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Graduate Psychology Staff


Aaron Coffey, M.B.A.
Director of Graduate Psychology Enrollment Management
Psychology Main Office: Foyle Hall, 816.501.3661

B.S., M.B.A., Missouri State University

As the Director, Mr. Coffey is available to assist all current students with questions they have while in the program.  He serves as the administrative advisor for all students pursuing graduate degrees in psychology.  

Metra Augustin
Graduate Admissions Advisor
Psychology Main Office: Foyle Hall, 816.501.3661

B.A., University of Missouri - Kansas City
M.S., Avila University

Ms. Augustin oversees the admission and recruitment processes for graduate psychology at Avila University. She coordinates the application and admission process for all graduate psychology students.  In addition, Ms. Augustin actively represents Avila University through her efforts in networking and collegiate recruitment events. She is the primary point of contact for all students interested in attending the graduate psychology programs at Avila.

Graduate Psychology Faculty


Amy Bucher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Office: Foyle 1022, 816.501.2468

B.A., University of California-Irvine
Ph.D. University of Missouri-Kansas City

Dr. Bucher is a licensed counseling psychologist and is the Program Director overseeing the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degree. She teaches courses related to human relations skills, personality psychology, and theories of counseling and addiction. Dr. Bucher heads the Laboratory for the Study of Language Use and Behavior Change, where she is collaborating with students interested in researching the relationship between motivation for healthy behavioral change as reflected through written language.


Shanda Curiel, Psy.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Director of Clinical Education & Training
Office: Foyle 1016, 816.501.3662

B.S., University of Texas at San Antonio
M.A., Psy.D., The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

Dr. Curiel is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders in her private practice. As the Director of Clinical Education and Training, she coordinates the clinical training and supervision of counseling psychology graduate students, and teaches clinically oriented courses for graduate and undergraduate students including counseling practicum, internship, and advanced abnormal psychology. Dr. Curiel's areas of interest include evidence-based treatments for psychiatric disorders, cognitive-behavioral therapies for anxiety disorders, supervision and training, and factors that influence the therapeutic relationship.


Marcia Smith Pasqualini, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Psychology; Professor of Psychology
Director of Faculty/Student Research
Office: Foyle 1008, 816.501.3664

B.S., Tulane University
Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia

Dr. Pasqualini is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in Clinical Neuropsychology. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in biopsychology, applied research methods, and motivation and emotion. Dr. Pasqualini heads the Emotions Laboratory, and her research interests relate to the neuropsychology of emotion and emotion regulation.  Together with undergraduate and graduate students, she is currently investigating public speaking anxiety, including examination of facial expression, psychophysiological responses, and affect. 


Regina Staves, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Office: Foyle 1020, 816.501.3665

B.A., University of Kansas
M.S., Avila University
Ph.D., Capella University

Dr. Staves is a mental health counselor specializing in psychological trauma, vicarious trauma, attachment in children and adults, family systems and ethics.  Her interests include child development, specifically emotion and brain development, social issues impacting children and society and psychopathology.  Dr. Staves is active in our community as an advocate to prevent child abuse and neglect and also to support restorative justice throughout our justice system.  She currently serves on the board of the Missouri Children's Trust fund, where she is a former board chair.  She has worked in residential treatment, psychiatric hospital, private practice, and has also mentored adults reentering society post incarceration.  Dr. Staves currently teaches undergraduate and graduate classes and facilitates workshops in her areas of expertise.


Jordan Wagge, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Office: Foyle 1021, 816.501.2964

B.S., Northern Kentucky University
Ph.D., Miami University (Oxford, OH)

Dr. Wagge advises Master's level students in the MSP program and teaches courses in cognition, research methods, cultural psychology, and general psychology in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Her current research interests include embodied perception, food perception, and misinformation. She runs the Cognition Laboratory and is excited to hear from students who are seeking research experience.


Leah K. Gensheimer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director of Program Assessment for Psychology

Office: Foyle 1024, 816.501.3698

B.S., University of New Haven
M.A., Adelphi University
Ph.D., Michigan State University

Dr. Gensheimer is a Community Psychologist who emphasizes an integrated systems-level, strengths-competencies approach to psychology.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in developmental psychology, writing in psychology, and undergraduate practicum. Her current interests include enhancement and assessment of student learning, children and youth development, professional development, and academic service learning.


Dominick Scalise, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Program Director, Counseling Psychology

Office: Foyle 1018, 816.501.2447

B.A., M.A., Truman State University
Ph.D., University of Missouri - Kansas City

Dr. Scalise is a licensed counseling psychologist, specializing in the integration of spiritual and religious themes in counseling, counseling process and outcome, romantic attachment, and career development.  He has worked in diverse settings clinically (universities, hospitals, and outpatient settings) and enjoys teaching clinically oriented courses in the graduate program.  In addition, he has current research projects related to the integration of spiritual issues in counseling as well as career development among early career psychologists (ECPs).  Dr. Scalise is past chair and serves on the ECP committee for the Society of Counseling Psychology.

Specialized and Clinical Psychology Faculty


Barry Berglund, M.S.

B.S. University of Missouri-Columbia
M.S. Avila University

Mr. Berglund is a detective for the Kansas City Missouri police department, a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, and a former Special Agent for US Army Criminal Investigations. His specialties include criminal investigation and international terrorism investigations. Mr. Berglund began teaching at Avila in 2006.


Nekita Fuller, Ed.D.
B.S., Park University
M.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City
Ed.D. , Nova Southeastern University

Dr. Fuller teaches in the areas of social pscyhology and human sexuality.

Fred Geer, Ph.D.
Office: Foyle 1027, 816.501.3669

B.S.E., M.S., Emporia State University
Ph.D. University of Kansas

Dr. Geer is Professor of Education and Psychology at Avila. His specialty area is psycho-educational assessment.

Sue Ellen McCalley, Ph.D.
Office: Foyle 1008, 816.501.2433

B.S. Northwestern University
M.A. University of Missouri-Kansas City
Ph.D. University of Kansas

Dr. McCalley is a Professor of Education and Psychology at Avila.

Heather Noble, Ph.D.
B.A., Baker University,
M.S., Ph.D. University of North Texas

Dr. Noble is a licensed psychologist in the state of Missouri. Since 2002, she has worked full-time at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Counseling, Health, and Testing Center. There, she provides individual, couples, and group therapy, along with assessment services and supervision to graduate student trainees. Dr. Noble was an adjunct instructor at Avila 2004-2009. She resumed this position in 2011.


Karyn Perry, Ph.D.
B.A., Washington University
M.A., Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Ph.D., University of South Carolina-Columbia

Dr. Perry began teaching at Avila in 2005.

Stephen Sirridge, Ph.D.
Professor Emiritus

B.A., M.S., Ph.D., University of Kansas

Dr. Sirridge is a Licensed Psychologist, and has been a teacher and psychotherapist for thirty years.

Timothy Streitwieser, Psy.D.

B.A., Hastings College
M.A, Psy.D., Spalding University

Dr. Streitwieser is a licensed psychologist and works on an interdisciplinary primary care team at the Kansas City VAMC. His areas of interest have a holistic/behavioral medicine approach, such as intervening with chronic pain, insomnia, lifestyle health behaviors, and acceptance of chronic pain and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Dr. Streitwieser began teaching at Avila in 2009.


John Wade, Ph.D.
B.A., University of Dallas
M.A., University of North Texas
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Wade began teaching at Avila in 2005.