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As the department chair, Dr. Jeff Elliott has played major roles in developing a high-quality undergraduate psychology major, promoting student research, and supporting students’ professional development. He is definitely an integral part of our psychology department! I had a chance to interview Dr. Elliott to ask him more about his background and type of work that he does at Stevenson.

Dr. Elliott

Dr. Jeff Elliott

Dr. Elliott’s Background

Dr. Elliott received his Ph.D. in Human Services Psychology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He has been involved in the field of mental health as he has provided counseling to men who were abusive to their romantic partners. Since 2001, he has been working at Stevenson University (Villa Julie College back then).

Dr. Elliott’s Work at Stevenson and Beyond

At Stevenson, Dr. Elliott has taught almost every course in our curriculum! His excellence in teaching has been recognized by the Rose Dawson Excellence in Teaching Award. Courses that he offers include First Year Seminar, Research Methods and Statistics II, and Behavioral Approaches to Change, and Senior Research Theses. He has developed courses such as PSY 201 Writing for Psychology and PSY 136 Statistics for Behavioral and Social Sciences to equip students with the foundation of skills to understand and communicate about research. In addition to his role as the department chair, Dr. Elliott is serving as the Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Dr. Elliott is well-known for his support and advocacy for students, especially for those who are struggling. His passion and dedication in meeting students where they are and helping them succeed extends beyond our Stevenson community. For example, Dr. Elliott has been working as a Counselor/Program Evaluator for Upward Bound at Morgan State University for many years to support first generation, low income, and at-risk high school students. Through his intervention, these students have a higher chance of graduating high school and attending college.

Providing Opportunities for Students

One important contribution from Dr. Elliott is his commitment to promoting student research and providing student with opportunities to present their work at professional conferences, such as Eastern Psychological Association (EPA) and Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA). Dr. Elliott takes a good deal of time to identify funding sources and apply for grants to support our students’ traveling. He strongly believes that these efforts would provide opportunities for students to network, develop professionally, and ultimately become more competitive for graduate schools and professional careers.

Dr. Elliott provides strong support for student activities as he serves as a sponsor for Psychology Club. Students who work closely with Dr. Elliott as research assistants, student assistants, and teaching assistants all rave about him. Emma Lichtman (’19 Psychology) says that she really enjoys working for him and has learned so much by working on a variety of tasks. Hanne Wilburn (’19 Psychology) says: “Dr. Elliott is such a great professor. His door is always open to anyone who needs help. He truly cares about students not just learning, but understanding the important concepts they will need to be successful in the future!”

Thank you for all your dedication and hard work Dr. Elliott! We are lucky to have you as our chair!

By: Olivia Webb

As a science, Psychology is heavily based on research. Among our amazing faculty, Dr. Metzger has an active research program in the area of cognitive psychology.

Dr. Metzger’s Background

Dr. Metzger received his Ph.D. in Experimental Cognitive Psychology from the University of North Dakota and completed his post-doctoral training at the Institute for Child Development at the University of Minnesota and the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina. Before coming to Stevenson University, he has worked as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as well as Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Metzger

Dr. Metzger and his students from left to right Danielle Gershman, Bryce Merkt, and Cole Simmons

Dr. Metzger’s Research Projects

As a progressive thinker, Dr. Metzger has been looking into the idea of quantum physics in psychology. He states, “You don’t need to know the math, but the understanding is important.” He has applied these ideas to cognitive psychology, mentioning how twins can have similar thought process because of the principle of superposition. Dr. Metzger currently has three different research groups, Psych and Law, Cognition and Emotion, and Health Behaviors.

SEPA

Dr. Metzger led a group of students to attend the Southeast Psychological Association (SEPA) conference in March 2019. From left to right: Savanna Angel, Akera Williams, Jenny Tran, Kelly Sweeney, and Nick Mehiel

SEPA2

From left to right: Cole Simmons, Samantha Burney, and Nick Mehiel

SEPA3

Congratulations to Hanne Wilburn for winning the Psi Chi Regional Research Award at SEPA!

With all these research opportunities, Dr. Metzger has gathered a group of dedicated psychology students who are eager to learn more. For the past semesters, his students have collaborated with the researchers at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga to investigate how well faces of an already known individual can be identified. The goal is to determine the reliability of facial recognition and how it can be applied to witness statements in court. Stevenson students have taken part in the data management and collection for the studies.

Without a doubt, research is a process that requires a lot of work. Dr. Metzger’s students are learning so much. For example, research assistant Danielle Gershman finds that through this research experience, she is gaining a better understanding of her interest and is equipped with the skills she needs for grad school.

Dr. Metzger’s Mentoring Style

Every professor is unique. Students repeatedly report that they enjoy working with Dr. Metzger because of his consistent supportive guidance. One student Cole Simmons mentions, “Dr. Metzger is different and very smart. He cares about the students who work with him. He listens to them and supports their ideas.”

Overall, Dr. Metzger has been fostering the growth of many Stevenson Psychology students. Interested in learning more about Dr. Metzger’s work? Email him at rmetzger@stevenson.edu

By: Olivia Webb

 
 
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