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Sarah Rose Cavanagh

Emotions in learning
Simmons University, USA

Sarah Rose Cavanagh is the Senior Associate Director for Teaching and Learning in the Center for Faculty Excellence at Simmons University, USA, where she also teaches in the Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Practice. She continues collaborations developed in her postdoctoral years with an ongoing appointment as a Research Associate in the Emotion, Brain, and Behavior Laboratory at Tufts University. Before joining Simmons, she was an Associate Professor of psychology and neuroscience (tenured) at Assumption University, where she also served in the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence as Associate Director for Grants and Research.

Sarah’s research considers the interplay of emotions, motivation, learning, and quality of life. Her most recent research project, funded by the National Science Foundation, convenes a network of scholars to develop teaching practices aimed at greater effectiveness and equity in undergraduate biology education. She is the author of The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion (2016), HIVEMIND (2019), and Mind over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge (May 2023).

She gives keynote addresses and workshops at a variety of colleges and regional conferences, blogs for Psychology Today, and writes essays for venues like Literary Hub and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She’s also on X too much, at @SaRoseCav.

Develop your teaching with Sarah Rose Cavanagh
The Science of Motivation: Interview with Sarah Rose Cavanagh
The Science of Motivation: Interview with Sarah Rose Cavanagh
by Niya Bond, Sarah Rose Cavanagh
In this video, Sarah Rose Cavanagh and Niya Bond discuss the science of motivation and the importance of looking after ourselves in pursuit of motivating our students.
Video discussion
Courses and activities images
'The Spark of Learning': An Interview with Sarah Rose Cavanagh
by James M. Lang, Sarah Rose Cavanagh
In this video interview James M. Lang catches up with Sarah Rose Cavanagh inviting her to share some of the backstory of her book, and to talk about her writing practices. Read an excerpt from the book below, and feel free to join the conversation.
Courses and activities images (1)
Applying the Science of Motivation to Teaching
by Sarah Rose Cavanagh

Faculty could greatly benefit from a primer on aspects of motivation science relevant to the classroom, including self-determination theory, achievement motivation, and goal setting.