Psychology faculty

Sandie Hoover Kinsinger, Ph.D.

Instructor of Psychology

Ph.D., University of South Dakota
M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago
B.A., Wheaton College

VPH 305 A


After graduating from Wheaton College with majors in psychology and speech/communications, Professor Kinsinger earned a master's degree in art therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She recently completed a Ph.D. in human development and educational psychology with an emphasis in statistics from the University of South Dakota. Research interests focus on resilience, particularly in the area of hope development. Professor Kinsinger has worked in schools with students at risk of dropping out and as a school/home liaison; with an adolescent pregnancy prevention program; as an art therapy consultant and art therapist; and as a substance abuse intake counselor. She has made presentations to the Iowa Counselor’s Association, the Midwest Social Worker’s Conference, and the Great Lakes Regional Counselor’s Association. She has also served as a reviewer for federal and state Department of Education grants.


  • Developmental Psychology: Adolescence

    Developmental Psychology: Adolescence

    (4 credits) Adolescents experience many changes in a few short years as they transition from childhood to adulthood. This course explores the major psychological issues and theories in adolescent development with emphasis on cognitive development, self-concept, peer relationships and sexuality, among others.
  • Motivation and Emotion

    Motivation and Emotion

    (4 credits, alternate years, consult department) Why do we do what we do? How do we know what we want and what we need? How do we set goals for ourselves and act to achieve them? These are some of the questions that the psychology of motivation and emotion attempt to answer. This course will examine universal and specific motivations and emotions in the context of physiological, cognitive and affective systems. It will also pursue applications of motivation and emotion to the psychology of addiction, health, coping and optimal functioning. Prerequisites: PSY111 and 215.
  • General Psychology

    General Psychology

    (4 credits) (IGE option under Self and Society) This course is an overview of the field of psychology and includes topics such as biological bases of behavior, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, human development, personality, intelligence, abnormal behavior and therapy. The course emphasizes methodologies including observation, correlational and experimental as they are used in the study of psychology. A major purpose is to have the student struggle with the question, "What is psychology?" Finally, this course provides students with the necessary background in psychology to move on to other more advanced topics in the field.
  • Developmental Psychology: Childhood

    Developmental Psychology: Childhood

    (4 credits) (IGE option under Self and Society) The study of the physical and mental development of the child from the prenatal period into adolescence. The course includes the study of physical, cognitive, moral, social and personality development of childhood and adolescence.
  • Introduction to Art Therapy

    Introduction to Art Therapy

    (2 credits; alternate years, consult department) This course is designed to offer students a didactic and experiential overview of the field of art therapy. Students will study the history, theory, and practice of art therapy processes and approaches as well as survey the populations, settings and applications of this unique therapeutic technique.

Professional experience

  • Art Therapist, Pine Rest Christian Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Art Therapy Consultant, Duffy & Associates, Iowa City, IA
  • Intake Counselor and Prevention Specialist, MECCA, Iowa City, IA
  • Prevention Specialist, State & federal grant-funded projects, Washington, IA


  • American Psychological Association
  • Association for Psychological Science