These brief biographies are intended to introduce you to our current faculty. For more information, you can click on each faculty member's name, or visit the office hours page. Information about retired faculty is on the Emeriti page.
David Fencsik: B.S., 1996, Lewis & Clark College; M.A., 1999, Ph.D., 2003, University of Michigan. Dr. Fencsik joined us in Fall 2007 after working for several years as a research fellow at the Visual Attention Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He earned Master's degrees in both Psychology and Statistics, and received his Ph.D. in the area of Cognitive Psychology. He became Chair of the Psychology Department in 2015.
Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty (Major Advisors)
Erica BaranskiErica Baranski: B.A., 2011, University of Texas, Austin; M.A., 2015, PhD., 2018, UC Riverside. Dr. Baranski joined us in Fall 2021. Before joining the faculty at CSUEB, Dr. Baranski worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Place, Wellbeing, and Performance at the University of Arizona (2018-2020) and in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Department at the University of Houston (2020-2021). Her research explores mechanisms for personality change across the lifespan. Specifically, she investigates individuals’ ability to change their own personality traits. She is also the lead administrator of the International Situations Project which explores situation experiences, behavior, and individual differences of college students in 65 countries.
Don Choi: B.A., 1995, M.A.,1997, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea; M.A., 1999, Ph.D., 2003, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Choi joined us in Fall 2004, after receiving his Ph.D. in the area of Social Psychology. Dr. Choi teaches courses in the organizational side of our degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, including the Psychology of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (PSYC 462) and Group Dynamics (PSYC 469). He is interested in the influence of cognition, motivation, and culture on interpersonal and group behavior. Currently, he is examining the role of shared cognition and receptiveness in negotiations, and the psychology of the implementation of negotiated agreements. He is looking for motivated student researchers with whom to collaborate.
Brian Gonsalves: B.A., Bowdoin College; Ph.D., Northwestern University. Dr. Gonsalves joined the department in the Fall of 2014.
Murray Horne: B.Sc., 2004, University of New Brunswick; M.Sc., 2006, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Ph.D., 2009, Cardiff University. Following his doctorate, Murray worked as a research associate at Cardiff University. He continued his post-doctoral training at Aix-Marseille University in France before joining the department in the Fall of 2013.
Ram Kandasamy: B.S., 2012, Ph.D., 2017, Washington State University. Dr. Kandasamy joined Cal State East Bay in Fall 2019 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan Medical School. He earned his B.S. in Neuroscience and Psychology from Washington State University (Pullman, WA) and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Washington State University (Vancouver, WA). His research uses animal models to investigate the functional consequences of pain and identify the behavioral effects of analgesics including opioids, cannabinoids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Liz KyonkaLiz Kyonka: Sc.B., 2004, Brown University; Ph.D., 2009, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Dr. Kyonka joined the faculty in fall of 2020. Her research uses experimental analysis of behavior to study choice adaptation and temporal learning, with emphases on basic principles and on promoting healthy behavior in gambling, gaming and technology use. Dr. Kyonka has served on the boards of several behavior analysis conferences and journals. Currently, she is an Associate Editor for The Psychological Record and the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.
Marvin Lamb B.S., 1976, Northern Michigan University; M.A., 1980, Ph.D., 1982, U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Lamb first taught at our University in 1993 and joined the faculty as a regular member in 1995. He served as Chair of the Psychology Department from 2003–2015. Dr. Lamb's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying visual perception and attention. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in both Division 3 (Experimental Psychology) and Division 6 (Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology). In his spare time, Dr. Lamb coaches youth baseball and basketball teams.
Kristin Layous: B.A., 2005, UC Santa Barbara; M.A., 2007, Ohio State University; Ph.D., 2014, UC Riverside. Dr. Layous joined the faculty in fall of 2015. Her research explores the processes by which people can become happier through practicing simple positive activities (e.g., expressing gratitude or performing kind acts). During a postdoc at Stanford University, she expanded her research to also investigate how psychological interventions can reduce negative stereotypes surrounding obesity.
Jeri Little: B.A., 2003, University of California, Berkeley; M.A., 2006, Ph.D., 2011, University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Little joined us in Fall 2017. Before joining the faculty at CSUEB, Dr. Little worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University in St. Louis (2011-2014) and then as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hillsdale College (2014-2017). Using methods from cognitive psychology, her research focuses on issues relevant to educational practice, including those involving memory, knowledge representation, and metacognition. She regularly teaches Cognitive Processes, Laboratory in Cognitive Psychology, and Experimental Psychology.
Amanda Morrison B.S., 2004, UC San Diego; M.A., 2008, San Diego State University; Ph.D., 2014, Temple University. As part of her training in clinical psychology, Dr. Morrison completed a pre-doctoral internship at the Palo Alto Veteran's Affairs (VA) Health Care System, a post-doctoral clinical fellowship at the Pacific Anxiety Group, and a post-doctoral research fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Morrison's research focuses on the interplay of cognition and emotion in the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders, with a specific focus on understanding attentional processing in social anxiety disorder. She is also interested in mechanisms of psychosocial treatments for anxiety, such as cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based interventions.
David Sandberg: B.A., 1989, Univ of Minnesota; M. S., 1992, Ph. D., 1995, Ohio University. Dr. Sandberg is a Clinical Psychologist. As part of his training, he completed a Pre-doctoral Internship at the Albany Psychology Internship Consortium in New York, a Clinical Fellowship at the Children's Health Council/Stanford University School of Medicine, and a Research Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to his full-time academic appointment in our Department, Dr. Sandberg has a part-time private practice. Dr. Sandberg's research and clinical interests are in psychological trauma, posttraumatic stress, attachment theory, object-relations theory, and psychoanalytic therapy. His current course offerings include Abnormal Psychology, Child Psychopathology, Introduction to Psychotherapy and Clinical Methods, Experimental Psychology, and Clinical Research Lab.
Divya Sitaraman: B.S., 2001, University of Delhi; M.S., 2003, Indian Institute of Technology; PhD., 2010, University of Missouri. Dr. Sitaraman joined us in Fall 2019. Before joining the faculty at CSUEB, Dr. Sitaraman worked as an Associate Research Scientist and Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University and Janelia Research Campus at HHMI (2010–2014) and then as an Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences at University of San Diego (2014–2019). Dr. Sitaraman is a behavioral neuroscientist and uses an interdisciplinary approach in understanding the genetic, cellular, and circuit basis of innate and learned behaviors in invertebrate and vertebrate animal models. The current interests of the Sitaraman lab include neuronal circuits regulating sleep and arousal and how they affect learning and decision making. Dr. Sitaraman's teaching interests include Physiological Psychology, Research in Physiological Psychology, Behavioral Genetics, Behavioral Neuroscience, Comparative Psychology, Animal Behavior and Experimental Psychology.
Mary Kay Stevenson
Mary Kay Stevenson: B.A., 1972, University of Cincinnati; Ph.D., 1979, University of South Carolina. Dr. Stevenson completed two years of post-doctoral work under a National Research Service Award in Measurement and Program Evaluation at University of Illinois, then taught at Purdue University for 12 years. After completing a sabbatical at CSU Fullerton joined our Department in 1996. Dr. Stevenson and her students are likely to be found studying decision processes that involve short term and long term consequences. She believes that measurement, modeling and statistics can be fascinating, and combined with computer skills, can form the foundation of a successful career in many fields. Her research interests include decision processes and their long-range consequences, dynamic decision processes, risk and uncertainty, Item Response Theory, and negotiation processes. Courses offered by Dr. Stevenson include Industrial Psychology, Decision Theory, Survey and Test Construction, Applied Measurement, and the Industrial Psychology Lab. She tries to play tennis, loves to sketch and paint, and was very happy to trade tornadoes for earthquakes.
Negin ToosiNegin Toosi: A.B., 2003, Stanford University; M.S. 2008, Ph.D., 2011, Tufts University. Dr. Toosi was a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia Business School in New York and a visiting scientist at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology prior to coming to Cal State East Bay in 2018. Dr. Toosi's research deals with diversity, justice, and inclusion, particularly at the intersection of social identities including race, gender, and religion.
Ny VasilNy Vasil: B.A., M.A., 2002, Krasnoyarsk State University, Russia; M.A., 2007, Ph.D., 2012, Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Dr. Vasil joined the department after completing postdoctoral training at Princeton University and University of California Berkeley, followed by a research associate appointment at UCLA. Dr. Vasil combines approaches of developmental, cognitive and social psychology to tackle questions concerning human reasoning about complex physical, biological and social systems: how people represent complex causal and non-causal relationships, how reasoning about complex systems changes across development, how different cognitive mechanisms contribute to it, what behavioral consequences it has, how language both shapes and reflects it, and finally, how understanding of social structures influences children’s and adults’ intuitions about social justice.
The Psychology Department is fortunate to have a number of talented psychologists within the surrounding community who bring a range of special abilities to our Department. These lecturers are responsible for advising related to their classes, but are not responsible for providing general academic advising or career advising. Some of the lecturers who teach for us include:
Ana Anguas-WongAna Anguas-Wong: B.A., 1992, Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Mexico; M.A., 2002, Ph.D., 2000, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
Cynthia Barkley: B.A., 1994, California State University, Hayward; Ph.D., 2002, UC Berkeley. At Berkeley, her research focused on the comparative study of spatial memory in rodents, specifically the role of sexual selection and natural selection on the evolution of spatial behavior. She is currently studying sex differences in spatial memory in humans. She enjoys teaching introductory psychology, conditioning and learning, physiological psychology, comparative psychology and research methods. Her time away from the University is spent teaching science at her children's elementary school.
Christopher GadeChristopher Gade: B.S., 2002, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, WI; M.A., 2005, Ph.D., 2008, UC Berkeley. Dr. Gade has been a lecturer in the Bay Area since 2010. His graduate work at UC Berkeley focused on the overlap between our memory of events and our different motivations. His work as a graduate student and as a full time faculty member at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska has allowed him to teach a wide range of classes that span across several areas within the field. At Cal State East Bay, his primary teaching assignments have been Stress and Coping, Developmental Psychology, and Research Methods.
Gretchen Reevy: received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. Her main areas of interest are in personality and social psychology. Her research focuses on individual and group differences in social support experiences and on the relationships between personality, social support, and stress. Along with Alan Monat and Richard S. Lazarus, she has co-edited a textbook entitled The Praeger Handbook on Stress and Coping. She is currently working on a new book, The Encyclopedia of Emotion. Her course specialties include Theories of Personality, Psychology of Personality, Stress and Coping, and Psychological Tests. Her interests outside of academe include running, swimming, and her pet cats, Cleo and Max.
Steven Ross: B.A., 1972, UC Santa Barbara; M.S., 1979, California State University, Hayward; Ph.D. 1986, The Professional School of Psychology, San Francisco. Dr. Ross is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Ramon and Oakland. He began private practice in 1980 as an MFCC, and has been licensed as a psychologist since 1990, after finishing his Ph.D. His area of specialty is working with clients with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and marital issues. His areas of special personal/professional interest include techniques to build self-esteem, enhance communication skills, facilitate conflict resolution and anger management. Dr. Ross is very sports minded, athletic, and quite interested in fitness and its relationship to emotional health.