My research investigates motivational processes in school, work, health, and family contexts. Much of this work has explored the link between intention and action. How do the goals that people have for engaging in a particular activity, be it exercise or homework, influence the quality of their experience and performance on that activity?
Most recently, I am exploring how the motivational dynamics of family life are influenced by a diagnosis of autism in a child or children. Do parents’ goals shift in a direction that allows them to be more in tune with the unique needs of their child?
My involvement in answering personally important questions like these maintains my own motivation for the work that I do, both as a researcher and as a teacher.
In addition, I am committed to supporting community efforts to enhance the lives of those with autism and related disorders. I co-direct “The Oz Project,” a theater arts workshop, run by Colgate students, and designed to foster social growth in children with and without special needs. I direct an outreach program in which students are engaged in internships and research at the Kelberman Center for Autism services.