership.

Dr. Jeremy Grabbe

  • Ph.D. (2008) University of Akron, Applied Cognitive Aging Psychology
  • M.A. (2003) University of Akron, Applied Cognitive Aging Psychology
  • B.A. (2001) University of Akron, Psychology

My research focuses on changes in cognition with aging. I’m primarily interested in changes in working memory and visual lexical processing. I also examine cognitive compensation for changes in aging, primarily ways in which to offset any age related decrements. I also work on human factors engineering projects.

Dr. J. Stephen Mansfield

  • D.Phil. (1990) Oxford University, Physiology
  • B.Sc. (1987) St. Andrews University, Psychology

My recent research concerns the perceptual and cognitive processes involved in reading. For example: How does reading performance depend on print size? How is reading speed influenced by typeface? How can we improve the reading performance of individuals with low vision or children with dyslexia?

Visit Dr. Mansfield’s web pages for more information.

Dr. Michael Morales

  • Ph.D. (1995) University of California, Riverside, Developmental Psychology
  • M.A. (1992) University of California, Riverside, Developmental Psychology
  • B.A. (1989) University of California, Riverside, Psychology
  • A.S. (1986) Riverside City College, Mathematics

The primary focus of my research has been on the development of emotion regulation skills during the infancy and early childhood period. My research has focused on normative changes in emotion regulation, as well as on the development of individual differences in emotion regulation behavior. The latter focus of my work has led to my considering how children’s experiences with their parents, how children’s temperament, and how contextual influences, beyond the home environment, might lead to stylistic differences in how children go about regulating their emotional state. Most recently, I have been examining how children’s early nonverbal communication skills influence their ability to regulate emotion, and what types of behavioral strategies young children use to regulate emotion.

Dr. Dale Phillips

  • Ph.D. (2002) University of Saskatchewan, Educational Psychology & Special Education
  • M.A. (1988) University of Regina, Clinical Psychology
  • B.A. (1977) University of Regina, Education

My research interests are in the area of the externalizing behavioral disorders of childhood. Children suffering from these disorders, which include Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, create significant challenges for schools, communities, and families. My research examines the cognitive differences of these populations and the efficacy of various treatment modalities.

Dr. Edward Sturman

  • Ph.D. (2006) York University, Social/Personality Psychology
  • M.A. (2003) York Univeristy, Clinical Psychology
  • B.A. (1998) York University, Psychology

I am primarily interested in personality vulnerability to mood disorder. In particular, I have been looking into personality traits such as perfectionism, self-criticism, and attributional style. I have also conducted studies into the role that involuntary subordination plays in the development of depression, as well as other variables derived from evolutionary theories.

Dr. William Tooke

  • Ph.D. (1987) University of Texas at Arlington, Experimental Psychology
  • B.A. (1976) Montana State University — Bozeman

My research interests are in the broad area of evolutionary psychology, particularly as it relates to evolved human mating strategies. Over the past ten years, I have published studies investigating male and female deception in mating contexts, jealousy and jealousy evocation strategies, sex differences in short-term and long-term mating strategies, and evolved sex differences in sexual desire and preferences for sexual variety. Currently, I am an active collaborator in the International Sexuality Description Project (ISDP), an international group of researchers investigating cross-cultural universals in human mating behavior. In addition to refereed academic journals, my research has been featured in several popular press outlets such as Psychology Today, WebMD, Reader’s Digest, APA Monitor, and Donahue.

Visit Dr. Tooke’s web pages for more information.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about the psychology program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact

Department co-chairs
Dr. Katherine Dunham ([email protected])
Dr. Michael Morales ([email protected])

Department secretaries
Ms. Pam LeClair ([email protected])
Ms. Donna Vanderhoff ([email protected])

Psychology Office: Sibley Hall 630

Phone: (518) 564-3076
Toll-free Phone: (800) 441-7215
Fax: (518) 564-3397