Dr. Lisa Whitfield

Have you ever walked into class on the first day and your professor made your entire class make barnyard animal sounds? Yes, even as adults in college, Dr. Lisa Whitfield makes her students imitate the sounds of familiar barnyard animals to break the ice and set the tone for an accepting and engaging quarter.

Dr. Whitfield is originally from Arizona, where she completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Arizona State University. Here at SCU, Whitfield teaches the introductory psychology classes, 1 and 2, Child Development, Adolescents Developmental Psychology, Advanced Developmental Psychology, as well as Cognitive Psychology.

Dr. Whitfield is a developmental psychologist. As a developmental psychologist, she is interested in how new behaviors come about in children and adolescents.

Her research groups focus on the effects of nature on attention and memory in children. One of her lab groups studies with third graders and another lab group conducts research on the best way to keep students engaged.

Even before she found psychology, Whitfield always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She was a teaching assistant in graduate school and loved it. She said that, even though she loved research, teaching was what she really wanted to do, “I really like seeing people learn about psychology and to share those ideas with other people.”

Her favorite part about teaching is being able to watch students grow throughout a quarter and throughout their college experience. “I love working with students individually and being a part of their development.”

Dr. Whitfield’s advice for students is to talk to faculty early on about opportunities that are available to help you find and create the path for your career. She followed up that nugget of advice with another. “At the end of the day, don’t feel that you need a direct path. In life you’ll never have a direct path. Take advantage of the opportunities you have here, this is the only time you’ll be able to try new things and find what you’re interested in.”

From the very first day of class, it was evident that Dr. Whitfield is passionate about her job and her students. Her energy throughout class makes you want to not only pay attention, but to be engaged and actively participate. 10/10 would recommend taking a class with Dr. Whitfield.