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Dennis E. Schell Faculty Member

Positions

Three years ago, at the behest of then department chair, Carol Sigelman, I established a "committee" of three fellow faculty, Carol Sigelman, George Howe, and Sherry Molock, who have agreed to read drafts of my research and provide advice and mentoring as I move forward. Two years ago they review a draft of a research article. In addition, I will continue to collaborate with Ralph Piedmont, recent of Loyola University of Maryland, who has been instrumental in guiding me to this point especially with the statistical aspects of my research. My research continues to move forward at a slow, steady pace (my contract calls for 10% of my time/effort toward research). We have completed a draft article, "Psychology of Religion: State of the Art." that was submitted and returned for further editing. We are now working on that. At the same time we continue collecting data on the eleventh (and final) year looking at change in spirituality for students who take my course, "The Psychological Study of Spirituality." We added a section on COVID in this year's questionnaire. I will be collecting this data again for the spring semester (2021) yielding three years of data through COVID. We are now reviewing this data and a copy of the first two years sent to Ralph Piedmont for furthe review. I teach three classes per semester (my contract calls for 70% time/effort toward teaching) and continually update them. In addition, my student load is usually high. For example last fall I had nearly 260 total students; spring was nearly 220. I also teach a WID (Abnormal Psychology) class in the spring semester that is labor intensive. All of this combined slows down my research. My course evaluations continue to be excellent. In addition, I converted to an on-line free textbook for General Psychology, which we continue to monitor formally (2021 is the last year we will monitor formally--data collection). Finally, I continue to monitor the rigor expected for each course. Generally, I've been successful in not allowing inflated grades (i.e., too many A's), My goal is no more than 35% A's (Princeton University's old guideline). Due to COVID-19 and on-line teaching (with on-line exams) I have not been able to meet this goal--there appears to be some uncontrollable grade inflation, which should even out once we return to face-to-face teaching. However, I noticed that in the fall semester, 2021, the grades have returned to the standard noted above. In terms of service (my contract calls for 20% time/effort toward service) to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, I completed my eleventh year as the faculty advisor of the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology. This year we inducted 31 new members and have a total of 51 members--the highest in the history of the chapter at GW. Psi Chi also works closely with Career Services on two major events (i.e., Graduate School Night and Career Night) and assists with undergraduate advising especially with the declaration day each semester but on-going as the department needs. I am "on-call" when Dr. Dopkins, the director of undergraduate advising in the department, is not available. I continue to serve on the critical thinking committee for Abnormal Psychology where we do a pre- and post-test covering five major areas of research/critical thinking as required by CCAS (this is a G-PAC course). I continue to perform the psychological evaluations for clergy candidates, the only outside work I do. This work, which involves my expertise in clinical psychology, directly relates to both my teaching and the research I do as noted above.

Research Areas

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