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Department of Psychology Welcomes New Faculty and Staff for Fall 2022

As the 2022 fall semester gets underway, the Department of Psychology, in the College of Sciences, welcomes eight new faculty and two new staff members. As Monarchs return to classes this semester the additions will be a welcome into the pride as students delve into research, explorations and building connections. "I am excited to welcome this talented new group of faculty members and staff to the Department of Psychology," said George Noell, Ph.D. professor and chair of Department of Psychology. "As our department continues to grow and evolve, I look forward to the important contributions of our new team members."

Meet Assistant Professor Sarah Ehlke, Ph.D. She received her doctorate from ODU, a M.A. from UNC Wilmington, and a B.S. and M.A. from the University of South Florida. Ehlke's research focuses on mental health outcomes and substance use behavior (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, cannabis) among sexual and gender minority individuals, particularly sexual minority women. "I seek to identify social, environmental, and cognitive factors that may influence health behaviors, and can be adapted in online interventions for sexual minority women," said Ehlke. Prior to coming to ODU, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center where she primarily studied correlates of tobacco and cannabis use among vulnerable populations including young adult menthol smokers, sexual minority individuals, adults experiencing homelessness, and low-income adult smokers. "I am excited to be back in the classroom and mixing my passion for education and research, and I look forward to growing my lab with undergraduate and graduate students to provide mentorship for the next generation of research scientists," said Ehlke. "In terms of research, I hope to obtain funding to continue exploring ways to improve the health equity of sexual and gender minority young adults."

Another new faculty member is Assistant Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology Mallory McCord, Ph.D. is another new addition to the department. She received her doctorate and M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Also, McCord received an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a B.A. in Psychology from American University. McCord's primary research interests include studying workplace mistreatment and deviance, often using meta-analytic methods. She has spearheaded scholarly research in the organizational sciences on the topic of negative responses to introversion at work. Dr. McCord's work has been published in notable journals, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Stress & Health. "I am excited to build interdisciplinary collaborations and showcase the value of IO psychology," said McCord.

Meet Senior Lecturer, Ashley Doane, Ph.D. She received all three of her degrees from ODU, which includes a B.S. and M.S. in Psychology and a doctorate in Applied Experimental Psychology. Doane's research interests include predictors of cyberbullying victimization and perpetration, the role of cyberbullying bystanders, and cyberbullying prevention. "I have worked with students to develop and evaluate student-led cyberbullying programs that focus on reducing cyberbullying perpetration and victimization and improving positive bystander behavior.", said Doane. She earned several awards throughout her career. Most recently she was awarded the Faculty Advisor of the Year Award at Chowan University and the McDowell Columns Scholar Prize Recipient. Previously, she received the Outstanding Classroom Instructor Graduate Teaching Award at ODU. "I am excited to be back at my alma mater," said Doane. "In my new position, I plan to apply my experience with teaching and advising students from a variety of backgrounds."

The three faculty who will work in Clinical Psychology are Professor Christina Rodriguez, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Sage Hawn, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor, Kevin Waymire, Ph.D., all of which are eager to get started.

Christina Rodriguez, Ph.D. will be Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training. Rodriguez made several stops along the way before arriving at ODU. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Miami, with minor concentrations in English and Mathematics/Computer Science. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Florida and completed her pre-doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Tennessee-Memphis. She began her teaching career at the University of Otago in New Zealand, followed by work at the University of Utah, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research has investigated theoretical and methodological advances in understanding mothers' and fathers' risk to engage in physical abuse that would inform prevention and intervention programs. Her research and clinical interests focus on prevention, particularly concentrating on at-risk and abusive parenting and family violence.

ODU Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology, Sage Hawn, Ph.D. Her translational program of research integrates multiple modalities to better understand the intersection of biological (e.g., genomic) and psychosocial factors that influence posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and comorbid pathologies. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she conducted her NIAAA F31-funded research exploring phenotypic and genotypic mechanisms underlying the self-medication (e.g., "drinking to cope") model of comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder. She completed her T32-funded postdoctoral clinical research fellowship at the National Center for PTSD and Boston University School of Medicine, during which time she received the Donald F. Klein Early Career Investigator Award from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for her work exploring epigenetic mechanisms underlying PTSD and associated chronic health outcomes. "As a faculty member at ODU, I am excited to pursue research that investigates how genetic risk and behavioral manifestations associated with trauma-related comorbidity interact with biological and neurobiological processes that can be intervened upon through treatment and prevention efforts to reduce negative health-related outcomes," said Hawn. "Additionally, I am passionate about teaching and mentorship and am enthusiastic about my roles in those domains."

Another new addition is Clinical Assistant Professor, Kevin Waymire, Ph.D. He received his doctorate and master's in clinical psychology from Sam Houston State University. He completed an M.Ed. in Counseling at the University of Houston. He received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. His expertise is in psychological assessment (Neuropsychological, Intelligence, General Diagnostic), forensic Psychology & Assessment (Trial Competency and Criminal Responsibility) and evidence-based clinical practice.

There are two new staff members who have joined the Department of Psychology.

Kionna Teague is the new administrative assistant and office specialist III. She has an Associates of Science in Professional Studies and a B.S. in Leadership in Interdisciplinary Studies Specialty: Program Administration and Student affairs. More importantly she received 16 personal and five-unit awards while serving in the U.S. Navy for 22 years.

"I am looking forward to anticipating the needs of the faculty, staff, and students to offer full-time administrative support, program strategy and providing services in any capacity required. I hope to be a great asset to the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology (VCPCP) and to our students! My experience, passions, and values align with that of the program and the University, and I am grateful for the opportunity to offer my skills to enhance this program!"

Allison R. Coveney is the new Department Manager. She received a B.S. from Hampton University in Business Management and an M.A. in Teaching, Elementary Education from the University of Southern California. "I look forward to working with the Department Chair, George Noell, Ph.D., BCBA, the faculty, the staff of the Department of Psychology and the ODU community at large," said Coveney. It simply is her intent to ensure that the department meets its financial obligations, adheres to school & state policies, reports timely and operates smoothly. "It is my hope that by doing so it will allow our wonderful faculty and students to continue their important work and research in Psychology," said Coveney.

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