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.
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

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. Jon Skalski has a liberal background in clinical/counseling psychology, human 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. During the past four years, he has been employed conducting psychiatric assessment in the Piedmont Newnan Hospital Emergency Room in Georgia. 

Dr. Skalski obtained his M.S. degree in psychology at Brigham Young University, and his prior research, focused on sudden development and transformation, has received internet news and media attention from outlets like Forbes, United Press International, International Business Times, Daily Mail, Medical News Today, and other outlets. Click here to read the article online in Forbes. 

Dr. Skalski obtained his Ph.D. from the University of West Georgia in a new and innovative psychology program, rooted in humanistic approaches, which specializes in integrative approaches to psychology. His dissertation titled Beyond Being Tolerant: The Phenomenology of Negatively Tolerating and then Beholding and Embracing the Other investigated shifts in one’s experience and perception of others. 

Click here for Dr. Skalski's curriculum vitae.