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Dr. Mary Jenson

Associate Professor of Psychology

Why I Teach

Working with undergraduate student is my passion. My goals as a professor are to generate interest in the course material, foster critical thought, and to nurture enthusiasm for lifelong learning. While most faculty members would agree that integrating issues of ethnicity and multiculturalism into the undergraduate classroom is crucial to a well-balanced education, finding ways to integrate these issues effectively is difficult but is one of my goals in the classroom psychology. For example, it is easy to get students to acknowledge that they use basic stereotypes or schemas to function in the world. However, most refuse to admit that they use these stereotypes to make judgments about specific individuals, so in my courses I try to emphasize that we all use stereotypes and the best way to avoid this is to acknowledge this. I have also spent my career finding new ways to involve undergraduate students in psychology research. That is what I do best. I get a great deal of joy seeing students present their research on a local, regional, or International level. They see what they can do if they stretch themselves.

Professional Activities

Research Interests

My current area of research involves involving undergraduate in investigating the relationships and the goals of racial and cultural underrepresented individuals in the History of Psychology. I also study common sense or lay representation of illness and how that affects health behaviors and adherence to health care recommendations. One of my main areas of interests is how gender, ethnicity and even age affects common sense view of illness, coping, and adherence to medical recommendations.

Professional Activities

Consulting Editor
2010 to 2013 Teaching of Psychology (APA Journal)
2015 to Present Cogent Psychology

Ad-hoc Reviewer
Teaching of Psychology
Psi Chi’s National undergraduate and graduate research awards
Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association Division Two


  • Ph.D., Social Psychology University of Iowa
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Minnesota

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Psychology of Aging
  • Psychology of Human Development
  • Psychology of Personality
  • Psychology Senior Seminar
  • Social Psychology
  • Statistics for Behavioral Sciences

Contact Information