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Sandy Graham

Lecturer, Visiting    

Psy.D, MBA


I hold a Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D) with a concentration in Sports and Performance Psychology (SPP), with ancillary training in Organizational Psychology, supported by an MBA in Organization Leadership. I have professional memberships in the American Psychology Association (APA) Division 47 Society for Sport, Exercise & Performance Psychology, and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).

Dissertation Synopsis

My dissertation research focused on how the use of mental skills is used to improve personal performance, and how personality type and situational distractors influence selection of those
skills to optimize performance outcomes. Results led to two major conclusions: personality type and situational distractors had limited correlation with the use of mental skills by the elite male
collegiate golfer surveyed; and the use of mental skills in practice was significantly correlated with the use of mental skills in competition by the elite male collegiate golfer surveyed. This cross
sectional finding indicated the elite male collegiate golfer surveyed utilizes the same kinds of mental skills the world’s most elite athletes use to attain performance objectives.

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is to 1) facilitate the a ppreciation for the science of psychology, 2) to provide fundamental knowledge and tools of psychology that are applicable to a students’ life; 3) to enhance self-awareness and understanding of human behavior, and 4) when possible to provide an understanding of the principles and tenets of human performance psychology that can be used in daily life.

My focus in the classroom is to bring psychology to life by providing examples students can grasp based on what they know of the world by taking psychology theories and parsing them down into smaller bits for them to chew on, discuss, debate and to ponder. For instance, how the environment shapes behavior, as well as the consciousness effort to engage in self-actualization through positive thoughts which affect the mind, feelings, personal outlook and self-esteem that in turn is reflected in human behavior.

My teaching focus covers the compendium of undergraduate psychology courses such as General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Research Design and Data Analysis, Organizational
Psychology, Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Theories of Personality, Cognitive Psychology, Learning, and Sensation and Perception.

Research Interests

Research interests are centered on: 1) determining the extent mental skills fully effect performance outcomes and leadership success; and 2) continued evaluation of how personality type may affect selection strategy of mental skills by expanding the research population to include multiple sport domains. This research will have implications for elite athletes and high achievers such as business executives, medical practitioners and special operations military


Graham, G. F. S. (2016). Psychological skills, personality type, situational distractors and golf performance: A quantitative analysis. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1770078065).

Anderson, J., Bazin, B., & Graham, G. (2015). Peak performance in combat. INFANTRY Magazine, July-September Edition. Retrieved from

Graham, G.S. (2011). See the Green$: Achieving Your Entrepreneurial Dream. Washington, D.C.: Logos Press.