Associate Professor Rachel Schmale teaches several courses in the Department of Psychology, including Introduction to Psychology, Human Lifespan Development, Psychology of Gender and Sexuality, 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. Psychology majors will engage the field of psychology in academic, professional, and extracurricular ways. In addition, students can participate in internships, conferences, directed research projects, and professional workshops.
Outside the classroom, Dr. Schmale supervises student internships each semester in various nonprofit, governmental, and healthcare organizations. “Every interaction represents an opportunity to identify and develop new skills in students and myself as an instructor,” she says. Dr. Schmale also serves as the advisor for the Psychology Club where she plans professional, philanthropic, and extracurricular activities, including volunteer opportunities, participation in community walks, mental health first aid certification, professional conferences, and theatre events.
As Chair of the Undergraduate Research Committee, she helps to oversee the NPRESS program, promote university-wide, undergraduate involvement in Directed Research, and coordinate the Undergraduate Research Symposium every year, where students present research to the campus community.
Dr. Schmale conducts research on infant language acquisition and tests infant participants in the on-campus Baby Lab, as well as with collaborators at other universities. Dr. Schmale has published several manuscripts on young children’s perception of accented speech and regularly presents at research and teaching conferences.
Schmale, R., Seidl, A., & Cristià, A. (2015). Mechanisms underlying accent accommodation in early word learning: Evidence for general expansion. Developmental Science, 18(4), 664-670.
Seidl, A., & Schmale, R. (2014). Speech Variability (Infant Accommodation to). P. Brooks & V. Kempe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Cristià, A., Seidl, A., Vaughn, C., Schmale, R., Bradlow, A., & Floccia, C. (2012). Linguistic processing of accented speech across the lifespan. Frontiers in Cognition, 3:479. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00479
Schmale, R., Cristià, A., & Seidl, A. (2012). Toddlers recognize words in an unfamiliar accent after brief exposure. Developmental Science, 15(6), 732-738.