College of Arts and Sciences


  • The Psychology Department engages students in the study of the many aspects of psychological life—individual, bodily, interpersonal, ethical, social, and cultural – using reflective and empirical methods.

    The faculty brings a broad range of perspectives and practical experience to their teaching. Grounded in the theory and practice of clinical work as well as in quantitative and qualitative research, they bring a range of perspectives to their teaching, including humanistic and phenomenological (systematic study of experienced meaning), depth psychology (interpreting the “hidden” aspects of personal life and their origin in childhood), social (emphasis on interpersonal life), behavioral (scientific observation of human behavior), and cognitive (learning and memory).

    The faculty also draws upon perspectives and material from other disciplines such as literature, philosophy, history, and other social sciences in their teaching. Offerings include courses that are standard in any department (e.g., developmental, abnormal, social, and research methods) as well as courses that focus on important but often-neglected areas (e.g., forgiveness, gender, political and ecological issues, health, existential-phenomenology, multicultural counseling, and creativity).

    Degrees offered: BA, BS, minor 

    2014-2015 Student Achievements

    Alison Antoku and Casey Madayag earned the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Project for their work The Effects of Dedicated Time on Motivation, Self-Esteem, and Academic Achievement.

    Jessica Gandy and Christine Jensen presented their award winning research project Can Priming Influence Benevolent and Hostile Sexist Attitudes? at NCUR.

    Jennifer Cruz presented her qualitative research project Perceived Psychological Benefits of Volunteering Abroad at NCUR.

    Sam Battalio presented his poster project Reevaluating Generation Me at NCUR.

    Christian Klein and Arianna Sapp co-authored a chapter with Dr. Hy and others in Emotional Intelligence: Current evidence from psychophysiological, educational and organizational perspectives titled, The Dynamic Relationship Between Spirituality, Gratitude and Emotional Intelligence. 

    Michelle Globe presented her award winning project Creativity and Mood: Art Therapy Targeting Affect and Self-Esteem at NCUR.

    Nguyen Tran was awarded a "distinguished graduate" for 2015.

    2015 Psychology Department
    Gaffney Awards

    The Psychology Department’s Gaffney Award is named in honor of the late Fr. Louis Gaffney, S.J., distinguished professor of psychology and former president of Seattle University. This award is presented to the graduating students with the highest GPA in the major.

    Kirsten Smock
    Kirsten is from Steilacoom, Washington. As a Seattle University psychology major also pursuing a minor in English Literature, Kirsten is a recipient of the Trustee's Scholarship, the Jeanette Standaert Conlon Memorial Scholarship, and is a member of Psi Chi (psychology’s national honor society). Kirsten’s stellar coursework has put her on the President’s List for 10 out of 11 quarters. In addition, Kirsten is a Research Intern at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and Coordinator of Fundraising for Tell-A-Hawk (SU’s annual giving campaign, where she started as a student caller). Kirsten hopes to pursue a career working with children with autism. In doing so, Kirsten hopes “to make the voices of an often misunderstood population heard so that children are able to reach their full potential.”

    Jessica Gandy
    Jessica is from Vancouver, BC. Coming to SU from Shoreline Community College, Jessica is completing her BS in Psychology with multiple awards and honors, including: Tau Sigma (top National Scholarship Recipient); President’s List standing; HEROES Program (AmeriCorps) Lead Mentor Award; and Psychology Department’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Project (with Christine Jensen). In addition to serving as the President of Psi Chi (psychology’s national honor society) and Gamma Mu – Tau Sigma (national transfer student honors society) and serving as the psychology representative to the College of Arts & Sciences Student Executive Council, Jessica is a Research Intern at the Chavkin Laboratory – University of Washington. Jessica will be pursuing doctoral studies in neuroscience.


    Brooke Burns
    Brooke Burns is a psychology and history double major from Issaquah, Washington. She is a graduate University Honors Program (2012), and Sue Naef Scholar. During her time at Seattle University, she served as a peer mentor in the Connections Leadership Program, as a teacher’s assistant with the President’s Interfaith Service Challenge at Bailey Gatzert Elementary and as the Vice-President of Triangle Club. As a junior, she studied abroad in Hyderabad, India for six months.  This year, she served as the Treasurer of Alpha Sigma Nu, and the President of Psi Chi while volunteering as an emergency shelter coordinator for Operation Nightwatch, a local homeless services center. This summer, she will participate in an internship at the Swedish Hospital Neuroscience Institute, before spending a year in Paris, France as an au pair. 


    Cayce Cheairs
    Cayce is graduating with a BA in Psychology with Departmental Honors and a minor in Women's Studies. Cayce transferred to SU from North Seattle Community College, where she distinguished herself in academics, leadership, and service. She has continued to do so at SU, where she has a perfect 4.0 GPA, is completing year-long honors research she presented at SUURA and Stanford University, completing service as Psi Chi (psychology's national honor society) secretary and events coordinator, and serving the elderly, low income citizens of Seattle. Throughout her education, Cayce has used her many intellectual and personal gifts in the service of others (classmates, professors, people in need). The Psychology Department is very proud to have her as an alumnus, and feels she represents the best of what it means to be a Seattle University psychology major and graduate. 


    Jacqueline Goade
    Jacqueline Goade has been an exemplary student in the Department of Psychology over the last three years.  She possesses a rigorous work ethic, strong talents in writing and analysis, and a capacity for engaging lively contributions to seminar and group discussions.  She is a Campion Scholar, a member of Psi Chi, the National Psychology Honor Society, and Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society.  She has accomplished these many successes while working part time at the university’s Facilities Services Office. Jacqueline completed her coursework for her degree at the end of Winter 2010, the department is pleased to honor her achievements at the awards ceremony.

  • Meet alum Massimo Backus '08, organizational development consultant at Nintendo of America.

    Learn more: Watch the video and read the article.

    210x2 Red Rule

  • Meet recent Psychology alum Jessica Gandy '15, Tau Sigma's top national scholarship award recipient.
    Jessica Gandy sidebar
    Learn more: read the article.

    210x2 Red Rule

  • Meet alum Gretchen Herzog Sullivan '01, Supervisor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital.

    Learn more: Watch the video and read the article.

    210x2 Red Rule