In The Spotlight

Welcome New Faculty Members!

The Department of Psychology is happy to welcome three new faculty members in the fall of 2014:

Joseph Toscano, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, beginning in the fall of 2014.  Dr. Toscano received his Ph.D. in Cognition and Perception from the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa in 2011.  From 2011-2014, he was a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow at Urbana-Champaign.  His research focuses on cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, with a particular emphasis on the neural mechanisms underlying speech perception and language processing.  Using computational modeling, as well as behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging methods, his work examines questions about perceptual encoding of speech sounds, adaptation to variations in speech, such as variability in speaking rate or a talker's accent, and the acquisition of phonological categories via statistical learning.  Recently, he has been working on experiments designed to develop tests for assessing the effects of hearing loss on speech recognition, as well as experiments investigating higher-level aspects of spoken language processing.  His work has been published in journals such as Psychological Science, Cognitive Science, and Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

Lawrence Cozzens, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Resource Development and the Assistant Director- Academic Administration of the HRD UA Program, the online Master's Program in HRD.  He assumes these positions after serving on the staff of the HRD UA program for a year and a half.  Dr. Cozzens also will serve as the Acting Director of the HRD UA Program during the 2014-15 academic year.  Congratulations to Dr. Cozzens!

Christopher Castille, ABD, is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Resource Development.  Mr. Castille currenlty is working towards the completion of his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University, where he received his M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.  He received his B.S. in Psychology from Louisiana State University.  His research interests are described in terms of three broad streams:  personality and individual differences, organizational culture and climate, and implementing evidence-based practices in organizations.  Within these areas, his current work addresses the influence of organizational systems and processes, individual differences, as well as the interactions between these factors, on constructive and destructive workplace behaviors; he is an ongoing contributor to the International Organizationsl Culture and Climate Item Pool (; a public domain respository of items and scales for measuring organizational culture and climate); and is currently synthesizing validity generalization strategies to be used by organizations for the purpose of engaging in evidence-based practices.  Mr. Catille also has consulted for a number of organizations, including CenturyLink, Inc., Libby Glass, Inc., Drum Corps International, as well as numerous departments at Louisiana Tech University.

Dr. Katina Sawyer Receives 2014 Villanova Junior Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching!

She will be acknowledged at the Commencement ceremony.  Congratulations Dr. Sawyer!


Dr. Katina Sawyer Receives Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology Small Grant

Dr. Katina Sawyer, Assistant Professor of Psychology, was chosen as a recipient of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology Small Grant for a scale development project, entitled "How does conflict 'work' without heteronormative assumptions?  Development and validation of an LGB identity-based work-family conflict scale".  The grant was co-authored by Dr. Christian Thoroughgood (Visiting Assistant Professor) and Jacob Waldrup (Ryder Systems, Inc.).