Faculty and Staff

General contact


Mija Van Der Wege
Mija Van Der Wege Profile
Associate Professor of Psychology
Chair of Psychology

Office Hours - Spring 2019: Mondays 3-4pm at Weitz Atrium and Thursdays 11-Noon in Olin 135 or by appointment

Mija Van Der Wege (B.A., Cognitive Science, Wellesley College; M.S.,  Statistics, Ph.D., Psychology, Stanford University) is chair of the department and teaches courses on introductory psychology, measurement and data analysis, psychology of language, human memory, and seminars on language and deception, the psychology of numbers, and psychology, technology, and design.  She also currently serves as the director of the QuIRK (Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge) program at Carleton and promotes quantitative reasoning education on campus and nationally.  Mija's research interests focus around how people use language and memory in day-to-day life. One major area of research looks at how people make use of information about their conversational partners when they are having a conversation, for example, how conversational partners briefly and spontaneously create agreements on what words mean. Another area is how readers learn new information and change their existing beliefs based on what they read in fictional sources.

Ken Abrams
Ken Abrams Profile
Associate Professor of Psychology

Office Hours: Spring 2019 - Wednesdays 1:15-2:15pm or by appointment

Ken Abrams (B.A., Dartmouth College; Ph.D., University of Minnesota; L.P., State of Minnesota) teaches courses in health psychology, psychopathology, and statistics, and a seminar on science and pseudoscience in psychology. He also leads every other fall the Carleton Cross-Cultural Psychology in Prague off-campus studies program. His research program explores the prevention and maintenance of anxiety disorders and addictive disorders. Currently, his lab team is investigating the prevention of anxiety and trauma-based disorders using virtual reality. He has also been exploring with students the ethics of assessing and treating sex offenders. Other research of his has examined the association of nicotine withdrawal and carbon-dioxide hypersensitivity (a risk factor for experiencing panic), treatments for pathological gambling, and the self-medication of social anxiety and panic disorder with alcohol.

Sharon Akimoto
Sharon Akimoto Profile
Professor of Psychology

Office Hours - Spring 2019 Mondays 10-11am and Thursdays 1-2pm or by appointment

Sharon Akimoto (Ph.D., University of Utah) teaches courses in social cognition, social behavior and interpersonal processes, the psychology of prejudice, American and Asian-American studies. Her research interests include the formation and perpetuation of social stereotypes, cross-cultural understanding/misunderstanding and well-being, and Asian-American psychology.

Steven Kozberg
Steven Kozberg Profile
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Office Hours - Spring 2019:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-10am or by appointment

Steven Kozberg (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) teaches courses in psychopathology, counseling psychology, and child and adolescent psychiatry. His clinical interests include stress, depression, adult ADHD, health psychology, psychotherapy, and clinical supervision. In addition, he is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School and has a private practice in Minneapolis.

Neil Lutsky Profile
Neil Lutsky Profile
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology
Off Campus: Fall 2019

Office Hours - Winter 2019:  PSYC382 office hour - Wednesdays  9-10am or by appointment                        

Neil Lutsky, (Ph.D., Harvard University) teaches courses in social psychology, social cognition, personality, general psychology, positive psychology, and quantitative reasoning. He is a former president of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division 2 of the American Psychological Association) and the 2001 recipient of the Walter D. Mink Undergraduate Teacher Award given by the Minnesota Psychological Association and the 2011 recipient of the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award given by the American Psychological Foundation. He directed a 2004-2008 Department of Education FIPSE grant to Carleton on "Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge," and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Numeracy Network. His professional interests include the teaching of psychology, quantitative reasoning, the social psychology of obedience to authority, psychology and the Holocaust, and the study of therapy, relationship, and other life endings. Lutsky has recently served as a visiting faculty member at Ashoka University in India and at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen

Sarah Meerts (profile)
Sarah Meerts Profile
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director of Neuroscience

Office Hours - Spring 2019:  By appointment

Sarah Meerts (B.A., Vassar College, Ph.D., Dartmouth College) teaches courses in behavioral neuroscience, hormones and behavior and the neurobiology of motivated behaviors like sexual behavior and parenting.  Sarah’s research focuses on the hormonal and neural mechanisms that mediate sexual motivation and reward.  Her research uses behavioral techniques and immunocytochemistry to better understand female rat sexual behavior and the neuroendocrine changes that occur during puberty to facilitate adult sexual behavior.

Julie Neiworth, Laurence McKinley Gould Professor of Natural Sciences and Psychology
Julie Neiworth Profile
Laurence McKinley Gould Professor of the Natural Sciences and Psychology
Off Campus: Spring 2020

Office Hours - Spring 2019:  By appointment

Julie Neiworth, (B.A., Psychology, Reed College; M.A., Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, Michigan State University; postdoctoral fellow, neurobiology, U of TX Medical Center) studies animal cognition, the evolution of the mind, cognitive neuroscience, and animal and human learning. Neiworth received the Walter D. Mink Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award in 2010 from the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA). She was elected an APA (American Psychological Association) Fellow in 2009, an APS Fellow in 2013, and a full member of the Psychonomic Society in 2013.  Julie received an award from APA in 2007 for the best published paper in comparative and physiological psychology. She was selected Distinguished Scholar in 2004 by the MPA. She was Chair of the psychology department for 6 years (1995-2001) and was director of the neuroscience concentration for 5 years (2007-2010, 2012-2014). Her work has been supported by HHMI, NSF, and NIH, and her tamarin research is currently supported by NIH grant 1R15AG051940-01A1 (2017-2020). She has published over 25 articles with Carleton students as co-authors. Julie is also on the board of consulting editors for the Journal of Comparative Psychology.

Julia Feld, Cognitive Psychologist
Julia Strand Profile
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Office Hours -  Spring 2019 - jstrand.youcanbook.me

Julia Strand (B.A., Tufts University; PhD., Washington University in St. Louis) teaches courses including Introduction to Psychology, the Psychology of Spoken Words, and Sensation & Perception. Her research focuses on how humans are able to turn sensory information about speech into meaningful representations. Topics of research include how cognitive abilities influence language perception, what traits of words promote easy recognition, how word recognition abilities change with age, and how visual information (seeing the talker) influences language processing.

Larry Wichlinski
Lawrence Wichlinski Profile
Associate Professor of Psychology
Off Campus: Spring 2020

Office Hours - Spring 2019: Mondays and Wednesdays 2-3pm or by appointment

Larry Wichlinski (Ph.D., Southern Illinois University) teaches courses in behavioral neuroscience, psychopharmacology and sleep and dreaming. His research interests include the pharmacology of memory and anxiety, the behavioral and neurochemical effects of drug abuse, and sleep and dreaming.

Gisel Flores-Montoya
Gisel Flores-Montoya Profile
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

 Office Hours: Spring 2019- Fridays 8:00 - 10:00am or by appointment

Mayra Gisel Flores-Montoya (M.A. Experimental Psychology, Ph.D. candidate in Psychology with a concentration in neuroscience, The University of Texas at El Paso) teaches courses in Health Psychology and Neuroscience. Her research focuses on examining how early chronic exposure to low-level lead alters memory in children. She conducts interdisciplinary and translational research to answer this question and uses murine models examining effects of low-level lead on behavior and the early neuroimmune system. Another focus of interest is how the neuroimmune system modulates brain function and behavior. 



Pamela Groves-Gaggioli
Pamela Groves-Gaggioli Profile
Administrative Assistant in Psychology and Cognitive Science

Pam’s experiences are varied having begun her career as a third grade teacher, then moving into a twenty-seven year career as Coordinator of Children and Teen Services at the Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, CA.  While there, she instituted significant programs for preschoolers through teens, wrote grants, conducted workshops for staff, teachers and parents, and supervised numerous employees.  She was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service to the families of Pasadena School District and the Marge Wyatt Advocacy Award for outstanding service to the child-care community.  She retired from that position in December 2009, but didn’t stay retired long and was most recently employed as the Administrative Assistant in the Health Center at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School.  She received her BS in Elementary Education and Psychology from UW-Eau Claire and her Masters in Library and Information Management from USC.   

Hunter Brown ’17
Hunter Brown ’17
Educational Associate in Art
Educational Associate in Psychology
Aureliano Eguren Ciurlizza
Aureliano Eguren Ciurlizza
Animal Care Supervisor
Ian Kpachavi
Ian Kpachavi ’17
Educational Associate in Psychology
Susan Marino
Susan Marino
Research Associate
Clark Ohnesorge
Clark Ohnesorge
Research Associate

Other Faculty Involved in Psychology

Kathie Galotti
Kathleen Galotti Profile
Director of Cognitive Science
William H. Laird Professor of Cognitive Science
Off Campus: Winter 2020 through Spring 2020

Office Hours - Spring 2019:  Fridays 10:00 -11:30am or by appointment

Kathie teaches courses in cognitive and developmental psychology as well as introductory cognitive science. She has also taught introductory psychology and statistics in the Psychology Department for many years. She helped establish the Cognitive Science concentration at Carleton and serves as its director. She is the author of Cognitive Psychology In and Out of the Laboratory, and Cognitive Development:  Infancy Through Adolescence, both textbooks, as well as Making Decisions in Everyday Life, a trade book, and over two dozen journal articles. Her research, focusing on reasoning and decision making and the development of these skills, has been supported by the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.