Avila University

Faculty and Staff

Marcia Smith Pasqualini, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Psychology
Professor of Psychology

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

Office: Foyle 1008, 816.501.3664

Dr. Pasqualini is a licensed psychologist with a specialty in Clinical Neuropsychology. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in biological psychology, social psychology, and emotion. Dr. Pasqualini runs the Social Neuroscience Laboratory and invites interested Avila undergraduate and graduate students to join. Her current research interests include cognitive and psychophysiological aspects of emotion regulation, bio/neurofeedback, and facial expressions. See her Faculty Spotlight here.


Rhyannon Pioletti

Psychology Office Manager

Office: Foyle 1010, 816.501.3661


Rhyannon office hours are weekdays between 9:00-6:00.

Amy Bucher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.A., University California Irvine
Ph.D. University of Missouri-Kansas City

Office: Foyle 1022, 816.501.2468

Dr. Bucher is a licensed psychologist who maintains a small private practice working with individuals and couples. 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 counseling process and attachment theory.

Maria Hunt, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Director of Avila's Mindfulness Program
B.S., Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Office: Foyle 1018, 816.501.2447

Dr. Hunt is the Director of Avila's Mindfulness Program, and teaches, advises and mentors both graduate and undergraduate students. Her specialties include positive psychology, intuition, and mindful well being.  She consults with selected profit and non-profit organizations in the area and her areas of interest include the "train the brain" research in the neurosciences. Dr. Hunt conducts research in her Laboratory for the Study of Mindfulness, Well-being and Related Phenomena.

Stephen Sirridge, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Clinical Director of Counseling Psychology

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

Office: Foyle 1016, 816.501.3662

Dr. Sirridge is a Licensed Psychologist, and has been a teacher and psychotherapist for thirty years. He is currently the President of the Kansas City Association of Psychoanalytic Psychology (KCAPP) which is the local chapter of Division 39 Psychoanalysis of APA. He completed a two year advanced training program in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.


Regina Staves, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology

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

Office: Foyle 1020, 816.501.3665

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.  Dr. Staves currently serves on the board of the Missouri Children's Trust Fund, where she is former chair.  She is also a therapist specializing in psychological trauma, attachment in children and adults, family systems and developmental issues.  Her interests include child development, specifically emotional and brain development, and social issues impacting children and society. Dr. Staves also mentors adults re-entering society after being incarcerated and facilitates workshops in her areas of expertise and experience.

Jordan Wagge, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

B.S., Northern Kentucky University

Ph.D., Miami University (Oxford, OH)

Office: Foyle 1021, 816.501.2964



Dr. Wagge is the faculty advisor for the Psi Chi honor society and Psychology Club. She advises Master's level students in the General Psychology program and teaches courses in cognition, research methods, and general psychology in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Dr. Wagge leads the Embodiment Laboratory at Avila University, where she and her students study the relationship between the body and mental processes. She is also interested in how the manipulation of language affects cognition and how embodiment varies across cultures.

Fred Geer, Ph.D.

B.S.E., M.S., Emporia State University

Ph.D. University of Kansas

Office: 816.501.3669


Dr. Geer is Professor of Education and Psychology at Avila. His specialty area is psycho-educational assessment. See Dr. Geer's Faculty Spotlight here.

Sue Ellen McCalley, Ph.D.
B.S. Northwestern University

M.A. University of Missouri-Kansas City

Ph.D. University of Kansas

Office: 816.501.2433


Dr. McCalley is Professor of Education and Psychology at Avila. See her Faculty Spotlight here.

David Wissmann, Ph.D.
B.A. University of Puget Sound
M.A., Ph.D. University of Arizona

Office: O'Rielly A, 816.501.3643


Dr. Wissmann is Professor of Sociology and Chair of Law and Justice Studies at Avila. See his Faculty Spotlight here.