Lab Director

Kimberly Halvorson, Ph.D.

Dr. Halvorson joined the Metropolitan State University faculty in 2013. She earned a B.A. in psychology and philosophy from Concordia College, Moorhead, and a PhD in psychology, with an emphasis in cognition and perception, from the University of Iowa. Her earliest involvement in research was in a visual attention lab investigating how the emotional affect of face cues modulate covert shifts of spatial attention. This work demonstrated that the mechanisms underlying the joint processes of attention and social orienting are sensitive to emotional context. The focus on how context influences cognitive processing carried over into her work in graduate school and current research interests, including multi-tasking, skill acquisition, and response selection. Her research centers on how these cognitive processes emerge as a result of the dynamic interaction between the environment and the mind. Dr. Halvorson’s primary teaching areas are general psychology, research methods, cognitive psychology and sensation and perception.

Lab Manager

Valerie Wilwert, M.A.

Hello, my name is Valerie. I received my Master of Arts in psychology from Metropolitan State in 2014, with a focus in social psychology. Before that, I received my bachelor’s degree from Bemidji State University in 2004, along with a bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies education. I taught ESL in Yichang, China for one year, and thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to live and work overseas and learn about a different culture. When I returned to the states, I became a secondary teacher in Hudson, WI for five years, including two years of teaching advanced placement psychology. I completed my master’s thesis on the subject of generational culture, having completed a content analysis of 30 years of magazine covers in order to identify common themes of generational culture within the Millennial generation, in comparison to generations prior (Gen X and the Baby Boomer generation). In addition to working in the Psychology Lab, I have also been a member of the community faculty for the Psychology Department at Metropolitan State since the Spring 2016 semester. Through my teaching experiences in the field, I have developed a variety of other interests in the field of psychology, particularly those related to social psychology, and look forward to helping you discover the areas of human behavior that you are most passionate about exploring.

Lab Assistants

Student workers are available to assist visitors to the Psychology Lab in utilizing lab resources to complete research projects and psychology coursework. Student workers can also guide students in using lab resources for grad school and career planning. Student workers in the Psychology Lab are typically Metro State students with a declared psychology major or minor. All student workers have completed both PSYC100 (General Psychology) and PSYC312 (Research Methods), and have an advanced understanding of research methodology and application of psychological theory to research.