2021 Spring Semester Part-Time Instructors
Gretchen Anderson, M.A.
Gretchen is a dynamic, results-driven human resources professional with more than 25 years of experience in employee relations, organizational development and talent selection practices. Affectionately known as “The Velvet Hammer,” Gretchen has a powerful and direct manner of delivering executive and employee performance coaching. She has particular expertise designing and delivering training for the retail, manufacturing, education and service industries.
Gretchen earned her B.A. in psychology and her M.A. in psychology (diversity management/organizational development) from Cleveland State University. She is a Gestalt Professional Certified Coach (Gestalt Institute of Cleveland) and a Certified Diversity Professional.
As a performance consultant Gretchen has worked with many key executives in entrepreneurial family-owned business enterprises to develop strategies for succession planning, growth initiatives and engaging stakeholders. She is an instructor in the Department of Psychology at Cleveland State University, and at Lorain County Community College where she teaches the capstone courses for the Success Coaching and Mentoring certificate program.
Teresa Andreani, M.A.
Teresa has more than 25 years of experience in business and nonprofit leadership. She is an instructor in the Department of Psychology at Cleveland State University, and teaches the capstone courses in Lorain County Community College’s Success Coaching and Mentoring Certificate program.
Teresa works with executives seeking to improve personal and employee performance, leaders seeking better work-life balance, mid-career professionals facing uncertainty in their employment, and young professionals discerning career direction.
Teresa holds an M.A. in psychology (organizational development and diversity management specialization) from Cleveland State University and a B.S. in management from Case Western Reserve University. Her master’s thesis, Alcoholics in Recovery: Factors Informing the Decision to Self-Disclose Alcoholism in the Workplace, together with her personal experience as a woman in long-term recovery, motivate her work to reduce the stigma around alcoholism and addiction and to create supportive workplaces for affected employees. She has particular expertise coaching executives and key employees in recovery from, or dealing with problems associated with, alcohol and other substances.
Teresa Andreani was designated a Gestalt Professional Certified CoachTM through the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, and is Board Certified by the Center for Credentialing and Education.
Tobin Anselmi, Ph.D.
Research Keywords: Validity Generalization, Personnel Selection, Employee Attitude/Engagement Surveys, 360 Feedback, Performance Management, Organizational Commitment, Job Satisfaction, Job Characteristics
B.G.S., University of Michigan, 1985
M.S., Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1988
Ph.D., Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1994
After completing his education, Dr. Anselmi worked at a consulting firm (Aon Consulting) for many years (his clients included Motorola, GM, Ford & Chrysler) and then he went internal, working for firms such as Frito-Lay, Dell Computer, and Microsoft. He moved to the Cleveland-Area in 2012 and began his part-time teaching relationship with the Department of Psychology and PDC in the business school at Cleveland State University in 2016. As a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP), Dr. Anselmi is active in his professional community. He has also served as reviewer at the SIOP conference for many years. As an I/O Psychologist he applies psychological principles to the work world.
- Design, development and validation of selection tools
- Performance Management
- Use of assessment tools in the identification and development of High-Potential Talent
- Measure and use of employee attitudes to influence change and improvement of corporate culture
PSY 312 (Research Methods)
PSY 593 (Advanced Organizational Psychology Seminar: “Word Attitudes”)
Elizabeth Benninger, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Benninger is a part-time psychology instructor at Cleveland State University and a postdoctoral scholar at Case Western Reserve University’s school of medicine in Cleveland, OH. She completed her M.A. in Psychology with a specialization in Community Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles and her doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. Trained as a community, clinical and social psychologist, her research contributions are focused on promoting individual and community health and wellness through innovative and collaborative research designs and approaches. Within this focus, her research specifically addresses health inequities that connect to community need and which are inclusive of diverse populations. In addition to her role as a researcher and instructor, Dr. Benninger has been involved in a number of community health initiatives. This includes providing psychoeducational groups in the school and after-school sector, teacher and youth-care worker trainings related to child mental health, spearheading a coalition for children who live and work on the street, providing entrepreneurial support for youth in Cleveland’s high schools, and the developing an after-school health promoting surfing program led by community youth.
Ben Feldman, Ph.D.
Currently, I am starting my third year working as a School Psychologist in the Cleveland, OH area. This position is allowing me to accumulate supervision hours necessary for a doctoral level Psychology license in Ohio. I am also an on-line Psychology instructor for Grand Canyon University. I spent one year doing autism policy research at the National Institute of Mental Health. My Ph.D. is in Experimental Psychology, which I completed at Case Western Reserve University, in 2015, specializing in autism and developmental disabilities research. My research has focused on social skill deficits in autism as measured by face-processing skills and milder autistic like traits found in unaffected relatives of people with autism (termed the broader autism phenotype). Prior to my Ph.D. work, I had completed a Masters in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College-Columbia University and worked for about 10 years as a Masters level psychologist providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New York. I earned my BA at St. John's College in Annapolis, MD.
I am married and have two children, a daughter age 6 and a son age 3.
In my free time, I enjoy exercise (P90X), cycling, reading, spending time with my family, listening to music (very eclectic interests), following sports, and religious learning and prayer.
I am excited to be back at Cleveland State University, where I taught courses from 2013 to 2015.
Raghavan Gopalakrishnan Ph.D. MBA
Research Keywords: Pain, Stroke, Sensorimotor, Neurophysiology, EEG, Perception, Pain Affect, Pain anticipation
Doctoral – Applied Biomedical Engineering, 2015
Masters – Healthcare Business Administration, 2011
Masters – Biomedical Engineering, 2004
Bachelors – Biomedical Instrumentation, 200
Brief Bio/Research Interests:
I am a Researcher/Neurophysiologist at the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute with a special interest in understanding sensorimotor abnormalities, especially chronic pain and stroke, and help inform the development of novel neuromodulation based therapies to alleviate disability induced by these conditions. I was a co-investigator on a cutting edge NIH funded clinical trial that studied the effects of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on the affective component of post-stroke chronic pain. The project was based on the premise that pain is not merely a sensory phenomenon, but modulated significantly by psychological (affective and cognitive) spheres as well.
Pain anticipation is a psychological process that significantly modulates the perception of sensory stimuli and categorize the stimuli as either painful or non-painful. My research found a strategic role of visual cortex (V1) in pain avoidance and chronification. V1 that has long been thought to simply process objects without contextual thinking, differentially responded to cues that signaled pain vs. same cues that signaled non-painful stimulus. Further, I researched with this feature was shared by auditory (A1) and somatosensory (S1) cortices. While A1 and S1 did not show the same responses as V1, when the threat of pain was signaled by a visual cue, A1 and S1 became concurrently active along with the V1, suggesting that the V1 promotes cross-modal facilitation. These finding represents an evolutionary gain in human sensory cortices aimed at priming the body to a state of “readiness” for pain-related cues during flight-or-fight states. These findings are important for the development of new clinical approaches aimed at modulating pain expectations at the very early stages of cortical processing, before information regarding the salience of a cue is passed on to associative cortical areas.
Currently, I am involved in a clinical trial to study the effects of DBS on dentate nucleus in promoting motor recovery. Overall, my research goals are to come up with novel neurophysiological solutions to assist in the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Currently, I am also working on extending my prior research on chronic pain to investigate oscillopathies using multivariate functional connectivity approach.
Lucas Hamilton, M.A.
Mr. Hamilton received his B.A. in psychology from Central College in Pella, IA and his M.A. in Psychology from Cleveland State University. Now in the Adult Development and Aging Ph.D. program at Cleveland State University, he has been conducting research in the Aging Cognition and Emotion Laboratory at CSU. His research generally focuses on social and emotional cognition in older adulthood, drawing links to biological factors related to aging. He is currently investigating links between physiological (i.e. autonomic arousal, biofeedback) and psychological (i.e. emotional memory, negative life events, emotion regulation) phenomena across the lifespan.
Socioemotional development, physiology, mind-body connectivity, emotional aging
Ph.D., Adult Development and Aging, Cleveland State University, Expected 2021
M.A., Psychology, Cleveland State University, 2018
B.A., Psychology, Central College, 2016
PSY 429 – Psychology of Aging
American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and Psi Chi
Alan Ho, Ph.D.
Teaching Philosophy: The purpose of higher education should not solely be to obtain a job, but should also be about self-betterment and personal growth. I want students to have the intellectual curiosity to not only learn the course material, but to also motive and challenge those around them to keep exploring, analyzing, and evaluating intellectual ideas. Education is the ticket to autonomy; education helps people make informed decisions about their personal lives and gives confidence to people to challenge the status quo. Thus, students should take ownership of their educational journey and embrace the challenges which they will face. When faced with challenges, students should not let it define who they are but should take something away from it which will make them more resilient and a better person. I will use my education and my experiences as a student to foster an environment that will allow you to thrive in your educational journey.
Teaching: This will be my sixth year teaching undergraduate courses in psychology at Cleveland State University. I teach all levels of psychology courses from Introduction to Psychology to 400 level courses. Teaching is a rewarding and exciting job. It is always a tremendous feeling when students come back years later and tell me how they remember my stories from class and how they learned from these stories. To be a part of someone else's success and happiness, no matter how small a part I played, is a great feeling.
Personal: Besides my love for teaching, I enjoy rooting for my Pittsburgh sports teams. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I do bleed Black and Gold. However, I do love the city of Cleveland. I enjoy trying out new recipes, new foods, and thoroughly love the restaurants Cleveland has to offer. Cleveland is truly a diverse culinary delight!
Steven Karaiskos, Ph.D.
Steven Karaiskos is a veteran educator and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) leader with almost 20 years of experience in both independent and public schools supporting and working with learners of all ages. Steven’s breadth and depth in education includes teaching Pre-Kindergarten and adult learners as well as every age group in between. He has also trained and mentored teachers in reading, behavior management, classroom management, emotional intelligence, and the support of students with learning differences. Prior to becoming an educator, he spent 8 years as project/process manager in the corporate world. With a Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology, Steven has led professional development opportunities nationwide to provide learning and support for parents, educators and students on topics such as stress & anxiety, social & emotional development, academic growth, learning differences, gender diversity, and LGBTQ+ topics. Steven is also a passionate advocate and activist for suicide prevention work providing awareness and support to those struggling. Steven is currently an educator, emotion scientist, and writer living in Cleveland, Ohio.
Amanda Merner, M.A.
Ph.D., Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Expected 2022
M.A., Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, 2020
B.A., Cognitive Science, University at Buffalo, 2013
B.S., Psychology, University at Buffalo, 2013
Amanda Merner received her B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Cognitive Science with concentrations in high-level mental processes and neuroscience from the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. After graduating, Amanda spent several years working on various research projects in the area of substance use disorders at the Clinical Research Institute on Addictions before enrolling in her doctoral program. Currently, Amanda is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Developmental, Cognitive, and Affective Sciences Ph.D. program at Case Western Reserve University, specializing in the area of Affective Neuroscience. Amanda is the President of the Association for Psychological Science Student Caucus for the 2020-2021 AY. She is passionate about promoting scientifically oriented psychology and invested in improving the education of the science of psychology.
Amanda’s research focuses on the neural underpinnings of emotion regulation and how individual differences in various domains of cognitive functioning impact the ability to regulate emotions in both healthy populations and individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. She also studies the impact of neuromodulation—specifically Deep Brain Stimulation—on cognitive and emotional functioning, and the potential neuroethical challenges that come with neuromodulation. Amanda has active collaborations with researchers at the Cleveland Clinic and is always open to collaborating with new colleagues interested in exploring questions related to the relationships between cognitive and emotional processes.
Stephanie Miller, M.A.
Mrs. Miller received her Bachelor of Psychology from Kent State University in 2010, and graduated from the Experimental Research Masters Program at Cleveland State University in 2012. She has been a part-time instructor at CSU for 8 years. Her thesis, under the direction of Dr. McLennan, examined the relationship between attachment style and reaction time to physically and relationally aggressive words using both the Emotional Stroop Test (EST) and the Visual Lexical Decision Task (VLDT). Mrs. Miller currently lives in Colorado with her two children, her husband and two goldendoodles.
Mira Narouze, MA,
Mira Narouze has practiced as a school psychologist in elementary, middle and high school public school settings since 2006. Some of her responsibilities as a school psychologist are completion of psycho-educational evaluations for students grades PK-12 to identify developmental, learning, behavioral, and/or mental health problems. She also facilitated counseling groups to improve on- task behavior and listening skills inside the classroom, conflict resolution, and other social skills, worked with staff to monitor intervention efficacy, and consulted and collaborated with regular and special education teachers to develop evidence based behavior plans.
She teaches a variety of psychology courses including General Psychology, Lifespan Development and Adolescent Psychology at multiple programs including Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State university.
Mira obtained her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and a Psychology Specialist degree at Cleveland State University. She is a member of the National Association of School Psychologists.
Mira is broadly interested in studying issues of microaggression against marginalized populations. Her current research focuses on studying the impact of microagressions on LGBTQ youth’s perceptions of school climate
Maria Rowlett, M.A.
Maria has been a part-time instructor at Cleveland State University since August of 2008. Maria specializes in the area of survey/questionnaire construction, statistical analysis, research design and interpretation, as well as report writing. She brings expertise based on academic research and professional experience. Maria has published numerous journal articles in the Behavioral Sciences, and has supervised many students in the completion of research projects, journal articles, theses, and dissertations. She has also been selected as a disciplinary mentor for the McNairs Scholar Program numerous times. In addition, Maria has been involved in project-based data coding, analysis and summarization for presentation to clients for a mid-west based research company serving for profit and not-for-profit companies.
Extensive research experience on Job Satisfaction, Vocational Interests, Time Perception, and Personality. Additional skills include survey questionnaire construction, scoring, report writing, and data analysis.
PSY 217/317: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
PSY 312: Research Methods
PSY 412: Psychology Lab
PSY 415: Evaluating Psychological Researc
Midwest Psychological Association
Recent Professional Presentation:
“Time Perception and Personality.” Midwest Psychological Association (Chicago, IL; May, 2015).
Laura Ruberto, Ph.D.
Dr. Ruberto is currently in her seventh year as a practicing School Psychologist. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ohio University in 2010 where her interest in the educational aspect of psychology was sparked from her role as a research assistant in a lab focusing on students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Following her undergraduate studies, she received her Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2015. As a graduate student, Dr. Ruberto participated on several research teams, presented findings at local and national conferences and co-authored several publications. Dr. Ruberto began practicing as a certified School Psychologist at a small, rural district in eastern Connecticut servicing students in grades preschool through eighth grade. She moved back to her home state to be closer to family in 2017 and began working at the high school level in a suburb of Cleveland where she is currently employed. Dr. Ruberto has years of experience across diverse settings and populations and is passionate about this field and the students she serves.
Jaime Shuster, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Public Health, Health Policy Management, Kent State University, 2018
M.P.H., Public Health, Health Policy Management, Kent State University, 2012
M.A., Experimental Psychology, Cleveland State University, 2011
B.A., Psychology, Kent State University, 2008
Dr. Shuster received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Kent State University followed by her masters in Experimental Psychology at Cleveland State University. She then returned to Kent State University to complete her Master’s and Doctorate in Public Health with a focus in Health Policy Management. Her research interests include traumatic brain injury, sleep deprivation, distracted driving, injury prevention and the public policy governing these public health issues.
Dr. Shuster has been teaching for a number of years and is employed as an instructor in psychology, statistics, research methods and public health for several local colleges and universities. She also consults for the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio State Patrol as a legislative policy writer, statistician and epidemiologist. In addition, Dr. Shuster serves as a subject matter expert and ghost writer for psychology, statistics, research methods and health curriculum and test bank development for a number of educational textbook publishers and curriculum development organizations.
Stephen Slane, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Areas of Interest/Specialization
Social Psychology, Statistics, Research Design
Research interests: Time perception and behavior
University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Ph.D. (Psychology)
Idaho State University, B.S., M.S. (Experimental Psychology)
Employment and Positions Held at Cleveland State University:
Previous Interim Director School of Health Sciences
Previous Interim Director, School of Social Work
Previous Associate Dean (for faculty), College of Science
Interim Chair, Department of Speech and Hearing, 2005-2006
Interim Chair, Department of Health Sciences, 2003 to 2006
Chairperson, Department of Psychology, 1988 to 1995
Peer Reviewed Publications (select recent):
Rosman, J., Slane, S., Dery, B., Vogelbaum, M., Cohen-Gadol, A., & Couldwell, W. (2013). Is there a shortage of neurosurgeons in the United States? Neurosurgery 73(2), 354-366.
Sikand, K., Slane, S., & Shukla, G. (2009). Intrinsic expression of host genes and introns miRNAs in prostate carcinoma cells. Cancer Cell International, 9: 21.
Rakos, R., Steyer, K., Skala, S., & Slane, S. (2008). Belief in free will: Measurement and conceptualization innovations. Behavior & Social Issues, 17, 22-30.
Amy Such, Psy.S.
Amy has practiced as a School Psychologist since 1998, and in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) since 2000. Her experiences have included work in PreK-12 schools in urban, suburban and rural settings, and with students and families with diverse backgrounds, languages, and cultures. Amy’s responsibilities include psychoeducational evaluations, leadership in evaluation and student intervention teams, staff and parent consultation, and crisis response. Her interests include building and system level processes, health and wellness factors in student achievement and social emotional functioning, and community collaboration.
Amy is a graduate of the Cleveland State University Clinical/Counseling and School Psychology Programs. She has extensive experience as an intern supervisor and currently serves on the CSU School Psychology Student Advisory Board. In 2020, Amy was awarded the OSPA School Psychologist of the Year, and the CASP School Psychologist of the Year in 2020 and 2012. As a member of CASP, she has served as past Secretary and in leadership position on the Children’s Advocacy Committee. In her current work in CMSD, Amy is a School Psychologist Delegate to the Cleveland Teachers Union, and serves in leadership and as member of various school building, departmental and district level committees and work groups
Amy resides in Strongsville, and is the proud mother of two daughters who attend Strongsville Schools. She enjoys travel, fitness, and supporting her girls in all of their activities and endeavors.
Angela Varga, Psy. S., NCSP
Angela graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in England with her BSc. (Hons) in Applied Psychology in 1994, before completing her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Manchester Metropolitan University. Angela was a fourth grade teacher in London before moving to the United States. She graduated from Cleveland State University with her M.A. in Psychology and Psychology Specialist degree in 2015. Angela is a licensed school psychologist and has worked in preschool, elementary, high school, and alternative educational settings in Northeast Ohio. She has experience implementing district-wide social-emotional programming, coordinating and evaluating Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), as well as completing comprehensive psychological evaluations. Angela is a passionate advocate for at-risk youth and is looking forward to sharing that passion at CSU.
Tunisia Nacita Torres, M.A., C.D.P.
Tunisia Nacita has more than 22 years of experience in social services, adult mental health, and community leadership. She has 7 years of experience teaching psychology and sociology. She is an instructor in the Department of Psychology at Cleveland State University. She has experience working directly with students in coaching and conflict management.
As an instructor she assumes the role as a learning facilitator, responsible for designing experiences that encourage and enable students to learn in cooperative and collaborative ways (using visual, auditory, and tactile-kinesthetic) and develop confidence & mastery. Tunisia Nacita encourages students to claim their education, to become part of a student-centered learning community; intellectually, socially, and emotionally through understanding the importance of active involvement in the educational process and learning how planning and prioritizing impact academic success.
Tunisia Nacita’s teaching philosophy has three parts: (1) commitment to the needs of students (2) continuous improvement as an educator, and (3) connection of each learning opportunity to meta-cognition and rational learning development. Each part is grounded in experiences with teaching psychology, sociology, testing & assessment, and first year experience (FYE) courses.
Tunisia Nacita holds an M.A. in psychology (organizational development and diversity management specialization) from Cleveland State University, a B.S. in psychology from Cleveland State University, and is a certified Mental Health Provider; NPI #1356793087.
Samantha Tuft, Ph.D.
Dr. Tuft graduated from the Ph.D. program in Adult Development and Aging at Cleveland State University in May 2018. Dr. Tuft's research focuses on both basic and applied research in how attention might affect spoken language perception and memory, second language acquisition and attention to emotional words, foreign-accented speech perception, attention to emotional words across the adult lifespan, and password security.
Brittany Wishart, M.A.
Brittany Wishart is a 2006 graduate of the University of Dayton, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She went on to Walsh University and in 2010 graduated with two Masters of Arts degrees-one in Mental Health Counseling and the other in School Counseling. She received licenses in both disciplines and began her career as a Child and Adolescent therapist at the Nord Center in Lorain, Ohio. After two years, she moved to Denver, Colorado and started a private practice of her own. For 5 years she treated children and adults who struggle with mental and emotional disorders. She also worked part-time as a subject matter expert for the Univeristy of the Rockies. Brittany created 9 graduate courses to meet CACREP standards in order to revitalize the graduate counseling program. Brittany enjoyed creating courses so much that in 2017, she moved back to Ohio and began to pursue a teaching career in the field of Psychology. Brittany currently holds instructor positions at Cleveland State Univeristy and Lakeland Community College, and she is currently a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the state of Ohio.