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Linfield College
- Linfield College
Department of Psychology

Psychology Faculty

Lee Bakner - Professor

Lee Bakner  Professor

Pioneer 101A

Education: B.A. Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Ph.D. Kent State University

Professor Lee Bakner began teaching at Linfield in 1992 after earning his doctorate in experimental psychology from Kent State University. Dr. Bakner’s research interests are in the area broadly defined as biopsychology, also known as behavioral neuroscience. He explores research questions related to brain-behavior relationships, specifically those linked to brain systems, neurotransmitters, learning, and cognitive processes that drive psychoactive drug use and abuse. Professor Bakner actively collaborates with his students on research projects that are presented annually at national neuroscience conferences. In the department, he teaches courses related to biopsychology, statistics, research methods, learning, drugs and behavior, and collaborative research. Aside from teaching and research, Dr. Bakner enjoys skiing, fishing, football, rugby, cooking, and the work of David Sedaris.


Jamie Hansen - Instructional Associate

Jamie Hansen  Instructional Associate

Pioneer 115


  • B.S. in Psychology, Brigham Young University
  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Brigham Young University


Megan Kozak Williams - Associate Professor

Megan Kozak Williams  Associate Professor

Pioneer 118

Education: B.A. University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Ph.D. Harvard University


Jennifer Ruh Linder - Professor (Chair)

Jennifer Ruh Linder  Professor (Chair)

Pioneer 114

Education: B.A. University of New Hampshire; M.A., Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Professor Jennifer Linder began teaching at Linfield in 2002, after receiving her doctorate in child psychology from the University of Minnesota. She specializes in developmental psychology, including parent-child relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, aggression and media effects. Specifically, Dr. Linder has conducted research related to aggression and conflict in friendships and romantic relationships and the effects of media (e.g., television, video games, the Internet) on child development. She is especially interested in topics related to children and adolescents, and her collaborative research efforts on relational aggression and the media have attracted local and national attention. In addition, Professor Linder hosts a blog to share current research on the effects of media on children, as well as insights from her own experiences as a parent.


Kay Livesay - Associate Professor

Kay Livesay  Associate Professor

Pioneer 105

Education: B.S. University of California, Los Angeles; M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Riverside

Professor Kay Livesay has been a member of the Linfield psychology faculty since 2003. She received her doctorate from the University of California at Riverside and specializes in cognitive psychology. Her primary areas of research involve language processing (lexical and sentential) and computational modeling of meaning representation. Currently, she is pursuing research related to high-dimensional space modeling of meaning representation, the effects of discourse constraints on sentence comprehension, and the contributing factors to individual differences in verbal ability. Professor Livesay serves as chair of Linfield’s Institutional Review Board and president of the Society for Computers in Psychology (SCiP). She leads an active research program with a team of undergraduate students in the Psychology Department. Students interested in becoming a member of Dr. Livesay’s research team are invited to contact her through email.

Learn more about Professor Livesay


Cara Ray - Instructional Associate



Krystina Sorwell - Visiting Assistant Professor



  • B.A. Boston University
  • Ph.D. Oregon Health and Science University


Tanya L.  Tompkins - Professor

Tanya L.  Tompkins  Professor

Pioneer 111

Education: B.A. University of Colorado, Boulder; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Professor Tanya Tompkins joined the psychology faculty in 2002. Her principal research interests lie broadly in the areas of stress and coping, with a focus on how social and interpersonal processes that involve adjustment trade-offs (e.g., co-rumination, parentification) impact psychosocial outcomes. Additionally, she has applied interests in various areas of prevention which examine the social processes impacting mental health (e.g., training gatekeepers in suicide prevention efforts, decreasing stigma toward the transgender community, evaluating the effects of positive media campaigns on self-objectification). Students interested in conducting independent or collaborative research in these and other areas of clinical psychology should visit Professor Tompkins’s personal webpage for more information.

Professor Tompkins's Web Page

Yanna Weisberg - Associate Professor

Yanna Weisberg  Associate Professor

Pioneer 107


B.S. Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. Carnegie Mellon University; Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Professor Yanna Weisberg has been teaching at Linfield since 2011. She received two undergraduate degrees in mathematics and psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota. In general, Dr. Weisberg is interested in personality structure, function and development. Specifically, she researches personality in the realm of interpersonal relationships. Previous work has investigated how one’s sense of one’s own personality is shaped by romantic partners and relationships. Aside from that, Professor Weisberg is interested in refining the measurement of personality for interpersonal applications in order to better investigate the intersection of personality and social behavior. She conducts research with a team of students during the academic year and often engages in summer research, too. If you would like to be involved in Dr. Weisberg’s research, please contact her through email.