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

Kate Dinsmore

Hi everyone, my name is Kate Dinsmore and I am a senior at Metropolitan State. I am currently pursuing my B.A. in psychology with a minor in industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology. I am interested in human process interventions, group dynamics, leadership and power, and conflict resolution within the workplace. I anticipate graduating in the fall of 2016 and working towards a master’s degree in I/O psychology. I'm looking forward to helping you with your projects.

Dan Fernholz

Hi, my name is Dan Fernholz.  I am currently enrolled in the undergraduate psychology program in my last year before graduation. I am interested in decision-making and memory, and study gambling behavior, as well as other cognitive phenomena. I plan to enroll in a master’s program in counseling psychology toward an LPC/C and eventually a Psy.D.

Frank Kallstrom

Hi! My name is Frank Kallstrom. I am a senior enrolled in the undergraduate licensed alcohol and drug counseling program. I recently received my B.A. in psychology from Metropolitan State, as well as having an A.S. in law enforcement from North Hennepin Community College. I am interested in addiction counseling and my career goal is to become a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, as well as receiving my master's degree to become an LPC or LPCC. I am hoping to be able to provide services for those in need of addiction counseling and mental health services. I am expecting to graduate in May of 2017.

Rico Lopez

Hello! My name is Rico Lopez. This is my sixth and final semester at Metropolitan State where I am majoring in psychology. My area of interest is social psychology as well as personality. After completing my bachelor’s degree I will be looking for a career in mental health, as well as returning to school to pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology.

Andrea O'Malley

Hi! My name is Andrea O’Malley. I just finished my first year as a graduate student in the applied social psychology program. I finished my B.A. in psychology at Southern New Hampshire University in 2015 and began the master’s program at Metropolitan State three months later. After completing the master's program at Metropolitan State, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in forensic psychology.

Megan Siedschlag

Hello, my name is Megan Siedschlag. I am currently a graduate student in the applied social psychology program. I am interested in gender differences and stereotypes and how these impact perceptions of others. After completing the master's program I hope to apply to Ph.D. programs with a focus on social psychology and gender studies.