The psychology department is excited to welcome a new faculty member this year!
Dr. Lauren Kennedy-Metz graduated from Roanoke College with a B.S. in Psychology, a Creative Writing minor, and a Neuroscience concentration. She then went down the road to Blacksburg where she completed a PhD in Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health with a concentration in Neuroscience at Virginia Tech.
This year Dr. Kennedy-Metz has returned to her alma mater where she is currently teaching Introduction to Psychology and Cognitive Psychology, as well as serving as the faculty advisor for Psi Chi and RCPA.
When asked what brought her back to Roanoke, Dr. Kennedy-Metz shared that the Roanoke College Psychology Department was her “ideal scenario” for a work environment. She says the department is “where I learned the most about myself, my interests, my strengths as a student and as a human.” She adds that “it’s where I was afforded the opportunities to thrive through the encouragement of lifelong faculty members.” In addition, this native New-Englander shared that “the Roanoke area has always felt like home.”
Dr. Kennedy-Metz brings a unique research background to the department. She summarizes her work as follows:
“My research interests include characterizing psychophysiological indicators of acute stress and developing biofeedback-based approaches to stress management interventions. Most importantly, I’m interested in taking a tailored approach to both of these things within specific high-stress populations both on campus and beyond (e.g., students, student-athletes, police officers, healthcare workers, kitchen staff, etc.).”
Dr. Kennedy-Metz says she became interested in this topic because the experience of stress is very relatable, but people are often left in the dark about how to respond to it appropriately. However, properly responding to stress is a critical topic, especially for the populations mentioned above.
Speaking to current psychology students, Dr. Kennedy-Metz encourages you to “get involved in things that interest them early on.” She recommends exploring research, clubs, club sports, internships, study abroad and anything else that catches your eye. When trying new things, Dr. Kennedy-Metz says, “worst case you learn that it isn’t for you, and you move on!” She closes with this sage advice. “If you push yourself outside of your comfort zone and end up finding a niche you love, you might look back one day and wonder how different things may have been if you hadn’t taken that first step.”
Be sure to say hi to Dr. Kennedy-Metz when you see her around on the 5th floor of Life Science.
Welcome back to Roanoke, Dr. Kennedy-Metz!
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