Biography

Dr. Gaia is an experimental social psychologist with primary research interests in interpersonal relationships, gender, and culture. Recent research has examined the role of gender in the expression of emotional intimacy and how short-term study abroad programs may help in the development of global citizenship.  Since 2007, Dr. Gaia has served as the Director of International Education, a position in which she promotes global awareness on and off campus. She assists students and faculty in academic experiences that allow them to study throughout the world and also serves as the campus liaison for international students. Dr. Gaia teaches an Emory Abroad course where students study the social psychology of the Holocaust and psychological factors involved in understanding countries in transition while in Prague, Czech Republic; Krakow and Warsaw, Poland.

Recent Publications:

  • Gaia, A. C. (2013). The role of gender stereotypes in the social acceptability of the expression of intimacy. The Social Science Journal, 50, 591-602.
  • Gaia, A. C. (in press). Short-term faculty-led study abroad programs enhance cultural exchange and self-awareness. International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives.
  • Madill, R., Gaia, A. C., & Qualls, R. C. (under review). Corporal Punishment and family dynamics as predictors of college students’ academic integrity. International Social Science Review.
  • Mills, D. & Gaia, A. C. (2012). Prototype use in perceptions of prejudice among Whites and Latinos. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 17 (1), 10-18
  • Gaia, A. C. & Brenner, J. (2011, Fall).  Impact of short-term study abroad. International News, 26.
  • Brenner, J. & Gaia, A. C. (2011, Fall). Southwest Virginia trip to Germany. International News, 27.

Recent Presentations:

  • Wilson, J. & Gaia, A. C. (2012, March). The balancing act:  How working mothers in Southwest Virginia balance work and home. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Sociological Society, New Orleans, LA.
  • Brenner, J. & Gaia, A. C. (2012, March). Investigating Short-term Study Abroad Programs Using Two Methodologies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Community Colleges for International Development, New Orleans, LA.
  • Burgess, I., Gardner, K., Hess, T., Gaia, A.C., Braskamp, L., & Sobania, N. (2011, January). Faculty development for intercultural competency: A collaborative model. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges & Universities, San Francisco, CA.

Recent Student Research Presentations:

  • Foster, H. (2013, March).  Parenting styles and spirituality as predictors of the alcohol use and well-being of college students. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA.
  • Gentry, E. (2013, March). The role of gender in first sexual experiences and college students’ sexual attitudes. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA.
  • Hayden, K. & Gaia, A. C. (2013, March). The experience of childhood bullying and the psychological well-being of college students. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA.
  • Johnston, H. & Hubbard, S. (2013, March).  Immortal Kombat: The effects of violent video games on aggressive behaviors. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA.
  • Pearl, W.  & Moore. C. (2013, March).  Love styles, sexual attitudes, gender, and relationship satisfaction. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA.

Educational Background

  • B.A., Christian Brothers University
  • M.A., University of Tennessee
  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee