Faculty Research | University of Portland

Faculty Research

All regular psychology faculty are engaged in both teaching and research as described below. Adjunct teaching faculty (not described here) are often involved in community practice or research at other institutions.

Andrew Downs, PhD
Email: downs@up.edu     Phone: 503.943.8746

Dr. Downs’ area of specialty is clinical psychology. .His research program focuses on examining factors that promote mental and physical health in individuals across the life span.  Dr. Downs is currently conducting research on how emotional development relates to interpersonal behavior in young children, and how to better identify adolescents and young adults who are at-risk for mental health problems.  Dr. Downs received his Ph.D. from Washington State University and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University.

Andrew Guest, PhD
  Email: guesta@up.edu     Phone: 503.943.7348
Web: https://sites.up.edu/guesta/ and http://sportsandideas.tumblr.com/

Dr. Guest’s area of specialty is developmental psychology with a focus on social development in cultural and community contexts.  Specific interests include youth development and inequality, extracurricular programs as developmental influences, and sport as an influence on our lives and our communities.  Dr. Guest received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, along with a master’s degree in sport studies from Miami University.  He currently also has a courtesy appointment with the U.P. sociology program.

Deana L. Julka, PhD
Email: julka@up.edu     Phone: 503.943.7260

Dr. Julka's area of specialty is social psychology.  She teaches and conducts research in the areas of psychology and law, cross-cultural psychology, relationships, aggression, persuasion and groups.  Dr. Julka received her Ph.D. is from the University of Notre Dame.

Lauren Berger, PhD

Email: bergerl@up.edu     Phone: 503.943.7541

Dr. Berger’s area of specialty is multicultural and cross-cultural psychology. Her research and program evaluation practices focus on identifying key cultural factors that contribute to understanding and improving community mental health, as well as reducing mental health disparities among ethnic minority populations. She teaches upper-level and introductory courses, including Psychological Science (PSY 101), Cross Cultural Psychology, Community Psychology, Mixed Methods Research, Internship, and the Applied Projects senior capstone. Dr. Berger received her Ph.D. in social-personality psychology from the University of California – Davis, where she also served as Associate Director of the Asian American Center on Disparities Research.

Mark Pitzer, PhD
Email: pitzer@up.edu     Phone: 503.943.7586

Dr. Pitzer is a neuroscientist that specializes in the area of degenerative brain diseases.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and continued his training as a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Center for Brain Repair at Rush Medical College and then as a researcher at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. He has worked on surgical treatments for Parkinson’s disease and a genetic treatment for Huntington’s disease and is currently working on the roles that serotonin and dopamine neurons play in depression.

Zach Simmons, PhD (Department Chair)
Email: simmonsz@up.edu     Phone: 503.943.7588

Dr. Simmons received his degree in evolutionary psychology from the University of California - Santa Barbara.  He teaches general psychology, the research methods sequence, and a variety of upper-division courses that employ an evolutionary framework to understand human nature.  His research focuses on the interplay between hormones and the social world, with recent work examining how changes in testosterone produced by mating primes can influence risk-taking and how fluctuations in women’s reproductive hormones can influence their immediate motivational states.