Dr. Territa Upchurch-Poole, Associate Professor of Psychology, comes to Juniata by way of a meandering trajectory that has taken her on an interesting, if not non-traditional, journey. Dr. Poole earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology and English from Livingston University; a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from University of West Alabama; a Master’s of Science in Educational Psychology from The University of Alabama, with specialization in adolescent development, motivation, and sociocultural foundations of behavior; and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from The University of Alabama with emphasis in complex cognition and affective processes, and sociocultural bases of behavior. Her doctoral research examined the “Psychological Construction of Epistemic Confusion and its Effect on Inferential Reasoning and Complex Task Performance” as a way to better understand authentic learning behavior and increase students’ interest in and access to STEM education.
Additionally, Dr. Poole earned an Advanced Certificate in Research Methods with Diverse Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Populations through the American Psychological Association’s Advanced Training Institute and The Consortium for Multicultural Psychology at Michigan State University (APA-ATI, 2014 Cohort). Dr. Poole is a Fellow of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) as a well a member of a number of professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Affective Science, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. She has also been selected to the board of the APA’s Consortium for Science-based Information on Children, Youth, and Families, and recently was selected by invitation to be a peer reviewer/reader for the journal, Affective Science.
Before beginning her career at Juniata, Dr. Poole was employed as an instructor in the College of Education at The University of Alabama and taught courses in Introduction to Educational Psychology to undergraduate preservice teacher education students and Advanced Learning Theory to graduate level nurse educator students. Additionally, she was an instructor for The University of Alabama’s Honors College ‘57 Miles’ service learning program and rural education initiative. And prior to embarking on her doctoral journey (and entre into the Professoriate), Dr. Poole was a Senior Program Manager in The Division of Preventive Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, providing leadership for a communitybased breast and cervical health behavior research project in 13 rural Alabama counties, through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this role she led the training of more than 500 community volunteers to serve as Community Health Advisors and oversaw the engagement of over 3000 community women enrolled in the study as participants. Dr. Poole has also been professionally engaged as a Research Associate in pre-clinical drug development /drug discovery research where she applied her talents in monitoring bioavailability and pharmacokinetic studies of treatments for metastatic breast cancer and macular degenerative blindness. She would later go on to work as a Clinical Site Manager for human trials research in the area of immunology and respiratory medicine where she developed expertise in recruiting and retaining minority and medically underserved participants in community and clinical trials research.
At Juniata, Dr. Poole has served on the General Education Committee (and as Chair in her final year). Her collaborative work resulted in several major policy changes to support the success and retention of students from underrepresented backgrounds. She is also a Pre-law Advisor and a member of the Institutional Review Board. Additionally, she is engaged in collaborative research work in Geoscience education funded by the NSF, Assessment Equity in Molecular Biology and Bioch