Alicia Nordstrom, Ph. D., professor of psychology at Misericordia University, recently presented at the 125th Convention of the American Psychological Association in Washington, D. C. Her presentation, “The Voices Project: Using Psychobiography to Reduce Stereotypes and Prejudice in College Students,” was one of four presentations on applications of psychobiography that included presenters Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Ph. D., of Canisius College; Dan P. McAdams, Ph. D., of Northwestern University, and Jefferson Singer, Ph. D., of Connecticut College. More than 7,000 psychology practitioners and educators from around the world attended the conference.
Dr. Nordstrom, of Drums, detailed The Voices Project, a six-year program of classroom research that places students in direct contact with people from social groups with which they are unfamiliar, including those
differentiated through disabilities, race, gender and mental health. For each of The Voices Project chapters, Misericordia students interviewed an individual from a particular social group and wrote a memoir of the life of their interviewee from the first-person perspective. A team of faculty members integrated the memoirs and transformed them into a staged reading/theatrical production on campus and in the community. The most recent chapter, “The Voices Project: Mental Health,” was presented on campus in April and at the Broadway Bound Theater Festival in New York City in August. Empirical data showed how The Voices Project has reduced racism in college students.
In 2012, Dr. Nordstrom received an honorable mention from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues in the Innovative Teaching Award category.
In addition, she received the 2011 Social Psychology Network Award for a teaching approach that leads not only to a better understanding of human behavior but to a more just, compassionate and peaceful world.
Additional details and videos of The Voices Project are available by going to www.misericordia.edu/voicesproject.
Dr. Nordstrom is a child clinical psychologist who joined the Misericordia University faculty in 2004. In addition to her faculty role, she serves as director of the university’s Center for Faculty Professional Development.
She obtained her master’s degree from Purdue University and her Ph. D. in psychology from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a member of the Association for Psychological Science, the Eastern Psychological Association, the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, the Society for Research on Child Development, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and the Society of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology, both divisions of the American Psychological Association.