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Bob Feldman still remembers those moments of being overwhelmed when he started college at Wesleyan University. “I wondered whether I was up to the challenges that faced me,” he recalls, “and―although I never would have admitted it at the time―I really had no idea what it took to be successful at college.”
That experience, along with his encounters with many students during his own teaching career, led to a life-long interest in helping students navigate the critical transition that they face at the start of their own college careers. Professor Feldman, who went on to receive a doctorate in psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is now Deputy Chancellor and Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is founding director of POWER Up for Student Success, the first-year experience course for incoming students.
Professor Feldman’s proudest professional accomplishment is winning the College Outstanding Teaching Award at UMass. He also has been named a Hewlett Teaching Fellow and was Senior Online Instruction Fellow. He has taught courses at Mount Holyoke College, Wesleyan University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Professor Feldman is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a winner of a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer award and has written over 200 scientific articles, book chapters, and books. His books, some of which have been translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese, and Chinese, include Improving the First Year of College: Research and Practice; Understanding Psychology, 12/e; and Development Across the Life Span, 7/e. His research interests encompass the study of honesty and truthfulness in everyday life, development of nonverbal behavior in children, and the social psychology of education. His research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation Research.
With the last of his three children completing college, Professor Feldman occupies his spare time with pretty decent cooking and earnest, but admittedly unpolished, piano playing. He also loves to travel. He lives with his wife, who is an educational psychologist, in a home overlooking the Holyoke mountain range in western Massachusetts.
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