Randolph College Home Page Give Today! Support Randolph College
AboutAdmissionUndergraduateGraduateAcademicsUndergraduateGraduateStudent LifeAthleticsOutcomesAlumnae & AlumniParents & FamiliesInside RandolphAPPLYREQUESTVISITNEWSEVENTSSupport RandolphSearch

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 

Interdisciplinary Minor in Cognitive Science

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

Elizabeth Blair Gross

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Chair of Psychology, Social and Behavioral Sciences Division Head

Read More... Elizabeth Blair Gross

Sara Beck

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Read More... Sara Beck

Timothy Patrick

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Read More... Timothy Patrick

Holly Tatum

Mary Sabel Girard '34 Professor of Psychology

Read More... Holly Tatum

Opportunities

Department News

Randolph professors granted tenure

Psychology professor Sara Beck, education professor Crystal Howell, and political science professor Aaron Shreve were recently granted tenure by the Randolph College Board of Trustees.

Read More

Randolph celebrates 2023 mid-year graduates

Twenty-two students will receive their diplomas this winter— 17 undergraduates and five who have completed the Master of Arts in Coaching and Sport Leadership (MACSL).

Read More

Summer research project examining movement dynamics

Research has shown that the observation of an action often involves the internal simulation of that same action in the observer. In other words, you can imagine yourself doing it.

Read More

Students inducted into national, international honor societies

On Tuesday, Randolph students from a variety of academic departments were officially inducted into international, national, and College honor societies.

Read More

Alumnae return for Women in Science Panel

Dr. Mary Betterton ’81, Caitlin Jones ’17, and Mehgan McCrickard ’03 discussed their careers and offered advice to current students.

Read More

Randolph professors granted tenure

Psychology professor Sara Beck, education professor Crystal Howell, and political science professor Aaron Shreve were recently granted tenure by the Randolph College Board of Trustees.

Read More

Randolph celebrates 2023 mid-year graduates

Twenty-two students will receive their diplomas this winter— 17 undergraduates and five who have completed the Master of Arts in Coaching and Sport Leadership (MACSL).

Read More

Summer research project examining movement dynamics

Research has shown that the observation of an action often involves the internal simulation of that same action in the observer. In other words, you can imagine yourself doing it.

Read More

Students inducted into national, international honor societies

On Tuesday, Randolph students from a variety of academic departments were officially inducted into international, national, and College honor societies.

Read More

Alumnae return for Women in Science Panel

Dr. Mary Betterton ’81, Caitlin Jones ’17, and Mehgan McCrickard ’03 discussed their careers and offered advice to current students.

Read More
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS Feeds Snapchat
Department Chair

Elizabeth Blair Gross

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Chair of Psychology, Social and Behavioral Sciences Division Head

Credentials:B.A., University of Virginia
M.A., University of Virginia
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Associated Departments:Psychology, Cognitive Science
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.

×

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.

×

Timothy Patrick

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Credentials:B.S., Oswego State University, Psychology
M.A., Cleveland State University, Experimental Psychology
Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, Cognitive Neuroscience
Associated Departments:Psychology
Office:Psychology 306
Phone:4349478533
Email:tpatrick@randolphcollege.edu

News Headlines

My teaching style adopts the Socratic method and I have found that this approach fits well with the class size and structure here at Randolph. While I play the role of the instructor, I try to promote active discussion, critical thinking, and the sharing of ideas in my classes. As a student, I always appreciated those professors who challenged me to explore the material on my own terms and to think beyond the boundaries of what is written in a textbook, rather than those who presented information as if it was beyond reproach. To me, there is nothing more exciting than the potential to discover innovative thoughts and ideas through discourse inside the classroom and personal exploration outside of the classroom. In my classes, I want my students to not only engage with the material being taught, I want them to learn something valuable about themselves in the process. I hope to achieve that here.

I teach Evolutionary Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods, Psychology of Learning, and more. Even though this is my first year here at Randolph, I am excited for the potential to apply my teaching philosophy to these different areas of Psychology. The small class sizes and regular interactions allow for a unique opportunity to assist each student in reaching their full potential.

My current research interests focus on the dynamic nature of perception and perceptual prediction. I am interested in how we internally represent the constantly changing environment in ways that allow us to effectively predict and interact with our surroundings. Specifically, I am interested in the nature of attention and how this can be manipulated to alter the rate at which we represent and perceive dynamic events. By adopting the framework of attention as a dynamic (rhythmic) system that aligns with the rate of perceptual events, I attempt to explore how we may be able to accomplish perceptual tasks faster by increasing the rate of attentional processes.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy playing hockey, reading, and spending time with my wife and two cats (Bob and Penelope).

×

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.

×