Discrimination in Organizations:

Advanced Psychological Research Methods

I designed a 400-level research methods course for undergraduates, and I was the primary instructor for a class of 18 students. The goal of this course was to introduce students to both quantitative and qualitative research methods that are applicable to conducting psychological research. Specifically, we focused on research examining multiple forms of discrimination, toward various groups, within the contexts of organizations, including healthcare, politics, etc. The purpose of the course was to give students hands-on experience with the complete research process. Students engaged in practical applications of the scholarship by conducting a discrimination-related research project of their own interest.

I first taught the students about the most influential psychological scholarship related to discrimination in organizations. Additionally, we discussed the importance of ethics and the role it has in conducting human psychological research. Throughout the duration of the course, students learned about a research method by reading a new area of research that traditionally and effectively uses that methodology. In addition, students developed their research topic and implemented their own study. Students collected data, conducted analyses, and analyzed results. At the end of the semester, students completed a final research paper and presented their research findings at a poster session

Ratings: "Overall this was an excellent instructor" 5.00/5.00

I really enjoyed this course and it was a really good bridge between social justice and psychology research. I really loved and enjoyed the enthusiasm for research from Emily and all the advice and encouragement but also
being super transparent and clear about what was expected. I just really had a good time and Emily, you are awesome!
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych 401
Sample student research project from Alex P. He examined the image of sexist advertising on feelings toward a product. He found that participants had more positive opinions about the non-sexist ad compared to the sexist ad.   *This is posted with permission

Sample student research project from Alex P. He examined the image of sexist advertising on feelings toward a product. He found that participants had more positive opinions about the non-sexist ad compared to the sexist ad. 

*This is posted with permission


PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN & GENDER

Psych291: Taught Winter 2016 & 2017

(Pictures from my Guest Lecture in Winter 2016)

Professor: Dr. Lilia M. Cortina & Dr. Sara McClelland

This course provided an introductory overview of the psychological science on women, men and gender. We addressed the following topics throughout the course of the semester: stereotypes, socialization, violence against women, women and work, pregnancy, sexuality & relationships. Taught students empirical psychological research on how these topics related to outcomes such as mental health. 

  • Taught three 25-student sections.
  • Guest Lectured (Week 4): "Women on Top: Current Representation of Women in Leadership Positions". This guest lecture presented current research on the existing underrepresentation of women in elite leadership positions,the institutional & interpersonal discriminatory factors that prevent the advancement of women, and the negative downstream psychological & financial consequences.
  • Prepared & graded assignments, exams, and in-section lesson plans.
  • Developed rubrics for writing assingment.
  • Conducted exam reviews.

Student Feedback

Brilliant instruction. It’s so awesome to be in a class where the instructor is really passionate about the material. All information was presented clearly and in an interesting way. I thoroughly enjoyed this course
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych 291, Section 5
“Emily Vargas is one of the best GSIs I’ve had at this university. She is incredibly intelligent and outspoken. She carefully listens to every student. She understands the importance of an inclusive space. When I needed help, she willingly and enthusiastically gave it to me. I have all the confidence in her ability to teach future classes and proliferate feminist theory and practice. “
— -Anonymous student feedback, Psych 291, Section 3, Winter 2017


Emily was an excellent GSI. She was passionate about what she taught and provided great examples and activities for us to illustrate the material. She was clearly very knowledgable, which helped to make the class more interesting and rich. She was excellent at facilitating thought-provoking conversations. I learned a lot from her
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych291 Section 2, Winter 2016
Emily was my favorite GSI at U of M so far. She came to section every week full of infectious enthusiasm and ready to dive into course material. She encouraged students to ask questions and answered them to the best of her ability. She provided insightful examples from outside lecture to enhance our understanding of subject matter. She showed me what cool opportunities exist for people interested in Psychology and Women’s studies and help me realize that these are both viable and important fields to take part in.
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych291 Section 5 Winter 2017
Emily was an amazing instructor and worked well with what she was given (as far as having a small, unwilling section). She was an excellent mentor and was always was a positive, inclusive, knowledgable voice of reason in the classroom. Best GSI I’ve ever had.
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych291 Section 8, Winter 2016
The instruction of this course was great and highly energetic and interactive, relying on class participation. Emily Vargas is an excellent instructor and her attitude always remained positive.
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych291 Section 8, Winter 2016

Personality PSYCHOLOGY 

Psych290

Professor: Dr. Robin Edelstein

This course provided an introduction to the science of personality- which includes consistencies in people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors over time and contexts. We addressed the following topics throughout the course of the semester: personality assessment, personality development, biological influences on personality, contextual influences on personality, motivation, personal identity, psychological adjustment, and clinical disorders of personality. Taught students empirical research on personality psychology. 

  • Taught three 25-student sections.
  • Guest Lectured (Week 4): "Personality at Work". This guest lecture focused on how personality asessment is used (and misused) in the context of the workplace.
  • Prepared & graded assignments, exams, and in-section lesson plans.
  • Developed rubrics for writing assingments.
  • Conducted exam reviews.
I loved how willing Emily was into helping her students and how well she explained each of the topics. She is an amazing GSI who is dedicated to her students!
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych290 Section 9
Great course and it cleared up any questions from lecture, what a beautiful job Emily did!
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych290 Section10
My favorite GSI I have had at Michigan so far, and I am a senior. She really enjoyed teaching and made me enthusiastic about a course I thought would be boring.
— Anonymous student feedback, Psych290 Section 13

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Psych353; Professor: Dr. Shelly Schreier

This course explored the social, emotional and physical development of children in a broader social context. The class identified the various influences on a child's development and socialization by looking at individual and child factors (temperament, resiliency, gender); the role of parents and the extended family, and the broader social network (schools, peers). The class investigated cultural and historical events that impact socialization. Specific topics covered included: bonding and attachment, gender role development, peer relationships, the role of the media, daycare, death, divorce, children with disabilities, traumatic life-events, and poverty. 

  • 150 student lecture
  • Prepared & graded three major writing assignments and two exams.
  • Developed rubrics for writing assignments
  • Developed exam questions
There was no discussion portion to this class so I only interacted with the instructor, Emily Vargas, through her office hours. She held multiple throughout the semester and was very willing to schedule meetings if one could not make her office hours. She was very knowledgeable on the class material and willing to explain class topics. She also was very friendly and open and wanted to get to know those who came to her office hours on a personal basis in order to remain engaged with the students.
— Anonymous student feedback

EMBA NEGOTIATIONS

Ross School of Business, Fall 2017, Primary Instructor: Dr. Susan Ashford

Graded essay assignments for the Ann Arbor, Michigan and UCLA class sections. The course covered material about the economics and psychology of effective negotiation and influence. The course was designed to help students develop skills for negotiating, across a variety of contexts, while focusing on profit maximization and conflict resolution