67th SEPA Annual Meeting

Program Highlights

Christopher Ferguson
Dr. Christopher Ferguson is a professor of psychology at Stetson University in Deland, FL. He has been doing research on the topic of violent video games for almost twenty years. He has testified on the topic before Vice President Biden's meetings on gun violence following the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, before the Centers for Disease Control and Institute of Medicine and the US Department of Education School Safety Commission. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and current president of the Society for Media Psychology and Technology. He has published a book on video game research for general audiences: Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games is Wrong as well as How Madness Shaped History and a mystery novel Suicide Kings. He lives in Orlando with his wife and son.
Isabel Gauthier
Dr. Isabel Gauthier received her doctoral degree from Yale in 1998, followed by concurrent post-doctoral fellowships at Yale and MIT, before taking a faculty position at Vanderbilt in 1999. She was named David K. Wilson Chair of Psychology in 2012, and is also Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. 

Dr. Gauthier has received the Young Investigator Award, Cognitive Neuroscience Society in 2002, the APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of Behavioral/Cognitive Neuroscience in 2003 and the Troland research award from the National Academy of Sciences in 2008 “For seminal experiments on the role of visual expertise in the recognition of complex objects including faces and for exploration of brain areas activated by this recognition.” She was elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science in 2010 and Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 2012. In 2000, she founded the Perceptual Expertise Network (PEN), which comprised over ten laboratories across North America and was active until 2017. 

Dr. Gauthier has researched many aspects of object and face recognition, with a focus on the role of perceptual expertise in category-specific effects in domains such as faces, letters or musical notation, with implications for disorders likes autism and congenital face blindness. She has published more than 140 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Gauthier was an Associate Editor at JEP:HPP from 2005 to 2011, Editor of JEP:General from 2011 to 2017 and Editor of JEP:HPP since 2017.
Tammy Greer
As a member of the United Houma Nation and director of the Center for American Indian Research and Studies (CAIRS) at Southern Miss, Dr. Greer has worked with Southeastern Native tribal members on numerous projects including the formation of CAIRS and the building of a 1000 square foot Medicine Wheel garden located on campus for whom she is the caretaker. She is the faculty advisor for the Golden Eagles Intertribal Society, a Native focused student group on campus who, along with CAIRS, tends the garden, hosts a yearly powwow and organizes two Native Ways School Day events each year. Dr. Greer is currently working with the Mississippi INBRE Telenutrition Center to recruit Native students from Mississippi and Louisiana to engage in a summer program in health disparities research. The focus of her Okla Achukma project is to address preventable chronic diseases in our Southeastern Native tribes in a more holistic way using the traditional teachings of the sacred Medicine Wheel.
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Molly Metz

Dr. Molly Metz is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. After studying Psychology, Music, and Women's Studies at Otterbeing University in Ohio, she received her PhD in Social Psychology (with a certificate in College & University Teaching) from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Metz's research interests address interpersonal processes of attraction and social support: What type of support is most effective, and does this depend on the context in which it is provided? Who is best equipped to provide highly responsive support? Are these processes moderated by individual differences, like sex, gender roles, or attachment style? She is currently engaged in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research, particularly on teacher, classroom, and assignment factors that affect student intrinsic motivation for discovery. Dr. Metz has received multiple awards and commendations for her teaching, including the Wilbert J. McKeachie Teaching Excellence Award from the Society for Teaching Psychology (APA Division 2). At UofT, she teaches the undergraduate statistics and research methods courses as well as upper-level courses in social psychology of emotion, gender, and close relationships.
You can read more about her courses and teaching philosophy at her website: www.mollyametz.com

Isha Metzger
Dr. Isha Metzger is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia, and Visiting Research Faculty at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS’ at Yale University. Dr. Metzger earned her PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina, and she received postdoctoral training both at the National Crime Victims Center and at Yale University. As Director of The EMPOWER Lab at UGA, Dr. Metzger focuses on reducing mental health disparities through "Engaging Minorities in Prevention, Outreach, Wellness, Education, & Research.” Dr. Metzger’s systematic research program is aimed at elucidating the role of culturally specific risk (e.g., racial discrimination) and protective (e.g., racial socialization) factors to better inform cognitive-behavioral outcomes for Black youth receiving evidence-based services for interpersonal and racial stress and trauma in “real world” settings. Dr. Metzger is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who offers award-winning instruction, supervision, training, and consultation to students, professionals, and organizations across the nation on the delivery of evidence-based treatments for underserved individuals seeking mental health treatment for a range of problems. Additionally, Dr. Metzger is an advocate for Black youth and families in the local community, and she is both personally and professionally committed to illuminating and utilizing the individual and communal ability of African Americans to heal from and thrive in spite of anti-Black racism.
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Anna Ropp
Dr. Anna Ropp received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Ropp has taught at Metropolitan State University Denver since 2010. Her current research interests include students’ perception of the campus and classroom environment for LGBTQ individuals as well as individuals' responses to discrimination. Ropp also is currently researching weight prejudice. Dr. Ropp presents the SoTLPsychSessions feature, in which she interviews researchers who are just publishing new work in an area related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Anna allows them to describe the work in their own voice and then has researchers describe the practical applications of the new study for teachers to apply in their courses.
Sharon Pearcey
Dr. Sharon Pearcey is the current SEPA President. Dr. Pearcey earned her PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from Georgia State University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in teaching at Furman University. She is currently a professor of Psychological Science at Kennesaw State University. After serving seven years as chair of the Department, she stepped down from her administrative position to focus on teaching and research. Her research interests include the relationship among hormones, stress, and emotion dysregulation in humans, specifically looking at biomarkers in saliva and blood. Dr. Pearcey has published in prestigious journals such as Physiology and Behavior, Appetite, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. She is currently collaborating on an NIH grant investigating the mediating effects of estrogen on post-traumatic stress disorder. Her renewed focus on her research led her back to school and she recently graduated with a MS in Applied Statistics from Kennesaw State University.