Department of Psychology
Dr. Rhonda Jamison is especially interested in the relationships and/or environments that are associated with positive learning outcomes. In her most recent research, she has examined this through the lens of peer relations and teacher-student relations. In her classroom, she focuses on creating an active, social, learner-centered environment where students can engage with the material and construct their own knowledge.Other areas of interest are: Middle school transition, Motivation and Achievement, Child and Adolescent Development, Educational Psychology.
Interest in the psychology of the workplace developed from a variety of summer jobs, as Dr. Kaufman realized the ample opportunities to apply principles of psychology to our workplaces. Work can either be satisfying & nourishing to our human needs, or can be the source of issues that leave people feeling confused, angry, & depleted long after the work day is done. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, his early observations of workplace issues were derived from a variety of positions at the NY State Insurance Fund and the NY State Attorney General's office. After earning credentials in I/O Psychology, he worked with the Troy, NY Fire Department and Norfolk, VA's Human Resources assessment centers & affirmative action projects; developed programs for Newport News Child Protective Services & Employment Services for the Hard Core unemployed, & assorted retail projects. In Maine he has worked on the boards of many non-profits & offers LGBT advocacy.
Joel King received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University in 1987, and has been teaching at UMF since1988. During his tenure, he has been Chair of the Psychology Department, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and a 20 + year member of the Integrative Studies Program Council. He is the faculty advisor to the Psi Chi Club, the College Democrats, and Camp Summit for children with autism. Dr. King teaches Child Development, Senior Seminar, Psychological Statistics, and Parenting and has been recognized eight times as faculty member of the year during his time at UMF. Even after 25 years, time spent with students still remains his top priority.
As a therapist, teacher, and researcher, Natasha Lekes is passionate about the role
that psychology can play in helping people to live more satisfying and fulfilling lives.
Her practice as a psychologist has included individual counseling, couples therapy,
and sex therapy. She feels privileged to guide students in exploring questions
on how mental disorder is defined and treated, views on death and dying, and
approaches to mental health and well-being. Dr. Lekes’ research has examined the
relationship between values and happiness. Her work is most recently published in
the Journal of Positive Psychology.
Karol Maybury is an active member of the Committee on Adolescent Girls through the American Psychological Association's Society for the Psychology of Women. She and a team of UMF students produce a podcast on the latest research on teens, social and emotional development, and parenting. In addition to teaching and conducting research in the area of Positive Psychology, the Psychology of Gender, and Research Methods, she leads the UMF Social Psychology Lab – comprised of a team of undergraduates who conduct research on social media, sexual development, bullying, and healthy family/community relationships.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Steven Quackenbush completed his Ph.D. in social-personality psychology at Kansas State University in 1996. As a UMF faculty member, Dr. Quackenbush has taught a broad range of courses, including General Psychology (PSY 101), Adulthood and Aging (PSY 226), and Cognitive Psychology (PSY 314). His scholarly interests include the history of psychology and narrative approaches to the study of lifespan personality development. Dr. Quackenbush’s recent publications have explored issues relevant to the narrative structure of personal identity as well as the general problem of theoretical unification in the social sciences. Of his various accomplishments, Dr. Quackenbush is especially proud of his long track record of involving undergraduate students in original research.
Dr. Dan stays clinically active as a Licensed Psychologist. As a longstanding board member of Work First, an organization that provides services to adults with developmental disabilities he has been a strong advocate for the organization's three local thrift stores and other vocational opportunities for the disabled. Given his interests in the outdoors and land conservation, he assisted in the formation of Foothills Land Conservation and severed as the first president. During his time in office, the organization was able to preserve 180 acres at the headwaters of Wilson Lake. He also was instrumental in spearheading the formation of the Tumbledown Conservation Alliance through the combined efforts of Foothills and the Appalachian Mountain Club. This organization went on to secure the funding and protection of 7,464 acres inside Mt. Blue as well as 18,311 acres on Tumbledown Mountain.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities in psychology, Dr. Shea maintains a strong web presence through the creation and maintenance of her Chinese English Dictionary and Study Center. Check out her website: http://hua.umf.maine.edu/Chinese/welcome.html
Dr. Stepakoff was the psychologist for the UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone for 2.5 years. She also spent 2 years as a psychologist/trainer for the Center for Victims of Torture, first in Guinea and later in Jordan. She has provided training to trauma treatment programs in Cambodia, South Africa, Liberia, and Zimbabwe. She was a clinician at Weill Cornell Medical College and at a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. She has taught at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Lesley University, and the Kint Institute Postgraduate Certificate Program in The Arts and Trauma Treatment, in NYC. A clinical psychologist, registered poetry therapist, writer, and member of NTL Institute, Shanee is the author or co-author of two dozen scholarly articles and book chapters. She and her 6 teammates received APA's 2006 International Humanitarian Award. In 2017 she won Reed Magazine's 1st prize for creative nonfiction.