Dr. Balch's research focuses on memory processes, including music-dependent and mood-dependent memory. Lately he has also been investigating the distinction between source and fact memory. Another line of research he pursues involves memory demonstrations and effects that occur in the teaching of psychology, with an emphasis on teaching techniques that improve students' performance in psychology courses. In some of his research, he has worked with student assistants who have taken independent project courses from him. With respect to his teaching interests, Dr. Balch teaches several sections of introductory psychology each year, and included in his classes a number of the demonstrations and techniques he developed in his research. He also teaches a course in developmental psychology, which includes an opportunity for students to earn extra credit by performing videotaped exercises featuring children from the community. Recently, he has been teaching an advanced course in memory involving a number of in-class memory demonstrations and a library-research paper designed to provide expertise to each student in some topic of memory that particularly interests him or her.
Dr. Charles has done a wide array of research, using a variety of methods, all driven by an interest in perceptual and behavioral development. His research has ranged from observational study of primate behavior, to studies of infant cognitive development and the role of infant behavior in parent-infant interaction, to mathematical modeling and computer simulation. His theoretical work focuses on explaining perception, which also connects with work on the nature of knowledge (i.e., epistemology) and issues in the philosophy of science. Most of this work is connected to an approach to perception known as Ecological Psychology, and many of the seeming sidetracks are due to interests of student collaborators and colleagues. Most recently his experimental work focuses on how the "behaviors of perception" develop in infants. Dr. Charles' teaching interests include Introductory Psychology, Psychology of Learning, Psychological Statistics, Animal Minds, Evolutionary Psychology, and he loves to be involved in student-driven research.
Dr. Matchock’s research focuses on circadian and seasonal rhythms in physiology and behavior, with a special emphasis on reproduction. His primary program of research focuses on how reproductive processes (e.g., pubertal maturation/menarche) can be influenced by early testosterone exposure (as measured with 2D:4D ratios or direct assays of testosterone), and family composition or socioendocrinology (putative olfactory cues released by conspecifics). In addition, he has investigated seasonal rhythms of menarche, which are possibly mediated by the photoperiod. He has also examined circadian and seasonal rhythms in steroid hormones such as cortisol and testosterone during the puberty period. Much of this chronobiological work is interpreted from a human evolutionary perspective. A secondary line of research is related to cognitive neuroscience and investigates how components of attention, especially conflict resolution or the ability to inhibit irrelevant stimuli, can be modulated by chronobiological factors. Specifically, this preliminary, interdisciplinary work is starting to examine how circadian (time-of-day), homeostatic, and sleep inertia (i.e., that period of grogginess and hypovigilence experienced upon awakening) – induced influences on arousal/alertness interfere with attentional processes. This research may help to better understand deficits in performance that require selective attention when in a non-optimal state. Dr. Matchock teaches Introductory Psychology, Research Methods in Psychology, The Neurological Bases of Behavior, Evolutionary Psychology, The Psychology of Fear and Stress, and Behavioral Genetics.
Dr. Pinter teaches Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Research Methods, Personality, and Social and Personality Development. As a social psychologist, Dr. Pinter's research interests generally refer to how the actual or implied presence of others affect how people think, feel, and behave. His specific interests relate to the study of unconscious attitudes, inter-group conflict, and self and memory. In recent work, Dr. Pinter has attempted to improve understanding of unconscious or implicit self-esteem, the effect of guilt-proneness in inter-group competitiveness, and the role of information stability in people's tendency to fail to remember negative social information about themselves.
Dr. Wollburg studies anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and depression. In the US and Germany, she has worked with colleagues on multiple clinical trials that aimed at improving treatment opportunities for patients. Dr. Wollburg is a licensed clinical psychologist and teaches courses in Introductory Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Clinical Psychology.
Ms. Deleece recently graduated with her Master of Science in Evolutionary Psychology degree with Merit from Brunel University in London, U.K. She has just begun her career as a psychology instructor at Penn State Altoona teaching Introduction to Psychology. In addition to teaching, Tara has research experience in evolutionary psychology, and has collaborated with another Penn State Altoona faculty member, Robert Matchock. She also is in the process of applying to Ph.D. programs.
Mr. McCoy has been an Adjunct Instructor in Psychology at Penn State Altoona since 1997. He has taught courses in Introduction to Psychology, Psychology of Personal Well-being and Adjustment, Introduction to Psychologies of Religion, Psychology of Religions, Cultures and Therapies, and Abnormal Psychology. Mr. McCoy has served as the part-time faculty senate representative and on the Budget Committee.
Ms. Nagle has been an Adjunct Instructor at Penn State Altoona since 2002. She has taught the courses of Introduction to Psychology, Positive Psychology & Well-being, Introduction to Developmental, Gender Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology, as well as Educational Psychology. Ms. Nagle has also served as an internship supervisor for student interns in the Psychology department since 2009. Ms. Nagle has a Pennsylvania Instructional II Teaching Certificate, with 7 years teaching experience at the elementary and middle school levels prior to her higher education experience. She has been teaching at the college level since 1995. She is the Advisor of the Psychology Club here at Penn State Altoona and she is the Associate Advisor and member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Ms. Nagle was awarded the Penn State Altoona Outstanding Part-time Lecturer Award for the 2006-2007 academic year, and more recently, was selected by Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society for the Penn State Altoona Unsung Hero Award 2009-2010.