I arrived at BMCC September 1, 2001 excited to be doing what I had worked so hard to prepare to do: Assistant Professor of Psychology. Having grown up under an oppressive regime and a civil war, and completing much of my school work while working full time and raising three children, I was looking forward to focusing on my students and my own scholarship. While my master’s degree focused on Counseling, my doctoral work was in Experimental Psychology; more specifically the social psychology of nonviolence and peace studies, with particular emphasis on gender and multicultural psychology.
My philosophy of teaching is to provide opportunities for students to get a taste of self actualization, and to open new venue with focus on possibilities. Although it might be clichéd, I believe that as a teacher, it is not enough to share wisdom and disseminate knowledge; rather, my role is to empower students to love learning, and to help them expand the threshold of their own strengths and interests. To achieve this, I have found it important to learn more about our students and to provide them with a cooperative learning environment that is inclusive and energetic. This aspiration also assists in tailoring classroom lectures and activities according to their motivation, perception, and learning styles. Keeping in mind that our students will soon move to carry important roles in meeting the challenges of our society, I encourage them to question ongoing assumptions as I help prepare them for their upcoming responsibilities.
My scholarly work has been seamless with my teaching and service, moreso than I had anticipated. While I have maintained my emphasis on a better understanding of violence prevention and multicultural education, I have found a niche I hadn’t anticipated.
In the aftermath of September 11, I was privileged to be invited, in late 2001, to facilitate a group of young Muslim women experiencing a myriad of post-9/11 reactions. My work with them convinced me that more needed to be told from their perspective. This led to a qualitative research study that was presented at several academic and professional settings, and was published as an article in Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. Service
I believe my commitment of service to my college, my community at large is evident in my various involvements. On a department level, I acted as co-advisor for the Human Services Club, and I served on the Board of the Teaching and Learning Center at my college. I also executed the position of Editor for our college¿s Faculty Focus publication.
My service to the profession spans several national and international psychology organizations. Over the past decade, I have served officially on boards of prominent psychological and international organizations. As the representative of AWP (the Association for Women in Psychology-one of the earliest and most respected women¿s psychological groups in the nation) to the United Nations, I was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Non-Government Organizations/Department of Public Information-a unique post that allowed me to experience first hand special humanitarian issues, political diplomacy, and communication strategies between agencies with specific agendas. I am honored to reveal that i designed a training program as part of the United Communications Seminars for their NGO community.
I have been also involved in conference planning and executing. This included vital appointed and elected positions including chairing and co chairing program committees for AWP, the APA’s Division 48 (Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict Resolution, and Violence-an international organization), as well as the United Nations¿ Annual Conference of Non-Government Organizations/Department of Public Information.
Psychology of Women, Psychology of Nonviolence, Multicultural Psychology, Learning Styles, Research Methods.
- B.S. Emmanual College-Boston, Massachusetts, Business Administration,1997
- M.A. University of Massachusetts-Boston, Massachusetts, Counseling Psychology,1998
- Ph.D. University of Rhode Island- Kingston, Rhode Island, Experimental Psychology,2001
- The course introduces students to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students will learn about current perspectives, historical roots and scientific methods in psychology. Topics within major areas of psychology may include biopsychology, human development, learning, cognition, social processes, personality and psychological disorders.
- The course introduces students to major theories and scientific findings in social psychology emphasizing personal and situational behavior. Research and application in the areas of social thinking, social influence and social relations are discussed. Topics include, but are not limited to, attitudes and beliefs, conformity, prejudice, group behavior and leadership, communication and persuasion. Prerequisite: PSY 100
- The course focuses on exploring, critically evaluating and applying theories and concepts to the study of personality psychology. It also discusses research, assessment and influences of personality on human behavior and everyday life. Prerequisite: PSY 100
- This course explores cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes across the lifespan. Attention is given to how biological sociocultural factors shape the individual. Prerequisite: PSY 100
- This course involves the interpersonal and institutional socialization of women in contemporary American society and the effect of these processes on individual personality through an examination of existing roles and exploration of alternatives. Prerequisite: PSY 100
- This course explores biological, cognitive, and emotional growth from conception through adolescence. Attention is paid to the interplay of individual and sociocultural factors that influence the course of psychological development. Prerequisite: PSY 100
- This course focuses on historical perspectives, contemporary trends, theoretical models and scientific research in the assessment and classification of mental illness. The etiology and treatment of psychological disorders are discussed with emphasis on the role of biological, cognitive, psychodynamic and sociocultural factors. Prerequisites: PSY 100
Research and Projects
- Hallak, M. & Quina, K In the Shadows of the Twin Towers: Muslim Immigrant Women?s Voices Emerge. ,Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. 51(6), 329-338.
- Hallak, M. Instructor?s Manual and Test Bank/Engendering Psychology: Women and Gender Revisited (2nd edition). ,Allyn and Bacon.
- Hallak, M., Quina, K. & Collyer, C. (2005). Preventing Violence in Schools Lessons from King and Gandhi in Denmark, F. (Ed.) Violence in Schools,Springer.