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|Highlighting the Research and Expertise of College of Charleston Professors|
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|PROFESSOR CINDI MAY
Department of Psychology
|Helping Students Think About...Thinking|
|By Christina Lysacek|
Cindi May, an Ohio-born psychology professor at the College of Charleston, stumbled upon a passion for psychology during elective psychology classes at Furman University, where she earned her undergraduate degree.
"I had always envisioned myself as being a mentor for undergraduate students and I wanted to move to a place where I could incorporate undergraduate teaching with my research," May said.
She moved to the College of Charleston in 1999, finding, she says, her perfect fit. May loves teaching at the College because she can interact with her students in the classroom, but especially loves being able to involve her students in her research.
May teaches Psychology Intro Honors, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Lab, and Adult Aging courses.
May says she does not have a favorite course to teach. She likes any course that engages students beyond the textbooks and readings where they can relate the material to their own lives.
The first line of research examines cognitive aging and challenges faced by healthy, older adults with respect to memory and attention. The second line examines inclusive education and challenges that are faced by individuals with disabilities, and the benefits derived from inclusive education not only for people with disabilities, but all people involved.
May has also been working on researching cognitive deficits among age groups for quite some time. Her latest research examines the interplay between emotion and memory, with an emphasis on developing ways to use emotion to enhance memory performance.
She has published several journal articles in the past few years that examine cognitive aging. May is currently working on a manuscript that demonstrates the benefit of inclusive education for traditional students. Some of her research is conducted with faculty members from this university and others, but most of her research is completed with undergraduate students here at the College of Charleston. Even though May has done the majority of her research on adults, both young and old, she has a great deal of interest in researching young children. May takes a lifetime approach in her research and tries to research all ages.
She has 10-year-old twins, and 7-year-old triplets. In 2006, one of her triplets (Grace) was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away just six weeks later. Grace had Down Syndrome, and May's experience with Grace sparked an interest in inclusive education, which integrates students with disabilities in regular classes. She used research on inclusion to develop a program with Dr. Fran Welch, Dean of the College's School of Education, Health, and Human Performance and others called REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes).
REACH strives to include students with intellectual disabilities in classes, athletic teams, and clubs. May initiated a similar program at a local high school three years ago, and REACH will begin at the College of Charleston in Fall 2010.
Cindi May is busy to say the least, but enjoys every minute of her profession. You can learn more about May's program REACH at http://blogs.cofc.edu/life, and more about Cindi May at http://blogs.cofc.edu/mayc.