Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Annual Conference on Teaching Keynote Speakers

ACT 2024: On Location Keynote Speakers

Loretta McGregor

STP President


Loretta Neal McGregor, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at Arkansas State University, in Jonesboro and President of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Division 2 of the American Psychological Association. She has been a member of the A-State Faculty for 15+ years and served as chairperson in the Department of Psychology and Counseling for eight years.

Dr. McGregor has taught in higher education for 30+ years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, in psychology, from Ouachita Baptist University; completed a Master of Science in General Experimental Psychology at Emporia State University, in Emporia, KS; and earned a Ph.D. in Human Factors Psychology from Wichita State University, located in Wichita, KS.

Dr. McGregor is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Southern Region Educational Board’s (SREB) Doctoral Scholar’s Program. Dr. McGregor has become one of the foremost scholars on the life and contributions of Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark, the notable psychologist, whose research was instrumental in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling which led to the dismantling of racial segregation in the United States. Dr. McGregor has given numerous presentations, in the US and abroad, about Dr. Clark.

Sarah Rose Cavanagh

Title: Hope in a Time of Monsters: Supporting Faculty and Student Mental Health


Teaching is a vocation. When supported with resources and security, it is a constantly renewing source of excitement and richness. The last several years of disruption, uncertainty, and overburdened workloads have exhausted teachers and students alike. Monsters have reared their heads, and we have understandably shrunk from them. Faculty are burnt out—sacrificing their own mental health, phoning it in out of desperation, or leaving the profession entirely. Students are experiencing an epidemic of mental health problems, especially of anxiety. As instructors, we can support and encourage student mental health through pedagogies of care. A pedagogy of care involves high-touch practices like frequent communication, flexibility, inclusive teaching practices, learning new technologies and techniques, and being enthusiastic and passionate. All these practices involve both a heavy investment of time and a high degree of emotional labor. How can we support our students without burning ourselves out? How can we revive our sparks? In this interactive keynote, Sarah Rose Cavanagh will present some research and food for thought based on her recent book on how higher education should respond to both faculty depletion and the student mental health crisis.

You can read relevant essays here and here.


Sarah Rose Cavanagh is the Senior Associate Director for Teaching and Learning in the Center for Faculty Excellence at Simmons University, where she also teaches in the Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Practice. Before joining Simmons, she was a tenured Associate Professor of psychology and neuroscience at Assumption University, where she also served in the D'Amour Center for Teaching Excellence as Associate Director for Grants and Research. Sarah's research considers the interplay of emotions, motivation, learning, and quality of life. Her most recent research project, funded by the National Science Foundation, convenes a network of scholars to develop teaching practices aimed at greater effectiveness and equity in undergraduate biology education. She is author of four books, including The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion (2016) and Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge (2023). She gives keynote addresses and workshops at a variety of colleges and regional conferences, blogs for Psychology Today, and writes essays for venues like Literary Hub and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She’s also on BlueSky too much, at @SaRoseCav.

Stephen Chew

Title: What Falls Away in Teaching Psychology

Students cannot and do not remember everything we try to teach them. After students leave our courses, what do they remember and what falls away? Teachers cannot teach everything they think is important for students to know. As we gain experience teaching, what do we prioritize and what falls away? These are key questions that should influence how we teach and what we teach. It poses important challenges that should be addressed by educational and cognitive research. A collaborative research project, initiated by Jordan Troisi and assisted by Drew Christopher and me are starting to gather evidence about the issue of what students remember.  In this talk, I will summarize what we can already glean from extant research, generate hypotheses from my own personal teaching experience, and update our research progress. I’ll also try to explore the complementary question, of how teaching changes with greater experience.


Stephen L. Chew has been a professor of psychology at Samford University since 1993. Trained as a cognitive psychologist, one of his primary research areas is the cognitive basis of effective teaching and learning. His research interests include the use of examples in teaching, the impact of cognitive load on learning, addressing tenacious student misconceptions, and the importance of student trust in the teacher. He is the creator of a groundbreaking series of YouTube videos for students on how to study effectively in college ( which have been viewed over three million times and are in wide use from high schools to professional schools. Chew has received multiple national awards for his teaching and research, including being named the 2011 U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and receiving the award for Distinguished Career Contributions to Education and Training from the American Psychological Association in 2022. Chew serves as the chair of the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (NITOP). He is a longstanding member of STP, an APA Fellow, and a Distinguished Member of Psi Chi.


ACT 2023-2024 Keynote Speakers (Diane Finley, Leslie Berntsen, Maria S. Wong, Kevin Gannon)

ACT 2022 Keynote Speakers (Linda M. Woolf, Rajiv Jhangiani, Kelley Haynes-Mendez)

ACT 2021 Keynote Speakers (Viji Sathy, Susan Nolan, Jordan Troisi)

ACT 2020 Keynote Speakers (Jane Halonen, Carol A. Hurney, Amy Fineburg)

ACT 2019 Keynote Speakers (Pooja Agarwal, Lindsay Masland, & Rick Miller)

ACT 2018 Keynote Speakers (David Myers, Sue Franz, & Mitch Handelsman)

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