James Madison University


Elizabeth Yost Hammer

Xavier University of Louisiana

Elizabeth Yost Hammer

Title: Intro Psych to the Rescue! Using Course Content to Enhance Well-Being

Abstract: According to a 2017 national survey, high school students are experiencing more stress and anxiety than ever before, with an increase in diagnosed mood and anxiety disorders. Excessive screen time (which by some estimates averages 9 hours a day for teens) is linked to depressive symptoms and has created the new category of technostress. These are the students who enter our classrooms and we, as introductory psychology teachers, are in a unique position to present them with foundational information that they can use to enhance their well-being, without sacrificing course content. Using Walsh's Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLCs) as a framework, I will present ways teachers can embed TLCs into introductory psychology content to equip students with knowledge and skills needed to live healthier lives.

Brief Bio: Elizabeth Yost Hammer is the Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and a Kellogg Professor in Teaching at Xavier University of Louisiana. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from Tulane University in 1994. She is passionate about teaching and regularly teaches Introductory Psychology, Research Methods, and Human Sexuality. Her research interests focus on the scholarship of teaching and learning, and she has contributed chapters to books intended to enhance teaching preparation including The Oxford Handbook of Psychology Education and Hot Topics: Best Practices in Teaching Controversial Issues in Psychology. She is a co-author of the textbook, Psychology Applied to Modern Life, now in its 12th Edition. She is currently working the teacher’s edition of Myers and DeWall’s AP Psychology Dr. Hammer is a past-president of Psi Chi, a past-treasurer of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and served as Chief Reader for the Advanced Placement Psychology. Her work in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching includes organizing pedagogical workshops and faculty development initiatives. She, her husband, and their two dogs work and play in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Randolph A. Smith

Moravian College

Randolph A. Smith

Title: Critical Thinking: Needed Today More Than Ever

Abstract: Faculty typically list “critical thinking” as one of their primary learning outcomes for students. However, students often have difficulty engaging in critical thinking or may even resist thinking critically. In these socially challenging times, the disparity of opinions about critical thinking between faculty and students may have grown even greater. In this talk, I will challenge faculty to infuse critical thinking in the curriculum to overcome this gulf with their students. It is incumbent upon us to help students overcome their preconceived notions and opinions and think critically about important issues and questions in their lives and the lives of others.

Brief Bio: Randolph A. (Randy) Smith is an adjunct Professor at Moravian College. Randy completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Houston and PhD at Texas Tech University in experimental psychology (specialties in human learning/memory and statistics). Randy taught at Ouachita Baptist University for 26 years (20 years’ service as Chair), chaired Kennesaw State University’s Psychology Department for four years, and chaired Lamar University’s Psychology Department for six years (from which he retired in 2013). His professional work centers on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Randy served as Editor of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s journal Teaching of Psychology for 12 years and subsequently served as Editor of the Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research. He is author of Challenging Your Preconceptions: Thinking Critically About Psychology (2002), co-author (with Steve Davis) of The Psychologist as Detective: An Introduction to Conducting Research in Psychology (6th edition in 2013), and co-author (with Steve Davis) of An Introduction to Statistics and Research Methods: Becoming a Psychological Detective (2005). He is currently working on a writing book for psychology students. In addition, Randy has developed a comprehensive instructor’s resource package for Wayne Weiten’s introductory psychology text. He has written several book chapters and articles and made numerous presentations dealing with varied aspects of teaching, applying social psychology to teaching, and assessment of teaching. He is a member of the American Psychological Association (a Fellow of Divisions 1 and 2—General Psychology and Teaching) and a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. In 2006, Randy received the American Psychological Foundation’s Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award and the University System of Georgia Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award.