All posts by Dr. Denise Friedman

Dr. Friedman is an associate professor and the chairperson of the Psychology department at Roanoke College. She runs an active lab merging the areas of developmental psychology, SoTL, and cyberpsychology. She currently teaches developmental, seminar, and INQ courses.

Alum Update: Charis Flamburis Current Work and Future Plans

“I am currently serving with AmeriCorps State through the Advancement Foundation. I am working for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Roanoke. I chose to serve with AmeriCorps because I liked the organizations they worked with and thought that it would be great experience. I love working with Big Brother Big Sister because I work with troubled children and youths. I would like to pursue a Masters in Counseling to counsel troubled children and youths, so it fits perfectly.”

Charis, we know a Masters in your future and that you will be a great counselor! We are proud that you are changing the world one life at a time. Your work matters.


Alum Update: Cindy Cook Talks About The Path To Finding Her Passion

“May 2013 graduation feels like a lifetime ago.  Life has been a whirlwind since then.  I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.  I have been working as a Certified Pharmacy Tech, starting out in retail and recently making the transition to long term care.  I believe I have found my passions to lie as a mix between psychology and pharmacy and am looking deeply into becoming a Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner.  Still not set in stone, so we shall see where life takes me!”

Thanks for the update, Cindy. Many of us take a winding path to find our place. Please keep us in the loop!



RC recognized in the News: What that means in PSYC!

Roanoke was recognized as an A+ school for B students, but we work with and for ALL our students to help them be successful (however you operationalize it).

You may hear us use the term “whole person.” That means we care about you (!), what you have going on currently, your background, your goals in life and work, your health – the whole package.

This article:, which references the US News and World Report ranking and replicates it, suggest we are a good place for do-it-yourself(ers). I agree!

The truth is we teach you what you need to know to be successful in psychology but also in other ways that are meaningful to you. Check out more on our blog to see how our students (maybe that is or was you and you want to share your story – email us) have succceeded in love, life, and work.

We couldn’t be prouder and love our departmental community!



Update from Alum and Psych Minor, Jordan May


In her own words:

Jordan May Roanoke College, 2013

B.S. Health and Exercise Science

Minor: Psychology

Soccer. Travel. More soccer. More travel.

Since graduating from Roanoke in 2013, the past 2 plus years have been a whirlwind. The summer after graduation I relocated to Lewiston, Maine to start my position as an Assistant Women’s Soccer coach at NCAA Division III institution, Bates College. My day-to-day tasks consist of helping our head coach, Kelsy Ross (Roanoke College ’05), with practice planning, facilitating team communication, coordinating community events and community service, coaching in training sessions, recruiting, scouting opponents, and taking care of travel arrangements, as well as game-day responsibilities. In addition to my duties at Bates, in our collegiate off-season, I help out at a local club, Seacoast United Maine, in various aspects of trainings with kids as young as 7 up to 18. To say I had no idea how much thought, time, and energy it takes to help run a collegiate athletics program (or even just a 2 hour training session), is an understatement. To be on the other side of the lines is truly an eye opening, humbling experience. My four years at Roanoke as a student-athlete was is a time that I reflect upon on a daily basis. My writing and critical thinking skills were really formed during that time and help to analyze and dissect the good and the bad of our squad, routinely. Being a coach isn’t just about teaching the X’s and O’s and developing players in practice, but also about forming bonds and relationships with your them to understand what makes them tick. Figuring out that what works best for one player, might not be the same for another, and so on, is a real challenge!

In the future, I hope to go back to school to obtain a masters degree in the field of Sports Management or Sports Psychology while also continuing to coach.

Jordan, we are proud of what you have achieved and are pleased your degree is serving you well. Keep us updated! We know you’ll be successful obtaining your Masters.


Alum Johnzelle Anderson Thanks Profs and Gives Update on Counseling Masters

Check out his recent blog post:

Johnzelle is well on his way, starting his internship soon! Shortly thereafter, he will have his Masters in hand. Way to go, Johnzelle! We are incredibly proud of your accomplishments. Keep us updated! And, thanks for the shout out. We are glad we were / are able to help you be successful.


RC Recognized as a Top Liberal Arts School Based on Professor Rankings

Does the title say it all when it come to Roanoke College?   “Accessible & Approachable Professors” Check out the news article here:

There are 6 psychology professors ( 3 male, 3 female, and one staff member – our miracle working secretary) in the photo below; can you find them? The rest of those lovely faces are our students who could make it to this particular photo shoot! You have to love those GET PSYCHED shirts. They really capture our persona as a community.



Featured Alum: Yuki Yamazaki

Alumna Yuki Yamazaki (’13) recently graduated from Columbia University Teachers College after earning her Ed.M. & M.A. in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling.

Since graduation, Yuki has started working as a Field Researcher for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development in their Housing and Neighborhood Study which looks at how housing, communities, and neighborhoods impact individual New Yorkers health- physical, mental, and emotional- as well as overall wellbeing.

Yuki would like to also thank the Roanoke Psychology Dept for their unwavering support, listening ear, and unnerving dance abilities through all of the milestones she’s completed so far.



Living & Working Abroad Post-Graduation

katy antigua

Katy Hurst (B.S., Psychology, 2013) spent the past two years living in Antigua, Guatemala where she worked at the newly established Antigua International School (AIS). AIS is a college preparatory K-12 school that serves nearly 200 students from diverse cultural, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds. It is the first school of its kind in Guatemala, combining a world-class, internationally accredited education with an unprecedented financial aid program and curriculum centered around service. Katy’s role in the school was as both an Admissions and Development Officer. As part of the development team, Katy worked to procure the funds for the scholarship program that served 50% of the student population including many students from rural villages. She also helped to establish the school’s admissions process and policies and especially enjoyed using her psychology background to assess social, emotional, and academic readiness to ensure that each student was placed in an environment in which he or she could thrive. Katy loved watching students develop a new language and experience learning on deeper levels than ever before. She will most certainly draw on this experience as she begins work on her Master of Education degree in Human Development Counseling at Vanderbilt University next fall.

Katy Hurst to Attend Vanderbilt University



Upon completion of her Bachelor’s of Science in 2013, Roanoke alumna Katy Hurst spent two years living and working in Antigua, Guatemala. During her time abroad, she reflected on her studies at Roanoke and the academic opportunities that lay ahead. After completing her graduate school application and interview process from abroad, Katy decided to pursue a M.Ed. in Human Development Counseling (School Counseling track) at Vanderbilt University. The program is unique in its focus on mental health, college, and job access counseling through the lens of human development.

Katy’s interest in education, human development, and counseling was honed in her undergraduate years, especially through Roanoke’s child and adolescent development courses and the “Counseling and Psychotherapy” Mayterm. Katy will also draw from her undergraduate research experience as she works as a research assistant in Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education. Additionally, she was selected to receive the Dean’s Tuition Scholarship award and has accepted an assistantship where she will be working on a special education project. She is looking forward to taking advantage of all this next step has to offer.

Gladfelter and Friedman to Present at UVA Pedagogy Summit

Dr. Friedman and her lab manager, Jessica Gladfelter, will be leading an interactive session entitled “Teaching & learning in the research lab: Engaging students via first-hand experience” at the UVA Pedagogy Summit in May! They will highlight the benefits of participating in faculty-student collaboration from both perspectives while outlining a model for a successful undergraduate research lab.

DSC_1140.2 (2)

Dr. Friedman and Former Research Seminar Students Publish in Top Cyberpsychology Journal

Dr. Friedman and her first research seminar group published an article, released this month, on the effects of gender and emoticons on Facebook jealousy in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking:

Ben Hudson took the lead on the article following graduation, collecting extra data and making the publication happen! He is currently applying to graduate schools. Second author, Sylis Nicolas, was brought onto the project from Hollins and just finished her Masters at Oakland University. The other seminar student co-authors include Molly Howser who received her Masters in Speech & Language Pathology from Radford University, Ian Robinson who is currently completing graduate work at VCU in the school of dentistry, Kristen Lipsett, who is currently working for United Health Group, and Laura Pope who received her Masters in I/O from Radford University. Current sophomore, Abby Hobby, who is studying abroad this semester, and helped with editing and a final round of data collection, rounds outs the student co-authors.

Publishing in a peer-reviewed journal takes dedication. These students completed some impressive work during their time at RC and continue to thrive. The department could not be more proud!


The Psychology Department Mourns The Passing of Alum, Courtney King

“Courtney was a ray of sunshine, but don’t let that fool you, she had a feisty side! Her bright smile, beautiful personality, and kind heart will forever remain in our hearts. Courtney fought some hard battles during her short time on this earth, but she was not a complainer. If anything, she took care of others! After finishing her BA in Psych at RC, she completed her Masters at Liberty. Courtney loved her friends, her sorority sisters,  and of course, her family. To know her was to love her. We are thankful that we had the opportunity to interact with such a wonderful person. May we all take inspiration from Courtney.” ~Dr. Denise Friedman, Department Chair


Courtney (right) pictured with one of her sorority sisters, Molly (left).

We opened the suggestion box and here’s what you had to say:

“Put a trash can in the student lounge.” Done. Yay! I am glad we got one easy one.

“Add a forensic psychology class.” This is not the first time we have heard this request. We currently have two grads working the FBI and another interning with Homeland Security. Given the growing popularity of this subfield, we are looking into whether we add forensic psychology as a special topics course. We will talk to other interested disciplines and examine professor expertise and the current courses offered to see if it can fit. We also have to get approval from administration.

“Add a class on romantic relationships as people like to learn about themselves.” We have discussed adding classes on emerging adulthood (18-25) and romantic relationships. It is likely this will happen in the next few years as we are looking to expand the psychology faculty which will allow those of us with that expertise to teach these special topic courses. Of course, we have balance these classes with requirements so you can graduate!

“Demand more respect from other science departments.” We get it. Psychology is a science but is not always recognized or respected as such. We are proud of student and faculty accomplishments and are proud to note that we are to be included in the new science center complex. It is said that respect is earned, but we know stereotypes and preexisting biases make it hard to change opinions. We will continue to work hard and celebrate successes. If you have other ideas, feel free to share them!

“Add a minor in special education.” While we can cover special education topics in some of our classes, we are not an education department. The school has to meet certain accreditation standards and faculty have to have a certain expertise to teach specific classes. We can certainly talk about special education issues as they are relevant to learning, development, etc., but we are not the right department for starting a minor or concentration. Talking to education would a good start.

Thanks for all the great suggestions! Please note we are working hard to serve your needs and always want to hear your voice. We have certain limitations that we have to work inside of but if we don’t know what you want, we can’t even try to make it happen.

Departmental Kudos – Dr. Friedman



Dr. Friedman pictured with Carolyn Miesen and Jessica Gladfelter, members of her research lab

Students Comments:

“Dr. Friedman has gone above and beyond as my advisor! She inspires me to be the best I can.”

“Dr. Friedman has had a lot to manage this semester and has been great at it. She is an amazing chair.”

“Dr. Friedman and Dr. Buchholz are super supportive and helpful. :)”

Psych students elected to PBK

“Founded in 1776 by students at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is recognized as the oldest, largest and most prestigious honor society in the nation. PBK’s main objective is to emphasize the importance of a liberal arts and sciences while also recognizing those who strive for excellence in academics.” This year, the psychology department had several students selected to join the ranks of PBK.

Congratulations to:

Elizabeth Evans

Nikki Hurless

Lauren Kennedy

Tayler Kiser

Dana Averill

We are proud of your accomplishments!

Recognizing Graduating Senior – Carolyn Miesen

Carolyn Miesen

“Carolyn is the ultimate achiever! You rarely see one person juggle so much so successfully. She traveled abroad to study in Australia and came back with a passion for research. Balancing research in two domains, she accomplished more in a year than most do in 4 years. I anticipate she will have her first manuscript under review before graduation! I know she will thrive in the masters program at JMU.” – Academic Advisor & Research Mentor, Dr. Denise Friedman


The votes are in…You named the psych faculty superhero alter egos as

Dr. Allen: God

Dr. Buchholz: Spiderman

Dr. Camac: WonderWoman

Dr. Day: Rogue

Dr. DeMarce: Electra

Dr. Early: Captain America

Dr. Friedman: Hulk

Prof. Friedman: IronMan

Dr. Lynch: Black Widow

Dr. Nichols: Inspector Gadget

Prof. Nichols: BatGirl

Dr. Osterman: CatWoman

Dr. Pranzarone: AquaMan

Dr. Shenal: BatMan

Dr. Whitson: Thor

Check back later for our superhero picture.

Carolyn Miesen Accepts Graduate School Offer at JMU


Carolyn Miesen was accepted to four graduate programs! She elected to attend the Masters of Science in Psychology program with a quantitative concentration at James Madison University. Carolyn received a graduate assistantship where she will be working for the Psychology Department and the Center for Assessment and Research Studies.

Congrats, Carolyn! We could not be prouder of your accomplishments.

Our New Psi Chi Inductees AY 2013-2014

DSC_4141Congratulations to our new inductees:

Christy Blevins                         

Marie Isoe

Rachel Capps

Shannon O’Neill

Laura Cox

Joanna Peders

Holly Craft

Brandy Plouff

Christina DeRito

Leigha Schimmoeller

Natalie Dixon

Mackenzie Slater

Alexandra Ekirch

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Ellis

Lauren Stone

Mariam Foster

Lauren Thomason

Alexandra Grant

Grace Vandegrift

Leslie Grimes

Laura Wood

Also pictured: Faculty Advisor, Dr. Lindsey Osterman


Psychology Department Gets a New Chairperson!

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Denise Friedman has become the new chairperson for the Department of Psychology.  

Dr. Friedman joined the department in 2007. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Averett University with a B.S. in Psychology. She earned a M.S. (2004) and Ph.D. (2006) from Virginia Tech where she specialized in Developmental and Biological Psychology. She is a member of Alpha Chi and Phi Kappa Phi. Her research interests include cognitive and frontal lobe development from infancy through early adulthood. Her current research program examines the impact of technology on cognitive and social skills.

Dr. Friedman and students interviewed about Facebook jealousy

This story was picked up by tons of national papers and translated into multiple languages! At one point, you got over 15 pages of Google search hits for this interview. The paper is currently under review with 6 student co-authors – Ben Hudson (applying to grad school for I/O in the Fall), Sylis Nicolas (pursuing MS at Oakland University), Molly Howser (obtained Masters in Speech Language Pathology from Radford University and will be working in Frederick County Public Schools starting in 2014), Kristen Lipsett (works at Perkins School for the Blind), Laura Pope (obtained Masters in I/O psychology from Radford University), and Ian Robinson (pursuing doctorate in dentistry at VCU).

Seminar Students Present Posters at the Fall 2012 Psychology Poster Session


Lauren Stinespring, Rita Yoe, Taylor Smiley, and Chava Urecki examined the effects of violent music and gender on aggression.


Courtney McKern, Lauren Miller, Hunter Gentry, and Ben Gilson examined the effects of text format and notetaking strategy on test scores.


Tori Long, Eden Caldwell, Amanda Newman, Brandon Turner and Julia Florea examined the effects of personality and performance evaluation on academic performance.


Emily Gaston, Ginny Keith, Julia Boudrye, and Breanna Wright examined the effects of personality and misattribution of arousal on attraction.


Carmen Graves, Katy Hurst, Alexis Coyne, and Emily Rinker examined the effects of health behavior, natural stimuli, and optimism on willpower.


Yuki Yamazaki, Kristen Robinson, Kacy Dillon, and Hazel Smitson examined the effects of encoding strategy and presentation order on memory for foreign language words.


Cortlandt Halsey, Aldijana Mekic, Noel Weakley, and Jennifer Klenzman examined whether consuming a candy thought to aid or harm recall actually effected recall performance.


Kiel Van Ness, Colleen Weber, Anne Watson and Caroline Casey examined the effects of music and mood on attraction.