Psychology Faculty

Dr. Melinda HeinzeMelinda Heinz
Ph.D., Iowa State University – Human Development and Family Studies with a Gerontology minor

Melinda primarily teaches courses related to developmental psychology and gerontology. Melinda is passionate about gerontology and wants to create more positive views surrounding older adulthood and aging. Some of her favorite course requirements include service learning activities at Maple Crest Manor and Assisted Living in Fayette. In addition, she also enjoys the creativity she has seen when students work on a “Designing a Toy” project in Developmental Psychology: Birth to Adolescence where they design and discuss a new developmentally appropriate toy for a child.

Her research interests include older adult technology use, caregiving, centenarians and longevity, gerontology education, and death and dying. Most recently, Melinda worked with a Sandra Meder (2015 alumnus) on a research grant project titled “Caregiving in the 21st century: Exploring dementia caregiver’s technology use.” The grant was funded from the R.J. McElroy Student/Faculty Research Program Fund. Interviews with caregivers caring for a loved one with dementia were conducted throughout the state of Iowa in order to find out more about how technology may aid in the caregiving experience. Findings from the study were presented at the Gerontological Society of America.

Dr. Shelby KauraShelby Kaura
Ph.D., Iowa State University – Human Development and Family Studies

Dr. Shelby A. Kaura has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies; M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy; and B.S. in Psychology, all from Iowa State University. Prior to UIU, she completed a three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at Iowa State where she was an Adjunct Faculty member teaching undergraduate courses in HDFS and a Research Scientist at the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research. She was Project Manager for Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study, a federally funded multimillion dollar longitudinal study of the impact of welfare reform on children and families. She was also Principle Investigator of a study on violence and abuse among college dating couples.

Currently she is an Associate Professor of Human Services and the Chair of the Human Services Program. She has been with Upper Iowa University since November of 2007 and her office is located at the Des Moines Center. She advises both human services and psychology students and teaches courses in support of both majors, in addition to a few courses in sociology and criminal justice. In particular, she teaches the following courses:

  • Social Welfare Policies and Programs
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Skills and Strategies in the Helping Profession
  • Issues and Ethics in the Helping Profession
  • General and Abnormal Psychology
  • Social Gerontology
  • Methods in Human Services I
  • Motivation
  • Victimology
  • Senior Project (required for center and online students)
  • Internship and Special Project Supervisor for psychology and criminal justice

She also teaches two online graduate courses in support of the M.Ed. Higher Education Administration Emphasis.

Dr. Mackenzie GlanderStephen Weiss
Ph.D., The City University of New York – Cognition, Learning, and Perception Experimental Psychology

Stephen M. Weiss, Ph.D., Psychology, has been an associate professor at Upper Iowa University since 2012. He is currently chair of the psychology department and is also involved in the faculty senate, human subjects committee, and academic review committee. Originally, from Stamford, CT, he began his academic career as an instructor at Three Rivers Community College (CT) and then later as an associate professor at Adams State University in Colorado. With a background in Cognition, Learning, and Perception Experimental Psychology (Ph.D.; The City University of New York) and Sport Psychology (MS; Springfield College) his research has focused primarily on the intricacies of implicit learning processes. He has published articles contributing to the literature in cognitive psychology, sport psychology, and motor learning. Additionally, he has been interested in empirical investigations looking at the maladaptive behaviors of those immersed in the athletic environment. Initially his research interests focused on the gambling problems of these individuals; more recently he expanded this focus by exploring other problem behaviors they sometimes encounter. In these studies, he has examined problems both within the college setting (student-athletes) and afterwards (former athletes).

Courses taught at UIU: Adjustment, Biology & Behavior, Cognition, Conflict Resolution, General Psychology, Learning & Memory, Motivation, Personality, Research Methods, Substance Abuse