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Dr. Karenna Malavanti is a Senior Lecturer and the Neuroscience Advisor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She regularly teaches Introduction to Neuroscience, Psychological Science, and Cognition. Dr. Malavanti is a three-time Baylor alumna. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience in 2010, M.A. in Psychology in 2012, and Ph.D. in Experimental Cognitive Psychology in 2014. Dr. Malavanti’s primary research interest is in applied cognition and human memory. She has two broad areas of research, legal psychology (i.e., efficacy of juror instructions and expert testimony, eyewitness memory in bilinguals, optimal line-up procedures) and applying cognitive psychology to education (i.e., increasing retention of course material, optimal teaching and learning strategies).
Dr. Malavanti has previously served as an assistant professor of Psychology at Carson-Newman University where she was privileged to serve as faculty-in-residence. For her work with students, she was honored with the Excellence in Academic Advising award (2016), student government’s Staff Appreciation Award (2016), and Student Advocate of the Year award (2017). Dr. Malavanti joined the Psychology & Neuroscience department at Baylor in 2017. In 2018, she traveled with Baylor students to Guatemala on a medical mission trip during spring break, which was a great introduction to living alongside Baylor students. Dr. Malavanti has been honored for excellence in teaching by the Office of the Provost and Academy for Teaching and Learning; she was recognized as a Baylor Fellow in 2018-2019.
Dr. Malavanti is an active member of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA Division 2), most recently serving as co-chair for the Early Career Psychologists committee. She regularly presents scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), innovative teaching practices, and professional development workshops at national teaching conferences in Psychology and Neuroscience. Dr. Malavanti greatly enjoys sharing knowledge through evidence-based teaching and student-centered course design and hopes her students love learning about the mind and the brain as much as she does. She is excited and honored to serve as faculty-in-residence for Earle Hall and the Science & Health Living-Learning Center.
Joining Dr. Malavanti in this role as Faculty-in-Residence at Earle Hall will be her husband, Matthew, and her daughter, Mila (1). They are active members of First Presbyterian Church in Waco. “Baylor changed my life. As a first-generation college student, I didn’t know what to expect from college. I quickly learned that Baylor faculty, staff, and students cared about me and my future! I can’t wait to be part of this nurturing, Christian community more intentionally by living alongside students at Earle Hall. Our family motto is ‘the future is bright,’ and we can’t wait to share this light as FIR.”