Senior Seminars

Senior Seminars for 2015 & 2016

The descriptions of Senior Seminars appear below. In order to enroll in a Seminar, you MUST do two things:

1. Complete the Preference Form. You can access it here after you receive login information from Judy Smith.

2. Receive permission of the instructor. You should talk to the professor teaching the class and make sure you receive explicit permission to enroll. 

Fall, 2015

Controversial Issues in Psychology

Professor Jeff Holmes
Wednesdays 2:00-4:30, Williams 119M

In this seminar, students will address an array of controversial and frequently misunderstood topics in psychology through class discussion and debate, student presentations, and individual exploration. Potential topics include controversial mental health diagnoses and treatment approaches, false and repressed memories, gender differences, self-esteem, forensic issues, intelligence testing, learning styles, and many others. Students learn about many topics but also have the opportunity to examine in depth one relevant topic of their choice. The single weekly class meeting allows us to thoroughly explore these contemporary areas of debate within our field.


Mental Health Topics: Consumer and Provider Perspectives

Professor Hugh Stephenson
Mondays 4:00-6:30

In this seminar we address the experience of having and seeking treatment for different psychological disorders. A range of topics are covered, from treatment modalities, to historic practices, to outcome evaluation and current debates and controversies within Psychology and Psychiatry.

Guest speakers include people who have received specific diagnoses, family members and treating professionals as well as experts in particular clinical interventions all of whom offer their perspectives on what promotes recovery and what barriers may be encountered.


Spring, 2016


The Contribution of Epigenetics to Human Nature

Professor Nancy Rader

We will consider how the environment functions to influence gene expression through readings and discussion.  In Block 2 students will select a human trait or pathology to research, reporting on their findings through an oral presentation and an APA paper.


Senior Seminar in Feminist Psychology

Professor Carla Golden

This seminar will examine the intersections of gender with race, class, and sexuality on people’s everyday lived experience.  We examine how people’s social positions affect how they are treated and how they experience the world.  We will be reading a book each week; texts are contemporary and generally about 200 pages in length. Readings from Spring 2015 included Paying for the party: How college maintains inequality; Feminism, Inc: Coming of age in girl power media culture; The heart of whiteness: Confronting race, racism, and white privilege; Girls like us: Fighting for a world where girls are not for sale; Arrested justice: Black women, violence, and America’s prison nation; Performing sex: The making and unmaking of women’s erotic lives; Men speak out: Views on gender, sex, and power; and Black girl dangerous: On race, queerness, class and gender (these are just examples of the kinds of books we might read).  Students who are admitted to the seminar engage in a democratic collective process of choosing the books, thus they can and do change each year.  The two and a half hour class meeting will be discussion based and provide the opportunity to engage in spirited exchanges regarding the issues raised in each text. The final paper is based on an integrative understanding of the books we’ve read during the semester, no additional reading required. Preference will be given to students who have taken Psychology of Women, and who love to read!


Seminar in Psychology: Neurobiology of Psychiatric Disorders

Professor: Deborah Kreiss

The goal of this course is to provide students with a more sophisticated appreciation of current neurophysiological perspectives concerning the biological basis of psychiatric disorders.  We will address the origin, symptoms, and treatment of a number of neuropsychological disorders that disrupt cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning due to malfunction within two circuits of interconnected subcortical areas of the brain: the basal ganglia and the limbic system. Topics to be covered include Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Addiction, Tourette’s Syndrome and Parkinson’s Disease.  



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