In my haste to get this blogging assignment up and running last semester, and worrying about topics for entries, I neglected to write a post introducing myself.  Since I’ve asked the students in my current class to take the first week to do so, I should also oblige with a short biography.

My name is Sharon Himmanen, and I have a Ph.D. in Psychology from the City University of New York.  I attended Hunter College’s biopsychology graduate program immediately after receiving a BA from Washington College, in Chestertown, MD.  I was initially interested in studying feeding behavior, since I had done an undergraduate thesis on the topic, but thanks to Dr. Sheila Chase, I had the opportunity to work with her on a research project with monkeys.  From there, I spent many years working with Dr. Karyl Swartz, first as her student, and later as her colleague and collaborator, on several projects looking at learning and memory in non-human primates.

In 2007, I accepted a two-year position at Queens College, in Flushing, NY, as a Substitute Assistant Professor to make the transition from full-time research to full-time teaching.  After two years there, most of them spent developing new courses, I joined the faculty of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA as an assistant professor of psychology, where I have worked and taught since 2009.  I teach courses in experimental design, statistics, learning, sensation and perception, biological psychology, and motivation and emotion, and serve as our chapter’s Psi Chi faculty advisor.  I continue to do research on learning and memory in non-human primates, and work with human participants on studies looking at face perception and face recognition.

This blog is part of an ongoing assignment for students taking PSY 229 Introduction to Biological Psychology.  Their task, and mine, is to blog about topics in biopsychology that are of interest to them as a way to connect with the course content, and to connect with and teach their fellow students and others about what interests and excites them about neuroscience.