3 students and Dr.John Lefebvre

Kara L. Bopp, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology & ChairKara Bopp

Dr. Bopp's Web Page

Dr. Kara Bopp received her B.A. from Hamilton College, a small liberal arts college in Central New York, with thesis honors in Psychology. She obtained her M.A from New York University’s Cognition-Perception program, and her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Syracuse University. She was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award, a Certificate in University Teaching, and Honors for her dissertation.

Throughout her education Dr. Bopp's research focus has been on memory and aging. As a lifespan cognitive psychologist her research purpose is two-fold: 1) to understand the impact of aging on memory and attention, and 2) to examine old and new types of cognitive processes through age dissociations. She currently studies working memory, a process that allows for simultaneous storage and processing of information. Working memory is considered a basic cognitive feature necessary for many everyday tasks such as reading, calculating a tip, and driving a car.

Dr. Bopp teaches:

  • Introductory Psychology (110)
  • Introduction to Psychological Science (150)
  • Experimental Methods (200)
  • Cognitive Science (310)
  • Senior Thesis (451, 452)
  • Interim

John Lefebvre John C. Lefebvre, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology 


Dr. John Lefebvre received a D.E.C. from Vanier College in Montreal before receiving his B.A. degree from McGill University with first class honors in psychology. While a student at McGill, he had the opportunity to be actively involved in research projects involving pain research. After completing his degree at McGill, Dr. Lefebvre received his Ph.D. degree in 1998 from Duke University in clinical psychology. He also completed his pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology at Duke University Medical Center. As a graduate student, his research involved how people cope with pain, the efficacy of cognitive behavioral treatment of chronic pain, pain assessment, and pain in children. Dr. Lefebvre spent a year at Ohio University as an Assistant Research Professor, then came to Wofford in 1999. Dr. Lefebvre served as Chair of the department from 2004 to 2016.

Dr. Lefebvre’s research interests continue to focus on pain. Over time, in collaboration with students in the department and colleagues at other institutions, his research now focuses on the role of worry on the experience of pain. His research is also interested in better understanding how people recall and recognize painful stimuli. In his spare time, Dr. Lefebvre enjoys spending time with his family, especially at Wofford social and athletic events.

Dr. Lefebvre teaches:

  • Introductory Psychology (110) 
  • Introduction to Psychological Science (150)
  • Health Psychology (270) 
  • Personality (320)
  • Clinical Psychology (420)
  • Senior Thesis (451, 452) 

mcquiston 2016 Dawn E. McQuiston, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology  

Dr. McQuiston's Web Page  

Dr. Dawn McQuiston received her B.S. degree in Psychology from Eastern New Mexico University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas at El Paso. Following her graduate studies, Dr. McQuiston spent ten years on the faculty at Arizona State University where she established a legal psychology research laboratory, was a regular guest lecturer at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, was a Research Associate with the Arizona Justice Project, and was graduate program director in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She joined the psychology faculty at Wofford College in 2013, and is also part of the pre-law faculty. Dr. McQuiston’s work involves the intersection of psychology and law, focusing on the reliability of eyewitness testimony, jurors’ evaluation of scientific evidence, and extra-legal factors in courtroom decision-making, and her research has been funded by the National Institute of Justice.

Dr. McQuiston teaches:

  • Introductory Psychology (110)
  • Introduction to Psychological Science (150)
  • Experimental Methods (200)
  • Psychology and Law (250)
  • Applied Statistics (360)
  • Senior Thesis (451, 452)
  • Advanced Research (460)
  • Pre-Law Interm (co-taught with Prof. John Fort)

Cecile McAninchCecile M. Nowatka, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology 

Dr. Nowatka's Web Page  

Dr. Nowatka received her B.A. degree from the University of Virginia in French, her M.A. in Psychology from the College of William and Mary, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky.

She taught for three years at Washington State University, and then returned to the University of Kentucky to teach for two years. Dr. Nowatka came to Wofford in 1999 and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2003. Her research interests have included how children form impressions of other children and the effects of cell phone use on driving. Current research involves the experience of depression and suicidal thoughts among Wofford students.

Dr. Nowatka teaches:

  • Introduction to Psychological Science (150)
  • Abnormal Psychology (220)
  • Child Development (240)
  • Abnormal Child Psychology (325)
  • Social Psychology (350)
  • Internship (448)
  • Senior Thesis (451, 452)
  • Interim
Dave PittmanDavid W. Pittman, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology  

Dr. Pittman's Web Page

Dr. Pittman received his B.S. degree (Psychology) from Wofford College. Continuing with graduate training at the Florida State University, Dr. Pittman received his M.S. degree in Psychology and his Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience. Dr. Pittman's research training is as a sensory physiologist specializing in taste electrophysiology and ingestive behavior psychophysics.

At Wofford, Dr. Pittman's laboratory examines how taste neural signals are sent from the mouth to the brain and how the sense of taste then affects feeding behavior in both humans and rat animal models. Two main questions are currently being explored in the laboratory. Dr. Pittman is interested in understanding how dietary fats produce taste sensations and motivate the consumption of high-fat foods. Additionally, research is also exploring how anti-anxiety drugs, such as Valium, may alter taste sensations to increase the palatability of food and thus increase our food consumption when taking those medications. Dr. Pittman has also developed and supports a school-based intervention for elementary school lunch programs called Healthy Eating Decisions which aims to reduce childhood obesity in Spartanburg County. Dr. Pittman is the chair of the College Animal Care and Use Committee, Coordinator for the Program in Neuroscience, faculty advisor for the Kappa Sigma student organizations, and is a member of the Spartanburg County Childhood Obesity Task Force.

Dr. Pittman teaches:

  • Biological Psychology (230) 
  • Sensation & Perception (315) 
  • Behavioral Neuroscience (330) 
  • Psychopharmacology (351) 
  • Senior Research Thesis (451, 452) 
  • Interim 
  • Neuroscience Seminar (NEUS321, 322)


During Interim terms, Dr. Pittman has taught a variety of courses ranging from supervising independent student research projects to traveling to Jamaica to a seminar course entitled "Songwriting & Storytelling" in which student learn how to compose original song lyrics and examine songwriting from psychological, literary and entertainment perspectives including guest lectures from successful independent artists.

Alliston Reid Alliston K. Reid, Ph.D., Reeves Family Professor of Psychology 

Dr. Reid's Web Page

Dr. Reid received his B. S. degree from Wofford College in 1975 with a major in psychology. As a student, he was passionately involved in research in experimental psychology and neuropsychology, working closely with Dr. Pilley and Dr. Scott on several research projects. Dr. Reid received his Ph.D. degree from Duke University in experimental psychology with a minor in zoology. While at Duke, Dr. Reid also studied electrical and computer engineering. Dr. Reid taught for three years in the graduate program of psychology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, Mexico, where he obtained tenure and received his first teaching award, teaching all his classes in Spanish. Dr. Reid also taught briefly in 1984 at Universidad Konrad Lorenz in Bogotá, Colombia, before returning to Duke University. In 1985 he moved to Oregon to teach computer science at Eastern Oregon University, where he eventually became full professor of computer science and psychology. During his 11 years in Oregon, Dr. Reid served as chairman of the mathematics & computer science program and later as chairman of psychology. While teaching computer science and later psychology in Oregon, Dr. Reid was awarded teaching awards seven times. He came to Wofford College in 1996 when his favorite mentor, Dr. John Pilley, decided to retire. Dr. Reid served as chairman of the psychology department from 1998 to 2004. At Wofford, Dr. Reid was awarded the Governor's Distinguished Professor Award by Governor Mark Sanford in 2004. At graduation in May 2005, Dr. Reid was awarded the Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science, which provides $50,000 over a 10-year period to promote faculty development. For three years, he served as Program Chair for the international Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior (SQAB) and special editor of the journal, Behavioural Processes, which publishes a special SQAB issue each year.  Subsequently, Dr. Reid served as President of SQAB with his 3-year term ending in 2012. In 2010 Dr. Reid was appointed Reeves Family Professor of Psychology due to the continued generosity of Ed Reeves and his family.

Dr. Reid's research interests center on the basic mechanisms of learning and memory across species. His research often focuses on the rules of integration of responding and environmental cues to produce adaptive patterns of behavior. His approach to these topics involves the experimental analysis of behavior with rats, pigeons, dogs, and humans, along with mathematical modeling and computer simulation of these basic processes. Students are involved in all aspects of this research and frequently are coauthors of published papers and conference presentations. Like his previous mentor, Dr. John Pilley, Dr. Reid's true passion is working closely with students in the lab. He even started liking basketball once he and his students learned to teach rats to play one-on-one, leading to tournaments such as the Final Four Rat Basketball Tournament and the Hoop-Rat Classic.

Dr. Reid has been teaching:


During Interim terms, Dr. Reid often combines teaching with adventurous activities in other lands such as the Virgin Islands, Turkey, Argentina, and Mexico. Here are some examples of his interim courses:  "Kayaking the nature preserves," "Wetlands ecology by kayak," "Personal insight through tropical adventure," "Welcome to Oaxaca!" "Eyewitness testimony," "Psychological science in the courtroom," "Turkey: At the crossroads," "Buenos Aires, the glaciers of Patagonia, and the end of the world," and "Animal cognition with rat basketball." 

steinmetzkrKatherine R. Steinmetz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Steinmetz's Web Page

 Dr. Steinmetz received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Allegheny College where she participated in the Neuroscience in the Humanities program and wrote a thesis that investigated the electrophysiological changes caused by learning words in emotional contexts. She then went on to graduate school at Boston College. Working with Dr. Elizabeth Kensinger, Dr. Steinmetz used neuroimaging (fMRI), eye-tracking, electrophysiological, and behavioral techniques to investigate the neural mechanisms that influence memory for emotional events. Dr. Steinmetz also went on to do a post-doctoral fellowship focusing on the influences of stress and sleep on memory at Boston College and Notre Dame. During her graduate and post-doctoral studies, Dr. Steinmetz taught at a number of institutions in the Boston area including Boston College, Emmanuel College, and Wellesley College.

At Wofford, Dr. Steinmetz teaches Psychology and Neuroscience courses including Biological Psychology, Introduction to Psychological Science, Affective Neuroscience, and Senior Thesis.

Dr. Steinmetz’s laboratory focuses on the understanding the neuroscience behind how emotional processing influences attention and memory. By combining techniques including behavioral testing, event-related potential (ERP) recordings, and salivary hormonal assays techniques, Dr. Steinmetz's research examines both the cognitive (thought-level) and neural (brain-level) processes that guide attention toward, and memory for, emotional information. She is also interested in how these processes may be influenced by factors such as stress and anxiety.

Dr. Steinmetz teaches:
  • Introductory Psychology (110)
  • Introduction to Psychological Science (150)
  • Biological Psychology (230)
  • Cognitive Science (310)
  • Senior Research Thesis (451, 452)