Katie Townsend-Merino

Initial Publication Date: March 3, 2010
Katie Townsend-Merino

Professor of Psychology, Palomar College & Vice President of Instruction/Institutional Research, Foothill College
125 Carmel Way
Portola Valley, CA 94028 kmerino@me.com


Background Information

Katie Townsend-Merino teaches psychology at Palomar College (California) and earned her MA from UC Berkeley in biopsychology in 1984. After 20 years as a full-time professor she spent three years as a Dean (Canada College--a Hispanic Serving Institution) and one as a Vice-President of Instruction and Institutional Research (Foothill College). Even while "administrating" she has continued to teach online courses for Palomar College . Her research interests have been in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, particularly as it applies to the teaching underprepared students; retention in online courses (particularly for students of color); and to student engagement pedagogy in the teaching of psychology, and has been an invited speaker at both local, regional and national conferences (Western Psychological Association, Division Two of American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, Bay Area Learning Network, Basic Skills Network, and more).

She was an early adopter of active learning approaches, wrote an Active Learning in Psychology Teaching Manual in 1995, and has focused on the relationship between students "doing" psychology as lower division students in their Research Methods and Statistics courses and their success in their upper division courses.

Related Pedagogical Projects

Most recently, Katie led the development of integrated curriculum (writing and an content course) and accelerated math learning communities for underprepared students. In addition, she is working at the state level with the Basic Skills initiative providing workshops on scaffolding complex writing assignments in transfer level courses and working at the state level examining the impact of prerequisites on course success. She just completed three years of work with Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Early College project, again with the focus on preparing underprepared, and often unrepresented, students.