I was born and raised in Canada and enjoyed a wonderful childhood and family life. In 2011, I became a U.S. Citizen and it was a special experience. My home is here, as is my heart, though I still find myself pulling for Canada in hockey.
Professionally, I earned my doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1995 from Arizona State University, which was markedly warmer than Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where I completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees. I then interned at Harvard Medical School and enjoyed Boston for a year before taking a one-year position at Amherst College, a school smaller than my high school with high achieving students. I enjoyed teaching in that setting. In 1996, I applied for and received the job at UNCW and have been here ever since without any regrets.
I met my wife, Kelly, here in Wilmington and after 2 years of dating we married in 2001. We had our first child (Bella) in 2002, our second child (Luke) in 2003. Kelly was a stay-at-home mom until 2014 when she started teaching at Coastal Christian High School. I love spending time with my family and Bella and Luke keep us busy with school, sports, and other extra curricular activities. I am excited about seeing their lives unfold. In addition to my family, I am blessed with wonderful colleagues and friends at UNCW, along with the students who make this place tick. Our family attends Winter Park Baptist Church and we’ve been there for more than 15 years. We are all involved in the youth group (Kelly and I teach the high school age group) and we have been involved in mission trips both with the youth group and other adults.
My walk to faith has been a meandering one. I was raised Catholic but stopped attending church regularly for about two years while in Arizona. I then went through a period of about 3 years reading many works addressing the rationale for and against Christianity (e.g., The God Delusion). I was neither sure of what I would conclude, nor what I wanted to conclude. I read The Case for Christ twice. The first time around I found the first few chapters compelling because the skepticism of the author (Strobel) mirrored my own. About two years later when I reread the book, the later chapters resonated more with me as they better reflected my (less skeptical) beliefs. It was after that experience that I first began to own my own faith. I can say with certainty that this was the first time I actually wanted to attend church, rather than feeling obligated or simply going as a habitual behavior (or behaviour for any Canadians reading this ?). I started tithing for the first time in my life and felt good about doing so. I wanted to get more involved in outreach, both local and international. I wanted more, rather than focusing on if I was doing enough.
These days, I find myself reading very different books when it comes to faith. One of my recent favorites is Andy Stanley’s The Grace of God, where the emphasis is on how we should treat each other. I still struggle with sharing my faith at work, as I want to be careful not to pressure or make others feel as though I am imposing my views. So this statement is only available for those who want to read it (none of this material is on the exam 🙂 and I am happy to share more if you are interested.
Two ends of the spectrum here:
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
- Mother Theresa
I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
-- Woody Allen
Friends describe me
as motivated, hard working and willing to lend a hand.
I gave most up over the years (no more basketball 🙁 but still play frisbee golf and golf on occasion.
My worst subject in school
Political science (it may have been the teacher, but I couldn't keep my eyes open).
If I weren't a professor, I would
A lawyer - I was planning on attending law school before I was side tracked by my psychology professor. Thank you Dr. Brian Little.
A sip of my wife's (I usually don't drink coffee).
Nobody knows I
My first language was Italian.
In my lab we focus on two broad areas: 1) legal decision making and the influence of bias 2) health decision making and the impact of health anxiety.
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