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Faculty Profile Q&A: Diana Leonard

August 15, 2012

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    Diana Leonard, Assistant Instructor in Psychology

Name: Diana Leonard

Title: Assistant Instructor

Education: Ph.D. 2012 (anticipated) University of California, Santa Barbara; B.A. 2004, cum laude, Northwestern University

Research & Teaching Interests: Identity, social judgments, and categorization (particularly related to social justice and intergroup conflict)

What excites me about joining the LC community?
I am excited by LC’s emphasis on intellectual exploration and discovery. Everyone I have met, students and faculty alike, seem to be genuinely passionate about expanding their own intellectual lives through a community of scholarship. I can’t wait to be a part of that! 

Describe the current trajectory of your scholarly research.
In my research I seek to understand how emotions shape intergroup relations. Specifically, I study how the emotions we feel as a consequence of our social identities alter three processes: intergroup reconciliation, perceived intergroup similarity, and reactions to group disadvantage. I am very excited to study these themes in the context of the dynamic city of Portland. For example, I look forward to investigating the emotions that are experienced by protesters before and after they engage in civil disobedience. How do these emotions differ when the protesters consider their identities as citizens of Portland versus members of a niche political group? This and other questions about social identity and emotion drive my program of research. 

What kind of hobbies or special activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I enjoy trying new foods and craft beers so I am very excited about all that Portland has to offer! I also enjoy knitting and have an ever growing collection of jewel-toned yarns that I like to work with, especially for hats and scarves. 

What were your childhood goals/aspirations?
When I was young I wanted to be a singer and I had a great time performing as a member of the the New York Metropolitan Opera children’s chorus. Then I hit puberty and discovered stage fright! 

What are you listening to in your car right now?
I love NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, but recently I have also been getting into Stuff You Missed in History Class from howstuffworks.com. I especially enjoy their updates on history’s mysteries like their recent episode on the search for Amelia Earhart. 

What was your favorite childhood story?
I loved Alice in Wonderland because of its poetry, logic puzzles, and fantastical characters.  

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