Dr. Sarah Torok-Gerard

Teaching Area(s): Psychology and Neuroscience

With respect to interesting curricula, in addition to integrating service-learning projects into my own courses, I served on the University’s General Education Task Force since its inception and continue to serve as a member of the Integrative Core Advisory Board.

School Counseling Faculty

The school counseling major utlizes our top-notch faculty in the psychology, sociology and education departments.

Faculty teaching courses in psychology:

Dr. Tamara Daily   

Dr. Michael Knepp has published research on anxiety and the cardiovascular system, and he continues to present neuropsychological and physiological research conducted at Mount Union. His previous research has been noted as a presentation of distinction from the American Psychosomatic Society. Knepp has been the head of training for graduate student psychology instructors and has been the editor of a recitation reader textbook.

Dawnaka Meyer is a licensed professional clinical counselor with over fifteen years of counseling experience (including her own practicum and internship). Meyer has a private practice with her husband Kevin (who also teaches in the department) in Canton, OH. Her clients include children, adolescents and adults in both individual and family modalities. In addition to seeing clients at her private practice, Meyer also serves as an adjunct instructor at Mount Union, teaching Lifespan Development, and coordinates the internship program for the Department of Psychology. Within her field, Meyer is certified as a sports counselor and enjoys working with athletes who experience multiple adjustment issues in sport and life, around her other clientele. She received her Masters of Arts in counselor education: professional clinical counseling at The Ohio State University and her Bachelor of Science in psychology from The University of Toledo.

Dr. Kevin Meyer is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over a decade of experience in diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental illnesses and behavioral disorders. He has an active private practice with his wife Dawnaka (who teaches as an adjunct in the department) in Canton, OH. In addition to teaching courses on mental illnesses and their treatment, this brings a practical, applied dimension to the classroom that is unique in an undergraduate program. Meyer has also developed the Psychology of Humor course, which is one of his current active research endeavors. Such a course offers students a rare opportunity to take a serious look at an enjoyable topic that is often overlooked in academic setting. For freshmen entering Mount Union, Meyer teaches the First Year Seminar, Demons & Diagnoses, which engages students in a semester-long debate about the belief in demonic possession and the power of exorcism in a modern world, challenging them to enhance their critical thinking skills.

Dr. Melissa Muller is an experimental psychologist with a specialty in learning,  conditioning and animal cognition. She works to improve student engagement inside the classroom through service-learning and animal training outside the classroom. Muller’s students have volunteered at the Stark County Dog Warden training dogs as a means of improving adoption rates for breeds that typically have a difficult time finding forever homes. She also has arranged for dogs and horses to visit campus for in-class demonstrations, as well as trips to the Cleveland Metropark Zoo for demonstrations outside of class. Her students report that these activities increase their understanding of the course material and help them to make connections between what they learn in class and the real world.

Dr. Sarah Torok-Gerard uses experiential learning methods including using a debate format in her Child & Adolescent Development course and a service-learning project with the Girls Together Program at Alliance Middle School for her Psychology of Gender course. She also integrates two structured experiences with physical activity in her First Year Seminar course, Ultra Endurance Athletes. In addition to these two structured assignments that involve trail running and rock climbing, Torok-Gerard encourages students to step outside their comfort zone by setting and attempting substantial goals such as athletic, academic, social, philanthropic or other personal growth goals. The course is based on the research she conducted in her sabbatical, involving motivational orientation and self-regulation for athletic training, academic skills and job skills in college-aged and adult runners. She has also overseen two SDIM – one in educational psychology and one in school counseling.

Dr. Kristine Turko developed an internship program that pairs students interested in learning about autism with summer internship and community outreach positions. One of the most popular partnerships established is between Mount Union and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism. This year, the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) and Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) magazine nominated the Cleveland Clinic internship as one of the best internships in Northeast Ohio for the third time. This nomination continues to bring regional recognition to the internship program and to the valuable work being done by students at the University of Mount Union.

Michelle Vaughan has more than five years of clinical experience and completed a clinical/research postdoctoral fellowship in addiction. She’s published four book chapters, five peer-reviewed articles and more than a dozen professional presentations in addiction, teaching, positive psychology and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues. Vaughan also has chaired and presented a paper on symposium on psychological strengths of LGBT individuals and communities.

Faculty teaching courses in sociology:

Anisi Daniels-Smith

Susan Denning

Paul Muller

Kathleen Piker-King

Bryan Robinson

Faculty teaching courses in education:

Dr. Linda Burkey

Dr. Mandy Capel

Dr. Tom Gannon

Dr. Jennifer L. Martin is the editor of the two-volume series Women as Leaders in Education: Succeeding Despite Inequity, Discrimination, and Other Challenges (Praeger, 2011), which examines the intersections of class, race, gender, and sexuality for current and aspiring leaders from a variety of perspectives. She is currently working on another edited volume entitled Racial Battle Fatigue: Insights from the Front Lines of Social Justice Advocacy. Martin’s other research interests include culturally responsive pedagogy, school reform for social justice and women and leadership.

Dr. Ernest Pratt

Dr. Pete Schneller

Faculty teaching courses in intervention specialist:

Jan Webler

To The Top!