As a lecturer at GSU, my primary responsibility is teaching. I typically teach Introduction to General Psychology (PSYC 1101), Introduction to Research Design and Analysis (PSYC 3510), and Developmental Psychology (PSYC 4040). Although I use traditional lectures to convey material from assigned readings, I also rely heavily on technology both in and outside the classroom. All of my courses consist on an online component, allowing students to take quizzes and exams online, and submit assignments on iCollege. Group activities and discussions also play an important role in the courses that I teach. I believe that interacting with peers is often the most effective way to understand a given concept.
Although I focus on teaching, I am very involved in research, particularly applied research projects. My main focus is on animal wellness and relationships between humans and exotic and domestic animals. I am currently working with Zoo Atlanta to assess wellness in their elephant collection, including how they respond to a change in housing when their exhibit expansion is completed. We are also collecting and analyzing data on the relationships between the elephant care professionals and the elephants during their interactions. Recently I have expanded my research to domestic animals, and I am working with LifeLine Animal Project, which manages both the DeKalb and Fulton Count shelters. We are assessing adopters’ perceptions of the shelters, animals, and the adoption processes, with the hopes of increasing adoption rates. In the future, we hope to expand this research project to assess the wellness of the shelter animals, and implement changes to maximize wellness. Previously, I have also conducted research on the behaviors of giant pandas, giraffes, meerkats, chimpanzees, big cats, and humans.