Welcome to the Department of Psychology

The Psychology degree was developed to enable students to think scientifically about behavior and mental processes, develop research and assessment skills, and to use those skills to solve everyday problems.   Students who complete the degree in psychology may choose to work in various fields such as assessment, advising, research, and crisis prevention and intervention.  Additionally, students may choose to attend graduate school in order to work in fields such as clinical psychology, educational psychology, social work, marriage and family counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and school counseling.  The broad application of psychology in other disciplines makes the courses suitable for students from other majors. The guidelines provided by the American Psychological Association (2007) for undergraduate psychology majors were used to develop the program and student learning outcomes.


The Psychology Department accepts as our mission:

  • Offering quality, student-centered instruction to a diverse body of students
  • Emphasizing intellectual skills, research and writing
  • Providing practical opportunities for connecting academic knowledge with application and community service
  • Improving the quality of life for our students and our community via teaching, research, and community service
  • Supporting student preparation for graduate studies, professional careers, and leadership roles in the global community
  • Cultivating character and self-understanding, by fulfilling students’ psychological needs to “know thyself” and also by providing scholarly correction of historical, cultural and social myths
  • Generating proactive and revisionist research to address classic and contemporary psychological and social issues

Furthering the Stillman College mission, The Psychology Department:

  • Encourages students to demonstrate competence in their discipline
  • Strengthens students’ ability to perform independent research, demonstrate objective scholarship, and exhibit creative production/performance appropriate to the field of Psychology
  • Emphasizes qualifications for admission to and achievement in graduate and professional schools, or success in a selected career
  • Motivates students to help them think critically and logically about and express with clarity their observations, experiences, and findings concerning the world we live in
  • Promotes principles of faith, ethical integrity and constructive compassion
  • Promotes a technologically enriched educational experience

Psychology Courses

PSY 230

Introduction to Psychology     |     3 hours
This course is the foundation course for advanced study in psychology.  PSY 230 introduces the principles of behavior and mental processes.  It emphasizes experimental investigation of learning, motivation, emotion, personality, development and psychology.

PSY 231

History and Systems of Psychology     |     3 hours
This course provides a survey of the origin, development, and decline of each major school of psychology from the ancient period to modern times, giving attention to the social and intellectual milieu from which the new approaches to the scientific study of humans emerged.  Systematic points of view in psychology with a consideration of their historical origins and significance for modern theory will be studied during this course.

PSY 232

Child Psychology     |     3 hours
This course is designed to help students understand the mental, physical, social and emotional patterns of development of the child from birth to adolescence and his/her relations to their environment.

PSY 233

Psychology of Learning     |     3 hours

This course introduces students to the principles of learning and how those principles can be used to modify human behavior. The course emphasizes the application of learning theories and principles to solve behavioral problems, as they exist in oneself, one’s family, schools, the workplace, and in larger social, economic, and political groups. Topics include reinforcement, extinction, punishment, schedules of reinforcement, stimulus discrimination, prompting and fading, stimulus-response chaining, generalization, modeling, rule-governed behavior, problem-solving, cognitive therapy, feedback, Pavlov Ian conditioning, concept learning, general-case instruction, and stimulus equivalence.  Prerequisite:  PSY 230 or Junior/Senior Class Standing

PSY 221

Junior Thesis Seminar     |     2 hours

This course allows students to integrate knowledge of facts and theories in the discipline and to apply this knowledge to a variety of situations and experiences.  Focus is on critical thinking and communication of ideas in the discipline as evidenced in both oral and written form.  Prerequisite:  PSY 230

PSY 330

Research Methods in Psychology     |     3 hours

This course is an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods in psychology, including experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlation approaches. Students will learn to think critically about research, assessing threats to internal and external validity. Students will consider ethical issues in research and will learn to design and conduct research, including searching the literature, using SPSS to analyze data, and writing formal research reports using APA style.  Prerequisite:  PSY 230, PSY 321

PSY 331

Psychology of the Aging     |     3 hours

This course is a study of behavioral, emotional, and social changes during the adult and elderly years.  The emphasis will be on biomedical, psychological, and social aspects of middle and late adulthood.  Prerequisite:  PSY 230 or Junior/Senior Class Standing

PSY 332

Educational Psychology     |     3 hours

This course is designed to provide a basis for understanding human behavior in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills of individuals.  The purpose of the course is to aid the prospective teacher to understand the various theories of the teaching-learning process, and to help the student develop a philosophy and an approach to the process.  Prerequisite:  PSY 230 or Junior/Senior Class Standing 

PSY 333

Adolescent Psychology     |     3 hours

This course includes an examination of the basic principles, concepts, theories and problems of human behavior and experience applied to the adolescent years.   It begins with the psychosexual development state of puberty and progresses through the physical, emotional and social development necessary to reach adulthood in terms of functioning as an emotionally mature adult.  Prerequisite:  PSY 230 or Junior/Senior Class Standing

PSY 334

Abnormal Psychology     |     3 hours

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the diagnosis, description, prognosis, course, cause, treatment, and prevalence rates of major psychological disorders.  The major psychological, biological, and socio-cultural models will be discussed. After this course, you should have a working understanding of these issues, as well as be able to apply them in real world situations.  Students will gain practical experience with diagnostic practice using case studies.  Prerequisite:  PSY 230 or Junior/Senior Class Standing

PSY 335

Social Psychology     |     3 hours

This course is designed to evaluate how and why people influence each other.  The foundation for this course is the notion that people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect and is affected by the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of others.  This course emphasizes the interaction between the self and others, traditional experimental methods, and exemplary research in the fields of health, law, and business.  Prerequisite:  PSY 230 or Junior/Senior Class Standing

PSY 336

Elementary Statistical Methods and Design     |     3 hours

This course is designed to develop the student’s ability to apply basic statistical methods to the design and analysis of experiments.  Subject areas include: descriptive statistics (e.g., mean, variance, standard deviation), simple probability, distributions (e.g., normal, F), simple correlation and regression, concepts of multiple regression.   Prerequisites:  Math 131, PSY 330.

PSY 337

Psychology of Women     |     3 hours

This course, designed for male and female students, focuses on the scientific study of the behavior of girls and women, and focuses on issues related to women’s lives and experiences.  Utilizing a developmental, as well as a topical approach, this course provides information about various facets of women’s lives.  Prerequisites:  PSY 230, PSY 335 and/or Junior/Senior Class Standing

PSY 338

Psychology of the Black Experience     |     3 hours

This course is a reading and activity intensive course designed for undergraduate students majoring in psychology and/or African American Studies. This course was designed to examine and introduce students to perspectives on the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of African descended people living in North America and to differentiate Black psychology from Western psychology by population, perspective and the nature of the discipline. Prerequisites:  PSY 230, PSY 335 and/or  Junior/Senior Class Standing

PSY 339

Psychology of Film, Television and Media    |     3 hours

This course is designed to explore the ways in which various psychological concepts have been presented, examined, researched and discussed in film and television.  Textbooks and journal articles may not adequately portray the symptoms of a mental illness, the dynamics within a group, or the steps involved in processes such as learning or remembering.  Contrarily, films and/or television shows usually allow viewers to observe human behavior and mental processes. Indeed, an entertaining film is often capable of illustrating even the most complex psychological concept; and allows students to see visual representations of various cultures, time periods, stages of development, and psychological states. Prerequisite: PSY 230 (PSY 335 recommended)

PSY 421

Senior Thesis Seminar       |     2 hours

This course allows the student to develop an intensive investigative research study under close supervision.  Research culminates in a comprehensive senior thesis that the student presents.  Prerequisite:  PSY 321, PSY 330

PSY 430

Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Relations     |     3 hours

This course will include an intensive study of the interactions among individuals in various types of groups.  Observations and special emphasis on the dynamics of the groups to which class members belong will demonstrate some of the basic principles in the area.  This course will also address psychological counseling to help resolve interpersonal problems and manage crisis situations. Note: Students enrolled in Group dynamics are encouraged to complete a background check and fingerprinting.  Some agencies require it even for a one-time visit. Prerequisite:  PSY 230 or Junior/Senior Class Standing

PSY 431

Experiential Learning     |     3 hours

This course offers supplementary instruction concurrent with experience in some field of work involving application of psychological perspectives to community life (maximum of 6 hours – 3 hours per time).  Prerequisite:  PSY 230 and permission of the instructor.

PSY 432

Theory of Psychometric Instruments    |     3 hours

This course focuses on the theory of psychometric instruments and their use. Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of educational and psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits. The field is primarily concerned with the study of differences between individuals and between groups of individuals. It involves two major research tasks, namely: (1) the construction of instruments and procedures for measurement; and (2) the development and refinement of theoretical approaches to measurement.  Prerequisites:  PSY 230, PSY 336

PSY 433

Clinical Assessment   |     3 hours

This course is designed to focus on two major activities of clinical psychologists: assessment and clinical intervention (psychotherapy and program models).  This course also includes the functions, history, training, and ethics of the profession.  Prerequisite:  PSY 432

PSY 434

Experimental Psychology     |     3 hours

This course focuses on scientific method and experimental techniques in psychology. Fundamental assumptions and principles of scientific observation and research design are discussed. Students learn a number of techniques specific to psychological research. Relevant ethical issues are addressed as students learn to interpret and evaluate research and to communicate research findings.  Prerequisites:  PSY 230, PSY 231, PSY 330

PSY 435

Experimental Psychology Laboratory      |     1 hours

This course focuses on scientific method and experimental   techniques in psychology. Students will conduct a series of exercises and laboratory experiments, perform and interpret statistical analysis of data collected, and report experimental findings in standard technical format.  Prerequisites:  PSY 230, PSY 231, PSY 330

Please note: Psychology majors must successfully complete PSY 321-Junior Thesis prior to taking PSY 330-Research Methods; and then successfully complete PSY 330-Research Methods prior to taking PSY 421-Senior Thesis.  These courses may not be taken simultaneously.

Student Advising

Our faculty advisors seek to facilitate the successful attainment of students’ educational/career goals by evaluating students’ academic progress and keeping them on track for program completion to graduation.  The advisor assists students in making decisions that will optimize the educational experience at Stillman College.  To be certain that Psychology majors receive individualized attention, the Psychology Department developed an advising system based on psychology students’ last names.


If you are a psychology major and your last name begins with the letters A-L, then your advisor is:

[email protected]
243 Wynn Center


If you are a psychology major and your last name begins with the letters G-L, then your advisor is:

[email protected]
222A Wynn Center


If you are a psychology major and your last name begins with the letters J-R, then your advisor is:

[email protected]
244 Wynn Center


If you are a psychology major and your last name begins with the letters S-Z, then your advisor is:

[email protected]
211 Education Building

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the Psychology Honors Society. Students interested in Psi Chi should bring an unofficial copy of their transcript to Dr. Jemison or Dr. Hodari for overall grade point average and psychology grade point average verification.  Once they have verified your grade point average, you will be able to complete the application.  No student should complete the application without approval from either Dr. Jemison or Dr. Hodari.  Application information is available at www.psichi.org  homepage, bottom right.


You should apply to Psi Chi if you can answer YES to all of these questions:

  1. Are you are a Psychology Major?
  2. Have you completed three full semesters at Stillman College?
  3. Do you have a minimum overall GPA of 3.00 at Stillman College?
  4. Do you have a minimum Psychology GPA of 3.00 at Stillman College?
  5. Have you completed six (6) Psychology courses (minimum of 24 credit hours)?

Okay, so I meet those criteria. But why should I apply for Psi Chi?



There are many good things about being a Psi Chi member. Let me highlight what I think are the most important reasons: first, it identifies you as serious about the study of Psychology, and shows that you have performed in a superior way in your Psychology courses. It looks good on resumes when you apply for jobs after graduation, or for Psychology graduate school. It is good for networking. And there is typically a fun induction event for all who are able to become members!


Have questions? Please email the Psi Chi faculty advisors, Dr. Sandra Jemison, at  [email protected] and  Dr. Askhari Hodari at a[email protected].

Psychology Club

The Psychology Club seeks to enhance students’ understanding of the field of psychology. Club activities are varied and help foster an appreciation for the diversity of human behavior while encouraging service through school and community engagement. The club is open to all Stillman College students regardless of major.

Some of the benefits of Joining the Psychology Club Include:

  • Interacting with psychology students who share similar interests
  • Getting to know the psychology faculty
  • Learning about graduate school opportunities and career options
  • Getting involved in your community
  • Membership looks great on your graduate school application (but your participation looks even better!)

Priority registration to all the Psychology Club hosted events

Faculty Members

Askhari Johnson Hodari

Assistant Professor
211 Education Building
(205) 247-8004
[email protected]


Dr. Askhari Johnson Hodari is a social psychologist and practitioner of Black/Africana Studies. An assistant professor in the Psychology Department, she earned her B.A. degree in psychology from Spelman College; and earned her Ph.D. in social psychology and psycho-educational counseling from Howard University. She has been at Stillman College since 2011. Her professional interests include but are not limited to pro-social behavior, prejudice, discrimination, and coping mechanisms. She is an experienced teacher at the K-12 level and has been in higher education for 12 years. Hodari is the author of Lifelines the Black Book of Proverbs (Random House, 2009) and The African Book of Names (HCI, 2009). She makes her home in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the birthplaces of the Civil Rights Movement.

Research Interests

  • Prosocial behavior
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Rape and domestic violence (perceptions, definitions, and attitudes about rape and domestic violence)
  • Social construction of ethnicity and gender
  • Racism and sexism as primary cause of anger response
  • Coping mechanisms (that foster self-preservation in a prison culture)


Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs (Random House, 2009).
The African Book of Names (Health Communications Inc., 2009).
Schwebel, D., Hodari, A. (2005). Ethical Principles and Acculturation: Two Case Studies. Ethics and Behavior, 15 (2).                                         Grants/Awards/Honors Recipient of the Joseph A. Gore Merit Award for Excellent in Teaching (2012-2013)

Sandra J. Jemison

Assistant Professor of Psychology
218 Education Building
(205) 247-8014
[email protected]


Dr. Sandra J. Jemison is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Alabama with her Ph.D. in School Psychology with areas of specialization in instructional leadership and educational research. She has been in higher education for 7 years. She has been a full time faculty member at Stillman College for nearly 5 years. She currently teaches classes in the Education and Psychology Departments. Dr. Jemison brings experience from K-12 school systems as a classroom teacher and central office administrator. Her research interests involve helping students of all ages achieve their best in school, academically, socially, and emotionally. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). And also a member of the following professional organizations: Division 16 of the American Psychological Association, Phi Delta Kappa, International Reading Association, National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association. Dr. Jemison has served the community as Board secretary of the Girl Scouts; Board member of the Skyland SDA Church; member of the mayor’s Prekindergarten Committee; and is currently on the Board of the United Way of West Alabama.

Research Interests

Early literacy development, intervention, and assessment to influence the positive development of children and youth through academic and mental health practices.



  • Ricco, C.A. and Jemison, S.J. 1998 ADHD and Emergent Literacy: Influence of Language Factors. The Reading and Writing Quarterly, 14(1),  43-58.
  • Ricco, C.A., Jemison, S.J., Houston, F. (1998). Use of the differential ability scales (DAS): Special nonverbal composite among young children with linguist differences. Journal of Psycho educational Assesment.


Ph.D. – The University of Alabama
Ed.S. – The University of Alabama
M.A. – The University of Alabama
B.S. – The University of Alabama


Breakthrough to Literacy Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators
Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship
International Who’s Who of Professionals
Grants include, Even Start, Reading Excellence, McKinney Vento homeless Assistance

 Courses Currently Taught

EED 434, Methods & Materials in Language Arts
EDU 422, Tests & Measurement
EDU 420, Senior Thesis in Education
PSY 432, Theory in Psychometrics
PSY 430, Group Dynamics
PSY 411, Senior Thesis in Psychology

Sonya Lawson Hutchinson

Chair, Department of Psychology
Associate Professor of Psychology

214 Education Building
(205) 247-8008
[email protected]


Sonya Lawson Hutchinson is originally from Montgomery, Alabama. She graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in Psychology. She has a M.S. in Psychology from Auburn University at Montgomery. She also has a M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Alabama. She has been at Stillman for 12 years. She is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Psychology Department. She teaches classes in psychology
and has been in higher education for 12 years.

Research Interests

Stress levels of African-American college students

Spelman College – B.A. – Psychology
Auburn University at Montgomery – M.S. Psychology
University of Alabama – M.A. and Ph.D. – Clinical Psychology Grants/Awards/Honors

Recipient of the Joseph A. Gore Merit Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006-2007)
Recipient of UNCF/FAPT Mini-grant award for Improving Learning Through the Use of Visual Technology in the Classroom (2005)
Recipient of UNCF/FAPT Mini-grant award for Integrating Reading, Writing, & Technology in Teaching Psychology (2004)

Courses Currently Taught

Introduction to Psychology
Abnormal Psychology

Adolescent Psychology
Clinical Assessment

Evolution: The Study of Psychology at Stillman College

Brief History of the Psychology Department

Though Stillman was founded in 1876, the earliest available archival documents suggest that “Elementary Psychology” was the first psychology course taught at Stillman in 1894; and that Reverend Andrew Flinn Dickson was the first psychology instructor. By 1932, Stillman broadened the curriculum by including Psychology of Children’s Life, Psychology of Adolescence and Educational Psychology.

In 1945, Stillman’s Snedecor School of Nursing offered Psychology of Religion, which addressed “psychological factors conditioning the ›religious experience, types of religious behavior and principles of religious growth.” The number of psychology courses increased during the 1950-51 academic year when Child Psychology, Psychology of Exceptional Children and Social Psychology were added to the psychology offerings. The Dean of Women, Dean B.C. Taylor, proved to be valuable and knowledgeable in terms of guiding female psychology students.

The course catalog first lists the department of psychology as a separate department in 1954, with Samuel Franklin teaching the psychology courses. The mission statement read as follows: “This department seeks to encourage a scientific approach to the study of human nature, so that the student may have a more adequate insight into his own experience and conduct, as well as a deeper understanding of those about him.”  In 1956, Samuel Franklin, the inaugural psychology chairperson, appeared in the yearbook as Dr. Franklin. During the 1957 academic year, the psychology curriculum included Introductory Psychology, Psychology of Childhood, Psychology of Adolescence, Mental Health, and the ever-present Educational Psychology. At that time, the Division of Psychology and Education housed psychology courses and the faculty included Dr. Franklin (Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology of Childhood and Adolescence, Mental Health), Mr. Coleman, Mr. Hardy (Educational Psychology, Tests and Measurements), Mr. Smith, Mr. Tidwell and Mr. Whisenton.

The 1959-1960 academic year introduced Developmental Psychology and Personality to the course catalog, along with The Biblical View of Human Personality. During that academic year, Stillman designated psychology as a general education requirement.  Then, the course catalog listed psychology as a minor in 1967 and added Introduction to Statistics to the curriculum.

Our records do not indicate the definitive growth of, or disappearance of the Psychology Department after 1967. However, the College’s records and personal interviews indicate that a separate Psychology Department did not exist from at least 1984 until 2007. Rather, for some time, Dr. Charles Millar, Dr. John Hussey, and then Dr. Alice Thompson and Dr. Anthony Nzeocha, as part of the Education Department, taught 18 hours of psychology courses including Introduction to Psychology, Child Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, Testing and Measurement and, of course, Educational Psychology. When faculty members Dr. Sonya Lawson Hutchinson, Dr. Sandra Jemison and Dr. Anthony Nzeocha began developing the psychology major in 2007, the Education Department in the Division of Education housed psychology courses. The psychology professors continued supporting general education requirements by offering Introduction to Psychology and taught the following courses for Education majors: Child Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology and Educational Psychology.

Figure 1. FIRST FULL GRADUATING CLASS, 2012. Pictured: Daija Foard, LaTiffany Jackson, Jamaria Williams, Brianna Caddell, Jillian Graves, Bryant Mosley, Dr Sonya Hutchinson, Alexandria Francisco, Ashley Crutcher, Dayna Carr, Edmond Collins, Dana Davis.

Psychology re-emerged as an official major and autonomous department in the fall of 2008, with Dr. Hutchinson as the first Black female chairperson. Together, the Faculty developed an interdisciplinary, research-centered curriculum, seeking to provide students with the foundation for applying to and successfully completing graduate school. Thus, the faculty developed Junior Thesis, Research Methods, Senior Thesis and Statistics courses.

The broad application of psychology in other disciplines made psychology courses suitable for students from other majors. Ergo, some Stillman students changed their major to psychology and became graduates of the Psychology Department In 2010 and 2011. Unfortunately, during the summer of 2011, Dr. Nzeocha passed away after struggling with a terminal illness.   As a tribute to his service, the Department established a scholarship in his honor. Ms. Jasmine Hightower was the first recipient of the Anthony C. Nzeocha Memorial Scholarship.  Ms. Kendra Ramos was the second recipient of the the Anthony C. Nzeocha Memorial Scholarship.

In the fall of 2011, the Psychology Department moved from the Division of Education to the Division of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Askhari Johnson Hodari and Dr. Amy Skinner joined the department. In addition, that fall, Dr. Jemison and Dr. Skinner started the Psychology Club with a charter group of 10 students. Dr. Hodari introduced new courses to the curriculum including Psychology of Women, Psychology of the Black Experience and Psychology of Film, Television and the Media. May 2012 marked the Psychology Department’s first full four year graduating class and included 12 students. Dr. April Kendrick, who joined the department in the fall of 2012, along with Dr. Jemison, continued to sponsor and strengthen the Psychology Club.  On May 7, 2014, the Psychology Department inaugurated the Stillman chapter of Psi Chi.

Currently, Stillman’s Psychology Department has four full-time faculty members: Dr. Askhari Johnson Hodari (social psychologist), Dr. Sonya Lawson Hutchinson (clinical psychologist), Dr. Sandra Jemison, a school psychologist, and Dr. Beverly Myers. The faculty members offer harmonized academic and research advising, and emphasize rigorous scientific methodology, assessment and analysis of culturally specific behaviors and mental processes. The Department also encourages extracurricular activity.

Despite being a young program, at present, the Psychology Department has approximately 80 majors and is the third largest major at Stillman. The Psychology Department is also the fastest growing department at Stillman.  Since the re-emergence of the Psychology Department, approximately 45 students have graduated from Stillman with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Two of the last four Ms. Stillmans have been Psychology majors; and the reigning valedictorian is a Psychology major.  Stillman students often attest to the high standards of the Psychology Department. Keeping one of Stillman’s watchwords in mind, the Psychology Department seeks excellence– in students, courses, programs, faculty, facilities and presentation.

Connect With the Psychology Department

For more information from the Psychology Department, please join the Stillman College Psychology Majors Group on Facebook (URL: http://www.facebook.com/groups/133056650083310).  Also, please be certain you are enrolled in our psychology majors “course” on Canvas.  If you are not enrolled, please contact the Psychology Department chairperson ([email protected]).

Admissions Criteria (click here)