Faculty

A Message from the Faculty…
 
The psychology department seeks to teach students to gain a firm grounding in:
  • Content-based knowledge including a basic understanding of human development, cognition, neuroscience, counseling, personality, psychological disorders and history.
  • Intellectual skills including critical thinking skills, oral and written communication skills and scientific skills.
  • Personal characteristics including creativity, open-mindedness, interpersonal relationships, cultural sensitivity and ethics.
  
Joel Lynch, Ph.D.
Department Chair, Associate Professor of Psychology
B.S., Northern Illinois University
M.A., Northern Illinois University
Ph. D., Northern Illinois University

Phone: 815-226-4172
Fax: 815-394-5166
E-mail: JLynch@rockford.edu
 
 
 
Belinda Wholeben, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs 
Professor of Psychology
B.A., North Central College
M.S. Ed., Northern Illinois University
Ed.D., Northern Illinois University

Phone: 815-226-4018
Fax: 815-394-5166
 
 
Elaine Sharpe, M.S.
Associate Professor of Psychology
M.S., LCPC


Phone: 815-226-4137
E-mail: ESharpe@rockford.edu

Professor Sharpe brings over 34 years of clinical experience to the psychology department. Sharpe has been recognized with both the Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching and the Outstanding Community Based Learning Faculty Member of the Year awards. Her commitment to Community Based Learning in her courses earned her, along with her community partner, the distinction the McCormick Tribune Civic Engagement Role Models of the Year for 2009. Professor Sharpe has been a frequent consultant and presenter in the areas of staff development and communication in the education and medical arenas. Her work in the area of grief and healing has provided support to individuals in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin for well over a decade. She is currently involved in research in the area of trauma.
 
 
 
Jon Skalski, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.A., Saint Mary's University of Winona Minnesota
M.S., Brigham Young University
Ph. D., The University of West Georgia

Phone: 815-226-4134
E-mail: jskalski@rockford.edu
 
Dr. Skalski has a liberal background in clinical/counseling, development, and the theory and philosophy of psychology.  Dr. Skalski has training in counseling psychology and has worked in clinical settings. He has worked as a S.A.S.S. (Screening, Assessment, and Support Services) Counselor/Clinician in the Chicago suburbs.  He was also employed conducting psychiatric assessment in the Piedmont Newnan Hospital Emergency Room in Georgia during his graduate studies.  Professor Skalski's research draws from overlapping areas in the disciplines of psychology, moral development, philosophy, religion, and education.  His preliminary research has focused on life-altering developmental discontinuities or transformations and received news media attention from Forbes, United Press International, International Business Times, Daily Mail, Medical News Today, and other outlets.  Dr. Skalski is interested in self-deception, as a counterfeit way of relating that can result when one does not live in accordance with his/her moral or ethical sense of how to regard others, and he has written about how computer-mediation affects the lived experience of interpersonal relationships.  Dr. Skalski's most recent empirical research examines discontinuities from negatively tolerating another person to positive experiences of that same person, and has resulted in considerations about the significance of compassion as part of the human experience.