Irene López is a clinical psychologist who joined Kenyon in 2007. Her areas of specialty are cross-cultural psychopathology, minority women’s mental health and socioeconomic status. Born and raised in the Bronx, she has received a number of awards for her teaching and research, including the Kenyon College Trustee Teaching Excellence Award, the Harvey F. Lodish Junior Faculty Development Professor in the Natural Sciences and the APA Division 52 Henry David International Mentoring Award. Most recently, she completed a Fulbright in Hungary where she lectured on the psychology of immigration. She is the co-editor of a new text on global learning, titled “The Wiley Handbook of Collaborative Online Learning and Intercultural Engagement,” with Prof. Deirdre Johnston of Hope College.

An avid photographer, she is married to Dean of Academic Advising and Support, Thomas Hawks. Both taught on Semester At Sea and are the proud parents of Spencer and Sabina Hawks.

Areas of Expertise

Cross-cultural psychopathology, phenotype, global learning

Education

2005 — Doctor of Philosophy from Kent State University

1998 — Master of Arts from Kent State University

1991 — Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College

Courses Recently Taught

Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes. In this introductory course, we will explore a variety of areas in which psychologists conduct research: the biological foundations of behavior, sensory and perceptual processes, cognition, learning and memory, developmental psychology, personality and social psychology, psychological disorders, and variability in behavior related to culture. This course is only open to first-year and sophomore students. This counts toward the foundations requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every semester.

This course provides students with an overview of the classification, causes, pathways, and treatment of adult mental disorders, including anxiety, mood disorders and personality disorders. Included will be discussion of critical issues and controversies in this field, such as the definition of abnormality, as well as an extended emphasis on cross-cultural issues in psychopathology. This counts toward the clinical issues and health requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Generally offered every year.

There are close to 8 billion people in the world. And yet most of the theories we use to explain psychological functioning have been based on limited samples drawn from the West. In this course, we will examine in greater detail the impact of culture on human behavior and review issues such as the role of culture in the concept of the self, the cultural influences on social behavior, the association of culture and cognition, and the measurement and experience of cross-cultural psychopathology. By integrating research from various social science disciplines (such as anthropology and sociology), students should gain a wider appreciation of the influence on culture on everyday experiences, while simultaneously understanding that culture is not a static or homogeneous entity. This counts toward the person and society requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Generally offered every other year.

Latino psychology is a vibrant and emerging field geared toward understanding the experiences of the largest minority group in the United States - either U.S.-born or U.S.-residing Latinos. Unlike cross cultural psychology, its focus is less on the intercultural group differences and more on intracultural differences and similarities across Latino subgroups. More specifically, this course will focus on understanding the core experiences of Latinos in the U.S. while also revealing the heterogeneity of this group. Students will begin this course by reviewing the history of Latino psychology. Following this, topics to be explored include a review of demographic variables (such as immigration/migration, socioeconomic status, language, gender, race and sexuality), and interpersonal variables (such as psychological acculturation, ethnic identity, cultural values and perceived discrimination), and how these variables often operate in conjunction when trying to understand Latino mental health. A special focus of the class will also be on the assessment of Latino psychopathology, such as the Latino cultural idioms of distress "ataques de nervios," "nervios" and "susto." This counts toward the person and society requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Generally offered every other year.

This course provides students with an overview of the classification, causes, pathways, and treatment of adult mental disorders, including anxiety, mood disorders and personality disorders. Included will be discussion of critical issues and controversies in this field, such as the definition of abnormality, as well as an extended emphasis on cross-cultural issues in psychopathology. This counts toward the clinical issues and health requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Generally offered every year.

There are approximately 7 billion people in the world. And yet most of the theories we use to explain psychological functioning have been based on limited samples drawn from the West. We will examine in greater detail the impact of culture on human behavior and review issues such as the role of culture in the concept of the self, the cultural influences on social behavior, the association of culture and cognition and the measurement and experience of cross-cultural psychopathology. By integrating research from various social science disciplines (such as anthropology and sociology), students should gain a wider appreciation of the influence on culture on everyday experiences, while simultaneously understanding that culture is not a static or homogeneous entity. This counts toward the sociocultural perspectives requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Generally offered every other year.

Latino psychology is a vibrant and emerging field geared toward understanding the experiences of the largest minority group in the United States, either U.S.-born or U.S.-residing Latinos. Unlike cross cultural psychology, its focus is less on the intercultural group differences and more on intracultural differences and similarities across Latino subgroups. More specifically, this course will focus on understanding the core experiences of Latinos in the U.S. while also revealing the heterogeneity of this group. Students will begin by reviewing the history of Latino psychology. Following this, topics to be explored include a review of demographic variables (such as immigration/migration, socioeconomic status, language, gender, race and sexuality), and interpersonal variables (such as psychological acculturation, ethnic identity, cultural values and perceived discrimination), and how these variables often operate in conjunction when trying to understand Latino mental health. A special focus of the class will also be on the assessment of Latino psychopathology, such as the Latino cultural idioms of distress "ataques de nervios," "nervios" and "susto." This counts toward the sociocultural perspectives requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or 110 or AP score of 5. Generally offered every other year.

This course introduces students to the field of clinical psychology. Through readings, videos, discussion and in-class role-plays you will be exposed to the major therapeutic orientations in psychology (including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and person-centered therapy) as well as newer schools of interventions (including feminist therapy, multicultural counseling and community psychology). In addition, we will cover other areas in clinical psychology, such as testing and assessment, and the difficulties involved in the assessment of others. A special area of focus in this course will be forensic psychology. Case studies from the instructor's experience as a therapist will be used throughout the course to further highlight the material. This course is best suited for students who are considering applying to graduate school in clinical psychology. PSYC 321 is strongly recommended. This counts toward the clinical issues and health requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSYC 250. Typically offered every year.

This is the first semester of the two part sequence required for senior psychology majors. Each section will have a different topic, but in every seminar students will read and discuss psychological literature, write and discuss critiques of research articles, review the literature and develop a research proposal on a topic in psychology and make a formal oral presentation to the class. This theoretical framework will lay the groundwork for the execution of a project in the second half of the practicum. This counts toward the senior capstone requirement for the major. Prerequisite: senior standing and psychology major. Offered every fall.

This course provide students with critical frameworks for thinking about the social construction of gender at the personal and institutional levels. Emphasis will be placed on diverse women’s significant contributions to knowledge and culture; to other areas of gender studies, including men’s studies, family studies and the study of sexuality; and to the intersections of various forms of oppression both within and outside of the U.S. The course will include both scholarly as well as personal texts, visual as well as written text. This counts toward the introductory requirement for the major. This course paired with any other .50 unit WGS course counts toward the social science diversification requirement. Offered every semester.