Kacy Pula, who studies the connection between human behavior and the environment, was named Assistant Professor of Psychology starting this fall. Dr. Pula earned her doctorate in experimental psychology from Washington State University in 2012. Her dissertation is titled "Regulatory Focus and Motives for Organic Food preferences in the United States."
"I have a deep appreciation of the depth of the curriculum at Saint Michael's College, which is fully conducive to my teaching interests - undergraduate education within a research environment," Dr. Pula said. "I look forward to interacting with students one-on-one, to getting to know students personally, and to involving them in research," she added.
Pula earned her bachelor's degree in psychology, Summa Cum Laude, from Humboldt State University in 2007; her master's degree in experimental psychology from Washington State University in 2009, with a thesis titled "Reactions to Others as a Function of Group Permeability and Deviance," and her doctorate from Washington State this year.
This fall Pula is teaching courses in general psychology and social psychology, and in the spring, courses in social psychology, research methods, and environmental psychology.
"I am very interested in the connection between human behavior and our environment, and in how humans share natural resources," Pula said. She has looked in particular at how our food choices connect with our attitude about the environment.
Her publications include the article "Invariance of a two-factor model of Social Dominance Orientation across gender," in Personality and Individual Differences (in press) 2011, and "Shyness-anxiousness and receptive language skills development in Spanish and English speaking preschoolers," in Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 2011. She has a manuscript under review at Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, has made a number of conference presentations, and has five projects in progress. One of the projects is titled "Groupdrink: The Effects of Alcohol on Group Decision Making in a Public Goods Dilemma."
Pula resides in Winooski with her two dogs. She is an enthusiastic vegetable gardener and enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, especially hiking and camping.