Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Industry Expertise: clinical and educational psychology
Research Interest: spatial thinking in childhood and adolescence
Dr. Lisa Weckbacher’s educational and professional background is in clinical and educational psychology. A native to the East Coast, she earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Marywood University having practiced in a number of settings including inpatient care, community mental health, and university counseling. As a mental health counselor for Penn State University, Dr. Weckbacher began teaching for the Department of Psychology, at which time she developed a passion for the classroom experience. After relocating to the West Coast, she continued to pursue her interest in education, more specifically, the cognitive processes involved in learning. She went on to earn a master’s in education from Cal State Northridge, specialization in educational psychology; and a master’s and doctorate in education from UC Santa Barbara, specialization in child and adolescent development. With over twelve years of teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, Dr. Weckbacher enjoys integrating her clinical experience into the learning environment to nurture engagement and optimize learning outcomes. Her teaching interests include psychopathology, developmental psychology, and scientific writing in psychology.
Dr. Weckbacher’s research interests are within educational psychology, specifically the role of spatial thinking in childhood and adolescence. Publications to date partly focus on the types of spatial abilities that nurture problem-solving performance, and the development of spatial thinking from an early age. The implications of Dr. Weckbacher’s research are largely related to how educators can help prepare K-12 students to pursue and ultimately succeed in STEM-oriented careers.