Dr. Rachel Schmale

Rachel Schmale, Psychology professor
Associate Professor of Psychology

At North Park since: 2008

Dr. Schmale teaches several courses in the Department of Psychology, including Introduction to Psychology, Human Lifespan Development, Developmental Psychology, and Psychology of Language. She is passionate about teaching and devoted to student learning. “With the small class sizes at North Park, I have the opportunity to educate, advise, and mentor students on an individual basis,” she says. Dr. Schmale appreciates the opportunity to work in a department that engages the field of psychology in academic, professional, and extracurricular ways. Psychology students can participate in internships, conferences, directed research projects, and professional workshops.

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Schmale works with students in a number of ways. She supervises student internships each semester in various nonprofit, governmental, and healthcare organizations around Chicago. “I understand that each of my interactions with students represent opportunities to identify and develop new skills in them as students and in myself as an instructor,” she says. As the advisor for the Psychology Club, she helps plan professional, philanthropic, and extracurricular activities for students, including volunteer opportunities, participation in community walks, mental health first aid certification, professional conferences, and theater events. And, as a member of the Undergraduate Research Committee, she helps coordinate the Undergraduate Research Symposium every year, where students present research to the campus community.

While fostering the intellectual growth of her students, Dr. Schmale also conducts research on infant language acquisition. She tests infant participants in the on-campus Baby Lab, as well as with collaborators at other universities. She has published several manuscripts on young children’s perception of accented speech and regularly presents at research and teaching conferences.

She is a member of the Acoustical Society of America, Association for Psychological Science, Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area, International Society on Infant Studies, Society for Research in Child Development, and Society for Teaching in Psychology.


  • PhD, Developmental Psychology, Purdue University
  • MS, Developmental Psychology, Purdue University
  • BA, Psychology, Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Berkeley

Recent Publications

  • A. Cristià, A. Seidl, C. Vaughn, R. Schmale, A. Bradlow, and C. Floccia. "Linguistic Processing of Accented Speech across the Lifespan." Frontiers in Cognition vol 3 (2012): 479.
  • R. Schmale, A. Cristià, and A. Seidl. "Toddlers Recognize Words in an Unfamiliar Accent after Brief Exposure." Developmental Science vol 15 (2012): 732-738.
  • R. Schmale, G.J. Hollich, and A. Seidl. "Contending with Foreign Accent in Early Word Learning." Journal of Child Language, vol 38, #5 (2011): 1096-1108.

“With the small class sizes at North Park, I have the opportunity to educate, advise, and mentor students on an individual basis.”