Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology Nicole Henniger already knows her way around campus, returning to Knox as a professor after graduating from Knox in 2010 with a double major in Psychology and Neuroscience. The transition from student to professor felt natural for Henninger.
“The professors treat you with such respect already and they kind of treat you like a junior colleague to begin with even when you’re a student,” Henninger said.
Human feelings are at the core of Henniger’s personal research, as emotions are her area of expertise.
“A lot of my research has looked at when the subjectively negative emotions have good effects that can be constructive for your life versus when they have bad, destructive effects,” Henninger said.
Henniger intends to teach an upper level course on the topic of emotions come Spring Term and will also teach Introduction to Psychology and Statistics during the year. While Henninger does not plan on doing research of her own during her year at Knox, she is supervising senior psychology research projects. Currently, she is teaching a course on consumer behavior.
“It’s a fun way to think about psychology because you can think about how it affects people’s lives instead of just being in the laboratory.” Henninger said.
After graduating from Knox, Henninger received her Ph.D. from UC San Diego in Psychology. She appreciates returning to the more personal environment at Knox compared to the feel at a larger university.
Because Henninger is only at Knox for one year, she is in the process of applying for jobs while she is teaching. She hopes to find a position at another small liberal arts school like Knox.