Featured Faculty: Amanda Joyce

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Dr. Amanda Joyce is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and teaches courses in General Psychology, Personality Psychology, Lifespan Development, Adolescent Development, Psychology of Aging, Developmental Bases of Behavior, and Research Methods. Dr. Joyce received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Tech University in 2014 and her B.S. from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her primary research interests center on the development of self-control in early childhood, though she is also interested in research on effective teaching practices. In 2016, she published two manuscripts, one on course difficulty and its association with student perceptions of teaching and learning in the Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning, 14, 54-62, and another on a longitudinal investigation of conflict and delay inhibitory control in toddlers and preschoolers in Early Education and Development, 27, 788-804.


The characteristic that most attracted Dr. Joyce to Murray State was the strong emphasis that our university has on its students.  More specifically, she was excited by the Psychology Department’s emphasis on including students in research.  As a student, Dr. Joyce was fortunate enough to have supportive mentors who guided her through her very first research projects and ignited a passion for research.  Now, as a faculty member, Dr. Joyce sees it as her privilege and duty to provide the same opportunity to her students.

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Jordan Reynolds, a student of Dr. Joyce, presents her work at a Kentucky Psychological Association conference.

Dr. Joyce teaches a courses in Research Methods that allows her to give students a hands-on experience with research. Students in these classes propose a research study, collect data, analyze the data, and present their findings to their fellow students and faculty members.  Dr. Joyce enjoys mentoring students in research outside of the classroom because it allows students to explore their research interests in more depth.  Last year, Dr. Joyce had the opportunity to direct twelve students in larger-scale research projects outside of the classroom, and they were productive in a wide variety of projects.  For example, Brighton Hollingsworth, an undergraduate student, conducted research on stigmas against those with disabilities.  The project won Brighton an ORCA grant that is currently funding her in collecting more data on the subject at other area campuses.

Dr. Joyce finds one of the most rewarding parts of research is being able to share findings with others.  Last year, eight or her students presented research that they had previously conducted in Directed Independent Study or Research Methods class projects.  In addition, Dr. Joyce took 20 students to the Kentucky Psychological Association’s annual conference, where one of our students, Nicholas Gregorich, won the award for Best Undergraduate Presentation.  Last Fall, Dr. Joyce worked with Scholars Week to create a full day dedicated to psychology student research. Twenty-one student authors, with 16 projects, from the Psychology Department were able to share their research at Scholars Week. One of Dr. Joyce’s favorite parts of teaching is seeing students “catch the research bug”, and she feels fortunate that she has the opportunity to see it happen so frequently here.

When she is not teaching or working on her research, Dr. Joyce enjoys crocheting; having Netflix movie marathons; playing with her cats, Penny, Sherlock, and Lucy; and exploring the local area with her husband, Randall. The College of Humanities and Fine Arts congratulates Dr. Joyce on her exceptional teaching and research accomplishments.

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