Andrew Luchner to join the Department of Psychology

Dr. Andrew LuchnerThe Department of Psychology is pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Luchner will be joining the department beginning in the Fall of 2013 as a new permanent member of the faculty.

Dr. Luchner knows Rollins well; he was a Visiting Lecturer and Adjunct Professor at Rollins from 2005 – 2007 when he taught Personality, Psychopathology, Clinical Psychology, and Introduction to Psychology.  During his earlier stint at Rollins, he was popular with students and faculty alike, advising the Psychology Club and hosting events such as Psych-O-Cinema.

A Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Luchner has most recently served as a Staff Psychologist at the University of Central Florida’s Counseling and Psychological Services.  In addition to seeing clients regularly, he has provided training seminars and supervised graduate and undergraduate psychology students.  He describes his therapeutic approach as Psychodynamic, and influenced by object relations theory and self-psychology and trained in brief dynamic psychotherapy.  Dr. Luchner has also pursued his research interests in understanding narcissism, which he believes is a multifaceted construct defining a range of both pathological and normal behavior.

During his interview at Rollins, Dr. Luchner gave a research presentation on his work in understanding narcissism.  In particular, he discusses his recent work on vulnerability as a phenotypic variant of narcissism, and how facets of grandiosity and vulnerability share some similarities (and differences).  This aspect of narcissism, Dr. Luchner believes, has not received the attention it deserves.  Dr. Luchner outlined a number of research questions he would be enthusiastic about investigating with interested Rollins undergraduates.  These included the association of narcissism with different professions and college majors, the interaction between narcissism and competitiveness (a research area that overlaps with Rollins Professors Houston and Harris), and the environmental conditions under which narcissistic behaviors might become manifest.

Dr. Luchner earned his undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University, and his Psy.D. from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Atlanta, Georgia.  He brings with him considerable professional experience in both counseling services and Clinical Psychology, in addition to a reputation as a thoughtful, dedicated, and outstanding teacher.  We are excited to have him at Rollins College.

Rollins launches new neuroscience minor

Beginning this fall, students can enroll in a new neuroscience minor offered by the College of Arts & Sciences.

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary investigation of the organization, development, and function of the nervous system, and its relationship to behavior, cognition, and neurological or neuropsychiatric disorders. By understanding how the brain generates behavior and cognition, we are better able to understand, diagnose, and treat neurological disorders.

This minor is perfect for students exploring the fields of biology, biochemistry/molecular biology, marine biology, and psychology. Courses such as Physiological Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, and Cell Biology will bridge cell biology to behavior. Participants can choose from a number of diverse neuroscience-related upper division courses such as Animal Physiology, Neuropsychology, and Developmental Biology in addition to taking part in a 2-credit capstone course team-taught by faculty from the biology and psychology departments.

Although the minor is relatively intensive (10 courses), it is designed to allow biology or psychology majors to earn credits toward the minor while completing their major. A biology major can earn the minor by taking four extra courses in psychology (and one in philosophy) along with courses in the major; a psychology major can similarly take select courses in biology to fulfill the minor’s requirements.

Additionally, the minor allows students to take upper-level courses outside their major without first taking prerequisites courses. To ensure students are adequately prepared for these courses, participation in the minor is reserved only to those who have declared a major in biology, biochemistry/molecular biology, marine biology, or psychology; earned at least second-year status (in terms of credit hours); and established a major GPA of at least 3.0. Students pursuing other majors may petition the program director to enter the minor by submitting a statement of interest and supporting letter from a faculty member in the student’s major.

Currently, the minor is open only to current second-year students, but interested juniors may contact the program director for consideration.

Full details can be found on the online college catalogue. For more information on the new neuroscience minor at Rollins, please contact the program director, Professor of Psychology Steven St. John, at 407-691-1153 or

Shrink Rap blog launched

Numerologists, beware – the Department of Psychology has begun its online blog today, 12/12/12.  This blog will improve upon and replace the old Psychology Department newsletter, which was regularly emailed to majors, minors, and students of the department from 2008 – 2012.  As with the email newsletter, the purpose of this blog is to keep friends of the department up to date on events and activities of our faculty and students.