Associate psychology professor Debra Steele-Johnson, Ph.D. has been appointed to chair of psychology in the College of Science and mathematics.
Since joining Wright State in 1995, Steele-Johnson has been active in the HF/IO Psychology Ph.D. program, serving as I/O Area Leader and most recently as the Graduate Program Director. Joining the newly established HF/IO program, Debra served on multiple search committees to build the I/O area faculty and still actively participates in graduate student recruiting, advising, and instruction. She has chaired or served as a member on numerous doctoral, thesis, and qualifying examination committees. She also served as Coordinator of the Human Subjects Committee and of the Brown Bag speaker series in Psychology, on the COSM Promotion and Tenure Committee, and as a member of the Faculty Senate. Further, she has served as chair or member of committees for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Academy of Management, and American Psychological Association to review grant proposals and conference proposals and to distribute dissertation research awards.
Debra’s research interests focus on how people and teams acquire and perform complex skills and factors that affect those processes. Her research has implications for the motivation, training, and leadership of individuals and teams. Some of this research has been supported by the U.S. Medical Research Center, DARPA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and the U.S. Army Research Institute as well as by private corporations. Her current projects focus on virtual and face-to-face training for first responders and team-based learning.
Debra enjoys teaching an array of graduate and undergraduate courses on topics including Research Methods, Training, Work Motivation, Leadership, Teams, and Social Psychology. Doctoral students she has advised have taken faculty positions (e.g., University of Tulsa, Indiana University of Pennsylvania), applied research positions (e.g., Naval Air Warfare Training Center), and consulting positions (e.g., Aptima).
Johnson received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at San Diego and her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology from the University of Minnesota.