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Psychology

The Randolph College psychology program continues a long tradition of laboratory-based psychological study emphasizing research design, the interpretation of data, and practical application. 

Why Study Psychology at Randolph

Our students learn by doing. Randolph psychology students are active in professional level research projects with their faculty mentors. The Summer Research Program and the Symposium of Artists and Scholars provide showcases for many of those students’ research projects.

Each year all Randolph Psychology seniors present the results of their self-designed research projects at a regional conference. They have been among the top award winners at the annual meeting of the Virginia Psychological Association.

In addition to this research requirement, the College offers a wide variety of opportunities for experiential learning in applied settings.

Degrees offered

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology 

Minor in Psychology 

Curriculum and Courses

Related Programs

Sociology

Education

Sport and Exercise Studies

Pre-Med

Resources and Equipment

Outcomes

Historic Preservation Law

Janie Campbell ’12, history major
Preservation Consultant, law firm of Rogers Lewis Jackson Mann & Quinn, LLC, Columbia, South Carolina

Janie’s group works with developers seeking tax credits for rehabilitating historic properties.

“I work closely with project architects to ensure that historic, character defining elements of each building are preserved and restored, which can vary tremendously as what is significant to a 1929 airplane hangar is vastly different from what makes a 1963 mid-century modern motel unique!”

She writes National Register of Historic Places nominations and Historic Preservation Certification applications, which detail the property’s significance.  She also conducts site visits to ensure work is being completed as described and photographs the before, during, and after conditions of each project.

“Randolph certainly laid the foundation for my research and writing skills. The Summer Research Program, in particular, prepared me for the type of place-based research I do now. “

Top Ranked Professors

Randolph College’s faculty are consistently recognized as among the best in the nation. The Princeton Review ranked the College 18th for most accessible professors in the 2020 edition of its flagship college guide, The Best 385 Colleges. Randolph has been ranked in the top 20 for most accessible professors for three consecutive years.

Psychology Faculty

Holly Tatum

Mary Sabel Girard '34 Professor of Psychology

Read More... Holly Tatum

Sara Beck

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Read More... Sara Beck

Elizabeth Blair Gross

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Read More... Elizabeth Blair Gross

Stephanie RiCharde

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Read More... Stephanie RiCharde

Opportunities

Department News

Q&A with new faculty: Stephanie RiCharde

RiCharde, who is joining Randolph’s psychology department as a visiting assistant professor this fall, has worked as a mental health counselor and in emergency mental health, a job that required her to collaborate closely with law enforcement, the legal system, and emergency department staff.

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Meet the graduates: Rabiea Ashraf ’21

Ashraf, a psychology and religious studies major, will be heading to Columbia University next fall to earn a dual master’s degree in Islamic studies and Muslim cultures.

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‘A unique privilege’: Randolph student explores College’s psychology collection

Haley Mundy' 22 has been immersed in the Randolph College Psychology Collection this summer as part of an experiential internship, under the supervision of retired psychology professor Rick Barnes.

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Beck writes blog about benefits of active music-making

Psychology professor Sara Beck published a blog for the Center for Scholars & Storytellers, a youth-centered organization that bridges the […]

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Randolph announces 2020-21 Academic & Leadership Awards

2020-21 award winners

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Q&A with new faculty: Stephanie RiCharde

RiCharde, who is joining Randolph’s psychology department as a visiting assistant professor this fall, has worked as a mental health counselor and in emergency mental health, a job that required her to collaborate closely with law enforcement, the legal system, and emergency department staff.

Read More

Meet the graduates: Rabiea Ashraf ’21

Ashraf, a psychology and religious studies major, will be heading to Columbia University next fall to earn a dual master’s degree in Islamic studies and Muslim cultures.

Read More

‘A unique privilege’: Randolph student explores College’s psychology collection

Haley Mundy' 22 has been immersed in the Randolph College Psychology Collection this summer as part of an experiential internship, under the supervision of retired psychology professor Rick Barnes.

Read More

Beck writes blog about benefits of active music-making

Psychology professor Sara Beck published a blog for the Center for Scholars & Storytellers, a youth-centered organization that bridges the […]

Read More

Randolph announces 2020-21 Academic & Leadership Awards

2020-21 award winners

Read More
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Department Chair

Holly Tatum

Mary Sabel Girard '34 Professor of Psychology

Credentials:B.A., Mary Baldwin College
M.A., University of Tennessee
Ph.D., University of Tennessee
Associated Departments:Psychology
Office:Psychology 208
Phone:4349478369
Email:htatum@randolphcollege.edu

News Headlines

My undergraduate education at a small liberal arts college was a defining experience for me as a student. As a psychology major at Mary Baldwin College, I became involved in conducting research with a faculty member. The individualized attention and unique experiences that I had as an undergraduate led me to graduate school and eventually back to an institution with similar values and opportunities for students. I feel fortunate now to be a part of that experience for other students as a faculty member.

At Randolph College, I teach Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, Tests and Measures, Health Psychology, Experimental Psychology, and the Psychology of Gender. What I love about the psychology program at Randolph is that we give all of our students the opportunity to design and carry out their own empirical research. One of my favorite roles is mentoring student as they navigate the research process. Each year our senior psychology majors choose the topics that interest them the most, develop a research question, design a study, collect data, and present their results at a psychology conference. Years of experience mentoring students led me to co-write a book on the ethics of undergraduate research in psychology – Ethics in Psychological Research: A Practical Guide for the Student Scientist.

Teaching at a smaller school allows me to maintain my research interests in several different areas of psychology. My scholarship falls under the umbrella of health psychology. I am interested in how differences in personality are related to stress, coping, and overall well-being. I have studied how feelings of revenge are related to illness symptoms and how sense of humor predicts physical and psychological well-being. I also conduct research on the scholarship of teaching and learning. I am interested in how gender affects the college classroom experience for students and faculty. More recently, I have studied the efficacy of honor codes in reducing academic dishonesty. My interest in academic integrity was piqued by Randolph’s longstanding honor code.

When I am not teaching or writing, I enjoy cross-country skiing in the winter and kayaking in the summer.

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Sara Beck

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Credentials:B.A., Vanderbilt University
M.A., Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Associated Departments:Psychology
Office:Psychology 207
Phone:4349478546
Email:sbeck@randolphcollege.edu

News Headlines

In the classroom, my goal is to tap into students’ natural curiosity about human behavior and mental processes and encourage them to interact with the broad scientific literature that exists under the umbrella of “psychology.” I focus on applying what psychologists learn from research to our own experiences, as well as building transferable skills around reading and consuming scientific literature. I want students to be able to decode behavioral science headlines by going to the published source. It’s thrilling to see that skillset benefit students as they move into a range of careers ­and roles – from teaching to healthcare to family caregiving.

I teach Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Personality Psychology, Research Methods, and Psychology of Music. We have a fantastic nursery school on campus in which students can observe young children, and all psychology majors at Randolph College develop and conduct experimental research – both of which contribute to the high rigor of the psychology program here.

My research centers on how children’s active engagement with music and media can be leveraged to facilitate prosocial behavior and inclusion. As a lifelong musician and a firm believer that everyone can “do” music, I am interested in how making music with others can foster social bonding in both children and adults. I have looked at preschool-age children’s sharing and helping following brief musical interactions, and I continue to investigate how synchronous movement and perceptions of synchrony during music making affect social bonding in children and adults. Additionally, I have a line of research focused on school age children’s thinking about gender in the context of a children’s program featuring a genderless android. I view research as an inherently collaborative process, and I particularly enjoy the process of working alongside students to develop and refine research questions.

When I am not working at Randolph, I can be found making things out of pinecones with my two little girls, recording new songs, and hanging out at the public library.

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Elizabeth Blair Gross

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Credentials:B.A., University of Virginia
M.A., University of Virginia
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Associated Departments:Psychology
Office:Psychology 1
Phone:4349478548
Email:egross@randolphcollege.edu

News Headlines

What excites me the most about the Psychology program at Randolph College is how closely I get to work with undergraduate students. I am passionate about teaching psychology, and I love the small, intimate, and supportive classrooms that enable me to not only teach but mentor my students as well. I currently teach Introduction to Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Research Methods, and Myths and Controversies in Psychology. Most of all, I try to incorporate research into all of my classes, either by emphasizing rigorous evaluation of scientific studies and their conclusions or having students design and conduct their own research studies. I find students really are the creative engine in the field!

As much as I love teaching, I also love being a scientist. In research, I am primarily interested in how our social environments shape basic cognitive processes, and how individuals incur costs and benefits in social relationships. I find it fascinating that our visual systems reconstruct the world around us, but it is not always accurate. For example, the steepest paved road in Lynchburg, VA is, by law, 9 degrees, yet it looks drastically steeper! In fact, there is good evidence that what we see is shaped by both our ability to act in the world and, more surprisingly, who surrounds us. Distances look farther and hills look steeper when we are physically exhausted, and thinking about a supportive friend literally makes us see the world as easier to navigate. My research has found that even an abstract social resource, imagining supportive others, provides physiological benefits and alters visual perception. I am excited to continue this work with students in an effort to directly quantify how individuals perceive and relate to their social network in an effort to establish what aspects of the social environment are responsible for these direct changes in physiology and cognitive processes.

When I’m not working, you will often find me training for long distance runs, catching up on my reading list, or watching football.

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Stephanie RiCharde

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Credentials:B.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
M.A., University of Central Florida
Ph.D. Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Associated Departments:Psychology
Office:Psychology 306
Phone:4349478547
Email:sricharde@randolphcollege.edu

News Headlines

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