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Adam A. Pack
Chair and Professor, Psychology
Dr. Adam A. Pack received his B.A. degree in Biology with a concentration in Biopsychology from Brandeis University in 1985, and his MA and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology with a concentration in Human and Animal Cognition from University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, respectively in 1988 and 1994. Dr. Pack holds a joint faculty appointment in the Departments of Psychology and Biology at UH Hilo. His many professional “hats” include: Cooperating Faculty member of UH Hilo’s Master of Science Degree Program in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science, Co-creator of the UH Hilo LOHE Bioacoustics Laboratory, Cooperative Faculty at UH Mānoa’s Psychology and Biology Departments and Marine Science Graduate Program, Former Chair of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, Associate Editor of the scientific journal Marine Mammal Science, and Co-founder and President of The Dolphin Institute, a not-for-profit Hawaiʻi-based organization dedicated to dolphins and whales through education, research and conservation.
Dr. Pack developed the UH Hilo Marine Mammal Research Laboratory in 2008. His research program focuses on scientific studies of marine mammal behavioral ecology and cognition. For more than 30 years, Dr. Pack has been conducting research on dolphin sensory perception, cognition and communication abilities as well as humpback whale social organization and habitat use, migratory and residency patterns, social behavior and communication systems in the Hawaiian breeding grounds and Alaska feeding grounds. Over the course of his research career, Dr. Pack has published over 70 papers, book chapters and state and federal reports and has given over 80 presentations and invited addresses. Dr. Pack’s findings on whales and dolphins have been featured in newspapers such as the New York Times, in magazines such as the Economist and National Wildlife and in television documentaries such as KGMB Hawaiʻi’s Humpbacks: Island Treasures; National Geographic’s Humpbacks: Inside the Pod; and PBS’s Dolphins with Robin Williams and Mystery of the Humpback Whale Song. Dr. Pack’s research was recognized in 1999 by the American Psychological Association with the APA Division 6’s F.A. Beach Comparative Psychology Award for the best paper published in 1998 in the Journal of Comparative Psychology. Dr. Pack’s current research projects include: investigating how steroid hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, corticosterone and cortisol vary in humpback whales as a function of behavioral roles, age class, reproductive states and body condition; how acoustic characteristics of male humpback whale song are related to a singer’s fitness, how whales in different roles expend energy and communicate as measured through suction cup acoustic and data recording tags, how humpback whales in Alaska form long-term associations, and how spinner dolphins use the Hilo coastline as a regular habitat.
AT UH Hilo, Dr. Pack offers courses in Statistical Techniques (PSY 213), Learning and Motivation (PSY 314), Comparative Cognition (PSY/BIO 436), Marine Mammal Behavior (PSY/BIO 437), and Child Cognition (PSY 438). He also works with both undergraduate and graduate students in his marine mammal laboratory. In 2017, Dr. Pack was recognized by UH with the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching.
B. Chris Frueh
B. Christopher Frueh , PhD is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii. He has thirty years of professional experience working with military veterans and active-duty personnel, and has conducted clinical trials, epidemiology, historical epidemiology, and neuroscience research, primarily with psychiatric patients, prisoners, and combat veterans. He has co-authored over 300 scientific publications (h-Index = 85; total scientific citations > 21,000), including a 2018 graduate textbook on adult psychopathology. He devotes much of his time to the SEAL Future Foundation (chair, medical advisory board), PTSD Foundation of America (medical advisory committee), Boulder Crest Foundation (scientific advisory panel), Military Special Operations Family Collaborative (advisory board), and to the military special operations community in general.
He has testified before US Congress, and served as a paid contractor for Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, US State Department, and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He has also published commentaries in the National Review, Huffington Post, New York Times, Time, and Special Operation Association of America; and has been quoted or cited in the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Washington Post, Scientific American, Stars and Stripes, USA Today, Men’s Health, Los Angeles Times, Reuter, Associated Press, and NBC News, among others.
Finally, under the pen name Christopher Bartley, he has published nine historical crime novels, including “They Die Alone” and most recently “A Season Past,” a collection of novellas about men with guns and their search for meaning and intimacy. Eight of these novels form a series, set in 1934 America, at the end of Prohibition as the country was still in the grip of the Great Depression. The protagonist is a fictional bank robber in the era of John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Alvin Karpis, and Bonnie and Clyde. As protagonist, he is a wanted criminal, but also an observer of society and a wandering conscience who engages with organized crime figures, corrupt politicians and local law enforcement, other criminals and prostitutes, and people at all strata of society. These are stories about America and people who lived there.
Associate Professor, Psychology
Dr. Steve Herman joined the department in 2005. He received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Stanford University in 1998 and is licensed to practice as a psychologist in Hawaiʻi. He studies mental health professionals' judgments about the validity of allegations of child sexual abuse. He has presented numerous workshops on child sexual abuse evaluations to professionals (judges, attorneys, psychologists, child protection caseworkers, forensic interviewers, and law enforcement) in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Finland, Japan, Norway, and South Korea.
Dr. Herman teaches courses on counseling theories and skills, career counseling, group counseling, child maltreatment, psychopathology, and personality psychology. He also supervises our master's students' practicum and internship experiences.
He has authored and co-authored numerous professional publications.
Dr. Eric Heuer received his B.S. in Neuroscience and Psychology from Allegheny College in 2003 and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2010. Dr. Heuer’s research interests lie in examining the connections between brain structure and function by combining multiple research methodologies. For example, his research has focused on developmental neuropsychology by examining the consequences of early brain injury in nonhuman primates. In parallel, Dr. Heuer has engaged in comparative studies of age-related neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia.
Within the Psychology Department, Dr. Heuer teaches a wide variety of courses including PSY 100 Survey of Psychology and PSY 214 Research Methods, PSY 350 Cognitive Psychology and PSY 352 Introduction to Biopsychology. Additionally, Dr. Heuer teaches advanced courses in Neuroscience, Aging and Development.
Director, Counseling Psychology Masters; Professor, Psychology
Dr. Charmaine Higa-McMillan received her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 1999 and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tulsa in 2004. Dr. Higa-McMillan is licensed to practice as a psychologist in the State of Hawaii. Her clinical and research interests include childhood stress and anxiety, implementation of evidence-based services, training and professional development, and improving access to quality care in rural, underserved schools and communities. Dr. Higa-McMillan has over 50 publications and 80 presentations in her areas of research. Dr. Higa-McMillan serves as the Director and Field Placement Coordinator for the Department's MA in Counseling Psychology Program. - Dr. Charmaine Higa-McMillan's website
Chair, Social Sciences Division; Professor, Psychology
Dr. Bryan S. K. Kim received the Ph.D. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also has a Master of Education in School Counseling and a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Science Education, both from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Dr. Kim is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MHC196) in the State of Hawaiʻi. Prior to joining UH Hilo, Dr. Kim was a tenured Associate Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and previous to UCSB a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland.
Dr. Kim has over 90 publications (including 9 psychological instruments) and 100 presentations in the areas of multicultural counseling process and outcome, measurement of cultural constructs, counselor education and supervision, and immigrant experiences. His current research examines the effects of culture-specific counseling interventions and client enculturation/acculturation (e.g., cultural values) on counseling process and outcome. Dr. Kim's interest in multicultural counseling psychology largely stems from his experiences growing up in Hawaiʻi as a 1.5-generation Asian American.
Dr. Kim is the Editor of The Counseling Psychologist journal and Associate Editor of Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development journal. He also is the immediate Past Editor of Asian American Journal of Psychology and serves on editorial boards of several other journals. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Dr. Kim received several research awards from American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, and Asian American Psychological Association. He is a “Fellow” of the American Psychological Association (Society of Counseling Psychology, Division 17; Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, Division 29; Society of the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, Division 45), International Academy of Intercultural Research, and Asian American Psychological Association.
Dr. Sunyoung Kim arrived in UH Hilo in 2010 and has been teaching graduate and undergraduate students in the department of psychology since the arrival. She is also a contributing faculty member of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program of UH Hilo. Her course offering includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Adult Behavior Therapy, Psychological Assessment, Psychopathology over life span, Practicum Seminar, Counseling Skills, Social and cultural Foundations for multicultural counseling, Psychology of Women, Abnormal Psychology, and Cross-cultural Psychology.
Dr. Sunyoung Kim received a B.S. from Seoul National University, a M.A. in women’s studies from Ewha Woman’s University in Korea. She co-founded the first rape crisis center in Korea while she was teaching women’s studies in universities and carrying out a government funded research on sexual violence in Korea. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Boston University in 2004. She is licensed as a psychologist in the states of California and New York. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2006, at which point, she was employed as a research associate in the same department. She obtained a VA grant along with other investigators, and carried out multiple NIH and VA funded treatment outcome research projects on anxiety disorders and PTSD while she was at Stanford University for five years.
Dr. Kim’s clinical and research interests include treatment of panic and anxiety disorders, trauma and PTSD, social justice and women’s issues in mental health, multi-cultural and international approaches to clinical psychology. She obtained grants from the Korean research foundation and University of Hawaiʻi for research projects on the breathing retraining therapy for panic disorder and on the second order victimization of sexual violence survivors.
Dr. Kim has provided numerous presentations and trainings to psychiatrists and psychiatric residents in teaching hospitals in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Kim also taught graduate and undergraduate courses as a visiting professor of psychology, in Yonsei University and Korea University in Seoul, Korea.
She is currently an investigator of three international research teams that study female sexual violence victims, bereaved families and survivors of the Sewol Ferry disaster, and treatment outcomes of anxiety disorders patients. She authored and co-authored multiple peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and reports on treatment of anxiety disorders, PTSD, sexual violence, and international clinical psychology.
Dr. Alexander “Alex” Nagurney, PhD (he/him)
Associate Professor, Psychology
Dr. Alexander Nagurney received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Arizona State University in 2005 and has worked at UH Hilo since 2012. His research interests include (1) the effects of various personality traits on physical and mental health outcomes, (2) how social interactions and the exchange of social support affects well-being, and (3) how people define infidelity within the context of romantic relationships. Dr. Nagurney has almost 20 peer-reviewed publications and over 25 conferences presentations. He teaches courses in introductory psychology, statistics, research methods, social psychology, personality, health psychology, and relationships. Dr. Nagurney also serves as the advisor for the UH Hilo chapter of Psi Chi, the department's honor society.
Jennifer R. Turner
Assistant Professor, Psychology
University Classroom Building, room 262
Dr. Jennifer R. Turner received her B.A. in Psychology in 2013 and completed her Ph.D. in Adult Development and Aging in 2020 from the University of Akron. Prior to joining the faculty at UH Hilo, Dr. Turner was a postdoctoral scholar at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Turner’s primary research interests focus on social and emotional factors that influence lifespan health and well-being, such as age differences in nostalgia and potential mechanisms to reduce negative perceptions of aging. Her work has been funded by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and the American Psychological Association (APA), and has been published in several peer-reviewed journals including: Emotion, Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, and Journal of Happiness Studies.
At UH Hilo, Dr. Turner offers courses in Statistical Techniques (PSY 213), Developmental Psychology (PSY 320), Psychology of Aging (PSY 439), and at the graduate level Lifespan Human Development (PSY 611). She also works with her students in the Psychology Department's Developmental Psychology Laboratory.
Associate Professor, Psychology
Dr. Errol Yudko received a BA in biological sciences from the University of California at Irvine in 1991 where I worked at the Center for Memory and Learning studying the neuronal correlates of fear based learning in rodents. He received both MA (1994) and PhD (1997) degrees in psychology with an emphasis in behavioral neuroscience from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where he worked at the Bekesy Laboratory of Neurobiology and the Pacific Biomedical Research Center studying the ethopharmacology and psychoneuroendocrinology of fear, anxiety, defensive behavior, stress, and aggressive behavior. He also worked as a research pharmacologist for the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience at Wyeth Research in the UK developing animal models of cognitive impairments. As post-doc, he conducted research in the Laboratory of Psychopharmacology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. These endeavors led to numerous publications and conference presentations.
Dr. Yudko has taught courses specifically in area of neuroscience since 1996. These have included: Psychobiology, Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Drugs of Abuse. Other courses he has taught in psychology have also included a strong biological component. These have included: Health Psychology, Human Sexuality, Learning and Motivation, and the Psychology of Emotion. He also teaches courses in both univariate and multivariate statistics and research methods.
Dr. Yudko’s scholarship over the past 30 years has focused on five areas: 1) The development of animal models of psychopathology and the use of those models to study the effects of pharmacological agents on aggressive and defensive behavior in both humans and animals; 2) Understanding the relationship between emotionality and substance use in human and non-human animals; 3) Exploring the psychoneuroendocrinology of substance use and abuse in human and non-human animals; 4) Developing and disseminating evidence based models of substance use prevention in adolescents; and 5) measuring the effectiveness of distance learning technologies. More recently Dr. Yudko’s research has focused on the psychoneuroendocrinology of addiction, the assessment of addiction, substance abuse prevention, and distance education. These interests have led to his serving as Principal Investigator for over $1,000,000 in extramural funding, publications, conference presentations, and a co-authored book on methamphetamine.
University Classroom Building, room 265
Dr. Cheryl Ramos is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. She served as the Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies for the Psychology Department. Courses she taught included Community Psychology, Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Psychology & Cancer, Evaluation Research, and the undergraduate Psychology Practicum. Professor Ramos was born and raised in Paʻauilo, Hawaiʻi in the Hāmākua District of the Island of Hawaiʻi. Dr. Ramos first joined UH Hilo in 1976 as an undergraduate student in the Department of Psychology and completed her B.A. degree in 1981 from UH Hilo. She completed her M.A. in Social Psychology in 1983, and Ph.D. in Community Psychology in 2001, both from the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa.
Dr. Ramos’ achievements in scholarship and research include numerous publications, conference presentations, and grant-funded projects for which she served as Principal Investigator and Program Evaluator. She serves as a reviewer for several academic journals. Her scholarship and research have focused on program evaluation, increasing access to higher education in rural communities, organizational change, and cancer survivorship in rural communities. Her personal experience as a four-time cancer survivor, and professional experience as teacher and cancer survivorship researcher, have led to the development and delivery of several cancer survivorship related presentations for community groups.
Dr. Ramos has received several awards for excellence in teaching, innovation, and mentoring, including the UH Hilo Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, (2000), UH Hilo Outstanding Advisor/Mentor Award (2007), National Society for Leadership and Success Teaching Award (2007), Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence and Innovation (2008), Saint Joseph School Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award (2010), Chancellor’s Special Award for Outstanding Service to University of Hawaiʻi Hilo (2016), and the Mentor Recognition Award, University of Hawaiʻi Hilo (2018).
Dr. Susan Brown is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.