Greenlight: Jonathan Westfall


Photo of Jon Westfall

Dr. Jonathan Westfall, is an assistant professor for Psychology and Coordinator for First Year Seminar at Delta State University.

Westfall joined the DSU psychology faculty in Fall 2014.

“I chose Delta State because I could tell it was a school where teaching and interacting with students was the number one priority,” Westfall said. “A quick look around campus and meeting with my future colleagues was all that it took to tell me that there was something special and unique about DSU!”

He said he has always been interested in the way people behave. When he was a teenager, people started coming to him to talk about their problems and unlike most, he enjoyed listening to them. When he started college at University of Akron, he was a psychology major from day one and has not regretted it.

Westfall’s favorite part of working at DSU is the amount of difference he can potentially make, as one person. He said in the 18 months he has worked here, he has been able to teach classes he loves, advise students who he gets to know personally, serve on dissertation committees for Ed. D. students, become the FYS coordinator, and be asked for input in many ways.

“The only person who limits you at DSU is yourself,” he said. “As long as you’re mindful not to get overloaded, you can come to work every day knowing that whatever you do that day is meaningful. That’s the best part.”

He said he likes teaching classes where he can “expand student’s understanding of what the topic is”, like General Psychology.

Westfall said, “I also think it’s fun to show the applied side of research methodology and statistics – courses that can easily become boring if you don’t keep an eye on how the material is used.”

He teaches a wide variety of psychology courses like General Psychology, Learning and Cognition, Research Methods, Statistics, Human Factors Engineering, Psychology of Human Sexuality, Judgment and Decision Making, and a new course that will be taught Summer II 2016, Psychology of Unexplained Belief.

“I see myself as a specialist in several areas, and am always eager to expand my own teaching abilities,” Westfall said. “It’s a tall order though, I tend to spend several years studying an area before I feel comfortable teaching a course in it.”

He is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. He said he is asked to review prospective journal articles three to four times each year, providing feedback and careful analysis of what my colleagues are looking to publish.

He is the Internet Editor for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology ( He said he is responsible for the society’s internet resources and making sure information is up to date and accessible.

He is also a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Judgment and Decision Making. He said he is able to keep connected with colleagues around the world, learning about their latest research, and picking up ideas and topics to use in his own work and classes.

Westfall said he is a bit of a chronic content creator. He writes blog posts on his website (JonWestfall.Com | Researcher, Educator, Author, And More). He enjoys programming, building new software both related to psychology and teaching, as well as other fun stuff.

Westfall said, “This summer I hope to work on a new game I’m designing, which might come to an iPhone or Android phone near you come fall.”

He enjoys hanging out with friends, singing in the church choir, and talking with friends all over the world. He said he is a big people person.

“I’m very thankful for Skype and FaceTime,” Westfall said.

“In general I’m a pretty easy-going person who loves humor,” he continued. “I post a weekly joke on, what I call, Bad Joke Saturday, apparently some of my friends now wait for it to go live on Facebook and Twitter (@jonwestfall) each week so they can share it with their friends. rI also like talking to people and encourage anyone who has any questions, comments, or ideas they think I’d be interested in to contact me.”