The three pillars of an academic’s work are teaching, research, and service. Although this portfolio divides these into separate sections, it is important to note that these are often intertwined. In fact, the three pillars are recursive in practice as my teaching, research, and service inform and impact one another.

I believe it is a scholar’s responsibility to conduct and share one’s research, as well as to participate in the research community through a variety of activities (e.g., participating in conferences, encouraging undergraduate students to participate in and conduct research, serving as a reviewer and/or editor of conference proposals and scholarly journals).  Also, it is imperative for scholars to reflect upon their work – not only work that has been accepted for publication, but also work that has not been accepted, too.

As a graduate student, I had the opportunity to participate in, and observe, many research projects in qualitative and quantitative inquiries. Each project gave me the opportunity to personally grow as I considered my own understandings. I value both qualitative and quantitative inquiries as I believe that both illuminate different aspects of the research problem. An effective researcher is one who can properly utilize a technique best suited for a specific research question. My research projects reflect a diverse acceptance of technique as tools of inquiry.

Most importantly, I believe that collaboration is an imperative in research. I know that individuals in academia work with one another in order to foster positive relationships, to make meaningful connections, and to provide multiple perspectives to research problems. Collaboration leads to greater research opportunities and provides for better academic environments.

Although I am currently a junior Assistant Professor, I hope to make a mark with my research. Since I joined the faculty at Tulsa Community College, I have worked hard to focus my knowledge of research and scholarship into ways to benefit students and our greater society.

My specific interest from an educational psychology standpoint is in the nexus of motivation in an aviation education setting. This line of research is informed by my work as a Certificated Flight Instructor (CF) and Assistant Professor in Aviation Sciences Technology at Tulsa Community College.

My research interests primarily focus on:

  1. Motivation
  2. Grit, Social Achievement Goals
  3. Aviation Education
Predicting Academic Self-Efficacy in a University Aviation Environment. (INTERNATIONAL)

Walden, A. (2016). Predicting Academic Self-Efficacy in a University Aviation Environment.  Presented to the European Association of Aviation Psychology, Cascais, Portugal.


Reflection: This presentation was my first at an international conference. I completed the original poster in a fashion that would be similar to what I presented at the American Psychological Association, only to find out that European conferences have their posters in a vertical format! Aside from formatting issues, my research topic was popular among my colleagues. In fact, while I was expecting to be sumamrily ignored as one of the few researchers from the United States, the research proved to be very popular. It was here that I decided that more research needed to be done on social goals in an aviation education environment and that I would focus my dissertation in this area.

Predicting Aggression and Bullying with Social Goals, Teacher Support, and Classroom Context. (NATIONAL)

Walden, A., Shin, H. (2016). Predicting Aggression and Bullying with Social Goals, Teacher Support, and Classroom Context. Presented to the American Psychological Association Conference (Division 15), Denver, Colorado.


Reflection: This was my first national conference poster presentation. I ran all statistical analyses for this poster as I had been working with Dr. Shin on other research interests closely aligned to this topic. However, while I would rank myself as a competent user of statistics, I was given insight on how to better form an argument and present the research that had been conducted. Simply said: I needed help writing a coherent argument, and it was only with Dr. Shin’s help that I was able to create a poster that was worthy of a national presentation.

Preparing Future Faculty in Psychology Program: Oklahoma State University’s 12 Years Experience. (REGIONAL)

Jacobs, S., Fu, J., Walden, A., Schneider, B., Porras, C., Hancock, T. (2016) Preparing Future Faculty in Psychology Program: Oklahoma State University’s 12 Years Experience. Presented to the Southwestern Psychological Association, Dallas, Texas.

PFF SWPA Powerpoint

Reflection: I served as third author and presenter. I explored the OkState Preparing Future Faculty history of the program. Never before had I worked with colleagues from Counseling Psychology. I was pleased to present with an accomplished faculty member, Dr. Sue Jacobs. By participating in this project, I was able to more fully develop an appreciation for various forms of research, colloquia, and symposia.

Perspectives of Team-Based Learning in Higher Education Online and Traditional Classrooms. (REGIONAL)

Christofferson, K., Walden, A. (2016). Perspectives of Team-Based Learning in Higher Education Online and Traditional Classrooms.    Presented to the  Oklahoma Association for the Gifted, Creative and Talented (OAGCT), Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Team-Based Learning has become an increasingly popular pedagogy. Research has found that students are more engaged when team based learning is properly implemented. This poster session reflects upon the recent experiences of higher education instructors utilizing TBL in both an online and a traditional classroom environment. Suggestions for successful implementation of TBL in a variety of settings will be explored, as well as advantages and disadvantages of TBL in online and face-to-face classroom settings.

Christofferson Walden Poster

Reflection: This research and poster presentation was developed from teaching experiences gained while serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Oklahoma State University. Christofferson and myself utilized a Team-Based Learning approach to our various undergraduate Educational Psychology courses. Our TBL approach was met very positively by our students, and we thus turned the experience into a research project to more fully develop and define the boundaries of this style of instruction. In the future I would like to do more research on this particular type of instruction, as I am interested in the social aspects of classrooms and motivation.

An Exploratory Comparison between Collegiate Aviation Flight Students and Student Autonomy. (REGIONAL)

Walden, A., Khojasteh, J. (2015). An Exploratory Comparison between Collegiate Aviation Flight Students and Student Autonomy. Presented at the Oklahoma Network for Teaching of Psychology (ONTOP), Stillwater, Oklahoma.


Reflection: My first research poster presentation presented at a local conference. I gathered the surveys and conducted the statistical analysis. Dr. Khojasteh consulted with me on appropriate use of statistical tools. I had just completed a course with Dr. Khojasteh called “Non-parametric statistical analysis” and was eager to use my newfound knowledge on data I had collected. Looking back, I really see how far I have come in terms of knowing not only how to research, but also how to present that research in an easily digestible and acceptable academic format.