The Graduate Student Teaching Association (GSTA) provides psychology graduate student teachers with an array of services to hone their skills in the classroom. GSTA is an organization within APA Division 2: The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP). Therefore, psychology graduate student teachers who are interested in becoming a member of GSTA must first join STP, and then indicate their interest in GSTA.
A good teacher is courteous, passionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated. A good teacher also has the ability to exert influence beyond the classroom, capable of helping others to change the way in which they think about specific issues in psychology, as well as broader philosophical dilemmas that we encounter on a daily basis.
GSTA recognizes the power of employing basic psychological principles to positively change the lives of those around us, and that teaching can serve as an effective vehicle toward this end. Contributing to the body of teaching-related research, both as a producer and consumer, is another way to positively influence others.
GSTA is an avenue for graduate student teachers in psychology to integrate information relevant to their career development as future contributing members of the professoriate. Ultimately, GSTA can be a powerful tool for psychology graduate student teachers to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of improving the learning process and improving the lives of others.
The Graduate Student Teaching Association (GSTA) of APA Division 2: The Society for the Teaching of Psychology was organized in 2002. The GSTA works tirelessly to provide graduate student teachers with services designed to enhance their teaching effectiveness. Graduate student training programs across the country seem consistently dedicated to training graduate students to conduct high quality research and to develop effective clinical skills. However, training designed to support and enhance the classroom experiences of graduate student teachers is often lacking. Membership in the GSTA is beneficial for graduate student teachers by providing them with a variety of useful services designed to help them with both their classroom efficacy and post-graduation goals.
Graduate students who are members of APA Division 2 are automatically members of the GSTA as well. Graduate student members receive a reduced membership fee and a yearly subscription to Teaching of Psychology, the world's foremost academic journal on teaching-related issues. Graduate student members also have access to many additional services. For instance, the GSTA listserv allows graduate students to pose questions and discuss issues pertaining to the teaching of psychology. In addition, this Web site has been established that will contain helpful resources for graduate student teachers across the country. Finally, the GSTA has annual programming hours at the APA convention, and this time will be used to address topics relevant to graduate student teachers.
Updated March 1, 2023
Chair: Skyler Mendes
Skyler (Skye) Mendes is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at Arizona State University, with an M.A. in Psychology from Arizona State University and Ed.M. in Prevention Science & Practice from Harvard University. Her subject-area research focuses on the prevention of internalizing symptoms in youth. Skye has been an instructor of record and teaching assistant/associate for an array of psychology and academic success courses over the last 12 years, including teaching in her former staff role at University of Rhode Island’s Academic Enhancement Center. Most recently, Skye spent 2022 teaching Research Methods Labs and Introduction to Psychology at Arizona State University and in 2023 she began an adjunct role at Eastern Connecticut State University where she teaches Research Methods.
Steering Committee Members
Associate Chair (January-June 2023): Madeline Bruce
Madeline (Mads) J. Bruce is a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at Saint Louis University. Her research currently focuses on posttraumatic adjustment, identity, and growth. Interested in evidence-based practice in her clinical work, research, and teaching, her work on trigger warnings was some of the first to subject this controversial topic to empirical scrutiny. In her free time, she enjoys ultra swimming, running, and eating. She has been the instructor of record for Abnormal Psychology and a GTA for General, Clinical, Pediatric, and Trauma Psychology.
Morgan Franklin, M.A. is a clinical psychology doctoral student at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Her research interests include treatment outcomes, technology-enhanced interventions, and examining processes of change proposed in the ACT framework. Morgan has 4 years of experience teaching several courses in multiple instructional modalities. She has been both a graduate teaching assistant (GTA), as well as an Instructor of Record for Introduction to Psychology. She has also taught as Instructor of Record for Effects of Recreational Drugs, Abnormal Psychology, and Psychology of Crime.
Lauren N. Girouard-Hallam (she/her) is a doctoral student in Experimental Psychology at the University of Louisville. She holds an M.A. in Drama Therapy (applied psychology) from New York University and an M.S. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Louisville. Under the guidance of Dr. Judith Danovitch, she researches how 4 to 12 year old children think about and learn from technology including Amazon's Alexa, Google searches, and the internet at large. When not conducting her research at the Knowledge in Development (KID) Lab, Lauren can be found serving as a teaching assistant and co-teaching the lab component for her department's graduate level statistics sequence. In addition to her current teaching assistant role, Lauren co-leads a series of professional development workshops on inclusive teaching and active learning for the Graduate School at the University of Louisville, and has co-created a professional development curricula for the undergraduate research interns in the KID Lab.
Kelly Gonzalez-Stewart is a Clinical Psychology graduate student at Missouri State University with a B.S. in Psychology & Biomedical Sciences. She has the pleasure of being a graduate teaching assistant for the introductory psychology courses at Missouri State and is also a student senator representing the College of Health & Human Services for the Graduate Senate. Kelly is interested in working in interdisciplinary medicine, with a particular focus on the wellbeing of patients with cancer & chronic illnesses.
Christopher Kleva is a clinical psychology doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration on Behavioral Medicine. Broadly, his research interests involve the classification of psychopathology and clinician cognition. Chris has had the pleasure of serving as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) and/or primary instructor for several undergraduate-level courses including Introduction to Psychology, Research Methods and, most recently, Psychopathology.
William Rayo is a doctoral student in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Cognition at Oregon State University, with an M.S. in Psychology from Oregon State University and an M.A. in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. His research currently focuses around two topics: 1) how differences across individuals bilingual experiences help shape neural and cognitive outcomes, 2) science of teaching and learning, with a focus on the effects of individual differences and instructional aids in conceptual development. William has been in education for over 10 years working in a variety of settings and with different groups of students. At Oregon State University William has been a teaching assistant and the instructor of record for General Psychology courses.
Alexa Sacchi (she/they) is a doctoral student in developmental psychology at the University of Toronto – St. George. Their research focuses on the moral and social cognitive development of children ages 4 to 11, investigating topics such as how aspects of the self and others’ moral character can change over time. Alexa has served as a teaching assistant for several undergraduate courses including Intro to Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology. In the summer, Alexa works with high school students interested in majoring in psychology.