Elston Hall, Room 200
ABD, Social & Personality Psychology, Princeton University, 2003
M.A., Social & Personality Psychology, Princeton University, 2002
B.A., Psychology, Colgate University, 1997
Teaching a variety of courses, both on-campus and online, in Psychology since 2000,
Professor Garretson enjoys engaging students in topics about human behavior that they
can relate directly to their everyday lives. From the Introduction to Psychology course
that focuses on the many of influences on behavior, to the specialized areas of development,
or how we think about, influence and affect ourselves and others, Michelle focuses
on explaining how students can apply what seem like abstract principles to concrete
experiences. Before her current position at SUNY Schenectady, Michelle taught at Hudson
Valley Community College, Fulton Montgomery Community College, Russell Sage College,
Empire State College, and Mildred Elley. She also advised students for a number of
years in the Liberal Arts program at HVCC.
Prior to beginning graduate school, Michelle interned at the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHHD) researching the investigative interviews of alleged child abuse victims. The lab focused on what types of questions would provide both the greatest and most accurate information from children. With support from the lab director, Dr. Michael Lamb, Michelle independently completed a project that also examined the effect of the interviewer’s gender on the information obtained from the children and the results were published in the journal of Law and Human Behavior. Subsequently, while at Princeton University in the Office of Population Research with Dr. Marta Tienda, she assisted with the study, “College Attendance and the Texas Top 10 Percent Law,” on the economic, racial and ethnic gap in access to higher education.
Michelle grew up on a dairy farm in Central New York, which instilled in her the value of hard work and self-sufficiency. She has lived in the Capital Region for most of her adult life. When she is not teaching, Michelle spends time working-out, rock-climbing, and spending time with her two children, Sarah and Emily, hiking, baking, lounging in the pool, and playing lots of card and board games! Michelle tries to maintain a good balance between work, family, fun, and relaxation.