Psychology Dept


Kim Gingerich Brenneman
Department Chair, Professor

Kim Gingerich Brenneman, graduate of the EMC class of 1983, began her teaching career at Eastern Mennonite College in the fall of 1989. She received her Ph.D. in the spring of 2001 in Developmental and Educational Psychology. Her dissertation was titled The Well-being of Internationally Mobile Adolescents. She continues her interest in the well-being of Third Culture Kids.
Currently, Brenneman is conducting research on the relationship between cross-cultural experiential learning, hopeful thinking, and multicultural adaptation.
Brenneman is continuing to research the application of positive psychological principles to education, particularly in the development of hopeful thinking. Direct application of these principles is in the development of courses, assignments and seminars that integrate these, as well as other positive psychological concepts.
Kim has led three groups of EMU college students in semester-long cross-culturals to India in 2007, 2009, and 2011 and believes this is a positive life-changing experience for all involved!
Kim is married and has two children. She is an active member of Weavers Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, VA.

Gregory Koop
Assistant Professor

Gregory Koop is a cognitive psychologist with expertise in recognition memory and judgment and decision making (JDM). His teaching interests cover a variety of introductory and upper level courses, including General Psychology (PSYC 101), Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 342, BMS 572), Research in Psychology (PSYC 472), and Research in Psychology: Applied (PSYC 473). Greg is particularly enthusiastic about engaging undergraduate students in research through Research in Psychology and Research in Psychology: Applied. This year long course sequence enables students to design and complete their own research projects or advance ongoing research from his lab.
Greg’s research evaluates how individuals make decisions. Specifically, how do we decide whether or not we’ve met a person before (e.g., Koop, Criss, & Malmberg, 2014), or whether we prefer one picture to another (e.g., Koop & Johnson, 2013)? Models of recognition and preferential choice often assume that people continuously accumulate “evidence” en route to making these decisions, so Greg’s research uses dynamic methods to depict this evidence accrual process. Additional research interests include the moral decision-making process and the impact of reference points (e.g., a goal or a minimum requirement) on an individual’s risk-taking behavior. For Greg’s CV and a full list of publications, please visit his personal site.

Jess Kraybill
Assistant Professor

Jess is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at EMU and also serves as faculty for the MA in Biomedicine program. Her research centers around executive function abilities. Executive function (EF) refers to higher order cognitive abilities necessary to consciously persist in a task or behavior despite facing challenges in the form of competing rules, distractions, or delays. A significant body of work has documented the relation between EF deficits and early child development. Low levels of EF are associated with clinical-level ADHD symptamotology (Gewirtz, Stanton-Chapman & Reeve, 2009), social difficulties (Fahie & Symons, 2003), academic difficulties (Zhou, Main, & Wang, 2010), and difficulty regulating emotions (Kochanska, Murray, & Harlan, 2000). Jess’ research focuses on understanding the nature of EF and the factors associated with optimal regulatory abilities through a longitudinal, latent analysis framework. Her 2013 paper in Developmental Psychobiology (‘Infancy predictors of preschool and post-kindergarten executive function’) is one of their top 10 most downloaded articles and was a finalist for the 2013-2014 Hennessy-Smotherman-Wiley Best Student Paper Award.

Jess is an avid runner and dog lover. If you frequent downtown Harrisonburg regularly, you’ll probably see her running with her dog Jake at some point.

Judy Mullet

Judy Mullet received her Ph.D. from Kent State University, where her dissertation work focused on context-motivated, conflict strategy choices of middle school students with learning disabilities. She was a school psychologist before coming to EMU, and has authored and co-authored recent publications on restorative discipline and harmful teacher behaviors. A member of the faculty since 1986, Dr. Mullet specializes in restorative discipline in schools, conducting workshops across the USA.


Joan Chamberlain
Office Coordinator

Joan Chamberlain is the Office Coordinator for Roselawn Academic Building, third floor, where the departments of Bible & Religion, History and Psychology are located. She came to Eastern Mennonite University in 2007 after serving as Office Manager in a local business. Prior to coming to the Shenandoah Valley, Joan taught and coached at Barrington College (RI) and Messiah College (PA) and coached at Eastern Mennonite High School. Joan enjoys spending time with her extended family, bicycling, sailing and agility with her dog Bailey.

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