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Graduate Psychology Faculty & Staff

Psychology Faculty and Staff

  • Dr. Marcia Pasqualini

    Marcia Smith Pasqualini Ph.D.

    Professor and Chair of School of Psychology
    Director of Faculty-Student Research
    Office: Foyle 1008
    Phone: 816.501.3661

    Dr. Pasqualini is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in Clinical Neuropsychology.


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

    Dr. Pasqualini is Professor and Chair of the School of Psychology, Director of the MS-Psychology program, and Director of Faculty-Student Research. She is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist, and teaches graduate courses in biopsychology, emotion, and applied research methods. Dr. Pasqualini heads Avila’s Emotions Lab, where students study psychophysiological aspects of emotions and emotion regulation in social interactions. Specific research topics include facial expression, psychophysiological reactions to threat, social anxiety, public speaking anxiety, and synchrony in dyads.

  • Heather Noble, Ph.D.

    Heather Noble Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Psychology
    Office: Foyle 1013
    Phone: (816) 501-2969

    Dr. Noble is a licensed psychologist in the states of Missouri and Kansas. She specializes in counseling and assessing diverse individuals, along with training and supervising graduate students in their clinical work. 


    B.A. in Psychology & Biology, Baker University
    Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, University of North Texas

    Dr. Noble is an Assistant Professor and Director of the MS-Counseling Psychology program and Clinical Training. She is a licensed counseling psychologist in Missouri and Kansas, and she teaches graduate courses in learning and applying skills with multicultural sensitivity in counseling and intelligence assessment. Dr. Noble's areas of interest include counseling and assessing diverse individuals, along with training and supervising graduate students in their clinical work.  Her research interests are in the development of psychological tests and the applications of foundational counseling and helping skills.  


  • Amy Bucher, Ph.D.

    Amy Bucher Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Psychology
    Office: Foyle 1022
    Phone: 816.501.2468

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


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

    Dr. Bucher is a licensed psychologist who maintains a small private practice working with individuals and couples. She teaches courses related to communication 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 linguistic indicators of deception, and motivation to make changes related to health.

  • Leah K. Gensheimer, Ph.D.

    Leah K. Gensheimer Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Psychology
    Director of Program Assessment for Psychology
    Office: Foyle 1024
    Phone: 816.501.3698

    Dr. Gensheimer is a Community Psychologist who emphasizes an integrated systems-level, strengths-competencies approach to psychology.


    B.S., in Criminal Justice-Correctional Administration, University of New Haven
    M.A., in Applied Psychology, Adelphi University
    Ph.D., in Ecological/Community Psychology, Michigan State University

    Dr. Gensheimer is Associate Professor, Assessment Coordinator for the School of Psychology, and Undergraduate Field Experience Coordinator.   She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in orientation to the psychology major, field experience, developmental psychology, and community projects.  Her current interest areas include the scholarship of teaching and learning, assessment practices in higher education, academic service learning, children and youth development, and social justice issues.

  • Dominick Scalise, Ph.D.

    Dominick Scalise Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Psychology
    Office: Foyle 1018
    Phone: 816.501.2447

    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.


    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.

  • Regina Staves, Ph.D.

    Regina Staves Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Psychology
    Office: Foyle 1020
    Phone: 816.501.0491

    Dr. Staves is a licensed professional counselor, specializing in psychological trauma, attachment in children and adults, family systems, counselor ethics and compassion fatigue.


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

    Dr. Staves is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology.  She is active in the community as an advocate to prevent child abuse and neglect and promote restorative justice.  She previously served on, and chaired, the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund board and Jerusalem Farm board and participates in several community groups focusing on child abuse prevention and healthy child development.  Dr. Staves is also a licensed professional counselor specializing in attachment, psychological trauma, children’s emotion and brain development, and social issues impacting children and families.  Dr. Staves is active in educating about the positive individual and societal effects of restorative justice, abuse prevention and is a certified compassion fatigue specialist.  

  • Jordan Wagge, Ph.D.

    Jordan Wagge Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Psychology
    Office: Foyle 1021
    Phone: 816.501.2964

    Dr. Wagge teaches courses in cognition, research methods, cultural psychology, drugs and behavior, and general psychology in the undergraduate and graduate programs.


    B.S. in Psychology, Northern Kentucky University

    M.A. in Experimental Psychology, Miami University                                                                                                           

    Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, Miami University

    Dr. Wagge is an Associate Professor at Avila. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Collaborative Replications and Education Project (CREP; as well as the Research Advisory Committee for Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, and an ambassador for the Center for Open Science ( She is the head of Avila’s Cognition Lab and has two main research interests: 1) cognitive processes associated with food and eating behaviors (particularly perception, the relationship between socioeconomic and social factors on judgment and decision making related to food, and memory for food events; 2) metascience in psychology, focused on reproducibility and open science with an emphasis on pedagogy and methodology training for scientists at all career stages. See her website.


Adjunct Faculty

  • Stephen Sirridge, Ph D.

    Stephen Sirridge Ph.D.

    Professor Emeritus

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

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Graduate Psychology Faculty & Staff

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