Social Science Faculty
Professor Elisa Geiss instructs the psychology seminar, as well as the introduction to psychology, learning and behavior and introduction to biopsychology courses. She joined Olivet in 2016, coming from the University of Michigan where she recently received her doctorate in clinical psychology, studying stress and social support in adolescents at risk for developing depression. While in graduate school, she taught multiple courses and served as an academic advisor in the psychology department.
Prior to graduate school, Prof. Geiss worked as a post-baccalaureate research assistant in a lab examining the early indicators of autism spectrum disorders at the University of California, San Diego, which is also where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her research interests are in the area of family dynamics and the ways in which they contribute to adolescent depression. She has been a conference presenter and has published her research findings in several professional articles. Prof. Geiss said she finds psychology the most fascinating subject to study because it focuses on what makes us human. Every concept can be applied to one’s own life and allows us to understand other people better. One reason she wanted to become a professor was to spark this passion for psychology in students as well. Some of her best experiences in the academic setting have been one-on-one interactions with students from exploring the students’ experiences, to mentoring and helping them to develop the pathway that is best for them.