Priscilla R. Danheiser

Dean and Professor of Psychology
Dean’s Office

Dr. Priscilla DanheiserEducation

  • B.A., English and Psychology, University of Georgia, 1973
  • M.S., Psychology, University of Georgia, 1976
  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Georgia, 1979

Priscilla Danheiser has spent her academic career at two private institutions: Mercer University and Wesleyan College, the world’s first college to grant degrees to women. She joined the psychology faculty at Wesleyan in 1978. Over the ensuing 23 years, she served the women’s college as a tenured professor; director of the college’s Rotary Internship program, director of academic advising; director of the college’s Colorado Leadership Institute; registrar; director of the college’s return-to-college program for non- traditional students; assistant academic dean; associate academic dean; dean of the college, and vice president for academic affairs.

In 2001, she joined Mercer as director of the Center for Teaching and Learning; led the Academic Resource Center, the Learning Technologies Center and Academic Computing; and created a university-wide Teaching and Learning with Technology Faculty Institute. From 2002-2004 she served as interim vice president for student life and associate provost. She served Mercer’s College of Professional Advancement (formerly named Penfield College and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies) as associate dean for new program development and, from 2008-June of 2014, as dean of the College. She is a tenured full professor of psychology.

Dr. Danheiser has completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University and the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation’s Leadership Seminar for Chief Academic Officers. Dr. Danheiser has led numerous sessions for the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC & U) and developed programs for the AAC & U’s projects, Boundaries and Borderlands: The Search for Recognition and Community in America, Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibility, and for the AAC & U and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health and Higher Education Initiative.

Dr. Danheiser has led sessions at national conferences focused on the impact of academically-focused first-year seminars, consulted with colleges on engaged learning, and led sessions on ubiquitous computing for the Association of Governing Boards and Wake Forest University’s ubiquitous computing conferences. She has published on the subject of return-to-college students and the assessment of prior learning. She has served on the Evaluation Review Panel of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. She has been honored as a Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow, serves currently on the Governor’s Teaching Fellows Selection Committee and has received numerous awards and recognitions from various academic honor societies.

Dr. Danheiser is a graduate of Leadership Macon and has served on the boards of the Central Georgia United Way, the Middle Georgia Girl Scout Council, the Medical Center of Central Georgia’s Women’s Health Resource Center, as president of the Family Counseling Center of Central Georgia, as a member of the educational effectiveness (Report Card) committee of the Bibb County Board of Education, and as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for Stratford Academy.

Research and professional interests

Dr. Danheiser’s research on the self-monitoring of expressive behavior and on self -generated attitude change has been published in the leading social psychological journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Social and Personality Psychology Bulletin and cited in numerous social and personality psychology textbooks. She has served as Project Director for grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education (FIPSE), the DOE’s Student Literacy Corps; the Coors Foundation for Family Literacy; the Council of Independent Colleges (Technology and the Liberal Arts) and for U.S. Department of Energy/Oak Ridge National Laboratory grants to fund a mathematics and science initiative for middle school girls. She has served as a reader for the U.S. Department of Education’s Upward Bound and Trio Programs and for FIPSE’s Innovative Projects in Community Service Program.

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