What do people do? Why do they do what they do? Though Brandi Stupica, assistant professor of psychology, doesn’t claim to hold all the answers, she has still dedicated her life to figuring out people.
“I went into college thinking pre-med and quickly switched to English, all while taking psychology classes and really liking them,” she says. “Even when I declared my psychology major, I thought it was just a back-up. I finally realized all my behaviors were indicating that psychology was the thing that really interested me.”
Stupica explains that she initially fell in love with the research side of psychology. When she began her doctoral program in developmental psychology at the University of Maryland, however, she quickly gravitated toward the teaching side as well. She graduated with her PhD in 2012 and joined the Alma College faculty that same year.
“I figured out that, not only do I love research, but I also love presenting the information that psychologists are discovering in more user-friendly ways that students can easily understand,” she says. “I knew I wanted to teach at a small liberal arts school, like at Otterbein where I did my undergraduate work, where teaching would be one of my main responsibilities, and I really wanted to return to the Midwest, so Alma was a perfect fit. Now that I’m here, I’ve fallen in love with research all over again because I get to work with students one-on-one answering questions that we have about why people think, feel, and act a particular way.”
Stupica believes that a psychology major is beneficial to many career paths, especially when paired with other majors or minors. She also has some very wise advice for future students considering majoring in psychology.
“Take the intro class,” she says. “Come to class, read the readings, and if it fascinates you, stick with it. Worst-case scenario: you’ve taken the intro course and gotten a distributive requirement out of the way. Best-case scenario: you’ve found your major.”
- Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Maryland (2012)
- M.S., Developmental Psychology, University of Maryland (2009)
- B.S., Psychology, Otterbein College (2006)
always engaged with several students on research related to social and emotional development. We meet weekly to discuss project design, data collection, analysis, and writing-up our findings for publication.
My career at Alma began in
I'm an expert in
I study the formation and maintenance of close, intimate relationships (like child-parent and romantic attachment bonds) and how these relationships influence other aspects of functioning or are influenced by biology and the environment.
Stupica, B., & Cassidy, J. (2014). Priming as a way of understanding children’s mental representations of the social world. Developmental Review, 34, 77-91.
Sherman, L. J., Stupica, B., Dykas, M. J., Ramos-Marcuse, F. & Cassidy, J. (2013). The development of negative reactivity in irritable newborns as a function of attachment. Infant Behavior and Development, 36, 139– 146.
Seymour, K. E., Chronis-Tuscano, A. M., Halldorsdottir, T., Stupica, B., Owens, K., & Sacks, T., (2012). Emotion regulation mediates the relationship between ADHD and depressive symptoms in youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 595-606.
Stupica, B., Sherman, L. J., & Cassidy, J. (2011). Newborn irritability moderates the association between infant attachment security and toddler exploration and sociability. Child Development, 82, 1381–1389.
Cassidy, J., Woodhouse, S. W., Sherman, L. J., Stupica, B., & Lejuez, C. W. (2011). Enhancing infant attachment security: An examination of treatment efficacy and differential susceptibility. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 131-148.
Cassidy, J., Ziv, Y., Stupica, B., Sherman, L. J., Butler, H., Karfgin, A., & … Powell, B. (2010). Enhancing attachment security in the infants of women in a jail-diversion program. Attachment & Human Development, 12, 333-353.
Stupica, B., & Cassidy, J. (2013, April). Attachment security as a regulator of the physiological response to threat. Poster presented at the meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, Washington.