Dr. Lahner teaches courses that focus on the applied work of psychologists. With a background in both clinical and organizational consulting, she brings her mental health and consulting experiences into the classroom. She also currently serves as the Child Development Expert for Fox6 News Real Milwaukee. Dr. Lahner has published peer-reviewed articles and presented her research at several professional conferences. Her career history includes working as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Texas and Carthage College, fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Counseling and Consulting Services, and organizational consultant for various organizations such as Raytheon Missile Systems. She has served on various community charity boards and the Alumni Board for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In addition to her professional and volunteer work, Dr. Lahner spends most of her time keeping up with her four young children.
Areas of Specialization
Applied psychology; counseling psychology; career development; competency modeling.
Scholarly and Professional Achievements
Serve as the Child Development Expert for Fox6 Real Milwaukee. http://fox6now.com/tag/jessica-lahner/
Lahner, J. M., Hayslip, B., McKelvy, T. N., & Caballero, D. M. (2014). Employee Age and Reactions to Downsizing. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 79, 225-255.
Invited Presentations & Workshops
Lahner, Jessica M. (2014, September). Encouraging Childhood Literacy. Invited presentation given as part of the United Way’s Imagination Library program. United Way of Racine County. Burlington, WI.
Lahner, Jessica M. (2008, April). Generational Differences in Local Government. Invited presentation given to the Wisconsin City Management Association. Elm Grove, WI.
Lahner, Jessica M. (2007, September). Teaching to the Generations. Invited workshop given to the faculty of the College of Business and Technology at Tarrant County College, Southeast Campus.
Lahner, Jessica M. (2007, April). Intergenerational Conflict in the Workplace. Invited panel participant for the Masters of Public Administration Annual Alumni Conference at the University of North Texas.
Lahner, Jessica M. (2007, March). Proactively Managing Your Career. Invited workshop presented to the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas.
What is your teaching style?
Lectures are boring! My goal is to bring learning material to life through discussion, story telling, role-play and other hands-on activities. Children’s toys, a one-act play starring Freud, Rogers and other important figures in psychology, and case studies where students play the consulting psychologists are just a sampling of the ways we work with learning material in my courses.
Why do you do what you do?
I am passionate about teaching. The challenge of translating complex psychological content into information students understand while motivating them to see its applicability to their lives excites me. I find it a privilege to teach these concepts while challenging students to critically consider their own view of themselves and the world. One of my goals for each class is that my students leave it differently than they entered. My hope is that they view the world more critically and more inclusively than before. I aspire to create environments that allow students to be active agents in their education. To cultivate this classroom climate, I provide challenge and critical thinking opportunities and help connect course content to their personal goals.
How do you make learning engaging?
Stories, application activities, role-playing... I use these tools and more to help students “see” the concepts they are learning. I strive to connect material to students’ lives and other courses so the common themes between life in and out of the classroom are evident. Rarely are students simply asked to sit back and take in information in my courses. Discussions, projects and group activities play a role in almost every meeting.
What should students know about you?
While I strive to provide the context for learning, students provide the motivation. I believe learning is a team effort that involves active contributors from both instructors and students. Students who get the most out of my classes commit to active participation, taking risks and connecting new material to their own experiences.