Department of Psychology at Illinois State University

Faculty Research Projects

Listed below are a number of faculty members who have research projects with diversity as a primary or secondary focus. For a list of other faculty research projects, see the department's Out-of-Class Experiences Web site.

Dr. Eros DeSouza
Dr. DeSouza, a Latino professor in the Department of Psychology, has several lines of research dealing with diversity issues. For example, he is currently investigating the campus climate for minority college students. He also conducts research on bullying and sexual harassment among high school students of color. Lastly, he conducts cross-cultural and multicultural research on the sexual harassment of working women of color as well as same-sex sexual harassment. Students are welcome to join one or all of his research teams to gain first-hand experience with cutting-edge applied research!

Dr. John B. Pryor
Dr. Pryor's current research concerns two areas that have relevance for diversity. First, Dr. Pryor has conducted a series of research projects concerning people's psychological reactions to various stigmas. Among the stigmas he has studied are HIV infection, obesity, cancer, homosexuality, and mental illness. Professor Pryor's research postulates that reactions to persons with stigmas often constitute a form of prejudice. Together with his colleague, Dr. Glenn Reeder, Pryor has explored a dual process model that seeks to explain the sometimes ambivalent reactions that people have to stigmas. Dr. Pryor's other area of research that has relevance for diversity is the study of sexual harassment. Current research focuses on the development of implicit measures of male sexual harassment proclivities.

Dr. Marla Reese-Weber
Dr. Reese-Weber's program of research examines conflict and violence in adolescents' interpersonal relationships (e.g., siblings and dating partners). Many of her studies have examined gender differences in attitudes and behaviors of violence and how family diversity may play a role in the intergenerational transmission of violence.

Dr. Rocío Rivadeneyra
Dr. Rivadeneyra's research centers on Latino youth and the media. She is interested in Latino perceptions of the television's portrayals of Latinos, gender, and sex, and how viewing these contents affect Latinos in terms of their self-concept, ethnic identity, sexual attitudes and behaviors, and gender role attitudes. She is currently interviewing young Latinas (ages 16-20) about their perceptions of sexual images on Spanish and English-language television. She expects the information from this and similar studies will help create culturally sensitive sexual risk prevention programs for Latino youth. Other current projects focus on gender role portrayals on Spanish-language television, the role of soap opera exposure on the body image of Latinas, and the role of television viewing on dating attitudes.

Dr. Kimberly T. Schneider
Dr. Schneider's research involves the experiences of women and ethnic minority employees in a variety of organizations. She has examined the sexual and racial/ethnic harassment experiences of these employees in both organizations and on university campuses. This research indicates that frequent (and even relatively mild) harassment experiences result in similarly negative job-related, mental health, and physical health outcomes as other job stressors; her research indicates that bystanders to such incidents are similarly affected as direct targets. Her research with employees and working students indicates that coping responses have differential effectiveness in reducing these negative effects. Dr. Schneider is also interested in examining organizational and group climate antecedents to harassing behaviors and has consulted with organizations regarding changing climate and implementing harassment prevention training.

Dr. Michael J. Stevens
Dr. Stevens' research centers on psychology's scientific and applied relevance to such international concerns as intergroup conflict, national development, risks to physical and mental health, and the struggles of disempowered groups. His research is motivated by the need for innovative models and methods to understand and respond to these global concerns. Dr. Stevens' approach has two overarching goals: (a) to impart a coherent framework on the potential contributions of psychology, and (b) to integrate literature from developing countries as well as from foreign language sources. One specific area of interest is terrorism. He has written on terrorism and counterterrorism from interdisciplinary and social constructionist perspectives. Dr. Stevens is currently engaged in a project that examines the degree to which ethics codes in psychology and counseling facilitate or inhibit socially responsible professional practice, both domestically and abroad. He advocates for a socially constructed alternative to mainstream ethics that would guide transformative change rather than palliative "cures" for those whose functioning has been compromised by systemic oppression and inequality.