School of Behavioral and Social Sciences

The School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at St. Edward’s University encompasses human behavioral sciences (psychology, sociology, criminal justice, criminology, environmental science and policy, and forensic science), historical perspectives around the world (history, global studies and Latin American studies) and governmental influences on society (political science and social work).

Each program provides sound preparation for graduate school and for a variety of careers that require a broad understanding of human behavior, social institutions, world cultures and social justice. While each discipline has its own faculty, space and resources, all create an environment for excellence and share a common approach that draws upon these advantages:

  1. Small classes that cultivate a student-to-student learning experience and professors who take an active role in preparing graduates for the challenges and opportunities of a global workplace.
  2. Approachable faculty-scholars whose top priority is ensuring you benefit from a personalized learning experience.
  3. Student-faculty research at the on-campus behavioral laboratories and in the field that challenges you in a manner that’s often reserved for only master’s-level programs. Then, present research findings at national conferences or apply for notable awards in your field of study.
  4. Essential “cross training” in the form of critical analysis, synthesizing information and articulating precise arguments (orally and in writing) that will carry you through life — no matter what path you take.

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Dean's Message

Dear Future Behavioral and Social Sciences Students:

Today, more than ever, students are called upon to become engaged, productive citizens of the world. Crucial to this transformation is learning to analyze and solve problems, make ethical decisions, communicate effectively and interact with diverse cultures.

In the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, as throughout St. Edward’s University, we challenge and inspire our students to excel in these important pursuits. Our curriculum and resources prepare students to address critical issues in whatever field they choose, while remaining current, relevant and driven by a passion for finding just and responsible solutions.

Through classroom discussions, research, presentations and projects, students identify, discuss and work to solve complex social problems that unfold in every realm of society — from courtrooms and capitol buildings to crime scenes and social institutions. All the while, they are guided by dedicated, caring faculty members who merge innovative research with award-winning teaching.

Vital to our students’ success is hands-on learning that “closes the loop” of theory and practice. Students apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom through internships in government and law enforcement, with professional researchers and therapists, and with local, national, and global nonprofits. They pursue independent research on topics ranging from human decision making to the impact of military innovations on civilian life to the cognitive effects of video games. They also present their findings at conferences such as the Southwestern Psychological Association, the National Conference for Undergraduate Research and the McNair Scholars Research Symposiums.

Having grown in their academic pursuits and their sense of community, behavioral and social sciences graduates go into the world with the confidence to tackle problems on a local and global scale, understanding the cultural context and values of those involved. From there, they find careers that are professionally, personally and spiritually fulfilling.

Those who hire our graduates constantly comment on how competent and adaptable they are in the workplace — that they “get it.” What better way to face the future?

 Brenda  Vallance, PhD

Sincerely,

Brenda Vallance, PhD
Dean, School of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Faculty

Brenda Vallance, PhD Dean, School of Behavioral and Social Sciences Phone: 512-448-8550
Russell J. Frohardt, PhD Associate Dean, School of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Program Director, PSM in Environmental Management and Sustainability; Associate Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-428-1381

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Peter Beck, PhD Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy Phone: 512-428-1249

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Stacey Borasky, PhD Assistant Professor and Chair; Social Work Phone: 512-448-8677

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Kathleen A. Brown, PhD Associate Professor of History Phone: 512-416-5876

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John V. Cotter, PhD Assistant Professor of Geography Phone: 512-637-5613

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Sharyl Cross Director, Kozmetsky Center and Professor of Political Science and Global Studies
Michael Disch, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-448-8679

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Anna Escamilla, PhD, LCSW Assistant Professor of Social Work Phone: 512-448-8642

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Daniel P. Glenn, PhD Assistant Professor of History Phone: 512-637-1942

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Kelly E. Green, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-448-8708

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Selin Ece Guner, PhD Assistant Professor of Global Studies Phone: 512-428-1038
Delia Kothmann Paskos, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-233-1406

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Jooyoun Lee Assistant Professor of Global Studies
Emma Lou Linn, PhD Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-448-8449

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Nicholas Chad Long, PhD Assistant Professor of Political Science Phone: 512-428-1086

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Moira Martin Instructor of Developmental Psychology Phone: 512-464-8868

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Tina J. Miranda, JD Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Phone: 512-428-1266

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Mitylene M. Myhr, PhD Associate Professor of History Phone: 512-233-1677

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Rachael Neal Assistant Professor of Sociology
William E. Nichols, PhD Associate Professor of Political Science Phone: 512-416-5874

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Rodrigo Nunes, PhD Assistant Professor of Global and Latin American Studies Phone: 512-485-4620

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Casie LeAnn Parish Instructor of Forensic Science Phone: 512-428-1283

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James E. Payne, PhD Associate Professor of Social Work Phone: 512-448-8615

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Patricia K. Perry Associate Professor of History Phone: 512-448-8709

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Charles Porter Instructor of History Phone: 512-627-3793

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Michelle Richter, PhD Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Phone: 512-448-8624

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Michelle L. Robertson, PhD Assistant Professor of Sociology Phone: 512-448-8609

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Brian W. Smith, PhD Associate Professor of Political Science Phone: 512-428-1294

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Alan Swinkels, PhD Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-416-5875

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Sara Villanueva, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-637-1967

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Michael Wasserman Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy
Jeanetta G. Williams, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-637-1920

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Christie Sample Wilson, PhD Associate Professor of History Phone: 512-428-1316

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Tom Yufik, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychology Phone: 512-448-8493

Facilities

Doyle Hall features advanced psychology labs and an eco-friendly design.

Doyle Hall

Renovated: 2009

Overview

The newly renovated Doyle Hall honors the St. Edward’s University commitment to environmental stewardship with its green design. The true hallmark of Doyle Hall is the new psychology labs — the most advanced in the Austin area — which give students and faculty the opportunity to collaborate on professional-level research. When students aren’t busy in class or conducting experiments, they can relax or study in the shaded outdoor courtyard with comfortable seating.

Key Features
  • Psychology labs provide the latest in biofeedback measurement, one-way observation rooms and audiovisual technology
  • Dedicated psychology computer lab collects and analyzes research data
  • Student computer labs and technology-rich classrooms
  • Faculty offices give students convenient access to professors
  • Brilliant red wall with three-dimensional texture brightens the main entrance and hallway
  • Eco-friendly design features energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling
  • Doyle Hall Café, where students can grab a quick meal or a cup of coffee with friends between classes