Dr. Sullivan’s primary research interest is in the educational context of developmental psychology. Recent research has focused on student academic motivation, use of learning strategies, and academic self-regulation. She also has an ongoing study with undergraduate research assistants integrating these topics with the concept of academic entitlement. Dr. Sullivan is also interested in educational transitional periods ranging from early elementary school to college. She has investigated and evaluated educational practices, interventions, and programs that assist students who struggle academically and/or who are experiencing changes due to academic transitions, such as the first year in college. For example, Dr. Sullivan conducted qualitative research on the WSU first-year student transition experience in connection to the First Year Experience Program and Peer Mentor Program.
Throughout her undergraduate and graduate school experience, Dr. Sullivan’s passion for teaching developed through her own interactions with supportive professors and one-on-one research experiences and mentoring. She strives to provide students the same experience that she received at a small state university. Dr. Sullivan and her undergraduate student researchers have presented at local and national conferences, and she hopes to continue this tradition with Worcester State University students.