Stephanie Shields

Director: Stephanie A. Shields, Ph.D. - Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies

Professor Shields’ research is at the intersection of emotion, gender, and feminist psychology. In the area of emotion she focuses on perceptions of others’ emotion regulation, and on the use of emotion representation (e.g., emotion language; expressive regulation) to assert or challenge status and power. In the area of gender she is particularly interested in intersectionality of social identities and how psychological research can be more responsive to this perspective. Dr. Shields also studies the social context of psychological research, especially the history of the psychology of women and gender, and women's participation in American psychology.  Speaking from the Heart: Gender and the Social Meaning of Emotion (Cambridge, 2002), received the Association for Women in Psychology’s Distinguished Publication Award, as did her special issue of Sex Roles on intersectionality of social identities. She coordinates Penn State’s dual-title Ph.D. in Women’s Studies and Psychology. She has served as Director of Women’s Studies at Penn State and the University of California, Davis, and was founding director of the UC Davis Consortium for Research on Women and Gender. She is a past-president of the Society for the Psychology of Women, Division 35 of the American Psychological Association. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. In 2013 she received the Society for the Psychology of Women’s Carolyn W. Sherif Award, the society’s highest award which is given for research, mentoring, and service relevant to women.
Matthew J. Zawadzki

Assistant Professor: Matthew J. Zawadzki, Ph.D.

Professor Zawadzki joined UC Merced in July of 2014. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology and Women’s Studies from The Pennsylvania State University in 2012, and completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Biobehavioral Health at The Pennsylvania State University. During his time working with Dr. Stephanie Shields (advisor) his focus included examining the effects of labeling another person's emotions, particularly when emotion labeling will be perceived as positive or negative, when emotion labeling is likely to occur, and how to thwart the negative effects of emotion labeling. Matthew has served on the WAGES project as lead Research Assistant.  Among other duties, this work has entailed conducting focus groups and WAGES sessions with a variety of participants ranging from undergraduate students to tenured professors to administrators.  Along with Principal Investigator Dr. Stephanie Shields, Matthew has co-designed and administered two large-scale experimental studies to test the effectiveness of WAGES.  The results of this work has been presented at a number of venues and conferences, including the biennial meeting for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues in which his poster won Honorable Mention for Best Poster Award.  Furthermore, this work has led to five co-authored journal articles.  Matthew received a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy at Iona College, and an M.A. in Quantitative Methods at Columbia University.
Matthew J. Zawadzki

Graduate Assistant: Elaine Dicicco, M.S.

Elaine Dicicco is an advanced graduate student (ABD) pursuing the dual degree in women’s studies and social psychology. She studies intersecting gender/race, stereotypes and the perception of emotions in workplace settings. Elaine works with Dr. Stephanie Shields on the evaluation of a gender bias reduction tool (Workshop for Gender Equity Simulation, WAGES) for academic work settings and is writing her dissertation on intersecting race/gender stereotypes about assertiveness and dominance displays in the workplace. She received a M.S. in social psychology at Penn State and a B.A. in psychology with a concentration in women’s and gender studies at Kenyon College.
Matthew J. Zawadzki

Graduate Assistant: Kaitlin McCormick, B.A.

Kaitlin McCormick is second year graduate student working with Dr. Stephanie Shields. She studies how others’ emotions are perceived, and how these judgments are influenced by the social group memberships of those being evaluated. She is especially interested in how women’s emotions are perceived in domains such as science fields and leadership, and in developing interventions to combat these biased judgments. Kaitlin is currently involved with the WAGES intervention, and has presented WAGES data recently at a conference, has facilitated WAGES sessions, and is now co-authoring a manuscript on WAGES’ effectiveness with faculty and administrators. She previously received a B.A. in psychology from Boston University.


Advisory Board

Dawn Blasko, Associate Professor of Psychology, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
Renee Diehl, Professor of Physics, University Park
Judith Todd, P. B. Breneman Department Head, Engineering Science and Mechanics
Marian Walters, Associate Dean for Research, Penn State-Harrisburg

Steering Committee

Under Construction