The Society for the
Study of Social Issues


2011 Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award Winner

(Undergraduate Institutions)





Peony Fhagen-Smith, Associate Professor of Psychology and African, African American, and Diaspora Studies at Wheaton College, Norton, MA.

Dr. Fhagen-Smith is a sociocultural developmental psychologist who teaches the following courses: Developmental Psychology, Laboratory in Developmental Psychology, Social and Emotional Development, Adolescent Development, and Multicultural Psychology. She has also taught a First Year Seminar titled: Cultural Identity and History Lessons. Her major area of research is identity development across the life span. Past research has focused on racial identity development among African Americans and Multiracial Americans. Currently her research centers on self-portrait development among adolescents. She is interested in understanding how adolescents negotiate multiple characteristics of the self across various settings and how these characteristics may be viewed as opposites and/or in conflict depending on developmental age and other factors such as ethnicity and gender. She is also interested in sociopolitical development among adolescents of color in relation to academic achievement and career development. Prof. Fhagen-Smith deeply enjoys working with undergraduate students whether through her courses or conducting and supervising research projects. In all of her academic work she always has an eye toward current social issues (e.g., bullying, discrimination) and how psychology can illuminate our understanding of these issues and also help us to create effective solutions for ameliorating societal challenges. More information about Professor Fhagen-Smith can be found here.


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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin