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Meet our Psychology Faculty

Psychology Faculty

Lee Bakner - Chair & Professor

Lee Bakner  Chair & Professor

Pioneer 118


B.A. Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Ph.D. Kent State University

Dr. Bakner is a Biopsychologist that specializes in studying brain-behavior relationships. His current research explores psychoactive drug influences on behavior to understand consequences of drug use and factors that drive addiction.  Linfield student collaborators work with him on projects studying drug seeking behavior using place conditioning techniques and travel to present work at national and regional conferences.  Dr. B regularly teaches Survey of Psychology, Quantitative Methods in Psychology, Introduction to Biopsychology, Drugs & Behavior, and Seminar in Biopsychology. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, rugby, guitar, cooking, and being conditioned by a calico cat.


Megan Kozak Williams - Associate Professor

Megan Kozak Williams  Associate Professor

Pioneer 101A


B.A. University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Ph.D. Harvard University



Dr. Kozak Williams has been a member of the Linfield faculty since 2013.  Her primary research interests in social psychology focus on the areas of of objectification, mind attribution, and empathy development.  She typically teaches:  Introduction to Social Psychology, Survey of Psychology, and Research Methods.  Originally from New Jersey, Dr. KW enjoys nothing more than a good slice of pizza and a day at the shore.  


Jennifer Ruh Linder - Professor

Jennifer Ruh Linder  Professor

Pioneer 114


B.A. University of New Hampshire; M.A., Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Dr. Linder is a development psychologist who specializes in childhood and adolescence. Her specific research interests include aggression and conflict in friendships and romantic relationships and the effects of media (e.g., television, video games, the Internet) on children, adolescents, and adults. She enjoys Crossfit, raising her Goldendoodle, and cooking.  


Kay Livesay - Associate Professor

Kay Livesay  Associate Professor

Pioneer 105


B.S. University of California, Los Angeles; M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Riverside

Professor Livesay specializes in cognitive psychology. Her primary areas of research involve language processing and meaning representation. She leads an active research program with a team of undergraduate students in the Psychology Department. Students interested in becoming a member of Dr. Livesay’s research team are invited to contact her through email. Professor Livesay typically teaches PSYC 283 - Introduction to Cognition, PSYC 288 - Psychology of Language, PSYC 252 - Research Methods in Psychology and PSYC 389 - Cognitive Neuroscience.

Learn more about Professor Livesay

Cara Ray - Instructional Associate

Cara Ray  Instructional Associate

Pioneer 112


  • B.A. Whitworth University
  • M.S. University of Oregon
  • Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa

Dr. Ray's primary research focus as a developmental psychologist is investigating aspects of emerging adulthood. She is specifically interested in the effects of attending college on the perceptions of this developmental stage. Dr. Ray will be teaching Survey of Psychology, Intro to Developmental Psychology, and Research Methods (some of her favorite courses!) for the 2018-19 school year. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading (especially fiction), and baking.


Tanya L.  Tompkins - Professor

Tanya L.  Tompkins  Professor

Pioneer 111


B.A. University of Colorado, Boulder; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Tompkins is a clinical psychologist whose broad primary research interests focus in the area of prevention/mental health promotion, including reducing objectification, transprejudice, and stigma. She teaches courses in research methods and various areas of clinical psychology (e.g., abnormal psychology, theories of counseling and psychotherapy). She enjoys family, being active (running, hiking, yoga), cooking and loving on her dogs. She serves as the faculty supervisor for the Peer Body Project and enjoys conducting collaborative research with students. 


Yanna Weisberg - Associate Professor

Yanna Weisberg  Associate Professor

Pioneer 107


B.S. Carnegie Mellon University; B.S. Carnegie Mellon University; Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Dr. Weisberg's areas of expertise include describing who people are and explaining why they are that way. She is a personality psychologist and teaches courses related to personality, gender, and relationships. Dr. Weisberg conducts research with a team of students during the academic year and often engages in summer research, too. This year they are studying how to make people more compassionate and well-rounded. Outside of Linfield, Dr. Weisberg likes powerlifting, random music, and excellent food.