Choosing an Adviser

A student chooses a major adviser when she declares her major at the end of the sophomore year. The major adviser will approve her programs and monitor her progress in the major during the junior and senior years. Psychology majors may select an adviser on their own or in consultation with the Department Representative.

The adviser is typically a full-time faculty member, though an adjunct faculty member can be designated as an adviser as well. A form to declare a major officially can be obtained from the Registrar; this form requires the signature of the Departmental Representative.

The choice of a major adviser is based on a variety of criteria. It could be a professor the student likes or has taken a course with; it could be a professor whose specialty or area of research is intellectually agreeable to the student. The student is permitted to change advisers.

If the student has selected an area of psychology on which to concentrate as an undergraduate at Barnard or in graduate study, it can be beneficial to choose an adviser whose expertise lies in the same area. It is not imperative, however, that the adviser's area of interest coincide with the student's. Psychology faculty members are familiar with the broad range of sub-disciplines within psychology and will often be able to provide guidance in areas other than their own, or can direct the student to other faculty or to colleagues who can provide further assistance.

Students whose adviser goes on leave should choose another adviser as soon as possible, in consultation with the Departmental Representative.

Listed below are the areas of research and academic interest of the full-time psychology faculty and advisers, as well as their offices and phone numbers.

Research Areas of Barnard Psychology Faculty & Advisers

 

Professor Peter Balsam's general area of interest lies in learning and conditioning.  He has active research programs investigating influences of learning on behavioral development, the analysis of how new behavior is learned, and the role of time and time perception in learning.
Office: 415H Milbank; phone: 854-5312, email: balsam@columbia.edu

Professor Chana Etengoff’s scholarship is focused on understanding how cultural and sexual minority groups navigate sociorelational prejudice and discrimination. Her work is informed by a theoretical stance that human development is a constructive process embedded in relational, sociopolitical and historical contexts. Recent projects include inquiries into how Muslim emerging adults navigate difficult intergroup relations post 9/11 and how gay emerging adults from religious backgrounds mediate familial and cultural conflicts. Current lines of research are focused on understanding the mediating role of transgender vlogs and how best to reduce minority prejudice on college campuses.
Office: 415N; phone: 854-6989; email: cetengof@barnard.edu

Professor Sumati Gupta's research interests focus on the ways in which people regulate their emotions in clinical contexts. This includes the relationship between emotion regulation and eating disorder symptoms as well as how emotion regulation predicts resilience in the face of potentially traumatic events. 
*Clinical Adviser. Office: 415N Milbank; phone: 854-6989, email: sg2482@columbia.edu

Professor Larry Heuer's general area of research interest is social conflict – its development, maintenance, and resolution.  His work has focused on the meaning and importance of fair procedures in the resolution of conflict, as well as on jury decision-making.  A current project is investigating the motives underlying people's notions of what it means to be treated fairly by others.
Office: 415K Milbank; phone: 854‑7507, email: lheuer@barnard.edu  

Professor Hannah Hoch is a licensed clinical psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst specializing in the education and treatment of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her clinical and research interests include reduction of challenging behavior and increasing language and social skills in children with autism.
Office: 415O Milbank; phone: 854-8601; email: hhoch@barnard.edu

Professor Tovah Klein's general research area is the development of children's social relationships.  Specifically, her work focuses on how parents' understanding of relationships may be related to how they socialize their children.  Current research examines toddlers' early peer interactions and parental factors, which contribute to these early peer relationships.
Office: 415M Milbank; phone: 854-5274; email: tklein@barnard.edu

Professor Ken Light’s general area of research is in behavioral neuroscience, with an emphasis on individual differences in intelligence in mice. He has also conducted studies on visual illusions in humans and the genetic and molecular bases of learned fear in mice.
Office: 415M; phone: 854-9035; email: klight@barnard.edu

Professor Koleen McCrink’s research focuses on the development of numerical cognition from infancy through adulthood. Specifically, she is interested in how we are able to not only represent different amounts, but also perform operations over these representations. By studying why and how infants, children, and adults perform mathematical operations, we can learn about the cognitive architecture of the mind – and how this changes as a function of experience, maturation, and culture.
Office: 415J Milbank; phone 854-8893; email: kmccrink@barnard.edu

Professor Joshua New's research focuses on human visual cognition – how a host of perceptual and cognitive mechanisms can all function together to provide us an immediate yet richly interpreted experience of the world. He studies how these psychological processes have each been shaped by ancient biological problems and priorities. Some of his present interests include why some things like spiders and direct eye gaze so easily capture our attention, why time can appear to slow down during dangerous events, and how the visual system can hide injuries to itself (blind spots) from awareness.
*Department Representative. Office: 415A Milbank; phone 854-3581; email: jnew@barnard.edu

Professor Kara Pham’s general area of research is in behavioral neuroscience, with emphasis on stress, fear learning, and hippocampal neurogenesis.  She has also conducted studies on developmental neurobiology and addiction.
Office: 407 Milbank; phone 851-9945; email: kpham@barnard.edu

Professor Robert Remez studies healthy human adults, in particular, the way individuals of this exotic species communicate with one another. His experiments usually examine a psychological aspect of speaking and listening to speech, and sometimes incorporate sounds produced by computers, musicians, twins, and Brooklynites.
Office: 415C Milbank; phone: 854-4247; email: rremez@barnard.edu

Professor Russell Romeo's research interests are primarily in developmental behavioral neuroscience. Using animal models, his work focuses on how gonadal sex hormones and adrenal stress hormones influence the pubertal maturation of the nervous system and behavior. He is also interested in how adverse experiences early in development may lead to negative behavioral, emotional and physiological outcomes in adulthood.
Office: 415B; phone: 854-5903; email: rromeo@barnard.edu

Professor Sue Riemer Sacks studies transitions.  Her areas of research are the transition from student to teacher, from pre-adolescence to adolescence, and the effects of mentoring on new teachers.  The particular focus of her current work is on urban youth, especially adolescents and students' attitudes toward science. 
Office: 336 Milbank; phone: 854-2117; email: ssacks@barnard.edu 

Professor Ann Senghas’s area of specialty is language development.  Her research investigates the manner in which young children learn to understand and to produce language.  Her current research follows a developing language that is taking its form from the innovations of young learners, a sign language produced by a community of deaf children in Nicaragua.
Office: 415G Milbank; phone: 854-0115; email: asenghas@barnard.edu

Professor Rae Silver's research area is physiological psychology, with a special interest in anatomy and behavioral endocrinology.  The work focuses on hormonal control of reproductive behavior and on circadian rhythms in behavior.  One line of research focuses on sex differences in circadian parental behavior of birds.  Another line of inquiry involves the use of brain transplantation techniques to study the function of the neural clock in hamsters.
Office: 415I Milbank; phone: 854‑5531; email: qr@columbia.edu

Professor Lisa Son investigates human learning and memory, with a special interest in metacognition. She has recently focused on the type of study strategies that can enhance long-term retention, such as spacing strategies, or the distribution of study across relatively long periods of time. In addition, she has examined metacognitive illusions such as over- and under-confidence, and thus, has begun to test how it is that people know that they do not know. Her investigations have been conducted on various populations, including those of adults, young children, and monkeys.
*Department Chair.  Office: 415F Milbank; phone: 854-0114; email: lson@barnard.edu

Professor Tara Well, Associate Professor of Psychology, is currently writing a book called “The Power of Self-Reflection” which presents a technique that demonstrates the power of gazing at one’s own reflection in the mirror.  As a motivational psychologist, she has been using the technique with individuals and in research studies at Barnard College and Columbia University.  Her research finds that gazing at one’s reflection in the mirror without an agenda actually reduces stress, anxiety and depression and increases self-compassion. Professor Well is a motivational psychologist with expertise in the areas of nonverbal communication, meditation, and emotional regulation.
Office: 415E Milbank, phone: 854‑5271; email: twell@barnard.edu