Part-time Instructors


Teresa Andreani, M.A. Alan Kornspan, Ph.D. Laura Ruberto Ph.D.
Elizabeth Benninger, Ph.D. Amanda MacNeil, M.A. Jaime Shuster, Ph.D.
Irina Bransteter, PhD Stephanie Miller, M.A. Stephen Slane, Ph.D.
William Carter, M.A. Aaron Muttillo, Ph.D, LSPSY Katherine Sliter, Ph.D.
Sammie L Davis-Dyson, M.Ed., Ed.S. Mira Narouze, M.A. Samantha Tuft, Ph.D.
Raghavan Gopalakrishnan Ph.D. MBA Kristi Ninnemann, MA, MPH Angela Varga, Psy.S.
Alan Ho, Ph.D. David Paulik, M.A. Joshua Wilt, Ph.D.
James Jordan, M.A. Maria Rowlett, M.A. Brittany Wishart, M.A.

Teresa Andreani, M.A.

Teresa has more than 25 years of experience in business and nonprofit leadership. She is an instructor in the Department of Psychology at Cleveland State University, and teaches the capstone courses in Lorain County Community College’s Success Coaching and Mentoring Certificate program. 

Teresa works with executives seeking to improve personal and employee performance, leaders seeking better work-life balance, mid-career professionals facing uncertainty in their employment, and young professionals discerning career direction. 

Teresa holds an M.A. in psychology (organizational development and diversity management specialization) from Cleveland State University and a B.S. in management from Case Western Reserve University. Her master’s thesis, Alcoholics in Recovery: Factors Informing the Decision to Self-Disclose Alcoholism in the Workplace, together with her personal experience as a woman in long-term recovery, motivate her work to reduce the stigma around alcoholism and addiction and to create supportive workplaces for affected employees. She has particular expertise coaching executives and key employees in recovery from, or dealing with problems associated with, alcohol and other substances.

Teresa Andreani was designated a Gestalt Professional Certified CoachTM through the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, and is Board Certified by the Center for Credentialing and Education.

Elizabeth Benninger, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Benninger is a part-time psychology instructor at Cleveland State University and a postdoctoral scholar at Case Western Reserve University’s school of medicine in Cleveland, OH.  She completed her M.A. in Psychology with a specialization in Community Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles and her doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. Trained as a community, clinical and social psychologist, her research contributions are focused on promoting individual and community health and wellness through innovative and collaborative research designs and approaches. Within this focus, her research specifically addresses health inequities that connect to community need and which are inclusive of diverse populations.  In addition to her role as a researcher and instructor, Dr. Benninger has been involved in a number of community health initiatives. This includes providing psychoeducational groups in the school and after-school sector, teacher and youth-care worker trainings related to child mental health, spearheading a coalition for children who live and work on the street, providing entrepreneurial support for youth in Cleveland’s high schools, and the developing an after-school health promoting surfing program led by community youth.  

William Carter, M.A.  

Mr. Carter has been an instructor in the Department of Psychology at Cleveland State University since 2014, having taught Abnormal Psychology, Child Development, Personality Theory, and Adolescent Psychology. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology from CSU. He has been a practicing School Psychologist for over 10 years, and has worked with at-risk youth for over 15 years. This work has included children in rural, urban, and suburban communities, as well as residential facilities, detention centers, and other alternative educational placements.  He regularly supervises field experiences for School Psychology practicum students and interns.  He has hosted students from CSU, University of Dayton, and University of Toledo. 

Sammie L Davis-Dyson, M.Ed., Ed.S.


  • Ed. D.  Studies begun Fall 2017, Liberty University, (Community Care & Pastoral Counseling), expect completion in Spring 2022
  • (ABD). Cleveland State University, 2002:  class work completed for Ph.D. in Counseling, dissertation not completed
  • Ed. S.  Cleveland State University, 1998:  Education Specialist degree in Psychometrics
  • M.Ed.  Cleveland State University, 1995:  Master of Education in Community Agency Counseling
  • B.A.    Oberlin College, 1991:  Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Religion

Professional Experience

  • Cleveland State University, Part-time Instructor for Research Methods PSY312
  • Cleveland State University, Part-time Instructor for Introduction to Psychology PSY 101, & Research Lab PSY 412
  • Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Social Sciences, Lorain County Community College (Introduction to Psychology, Human Growth & Development, Child Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology
  • Assistant Professor of Counseling/Tenure Track, Associate of Arts degree program
  • Assistant Professor of Counseling/Tenure Track, Focus on Retention, Lorain County Community College
  • Assistant Professor and teacher of “Creating Strategies for College Success”
  • Supervised internship for Master’s degree student at Cleveland State University, employed by Early College High School, (Jenifer Johnson)
  • Coordinator of Special Advising, Student Academic Services, Oberlin College
  • Teacher in the Oberlin College Experimental College (EXCO) program on various topics related to the Bible 

Raghavan Gopalakrishnan Ph.D. M.B.A.

Research Keywords: Pain, Stroke, Sensorimotor, Neurophysiology, EEG, Perception, Pain Affect, Pain anticipation


  • Doctoral – Applied Biomedical Engineering, 2015
  • Masters – Healthcare Business Administration, 2011
  • Masters – Biomedical Engineering, 2004
  • Bachelors – Biomedical Instrumentation, 200

Brief Bio/Research Interests: I am a Researcher/Neurophysiologist at the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute with a special interest in understanding sensorimotor abnormalities, especially chronic pain and stroke, and help inform the development of novel neuromodulation based therapies to alleviate disability induced by these conditions. I was a co-investigator on a cutting edge NIH funded clinical trial that studied the effects of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on the affective component of post-stroke chronic pain. The project was based on the premise that pain is not merely a sensory phenomenon, but modulated significantly by psychological (affective and cognitive) spheres as well.

Pain anticipation is a psychological process that significantly modulates the perception of sensory stimuli and categorize the stimuli as either painful or non-painful. My research found a strategic role of visual cortex (V1) in pain avoidance and chronification. V1 that has long been thought to simply process objects without contextual thinking, differentially responded to cues that signaled pain vs. same cues that signaled non-painful stimulus. Further, I researched with this feature was shared by auditory (A1) and somatosensory (S1) cortices. While A1 and S1 did not show the same responses as V1, when the threat of pain was signaled by a visual cue, A1 and S1 became concurrently active along with the V1, suggesting that the V1 promotes cross-modal facilitation. These finding represents an evolutionary gain in human sensory cortices aimed at priming the body to a state of “readiness” for pain-related cues during flight-or-fight states. These findings are important for the development of new clinical approaches aimed at modulating pain expectations at the very early stages of cortical processing, before information regarding the salience of a cue is passed on to associative cortical areas.

Currently, I am involved in a clinical trial to study the effects of DBS on dentate nucleus in promoting motor recovery. Overall, my research goals are to come up with novel neurophysiological solutions to assist in the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Currently, I am also working on extending my prior research on chronic pain to investigate oscillopathies using multivariate functional connectivity approach.

Alan Ho, Ph.D.

Teaching Philosophy: The purpose of higher education should not solely be to obtain a job, but should also be about self-betterment and personal growth. I want students to have the intellectual curiosity to not only learn the course material, but to also motive and challenge those around them to keep exploring, analyzing, and evaluating intellectual ideas. Education is the ticket to autonomy; education helps people make informed decisions about their personal lives and gives confidence to people to challenge the status quo. Thus, students should take ownership of their educational journey and embrace the challenges which they will face. When faced with challenges, students should not let it define who they are but should take something away from it which will make them more resilient and a better person. I will use my education and my experiences as a student to foster an environment that will allow you to thrive in your educational journey. 

Teaching:   This will be my sixth year teaching undergraduate courses in psychology at Cleveland State University. I teach all levels of psychology courses from Introduction to Psychology to 400 level courses. Teaching is a rewarding and exciting job. It is always a tremendous feeling when students come back years later and tell me how they remember my stories from class and how they learned from these stories. To be a part of someone else's success and happiness, no matter how small a part I played, is a great feeling. 

Personal:  Besides my love for teaching, I enjoy rooting for my Pittsburgh sports teams. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I do bleed Black and Gold. However, I do love the city of Cleveland. I enjoy trying out new recipes, new foods, and thoroughly love the restaurants Cleveland has to offer. Cleveland is truly a diverse culinary delight!

James Jordan, M.A.

Mr. Jordan’s primary focus is teaching. He obtained his undergraduate degree at Youngstown State University and completed his graduate studies in psychology at Ball State University. Mr. Jordan’s research interest is in mental illness in individuals with intellectual disabilities. He also has over 30 years of clinical experience in this field. Mr. Jordan enjoys teaching a wide variety of Psychology courses including Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Human Sexuality, Careers in Psychology, Quantitative Methods in Psychology, and Research Methods. Mr. Jordan has taught Clinical Assessment and Research Methods in the Graduate Counseling Program at John Carroll University and teaches a variety of courses at Lorain County Community College where he has been a professor for 30 years.

Alan Kornspan, Ed.D.

Dr. Kornspan is currently a single-term instructor with the Department of Psychology at Cleveland State University. He is currently teaching courses within the undergraduate psychology program.

Dr. Kornspan received his Ed.D. from West Virginia University in Sport Behavior with a concentration in Applied Sport Psychology. In addition, Dr. Kornspan received his master’s degree from Michigan State University in physical education and exercise science with a concentration in the psychosocial aspects of sport and his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University. His research interests include the history of sport and exercise psychology, professional and contemporary issues in sport psychology and the history of baseball.

Since 1995, Dr. Kornspan has published 40 articles in refereed journals related to the social science of sport. In addition, Dr. Kornspan has published the book Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Psychology.  Additionally, Dr. Kornspan has published five book chapters on sport and exercise psychology, three encyclopedia and dictionary entries related to the history of sport and exercise psychology and 12 book sections that provide information related to books and videos in sport and exercise psychology for the past six editions of the Directory of Graduate Programs in Applied Sport Psychology.  

Dr. Kornspan’s scholarly work has impacted the field of sport psychology. Specifically, his research on the history of sport and exercise psychology is cited in top sport and exercise psychology textbooks throughout the world.

Amanda MacNeil, M.A.


  • Ph.D., Psychology, Cleveland State University, Expected 2023
  • M.A., Psychology, Cleveland State University, 2021
  • B.S., Psychology, Gannon University, 2014

Brief Bio: Amanda MacNeil received her B.S. in Psychology from Gannon University (Erie, PA) in 2018. Upon graduation, Amanda moved to Cleveland to start in the Adult Development and Aging Ph.D. program, a joint program between Cleveland State University and the University of Akron. Currently, Amanda is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the program. Amanda is passionate about dementia and family caregiving research as well as other issues surrounding the population of older adults. She is a member of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging Young Professional Council.

Research Interests: Amanda’s research focuses on understanding the illness experience of individuals with dementia, namely how this population copes and manages with the cluster of symptoms that presents in dementia. Specifically, Amanda is passionate about the inclusion of individuals with dementia in the research process and using self-reported data and measures that address the individual’s perceptions of their illness. The goal of Amanda’s research is to paint a holistic picture of what it is like to live with dementia from the individual’s perspective so that we may move forward in alleviating negative experiences (i.e., depressive symptoms) and bolster positive experience (i.e., quality of life) through interventions for this population. Amanda is specifically interested in understanding sense of self in individuals with dementia and special populations including veterans with dementia.

Stephanie Miller, M.A.

Mrs. Miller received her Bachelor of Psychology from Kent State University in 2010, and graduated from the Experimental Research Masters Program at Cleveland State University in 2012. She has been a part-time instructor at CSU for 8 years. Her thesis, under the direction of Dr. McLennan, examined the relationship between attachment style and reaction time to physically and relationally aggressive words using both the Emotional Stroop Test (EST) and the Visual Lexical Decision Task (VLDT). Mrs. Miller currently lives in Colorado with her two children, her husband and two goldendoodles.  

Aaron Muttillo, Ph.D, LSPSY

  • Ph.D., Urban Education, Policy Studies, Cleveland State University, 2019
  • Psy.S., School Psychology, Cleveland State University, 2003
  • M.A., Clinical/Counseling Psychology, Cleveland State University, 2002
  • B.S., Psychology, John Carroll University, 2000 

Aaron Muttillo has worked in public, private, and non-profit settings for 20 years. He has worked in a variety of clinical and administrative roles with a consistent focus on helping children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral difficulties learn and grow. 

Aaron is currently the chief operating officer at an organization that manages two schools and a therapeutic farm for students with developmental differences and behavioral challenges.

Aaron’s dissertation topic explored an organization’s experiences with implementing and sustaining trauma-informed care. He continues to examine ways in which organizations can apply trauma-informed care principles in practical and meaningful ways. 

 Mira Narouze, MA

Mira Narouze has practiced as a school psychologist in elementary, middle, and high school public school settings since 2006. Some of her responsibilities as a school psychologist are completion of psycho-educational evaluations for students grades PK-12 to identify developmental, learning, behavioral, and/or mental health problems. She also facilitated counseling groups to improve on-task behavior and listening skills inside the classroom, conflict resolution, and other social skills, worked with staff to monitor intervention efficacy and consulted and collaborated with regular and special education teachers to develop evidence-based behavior plans.

She teaches a variety of psychology courses including General Psychology, Lifespan Development and Adolescent Psychology at multiple programs including Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University. 

Mira obtained her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and a Psychology Specialist degree at Cleveland State University. She is a member of the National Association of School Psychologists.

Mira is broadly interested in studying issues of microaggression against marginalized populations. Her current research focuses on studying the impact of microaggressions on LGBTQ youth’s perceptions of school climate

Kristi Ninnemann, MA, MPH

Kristi Ninnemann is a part-time psychology instructor at Cleveland State University. She is a Ph.D. Candidate at Case Western Reserve University and works as a Research Associate in the Department of Psychiatry of a local hospital system. In 1999, Kristi earned a master’s degree in Community Counseling. She worked as a mental health practitioner from 1997-2008, specializing in diagnostic and ER-based crisis assessment. Kristi has specialized training and experience in forensic psychology, and she has worked as a Critical Incident Response Team member trained to conduct hostage negotiations and debriefings. Out of a desire to broaden her impact on the care and treatment of persons with mental illness, Kristi returned to graduate school in 2008. She graduated in 2014 with a Master of Public Health from CWRU. She will soon graduate with a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology. Her dissertation research explores how prior and immediate experiences with psychiatry, psychiatric paradigms, and cultural representations of psychiatry and its treatments intersect and shape the experiences of individuals currently receiving electroconvulsive therapy. In all of her work, she strives to understand patient-identified micro and macro-level factors impacting psychiatric illness and care outcomes, working to elevate the voices, experiences, and priorities of those with mental illness.  Kristi has taught courses and lectured at numerous institutions and is passionate about sharing the complexities and nuances of psychiatric illness, disease, healing, and care with others.

  Maria Rowlett, M.A.

Maria has been a part-time instructor at Cleveland State University since August of 2008.  Maria specializes in the area of survey/questionnaire construction, statistical analysis, research design, and interpretation, as well as report writing.  She brings expertise based on academic research and professional experience.  Maria has published numerous journal articles in the Behavioral Sciences and has supervised many students in the completion of research projects, journal articles, theses, and dissertations. She has also been selected as a disciplinary mentor for the McNairs Scholar Program numerous times.   In addition, Maria has been involved in project-based data coding, analysis, and summarization for presentation to clients for a mid-west based research company serving for-profit and not-for-profit companies.  

Research Interests: Extensive research experience on Job Satisfaction, Vocational Interests, Time Perception, and Personality. Additional skills include survey questionnaire construction, scoring, report writing, and data analysis.  

Teaching Areas:

  • PSY 217/317: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences 
  • PSY 312: Research Methods 
  • PSY 412: Psychology Lab 
  • PSY 415: Evaluating Psychological Research

Professional Affiliation: Midwest Psychological Association

Recent Professional Presentation: “Time Perception and Personality.” Midwest Psychological Association (Chicago, IL; May, 2015).

Laura Ruberto, Ph.D.

Dr. Ruberto is currently in her seventh year as a practicing School Psychologist.  She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ohio University in 2010 where her interest in the educational aspect of psychology was sparked from her role as a research assistant in a lab focusing on students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Following her undergraduate studies, she received her Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2015. As a graduate student, Dr. Ruberto participated on several research teams, presented findings at local and national conferences and co-authored several publications. Dr. Ruberto began practicing as a certified School Psychologist at a small, rural district in eastern Connecticut servicing students in grades preschool through eighth grade. She moved back to her home state to be closer to family in 2017 and began working at the high school level in a suburb of Cleveland where she is currently employed. Dr. Ruberto has years of experience across diverse settings and populations and is passionate about this field and the students she serves. 

Jaime Shuster, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., Public Health, Health Policy Management, Kent State University, 2018 
  • M.P.H., Public Health, Health Policy Management, Kent State University, 2012 
  • M.A., Experimental Psychology, Cleveland State University, 2011 
  • B.A., Psychology, Kent State University, 2008

Dr. Shuster received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Kent State University followed by her masters in Experimental Psychology at Cleveland State University. She then returned to Kent State University to complete her Master’s and Doctorate in Public Health with a focus in Health Policy Management.  Her research interests include traumatic brain injury, sleep deprivation, distracted driving, injury prevention and the public policy governing these public health issues.  

Dr. Shuster has been teaching for a number of years and is employed as an instructor in psychology, statistics, research methods and public health for several local colleges and universities. She also consults for the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio State Patrol as a legislative policy writer, statistician and epidemiologist. In addition, Dr. Shuster serves as a subject matter expert and ghost writer for psychology, statistics, research methods and health curriculum and test bank development for a number of educational textbook publishers and curriculum development organizations.

Stephen Slane, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus:

  • Department of Psychology
  • Areas of Interest/Specialization
  • Social Psychology, Statistics, Research Design

Research interests: Time perception and behavior


  • University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Ph.D. (Psychology)
  • Idaho State University, B.S., M.S. (Experimental Psychology)
  • Employment and Positions Held at Cleveland State University:
  • Previous Interim Director School of Health Sciences
  • Previous Interim Director, School of Social Work
  • Previous Associate Dean (for faculty), College of Science
  • Interim Chair, Department of Speech and Hearing, 2005-2006
  • Interim Chair, Department of Health Sciences, 2003 to 2006
  • Chairperson, Department of Psychology, 1988 to 1995

Peer-Reviewed Publications (select recent):

  • Rosman, J., Slane, S., Dery, B., Vogelbaum, M., Cohen-Gadol, A., & Couldwell, W. (2013). Is there a shortage of neurosurgeons in the United States? Neurosurgery 73(2), 354-366.
  • Sikand, K., Slane, S., & Shukla, G. (2009). Intrinsic expression of host genes and introns miRNAs in prostate carcinoma cells. Cancer Cell International, 9: 21.
  • Rakos, R., Steyer, K., Skala, S., & Slane, S. (2008). Belief in free will: Measurement and conceptualization innovations. Behavior & Social Issues, 17, 22-30.

Samantha Tuft, Ph.D.

Dr. Tuft graduated from the Ph.D. program in Adult Development and Aging at Cleveland State University in May 2018.  Dr. Tuft's research focuses on both basic and applied research in how attention might affect spoken language perception and memory, second language acquisition and attention to emotional words, foreign-accented speech perception, attention to emotional words across the adult lifespan, and password security.

Angela Varga, Psy. S., NCSP

Angela graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in England with her BSc. (Hons) in Applied Psychology in 1994, before completing her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Manchester Metropolitan University. Angela was a fourth-grade teacher in London before moving to the United States. She graduated from Cleveland State University with her M.A. in Psychology and Psychology Specialist degree in 2015. Angela is a licensed school psychologist and has worked in preschool, elementary, high school, and alternative educational settings in Northeast Ohio. She has experience implementing district-wide social-emotional programming, coordinating and evaluating Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), as well as completing comprehensive psychological evaluations. Angela is a passionate advocate for at-risk youth and is looking forward to sharing that passion at CSU. 

Joshua Wilt, Ph.D.

Dr. Wilt received his B.S. in Psychology from The Ohio State University in 2005, his M.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University in 2007, and his Ph.D. in Personality Psychology from Northwestern University in 2014. He is currently a Senior Research Associate at Case Western Reserve University where he studies predictors and consequences of religious/spiritual struggles (i.e., tensions, concerns, and conflicts regarding religious/spiritual issues) and supernatural attributions of events (i.e., attributing specific events to supernatural agents such as God or gods or impersonal forces such as karma or fate). Another line of Dr. Wilt’s research is broadly concerned with investigating affective, behavioral, cognitive, and desire (ABCD) components that are relevant to personality structure and function. His current research examines ABCDs within the context of personality traits and life-story episodes.

Brittany Wishart, M.A.  

Brittany Wishart is a 2006 graduate of the University of Dayton, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She went on to Walsh University and in 2010 graduated with two Masters of Arts degrees-one in Mental Health Counseling and the other in School Counseling. She received licenses in both disciplines and began her career as a Child and Adolescent therapist at the Nord Center in Lorain, Ohio. After two years, she moved to Denver, Colorado, and started a private practice of her own. For 5 years she treated children and adults who struggle with mental and emotional disorders. She also worked part-time as a subject matter expert for the University of the Rockies. Brittany created 9 graduate courses to meet CACREP standards in order to revitalize the graduate counseling program.  Brittany enjoyed creating courses so much that in 2017, she moved back to Ohio and began to pursue a teaching career in the field of Psychology. Brittany currently holds instructor positions at Cleveland State University and Lakeland Community College, and she is currently a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the state of Ohio.

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