Department of Psychology

Psychology Department Professor Danielle Fullerton engages with her students during a lecture

The Department of Psychology explores the organized study of human behaviour and mental processes. Psychologists work in diverse fields: engaged in scientific research, practising psychotherapy and counselling, as well as working with children and adults in educational and health-care settings.

Associate of Arts, Psychology Emphasis

Diploma in Criminal and Social Justice


Psychology courses cover an immense area of human knowledge and practice – everything from the physical and chemical operations of the nervous system, to perception and learning and memory and development, to the complex interactions of the society and the individual.


Dr. Leora Dahl

Psychology - Chair
Office: Business Building 220
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4710
Psychology instructor Leora Dahl

I have been teaching at Okanagan College in Kelowna since 2007. I teach Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, and Psychology and Law. My research interests focus mainly on police decision making and alibi believability. Outside of academics I am heavily involved in the swim community in Kelowna, as one of the organizers of the annual Across the Lake Swim (which raises money for swim lessons for all grade 3 students in Kelowna). I'm also on the board of the Okanagan Masters Swim Club and swim competitively for the club.

PhD, Forensic Psychology, University of Victoria

Research Gate Profile

Dr. Michelle Arnold

Office: Business Building 216G
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 6449
Michelle Arnold headshot

After completing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Southampton (UK) and a fixed-term position at St Andrews University (Scotland), I worked for several years at Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia). I joined Okanagan College in 2020, and I currently teach courses on introductory psychology, research methods and design, perception, human information processing, qualitative methods and design, and program evaluation. My research interests include the reconstructive nature of memory (e.g., subjective experience of remembering, false/recovered memory), the strategic regulation of accuracy (e.g., knowing when to act on a piece of information or when to keep quiet), and judgment and decision making across a variety of situations. One of my most recent lines of research has focused on understanding anomalistic (i.e., extraordinary) and other non-evidence based beliefs, which includes belief in the paranormal, extra-terrestrials, conspiracy theories, motivated rejection of science, et cetera. Previous work in this area has typically shown that there are performance differences, such as reasoning ability, between people who hold such beliefs and those who do not. My research has concentrated on understanding these differences, as well as on how other variables may be related to anomalistic belief, such as delusion-proneness and thinking style (i.e., intuitive vs. analytical styles).

PhD, Cognitive Psychology, University of Victoria
MSc, Cognitive Psychology, University of Victoria

Dr. Alysha Baker

Office: Business Building 216J
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4963
Psychology instructor Alysha Baker

After completing my PhD at UBC (Okanagan Campus) and a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Denver, I joined Okanagan College in 2019. I currently teach courses on research methods and design, statistics and data analysis, and introduction to psychology but my other teaching interests include nonverbal communication, forensic psychology, applied cognition, and social psychology. My research focuses on trust assessments, emotional appraisal, deception, and self-conscious emotions. When I’m not in the classroom, I like to be outside in the beautiful Okanagan, whether that’s hiking with my dog, dirtbiking, or enjoying a good patio with friends.

PhD, Experimental Psychology, UBC
MA, Experimental Psychology, UBC

Google Scholar Profile

Dr. Tara Carpenter

Office: Business Building 216G
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4666
Psychology instructor Tara Carpenter

I started working at OC in 2012 and I am based in Kelowna, although this academic year (2023/2024) I am teaching on the Vernon campus. I teach Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology and Law, and Research Methods. My current research interests lie at the intersections of group processes, social ostracization, leadership, person perception, and moral judgments. 

PhD Social Psychology (UBC Okanagan)
MA Forensic Psychology (UBC Okanagan)
BSc Honours (Dalhousie University)

Dr. Linda Coates

Office: Salmon Arm Building 114
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-832-2126 ext. 8208
Headshot of Linda Coates

I focus on addressing violence and social injustice. I have investigated social responses to violence by the helping professions (e.g., therapists/psychologists), legal professions (police, prosecutors, defence council, judges in criminal and family law), and the media. I have critiqued conceptions and representations of violence, victims, and perpetrators. I developed several key concepts for understanding and representing violence and other social interactions accurately. I also co-developed Response-Based Practice, a theoretical framework for understanding human behavior. The tea-cup consent video is an almost word-for-word replication of talks I gave while in the United Kingdom (though sadly I was not credited). I work with many organizations nationally and internationally to improve institutional and professional responses in cases of violence.

PhD, Psychology, University of Victoria

Dr. Ben Coleman

Office: Main Building D332
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2236
Headshot of Ben Coleman

I joined OC at the North Kelowna campus in 2004. I teach Introduction to Psychology, Health Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Biopsychology, Research Methods, and Statistics. My research in Positive Psychology focuses on happiness and well-being. When not teaching, I give Positive Psychology seminars on well-being and relationships to organizations around the world, provide couples/individual counselling, and volunteer as a family history consultant.

Ph.D, Cognitive Psychology, Carleton University
MA, Neuropsychology, Carleton University
MC, Counselling, Gonzaga University
B.Sc, Psychology, Boise State University

Dr. Danielle Fullerton

Office: Lab Building 235
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4374
Headshot of Danielle Fullerton

PhD, Counselling Psychology, U of A
Registered Psychologist (CPBC#2402)

Dr. Stephanie Griffiths

Office: Ashnola Building 115
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-492-4305 ext. 3238
Psychology instructor Steph Griffiths

Teaching is my primary interest in psychology. My research interests also include uses and misuses of neurobiological data in interdisciplinary research.

PhD, Clinical Psychology, Simon Fraser University
Registered Psychologist, College of Psychologists of British Columbia

Laura Loewen

Office: Business Building 237B
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4776
Psychology instructor Lara Loewen

I started at OC (then OUC) in 1995. Courses offered: intro psyc, lifespan development, environmental psyc. Areas of interest include adolescent mental health and suicide as well as workplace psychology and sustainability.

MA, University of British Columbia
BA (Hons), University of Alberta

Dr. John Mitchell

Office: Main Building D317
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 2689
Headshot of John Mitchell

I served as Professor of Child Psychology at University of Alberta from 1969-1998. I then served as Professor of Educational Psychology at UBCO until 2012. As Professor Emeritus from UBC, I now serve as Part-time Professor at Okanagan College. I am also now the author of numerous books in child psychology and adolescent psychology.

PhD, Developmental Psychology, University Oregon

Dr. Maya Pilin

Phone: -
Maya Pilin

I completed my PhD in Psychological Science in 2023 at UBCO and joined Okanagan College in Fall 2023. Currently, I teach Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 111) and Statistics and Data Analysis (PSYC 270). My past courses taught include Scientific Communication and the Psychology of Death and Dying. My research interests span from the areas of substance use prevention and affective forecasting to forensic psychology.


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