A Brief Interview with Dr. Dane Hilton

A student assistant for the psychology department recently interviewed Dr. Dane Hilton, a new faculty member this semester, about himself, his interests in psychology, and some other little-known facts.

The following is the interview:

So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Alabama?

I have really enjoyed settling into the Roanoke area. It is a good bit different from Alabama geographically, as Alabama is fairly flat where I lived in Tuscaloosa. At the same time, I’m from western North Carolina originally and spent five years in Boone for school, so being back in the Appalachian region is kind of like coming home. The area reminds me a lot of some of the cooler places I’ve visited in the south east- it’s a bit like Chattanooga, Birmingham, and Asheville, NC all rolled into one compact and livable place. The college is beautiful and I’ve really loved how down to earth and friendly everyone is. That is one thing that is not different from Alabama- everyone is super friendly!

Where did you go to undergrad and grad school?

I did my bachelor’s at Appalachian State University in psychology and then stayed for two more years to get my master’s in Clinical Health Psychology. I then moved to Tuscaloosa, AL and did three years at The University of Alabama for my PhD in Clinical Child Psychology. Finally, I did my pre-doctoral internship- a year-long clinical residency- at the WVU-Charleston Division School of Medicine in Charleston, WV. It’s been a long road…

What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?

Right now I’m teaching Psychology in the Media and Personality Psychology. I think both of these courses will stay in my rotation for a few years but I will also be teaching Intro to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and hopefully a course in Applied Behavior Analysis at some point in the future.

What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?

My research has always been related to individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in some way, and I will likely continue this line of research for many more years. My primary research program is focused on understanding the relationship between executive function- an important set of cognitive skills- and social functioning in folks with and without ADHD. I also do intervention research- again, primarily in the area of ADHD. I am currently working with the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine to study the mechanisms of treatment outcome in group-based behavioral parent training for ADHD. I was awarded a grant while on internship to conduct this research and our group plans on applying for a larger grant to continue studying these processes in the next year or two. Lastly, I study mindfulness meditation. I have been leading mindfulness meditation groups for about 5 years and studying the effects regular mindfulness practices have on ADHD symptoms, anxiety, depression, and mind-wandering. I’m currently talking with individuals at RC to begin developing various ways to integrate mindfulness practice into curriculum, wellness programs, and intervention groups.

What are some random/cool facts about you?

Before starting graduate school at Appalachian State, I seriously considered becoming a bison farmer- yes, those giant looking beasts in all the Yellowstone pictures. It was between that and psychology. I honestly think I would have been happy doing either but I’m glad I’m here now. Some other random stuff… I was able to dunk a basketball in eighth grade, I once recorded an album in Chapel Hill, NC with my former folk band Foscoe, and I have hiked over 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail with my wife. That pretty much exhausts my cool facts reservoir…

Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?

Just that I am super excited to be at Roanoke. The psychology department is full of fabulous teacher-scholars who are also super chill and fun to be around. I look forward to getting to know the students here and being a part of the really great community that exists at RC.

Welcome to Roanoke College, Dr. Hilton! We are glad to have you here in the Psychology Department, although being a bison farmer sounds pretty great too.


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