Dr. Dani V. McMay
My main area of research focuses on the barriers and supports that ex-offenders face when transitioning from prison to their community, particularly people 18-29 years old. This age range is considered emerging adulthood, which is a time of transitioning from young adult to fully adult and living independently. My colleague and I are trying to understand the ways that a time of incarceration (even a short one) can influence this transition to adulthood. One hypothesis could be that people grow up faster when there is a period of incarceration. Another hypothesis is that incarceration disrupts the mental and emotional learning process required to be an adult. Our current research tends to support the second hypothesis.....but, there is still much more research to be done.
I have also researched how programming offered in the prison setting can be made more accessible and more effective in helping the offender prepare for life on the outside. We are also exploring how community based reentry facilities contribute to a more successful transition back into family life, help with the ability to maintain steady employment, and help the ex-offender to make different choices in their lives.
Another area of research focuses on is the use of technology in the learning environment. I am interested in ways instructors can incorporate new technology into their classroom lectures, and how best to create true learning communities in courses that are taught entirely online. My research colleagues and I have published a paper that explored the use of podcasts to enhance studying for exams.
Here is a link to download the iTunes University and the Classroom article in the journal Computers & Education.
My education is primarily in the field of Cognitive Neuropsychology. The main courses I teach during the academic year are Cognitive Psychology, Statistics and Physiological Psychology. In Cognitive, I try to get students interested in how psychologists do experiments that explore how we process information, how we make decisions, and how we problem solve. In addition to teaching in the classroom setting, I also teach Introduction to Psychology in an online format through Open SUNY.
Department, University, and Community Service
In the department, I currently serve as the webpage coordinator, and faculty co-advisor to the Psychology Club. In my role as webpage coordinator, I interact with the recruitment committee and the alumni relations committee, helping to keep our webpage content up-to-date and relevant to our department mission. On campus, I have served on several technology related committees such as Online Learning Committee, Echo 360 course capture committee, and the task force to evaluate new learning management systems. Currently I am on a task force to help our campus move to the Moodle learning management system, which we will start using Fall 2016. In the community, I have served as the Walk Coordinator for the Fredonia Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention, and currently am on the organization committee for the Out of the Darkness Walk to be held in Jamestown this Fall. I also have served as a member of the task force on reentry services for Chautauqua County, and participate in meetings of the reentry task forces for Niagara and Erie Counties.
Selected Student - Faculty Collaborations
McMay, D., & Cotronea, M.A. (2015). Developing a leisure management program to aid successful transition to community: A case study with recommendations for practitioners. Prison Journal, 95(2), 264-284.
McMay, D., Gradel, K., & Scott, C. (2013). Using problem based learning to teach elements of community reentry. Creative Education, 4, 62-70.
McKinney, D., & Cotronea, M.A. (2011). Using self determination theory in correctional education program development. Journal of Correctional Education, 62, 175-193.
McKinney, D., Dyck, J. L., & Luber, E. (2009). iTunes University and the classroom: Can podcasts replace professors? Computers & Education, 52, 617-623.