Ellen Cotter

PhD, Developmental Psychology concentration, 1999

Career: Professor, Georgia Southwestern State University

Ellen Cotter has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Psychology from UAB. Her research was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Louis Burgio and Dr. Alan Stevens, both of whom had joint appointments in the Department of Psychology and the Center for Aging and focused on various aspects of caregiving. She assisted in data collection for the first incarnation of the NIH-funded REACH (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health) project, the findings of which have now been transformed into a community-implemented intervention program in at least six states. She was also the recipient of a fellowship that allowed her to gain hands-on experience with developmental testing at the Sparks Clinics, Children's Hospital of Alabama, and Jefferson County Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Authority under the supervision of Dr. Fred Biasini. After completing her doctorate in 1999, she began her academic career at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW), where she continues to work as a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Sociology. Because GSW is a primarily teaching-focused institution, her research interests have shifted to reflect that emphasis and now involve topics such as the effectiveness of transparent instructions on student performance and whether exposure to gerontological topics inspires or discourages students from pursuing aging-related careers. She has collaborated with the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers on personnel matters, including supervising the John and Betty Pope Scholars, and currently teaches classes that support the university's Long-Term Care Management program and Caregiving Issues and Management certificate.