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Teaching & Mentoring

Mentoring Philosophy

When mentoring, I like to foster independence in my students by allowing them to pursue the research projects that they are interested in while providing ongoing support and training in school-based research, social network analysis, and thorough quantitative and qualitative methods. I help students move through program milestones successfully by providing quick and detailed feedback on their projects. I also actively look for opportunities to enhance students’ professional development and have consciously involved them in my own grant-funded projects and academic publishing.

Prospective Students
Former Graduate Students

Working with students is one of the best and most rewarding parts of my job!  I'm always interested in chatting with undergraduate and graduate students who want to learn  about working with me.  If you'd like to learn more about research opportunities or pursuing a Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology with me at MSU, please feel free to contact me at jneal@msu.edu and we'll find a time to chat.

During my time at MSU, I've had the chance to serve as a primary mentor of (and more importantly, collaborator with) the most amazing graduate students who have gone on to do incredible research and teaching. Learn more about my fantastic former graduate students and their work here:

Dr. Charlie Collins, Assistant Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Wisconsin Bothell

Dr. Pat Janulis, Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University

Dr. Mariah Kornbluh, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina

Dr. Kristen Mills, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Studies, The Ohio State University

Dr. Katie McAlindon, Postdoctoral Associate, STEM Translational Communication Center, University of Florida

Erika VanDyke, MA, Program Officer, Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Teaching Philosophy & Current Courses

When teaching, I aim to foster understanding of the course material by providing students with practical opportunities to apply the theories, methods, and analyses that they learn in class. In addition, I make a deliberate effort to create a supportive learning environment by developing positive relationships with students and encouraging class discussion and small group collaboration.

I currently teach Psychology 395 Research Design & Measurement in Psychology for the Psychology Department at MSU.