Social Development

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Tarja Raag Associate Professor

I received my B.A. in Psychology from Skidmore College in 1986, and my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (Major area of study in Developmental Psychology) from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in 1992. I served as a Post Doctorate Student at the University of Miami, Florida for 2 years, following which I was a faculty member at Kenyon College from 1993 to 1995. I joined the faculty at Colby College in the fall of 1995 and have been here ever since. My regular teaching load includes the Developmental and Intelligence sections of our team-taught Introductory Psychology (PS111) course as well as Child Development (PS255), Adolescent and Adult Development (PS256), Psychology of Sex and Gender (PS352), and Developmental Seminar (PS335).

Family Picture

My research interests are in areas relevant to social development, with special interest in emerging adult identity (including racial/ethnic identity) and well-being in college populations (with specific focus on acceptance of life events, positive and negative). I also value applied work and civic engagement in my teaching and support students’ engagement in the important work done by our local Hospice and Family Violence Project nonprofit organizations. I would welcome chances to talk about research and community activism. You may contact me at: or (207) 859-5558.

Student Collaborators

Victoria Falcon, '15

I am a sophomore from San Francisco, CA, and I will be majoring in Psychology with a minor in Education. This past summer I worked as an intern math teacher for Summerbridge San Francisco, a branch of the Breakthrough Collaborative. As an intern teacher, I was able to work closely with twenty-four middle school students for six fabulous weeks. My teaching experiences this past summer have encouraged me to consider pursuing a teaching career after college. I am a member of SOBHU (Students Organized for Black and Hispanic Unity), Students for Education Reform Club, CVC (Colby Volunteer Center) and hopefully CCAK (Colby Cares About Kids). In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, watching Modern Family, and hanging out with my friends.

Rebecca Stoutamyer, '15

I am a sophomore Psychology major from Skowhegan, Maine. I was fortunate enough to do be in the Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences, which allows to do research during the summers. Because of this program I had the courage to walk into Tarja’s office to ask for a job my freshman year, so here I am!  In my spare time I am usually doing yoga, meeting with my group for Hardy Girls, Healthy Women, meeting with my mentee named Rebecca (so cool we have the same name!!!) though CCAK, or watching sappy romantic comedies with my best friend and lab partner, Victoria Falcon.

Abby Cooper, '14

I am a rising junior from Austin, TX (although I currently reside in Bethesda, MD), double majoring in Psychology and Spanish. I am definitely a people person, but also enjoy hiking and yoga…and [trying] to cook. Psychology is what gets me excited—I love learning about human development, memory, and the array of disorders. I love thinking about how all topics in Psychology fit together and affect an individual’s behaviors, thoughts, perceptions, etc. This past summer I worked as a marketing intern for the American Society of Addiction Medicine; here at Colby I am a tutor for Intro to Psych students, a research assistant, and member of the Outing Club. Psychology allows me to interact with, help, and better understand all kinds of people, which is what I hope to do in the future.

Colby College | Psychology Department |
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