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Faculty Biography

Nicola Curtin

Nicola Curtin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Phone: 508.793.7261

Professional Website

Nicola Curtin received her Ph.D. in Psychology (Personality and Social Contexts) and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Smith College. She joined Clark University in September 2011.

Current Research and Teaching

Dr. Curtin’s primary line of research examines the role of life experiences, individual differences, and social identities in commitments to creating social change, with a particular emphasis on ally and coalitional activism. She explores the development of social change attitudes and behaviors across different social contexts, with a focus on United States identity-based rights activism. In a secondary line of research, she examines perceptions of fit and success in academia, focusing on the role of marginal statuses (such as being a working class or international student), advisor support, and academic and professional experiences among graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. In both lines of research, she is concerned with how one’s social group membership can combine with other features of the social context to generate positive outcomes. She teaches Introduction to Social Psychology, Laboratory in Social Psychology, How to Make an Activist (capstone seminar; cross listed with Gender and Women’s Studies), Self and Identity in Social Context (first seminar), and Psychology of Social Change (graduate seminar).

Dr. Curtin is very much looking forward to growing her lab group at Clark, and encourages inquiries from students interested in developing research related to: identity and/or individual differences and their role in political behaviors and social change commitments; understanding the role of gender, race, class, sexuality and other social identities in people's experience of the world (particularly as they relate to the political realm); student’s commitment to social change; and feminist social psychology.

Selected Publications

Activism and Social Change
Curtin, N., & Stewart, A. J. (2011). Linking personal and social histories with collective identity narratives.  In S.Wiley, G. Philogène, & T. A. Revenson (Eds.), Social categories in everyday experience (pp. 83-102). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Curtin, N., Stewart, A. J., & Duncan, L. E. (2010). When the political is personal: Openness, personal political salience, and activism.  Journal of Personality, 78(3), 943-968.

McGuire, K., Stewart A. J., & Curtin, N. (2010). Becoming feminist activists: Comparing narratives. Feminist Studies, 36(1), 99-129.

Curtin, N., Stewart, A. J., & Cole, E. R. (under review). Challenging the status quo: The role of intersectional awareness in pro-social intergroup attitudes, and collective action for social change.

Curtin, N. (under review). Experiences of discrimination, collective identification, and structural awareness: Understanding own-group and ally activism.

Student Political Attitudes and Socialization
Curtin, N., Malley, J., & Stewart, A. J. (under review). Mentoring the next generation of faculty: Supporting academic career aspirations among postdoctoral and graduate students.

Curtin, N., Stewart, A. J., & Ostrove, J. M. (2013). Fostering academic self-concept: Advisor support and sense of belonging among international and domestic graduate students. American Educational Research Journal, 50, 108-137.

Cole, E. R., Case, K. A., Rios, D., & Curtin, N. (2011). Understanding what students bring to the classroom: Moderators of the effects of diversity courses on student attitudes. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17(4), 397–405.

Ostrove, J. M., Stewart, A. J., & Curtin, N. L. (2011). Social class and belonging: Implications for graduate students’ career aspirations. Journal of Higher Education, 82(6), 748-774.

Feminist Perspectives on Psychology
Curtin, N., Hegarty, P., & Stewart, A. J. (2012). Fostering research collaborations in LGBT psychology: An introduction to the special issue, Psychology & Sexuality, 3, 187-194.

Cortina, L. M., Curtin, N., & Stewart, A. J. (2012). Where is social structure in personality research? A feminist analysis of publication trends. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 36, 259?273.

Curtin, N., Ward, L. M., Merriwether, A., & Caruthers, A. (2011). Femininity ideology and sexual health in young women: A focus on sexual knowledge, agency, and embodiment. International Journal of Sexual Health, 23(1), 48-62.

Stewart, A. J., Cortina, L. M., & Curtin, N. (2008). Does gender matter in personality psychology? Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2(5), 2034–2048.

Curtin, N., Heagarty, P., & Stewart, A. (2012). Expanding the research community in lgbt psychology: Collaborative studies from the international institute. Psychology and Sexuality [Special Issue].