Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
United States Minor Outlying Islands
Professor Helt received her B.A. in Psychology from Smith College, and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut. While at the University of Connecticut, Professor Helt focused her clinical rotations, course work, and research experiences in the areas of neuropsychology and child psychology. Her dissertation, for which she received a pre-doctoral fellowship from Autism Speaks, examined contagious processes such as yawning, laughter, and itching in typically developing children, as well as children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Through her teaching, Professor Helt seeks to help students master concepts (what constitutes “typical” and “atypical” development? How does the environment shape brain development?) in such a way that they can apply the information in their daily lives, and master a set of skills (e.g., written and oral communication, research proficiency) in such a way that they leave her course with an increased sense of efficacy. Professor Helt benefitted greatly from her own liberal arts education and her collaborative relationships with faculty members as an undergraduate. Thus, she attempts to work closely with her students in order to offer them personalized feedback about their strengths, and in order to assist them in setting and attaining their personal and professional goals.
Autism Spectrum Disorders; Embodied Cognition; Emotion Contagion; Development of Mimicry; Social Development from Infancy through Preschool