Society for the Teaching of Psychology
Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Promoting Partnerships: STP Partnerships Small Grant Program

2017 Winners:

Shari Miles-Cohen (American Psychological Association), Shari Berga (Prince George’s County Public Schools), Cathy Faye (University of Akron), & Alexandra Rutherford (York University)

I Am Psyched! Digital Curricula for Diversifying High School Psychology

Despite the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of psychology and the increase in women's participation, the material that students encounter early in their psychology education is still  dominated by the contributions of white men. Introductory AP psychology and college texts also largely ignore cultural psychology or cultural diversity as distinct modules. These omissions represent a missed opportunity to portray the range, relevance, and diversity of the discipline to students as we attempt to expand the pipeline of future psychologists. This project builds on our recent efforts to foreground the contributions of women of color to psychological science, practice, and social change by producing AP psychology curricula that incorporate and highlight their contributions. We will bring together high school psychology teachers and members of the I Am Psyched! Girls Advisory group with the planning team to help us design curricula that are consistent with Common Core and APA standards for AP psychology. This collaboration, planned over three meetings plus a follow-up, will facilitate the sharing of information, experiences, and needs among teachers themselves, and will allow us to develop materials to meet these needs. Our goal is to enable educators to incorporate more racial/ethnic and gender diversity into their teaching and to encourage more students to “see themselves” in psychology.

Angela M. Legg (Pace University), Jordan D. Troisi (Sewanee: The University of the South), Ho Phi Huynh (Armstrong State University), and Bonnie M. Perdue (Agnes Scott College)

The Teaching-Focused Job Market: A Workshop for Graduate Students and Early Career Psychologists Applying to Teaching-Focused Institutions

Given that many job applicants graduate from research-intensive universities, applicants may receive little to no advice about seeking teaching-focused employment. To provide this much-needed advice, we will launch a teaching-focused job market workshop that offers professional development for graduate students and early career psychologists who want to work at teaching-focused institutions. The workshop, which will be offered at the 2017 Annual Conference for Teaching, will provide one- on-one mentorship, mock interview opportunities, and topical presentations. Each of the five mentors, selected because of their recent experience on the job market or as search committee members, will meet with and provide feedback on application documents for their mentees. Additionally, we hope to develop an E-book inspired by the workshop that will offer job market advice for teaching-focused applicants. We anticipate that workshop attendees and readers of the E-book will improve their job market preparation, reduce job-market-related stress, improve interview skills, and, optimally, receive better or more job offers. Optimally, “graduates” of this workshop will return to serve as mentors themselves or become involved in other STP initiatives.

Diane Finley (Prince George’s Community College

Mid-Atlantic Teaching of Psychology Conference

The Nineteenth Annual Mid-Atlantic Teaching of Psychology conference (MATOP) will be held October 6, 2017 at Prince George's Community College in Largo MD.  MATOP is co-sponsored by Prince George's Community College and Argosy University. The MATOP Committee includes  a local secondary teacher, community college faculty and four-year university faculty.  It is a small, collegial, regional teaching conference that draws participants mostly from the mid-Atlantic area although in recent years participants from California, Mississippi, and Ohio have attended and presented. Nine to twelve peer-reviewed content sessions are offered each year in addition to a keynote address by a nationally known speaker.  Breakfast and lunch provide additional times for networking with colleagues. The day ends with coffee and snacks giving participants additional time for sharing teaching tips. Each year focuses on a particular theme and includes at least one session with practical suggestions for teaching Introduction to Psychology as well as at least one session focused on Advanced Placement Psychology. This year's conference will focus on Revisiting Assessment: How Do We Know Our Students Are Learning? Dr. Jane Halonen from the University of West Florida will present the keynote address. Dr. Halonen is a nationally recognized expert on assessment.

2016 Winners:

Tiffany Artime (St. Martin’s University) and Jeremy Newton (St. Martin’s University)

Northwest Summit for Teaching of Senior Capstone

This STP Partnership Grant will fund the Northwest Summit for Teaching of Senior Capstone, a gathering of faculty from four-year institutions in the U.S. to discuss best practices in capstone requirements. The Summit will include one invited speakers who will present empirical findings on capstone outcomes and who will acquaint attendees with capstone resources.  Ample time will be allotted to collaborative break-out sessions focused on sharing successes and challenges in teaching capstone courses at attendee institutions, identifying areas for improvement, and making connections to facilitate opportunities for collaboration between students and faculty from different institutions. Special focus will be placed on examining the effectiveness and feasibility of capstone research projects and brainstorming solutions to barriers to senior students conducting semi-independent research.  Program evaluation data will be collected from participants to determine the usefulness of the Summit. A compendium of capstone requirements/offerings and successful solutions to challenges will be created from the sessions during the Summit and will be submitted for inclusion on the STP Capstone Resource Page. 

Garth Neufeld (Highline College)

Teaching Introductory Psychology (TIP) Northwest 2016. Conference Theme: “Applying the Science of Learning to Teaching Introductory Psychology”

The second annual Northwest Conference on the Teaching of Introductory Psychology (TIP Northwest) will be held at Highline College on April 22, 2016. This one-day conference will focus on equipping teachers to use the Introductory Psychology course to help students develop skills in areas like learning, collaboration, and critical thinking, while also conveying general psychology content.  TIP Northwest was founded as the only psychology teaching conference that serves Washington State, Oregon, and British Columbia. Our keynote speakers this year are Dr. Susan Nolan and Dr. Regan Gurung, each leaders in the scholarship of teaching and learning in psychology. We hope to continue to recruit a diversity of registrants, including full-time and part-time college and university instructors, as well as high school teachers. Conference registrants will be provided the opportunity to engage with presenters and peers in an effort to create a collaborative, supportive, and enriching environment. Our aim for TIP Northwest 2016 is to offer a high quality, accessible, applicable conference experience for all who attend. Our conference theme this year is, “Applying the Science of Learning to Teaching Introductory Psychology”.  

Jane Halonen (University of West Florida) and Pat Pucchio (College of DuPage)

The APA Summit on National Assessment in Psychology

The Summit on National Assessment in Psychology is the first national project being planned by the American Psychological Association's new advocacy committee for undergraduate psychology, the Council on Associate and Baccalaureate Education (CABE). The Council is responding to ongoing national concerns regarding psychology program's progress in developing mature assessment plans. Currently many programs have responded to required assessment mandates but still haven't quite made the transition to the more ideal development of a "culture of assessment."  This invited conference will host 30 participants chosen for their creative and evidence-based strategies for continuous improvement at both the community college and baccalaureate levels. The conference is scheduled to take place in June at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  Conference participants will be working both on specific strategies to help various contexts measure learning in psychology as well as dissemination strategies that will improve the national profile of undergraduate psychology assessment.  CABE is most grateful to STP for their generous support of this important initiative.

Maria Wong (Stevenson University), Colleen Kline (Community College of Baltimore County) and Jennifer Pemberton (Community College of Baltimore County)

Supporting Psychology Majors to Become Better Writers: The First Conference for Teaching Writing in Psychology in the Baltimore Area

The quality of the writing skills of undergraduate students has long been a concern of many educators since the late 1970s (e.g., Calhoun & Selby, 1979; Costin, 1982). Without a doubt, the importance of developing excellent writing skills is recognized in higher education. Within the field of Psychology, the American Psychological Association (APA) has listed Communication as one of the major learning goals for the undergraduate curriculum. The goal of this project is to host a conference in Baltimore to connect Psychology instructors who are teaching writing courses or writing-intensive courses in Psychology. This conference will provide opportunities for networking as well as exchanging ideas about the best practices related to the teaching of writing in Psychology. Activities may include, but are not limited to: keynote presentations, workshops, round-table discussions, and networking opportunities. Through this conference, attendees will develop and exchange new ideas that they can incorporate into their own teaching of writing in Psychology and improve ongoing working and collaborative relationships with other fellow instructors of Psychology in the Baltimore area.

2015 Winners:

Mara Bentley (Los Angeles Trade Technical College), Sky Chafin (Grossmont College), Jerry Rudmann (Irvine Valley College), & Amira Wegenek (Saddleback College)

Southern California Teaching of Psychology Conference

The Los Angeles Community College District is the largest community college district in the United States and is one of the largest in the world. The LACCD consists of nine colleges and covers an area of more than 882 square miles. Our nine colleges offer educational opportunities to students in 40 cities and communities. A primary objective of this conference will be to address student success along multiple dimensions, including non-cognitive factors that influence student success and maximizing the usefulness of student learning outcome assessment. Conference programming will include a distinguished keynote speaker on research-based strategies for enhancing the academic success of today’s high school and college students, followed by a variety of panel presentations on meaningful assessment of student learning, engaging students in psychological research and service learning, retention strategies, and fostering professional competence and career readiness in students of psychology. Moreover the conference will provide opportunities for teachers to both network and exchange effective teaching strategies.

Paige Fisher (Seton Hall University), Janine Buckner (Seton Hall University), & Crystal Izquierdo (Seton Hall University)

Engaging Creative Thinkers: Collaborative Partnerships among High School and University Psychology Courses

This project focuses on incorporating critical thinking skills into high school and college psychology courses and developing partnerships amongst the participating faculty. Through multiple sessions during a one-day workshop, participants will discuss infusing critical thinking into the classroom, improving teaching and enhancing student engagement. Topics addressed in workshop sessions will include: a general discussion of pedagogy and methodological practices, critical thinking and the scientific method, increasing information literacy, evaluating students’ written work to enhance critical thinking, and utilizing technology to increase critical thinking. We also aim to stimulate an interactive, collegial network amongst participants for gaining additional resources, feedback, and support. The efficacy and generalizability of this workshop will be assessed at three different time points for comparison (Pre conference, several weeks before the event and at Post-Conference, two months later). Our hope is to find changes in awareness, activity, and confidence in instructors’ incorporation of critical-thinking into their coursework and curricula. This project is the preliminary step in the development of an ongoing collaboration between faculty from area high schools and colleges, with later components to include high school and college students as participants.

Rose Danek (Columbus State University) & Jennifer Daniels (Lyon College)

Collaborative Virtual Student Research Conference

The purpose of this project is to create a Virtual Research Conference to pilot test between two schools, with the ultimate goal being a virtual conference that is low- or no-cost to attend where students from many different institutions can present work. Using webcams and specialized software, students across our two institutions will collaborate to evaluate each other’s work at key points in the research process: topic choices, research design, and write-up and presentation. This procedure will allow students to get feedback from a source other than their classmates, as well as practice in justifying the procedural and statistical choices they make. Ultimately, we will hold a virtual conference in which students will give live research poster and paper presentations. Assessment rubrics will be used to evaluate the quality of the papers and talks created for the class. Rubrics will also be used to assess the quality of the feedback given to the student being assessed, and the application of the feedback to the final product. Finally, we will collect indirect assessments of students’ self-reported anxiety levels, students’ feelings about the project, and perceived quality of the peer-review process.

Amy Fineburg (Alabaster City Schools)

Steering Committee Meeting for a National Conference on High School Education in Psychology

This project will bring together 10 psychologists and high school teachers to plan an international summit on high school psychology. The steering committee meeting, which will take place in June of 2015, will identify a place to hold the summit, criteria for selecting participants, and topics for discussion during the summit. The summit, to be held in June or July of 2016, will provide a framework for addressing curricular, instructional, and administrative issues particular to high school psychology. The resulting framework will give policymakers, teachers, and administrators guidance for developing, offering, and teaching high school psychology.

2014 Winners

Melissa Birkett (Northern Arizona University) and K. Laurie Dickson (Northern Arizona University)

Facilitating International Networking for Community College Faculty at the 6th International Conference on Psychology Education

The American Psychological Association recognizes the importance of embedding international perspectives in the teaching of psychology and enhancing student learning of ethical and social responsibility in a diverse world. Community college faculty play a critical role in meeting these outcomes for the psychology major. Although published resources to promote a diverse and globally inclusive learning experience exist, we believe the opportunity to work closely with international colleagues over an extended period is essential to effectively implementing diverse perspectives in the psychology curriculum. We’ve developed a networking program for community college faculty to partner with international scholars to design and implement learning opportunities in community college courses that facilitate student achievement of these important learning goals. As part of the 6th International Conference on Psychology Education - ICOPE6 ( to be held at Northern Arizona University in August 2014, approximately 20 community college instructors and 10-20 international scholars will participate in collaborative partnerships throughout the 2014-2015 academic year.

Jane Noll (University of South Florida), Jennifer Peluso (Florida Atlantic University), Kristin Nichols-Lopez (Florida International University), Barbara Licht (Florida State University), and Jane Halonen (University of West Florida)

Florida Council for Undergraduate Psychology Curriculum and Assessment

Florida has recently become a national bell-weather for challenges to undergraduate psychology; criticisms of the goals and achievements of undergraduate psychology majors have been rampant and Florida legislators have questioned whether the major itself should receive state funding (see Halonen, 2011). Additionally, the state has mandated all state system universities to adhere to a prescribed assessment protocol that fosters evaluation of content, critical thinking, and communication. The mandate does not dictate how such achievements should be accomplished, which has encouraged a variety of approaches for both large and small institutions. Along with state mandates, Florida psychology faculty must undergo routine SACS assessment oversight. Finally, the new Undergraduate Learning Goals and Outcomes just approved by the American Psychological Association provide a fresh impetus to do a comprehensive program review. We hope to collaborate in an invitational conference for representatives from each of the Florida State University System institutions in order to describe, create and share strategies that strengthen undergraduate assessment practices across the state and contribute to the development of a state-wide “voice” on undergraduate matters. Tentative plans for the conference include a keynote address, discussion groups, and political strategy sessions to address the ongoing legislative challenges in the state.

Catherine Overson (University of New Hampshire) and Bill Stine (University of New Hampshire)

Applying the Science of Learning in the High School Psychology Course

In association with the New Hampshire Psychological Association Annual Student Convention, the University of New Hampshire Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will offer Applying the Science of Learning in the High School Psychology Course, a two- hour workshop for teachers of psychology at the high school level. High-school psychology teachers from across New Hampshire will be invited to participate in the two-hour workshop and then to spend the rest of the convention connecting with faculty from the universities and colleges in NH as well as the undergraduates who attend the convention. During the two-hour workshop, presenters will demonstrate how teachers can apply cognitively-based principles in their instruction. Some of the principles to be presented are the optimal spacing/interleaving of study, self-explanation, test-enhanced learning, principles of multimedia learning, deep processing, and metacognition. These and other principles, when applied appropriately, have been shown to have positive impacts on student learning. Participants will also receive access to an e-book on applying the science of learning in education (Benassi, Overson, and Hakala, Eds.), as well as an instructional module on assessing and improving students’ study skills (again based on science of learning principles).

Susan Simonian (College of Charleston) and Mark Hurd (College of Charleston)

Enhancing Psychological and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Education

The aim of this grant is two-fold. First, we will further development of partnerships among the College of Charleston (CofC), the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the Academic Magnet High School (AMHS) of North Charleston, SC. Second, we will enhance interdisciplinary science education and inter-institutional cooperation by facilitating excellence in teaching and research among these institutions. With assistance from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), we developed a Teacher Training Fellow (TTF) Program to enhance neuroscience teaching opportunities for graduate students from MUSC. Our recent APA, Board of Educational Affairs, Interdisciplinary Education and Training in Psychology Award has allowed for multisensory, multimodal education experiences for students in K-4 through high school. We will expand our educational outreach efforts with AMHS offering a one-day workshop to create a dialog with the faculty from CofC and MUSC, MUSC post-doctoral and graduate students and AMHS faculty as well as administrators. We will expand our mentorship of AMHS faculty to further develop their teaching ability of research methods, data collection, management, and analysis. Finally, a research seminar will be presented to sophomore AMHS students to facilitate initiation of research and their “match” with an external research mentor during their junior year.

2013 Winners

Melissa Beers (The Ohio State University), Jessica C. Hill (Utah Valley University), and Clarissa A. Thompson (University of Oklahoma): Essential pedagogical skills for first time graduate instructors

Preparation for teaching at the college level has been inconsistent despite early teaching experiences being recognized as formative (McKeachie & Svinicki, 2010). In some cases, graduates are simply handed a roster, a textbook, and told the class location (Bain, 2005). In other instances, advanced preparation is provided (see Beers, Hill, & Thompson, 2012, for a summary of graduate training programs in the U.S.). When graduate programs provide teacher preparation, effort is typically focused on developing practical skills that will enable first-time instructors to function in the classroomundefinedbut what are the most essential skills for new teachers? Although research has identified characteristics of master teachers, little empirical work has identified fundamental skills and common mistakes made by new teachers (Buskist, 2000; Keely et al., 2006). Utilizing methods employed to investigate master teaching (e.g., Keely et al., 2006), we will identify critical skills that should be included in the training of graduate instructors with the goal of developing a valid tool to provide first-time instructors with constructive feedback. This new tool will complement the Teacher Behavior Checklist (Keely et al., 2006) that addresses more advanced teaching skills. Results of this study will assist graduate institutions to further develop their pedagogy training programs in an evidence-based way.

Jessie Borelli (Pomona College), Debra Mashek (Harvey Mudd College), and Dave Sbarra (University of Arizona): Teaching relationship science through cross-institutional collaborations

Liberal Arts Colleges and Research I Universities serve different missions. Interaction between these two spheres is limited, creating barriers for both students and faculty. The primary objective of this proposal is to foster a cross-institutional teaching collaboration that capitalizes on the unique strengths of both environments, to educate undergraduates about the science of relationships, and to facilitate greater exposure between students and faculty in different academic contexts. To do so, Dr. David Sbarra (University of Arizona), a leading figure in relationship science, will visit the Claremont Colleges to (1) provide a public lecture on his research program, (2) develop collaborations with faculty and students at the Claremont Colleges, and (3) advise undergraduate and graduate students on their career paths and research projects. Similarly, Drs. Borelli and Mashek will provide professional guidance and teaching mentorship to graduate students at the University of Arizona. As a result of this collaboration, we anticipate the following benefits:  undergraduates at the Claremont Colleges will gain exposure to content at the leading edge of relationship science; graduate students will receive mentorship in professional development and teaching issues; and the three faculty members involved will have the opportunity to foster new collaborative teaching and research projects.

Lisa Dinella (Monmouth University) and Natalie Ciarocco (Monmouth University): The second biennial Atlantic Coast Teaching of Psychology (ACToP) Conference 

The second biennial Atlantic Coast Teaching of Psychology (ACToP) Conference, hosted by Monmouth University’s Department of Psychology, will be held September 20-21, 2013. With a view of the scenic Navesink River, and the Jersey Shore as a backdrop, psychology instructors from both secondary (2-year and 4-year) and high school communities will gather at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, New Jersey to discuss teaching and learning in the psychology classroom. The conference slogan is “Creating Collaborative Communities of Psychology Teachers,” and the conference goal is to unite psychology teaching professionals in an atmosphere that creates and strengthens the connections between those passionate about teaching psychology. The conference will consist of a variety of concurrent sessions and poster sessions, and will open with keynote speaker Dr. R. Eric Landrum speaking about workforce readiness and the preparation of undergraduate psychology majors. Additionally, invited speaker Dr. Susan Nolan will speak on how to integrate statistical and graphing concepts throughout the curriculum. Also, maximizing institutional assessment strategies will be highlighted at the conference. Conference attendees will submit proposals for the concurrent sessions or poster presentations. For full conference details, please visit

Jessica L. Hartnett (Gannon University) and John E. Edlund (Rochester Institute of Technology): Encouraging critical thinking using electronic discussion boards in statistics and research methods classes

The goal of our project is to test whether discussion boards can be used to improve critical thinking in research methods courses in psychology. These discussion boards consist of a series of recent popular press articles featuring science in the news, applications of scientific knowledge to your life, and other real world applications. In this study, we will compare whether critical thinking (as assessed by multiple published critical thinking measures) improves during a semester using these discussion boards (compared to a control quarter where the discussion boards are not used). Specifically, we will measure critical thinking abilities as the start of the semester along with measuring critical thinking abilities at the end of semester. We expect that our discussion boards will lead to an increase in critical thinking (when compared to the normal change that occurs during a control semester).

Rebekah Layton (University at Albany, SUNY) and Maureen Harrison (Emma Willard School): Neural fusion: Student learning facilitated by collaborative student interactions

During a collaborative afternoon, Emma Willard School (EWS) high school students will travel to the University at Albany (UAlbany) to learn about and experience collegiate psychology opportunities firsthand.  A university section of an intermediate level personality course will be co-taught and attended by collegiate and high-school psychology instructors/students to enhance the overall learning experience. The class meeting will focus on the study of the neurobiological underpinnings of personality and the implications that these have for behavior.  Undergraduate students will further their course learning objectives by combining their own experiences with those of students earlier in their developmental lifespan during class activities and discussions.  EWS students from Advanced Placement Psychology and Neuroscience courses will participate in an interactive class session, hear from a panel of graduate students and undergraduate research assistants about opportunities available in the field of psychology, join psychology research lab personnel for a discussion over an informal lunch, and tour psychology lab research areas to learn about current research projects. While UAlbany students will gain insight into age-relevant principles of personality, EWS students will gain an understanding of potential education, training, and career possibilities in the field of psychology.

Micah Sadigh (Cedar Crest College), Kerrie Baker (Cedar Crest College), and Robin Musselman (Lehigh Carbon Community College): Building a bridge between psychology programs of 4-year and 2-year colleges through pedagogy

A growing number of students are opting to begin their college education at 2-year colleges, after which many of them make the transition to 4-year colleges. The purpose of this project is to build a stronger bridge between the psychology programs of a 2-year and a 4-year college, by organizing a conference for students that focuses on the breadth of psychology through pedagogy. Additionally, the effectiveness of the teaching methods employed at the conference will be assessed via the use of brief questionnaires and rating scales. This information will lead to further collaborative projects between the two colleges, particularly in terms of pedagogical enhancements. Finally, we believe that this project will act as a model that may inspire other 2-year and 4- year colleges to plan activities that could achieve two important goals: (1) improved pedagogy, and (2) ongoing, long-term, collaborations between the faculty of such colleges. Ultimately, the achievement of the aforementioned goals should, above all, benefit students throughout their college career, and beyond; and will hopefully make their transition from a 2-year to a 4-year college much more seamless and rewarding.

2012 Winners

The Small Grants--Promoting Partnerships Committee is pleased to announce the 2012 Award Winners:

Thomas M. Brinthaupt (Middle Tennessee State University), Linda Jones (Belmont University), and Kiesa Getz Kelley (Tennessee State University).  Building research Bridges between High School and College Psychology Programs:  Psychology Educators of Tennessee 3rd Annual Teaching of Psychology Workshop

Julie Guay McIntyre (The Sage Colleges) and Karen Brakke (Spelman College).  Expanding Views of Emerging Adulthood:  Diverse Perspectives from across the U. S.

Kimberly Patterson (Cypress Bay High School), Jonathan Banks (Nova Southeastern University), and Jaime Tartar (Nova Southeastern University).  Research Initiative in Psychology for High School Students:  A First Year Pilot Program.

Jennifer J. Stiegler-Balfour (University of New England) and Victor A. Benassi (University of New Hampshire).  Applying the Science of Learning in Face-to-Face and Online Psychology Courses

2011 Winners

Wendy Close (Wisconsin Lutheran College) and the 16 other members of the Intercollegiate Capstone Project Research Team.  Capstone Courses and Program Portfolios in Undergraduate Psychology.

Lisa Dinella, Natalie Ciarocco and Gary Lewandowski (Monmouth University).
Atlantic Coast Teaching of Psychology Conference.

Robyn Kondrad (University of Virginia) and David Daniel (James Madison University).  Graduate Teacher Training Collaborative for the Teaching of Psychology.

Christine Smith, Kathleen Burns, and Melissa Schnurr (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay); Lee McCann (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh), and Jeff Norby (De Pere High School).  UWGB Enhancing Teaching of Psychology Conference.

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