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Full-Time Faculty

LeeAnn Bartolini Ph.D
Dr. Bartolini earned two BA degrees at Dominican College of San Rafael in Psychology and Art History, and her MA, and Ph.D. degrees at the California School of Psychology, Berkeley in 1983. She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders and helping individuals and couples with everyday challenges in living. She has been teaching at Dominican since 1985, joining the Psychology Department full-time in 1993. LeeAnn is involved in teaching a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate psychology courses, as well as courses in the Humanities and in the Women and Gender Studies program. She maintains a local private practice and is involved in diverse community work, including being a member of the Board of Marin Abused Women’s Services since 2003. LeeAnn loves teaching, working with students, and the creativity involved in teaching and learning. Travel is another one of her passions and she has led eleven student travel tours and has explored the globe with her family and friends, including teaching psychology at Bangkok University in Thailand in 2001 and doing a month long educational trip to Uganda in 2009 to explore women's issues. Her research interests include the internationalization of psychology as a discipline. In her free time she enjoys reading, antiquing, gardening, cooking for her large extended family, especially her husband and two sons, and being with her friends.
Matthew S. Davis, Ph.D.
Dr. Davis is originally from Massachusetts where he earned his BA in Psychology. He earned his MA in Experimental Social Psychology in Virginia, and came to California in 1982 to complete his doctoral work in the interdisciplinary field of Social Ecology, with a focus on both Social Psychology and on the geological processes that create earthquakes and volcanoes. After teaching at several campuses of the California State University system, Dr. Davis began teaching full-time at Dominican in 1994. He regularly teaches courses in social psychology, social influence, statistics and research, human sexuality, media psychology, and a specialty course called Natural Disasters: Societal & Individual Reactions to Risk. In 2011 he developed a new course on the Psychology of Travel. His nickname on campus is “Disasterman” and he has completed two large-scale research projects on public awareness of volcanic hazards in the vicinity of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy, as well as studies of risk perception for volcanic hazards at Mt. Rainier, Washington, and tsunami hazards along the northern California coast. Most recently he has been involved in research evaluating the psychological effects of participating in "Get Ready Marin" and CERT disaster preparedness training sessions here in Marin County. Matt loves to travel. He has visited all 50 of the United States and has driven across the country more than 25 times. He has also traveled extensively throughout Europe (including over a dozen separate trips to Italy), to several nations around the Pacific Rim, to Ecuador and Iceland, and most recently to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Matt shares his love of travel with his students and colleagues, having led a number of university trips to Greece, Italy, and Berlin & Prague. He is fairly fluent in Italian, has a passion for photography, travel writing, and many styles of music, displays a knack for finding great restaurants, and is an avid TV buff.
Afshin Gharib, Ph.D.
Dr. Gharib's research interests include the cognitive and neural mechanisms of associative learning - focusing on the role of attention, timing, and response learning in operant conditioning - and age-related changes in learning and memory. He is particularly interested in the effectiveness of antioxidants in reversing age associated declines in cognition. His teaching interests include Introduction to Psychology, Physiological Psychology, and Statistics and Research Methods.
Gail Matthews, Ph.D.
Dr. Matthews is a clinical psychologist who focuses on couples therapy, anxiety disorders, and life transitions. She is also a life and career coach, specializing in overcoming barriers to success and fulfillment. Her research on dealing with the "imposter phenomenon" (feelings among some successful people that they do not deserve their success and that they have fooled others who perceive them as competent) received national media attention and her research on blaming the victim (the "just-world hypothesis") is considered a classic in social psychology. Gail chaired the Psychology Department from 1977-1999, and developed the courses in Psychology of Career Choice and Career Development, which she currently teaches. She also regularly teaches Field Placement, Directed Research, Life Coaching, Creating Your Future, and Positive Psychology. Dr. Matthews is currently conducting research testing the effectiveness of life coaching techniques.
William Phillips, Ph.D.
Dr. Phillips was raised (mostly) in Nebraska. Yearning for the warm winters and cool summers of California, he moved to the Bay Area and started teaching at Dominican University of California in the Fall of 2001. He teaches courses in Cognition, Learning, Comparative Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods, Sensation & Perception, Introductory Psychology, and Directed Research. His current research interests include factors affecting students in the classroom, and how culture affects our perception.
Emily Newton, Ph.D.
After completing her Ph.D. in California and spending the following two years at Stevenson University in Baltimore, Maryland, Emily Newton has gladly returned to her home state to be an Assistant Professor at Dominican University. Emily studies developmental psychology, specifically how children come to understand how other people think and feel. She’s especially interested in infants’ relationships with the important people in their lives—parents, grandparents, childcare providers, siblings—and how those relationships shape their social understanding more generally. To this end, Emily studies infants’ and toddlers’ prosocial behaviors (helping, sharing, and empathizing with others) and their relationships with their mothers among other topics. When she isn’t trying to get babies to help her or share with her, she loves to teach. Her teaching interests span all areas of psychology, including child and adolescent development, lifespan development, genetics and evolutionary psychology, social psychology, and research methods. Emily also loves to bake and cook, explore California and beyond, spend time with her feline and human family members, and do yoga.

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