1: Skip to content 2: Skip to navigation

Women's and Gender Studies

Michelle L. Ceynar

Professor of Psychology

Michelle Ceynar
Ramstad Hall - Room 110
  • Professional
  • Personal

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Vice Chair of Faculty
  • Member: Title IX Working Group


  • Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Montana, 1996
  • M.A., Psychology, University of Montana, 1995
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Northern Colorado, 1992

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Research pertaining to gender issues and prejudice


  • Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching 2015-2016, Pacific Lutheran University


“Remember that Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels” –Faith Whittlessey

I became interested in psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Colorado. I was lucky to have three professors who peaked my interest, challenged me and ultimately convinced me that I could conquer the world. I am always enthusiastic and supportive about my research; Dr. Eugene Sheehan captured my interest in prejudice on the first day of his class Psychology of Prejudice and encouraged me to go to graduate school; and Dr. William (Skip) Barnard who took me on as a research assistant and gave me the chance to co-author my first publication. I ended up at the University of Montana by a twist of fate. I was attending a conference in Boise and wandered into a graduate school information exchange. I sat down with Dr. Nabil Haddad and within 20 minutes he was persuading me to send my application for an extended deadline for that fall. As soon as I returned to Colorado I rushed my application and was accepted the next week. I was fortunate at the the University of Montana to have many supportive professors from whom I learned a great deal about teaching and research. I worked with Dr. Frances Hill who I consider to be both mentor and dear friend. It is through her honesty, gentle encouragement and support that I am doing something I truly enjoy doing: teaching.