Associate Professor

Office Location 
SCI 322D
Mailing Address 
2083 Lawrenceville Road , Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Alison Thomas-Cottingham

Binghamton University, Clinical Psychology

Dr. Thomas-Cottingham is a specialist in research on HIV prevention. She teaches behavior modification, abnormal psychology, and statistics and research design. She is co-advisor to Psi Chi and the Psychology Club.

In 1988, I earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park and in 1999 a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Binghamton University (formerly known as the State University of New York at Binghamton). I completed a predoctoral internship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Newark Campus in the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services Unit.

My research and clinical interests focus on HIV prevention. As a researcher, I am very interested in exploring the efficacy of various HIV interventions. I recently completed a project funded by the American Psychological Association that examined the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral approach to reduce risky sexual behaviors among African American female college students. I am in the process of modifying this intervention for a younger population, African American and Latino adolescents in Trenton, New Jersey.

I pursue my clinical interests as a trainer for the HIV Office of AIDS (through the American Psychological Association) where I conduct workshops to educate psychologists who work with people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. In an effort to improve the services that program provides, I am working with a team of psychologists to development a new training module that will specifically address HIV issues in the African American community for use by other trainers.

One of my favorite aspects about Rider is the opportunity to expose students to my research interests and work with them in a collaborative fashion. I involve students in every aspect of my work. Many of my research students have presented at the Eastern Psychological Association’s (EPA) conference. I recently submitted a paper for inclusion in the spring EPA conference that will be held in Boston, Massachusetts. This paper reports the results of a study in which the effect of relationship commitment to frequency of risky sexual behavior among male college students was explored.

My course load nicely reflects my research and clinical training. I teach three courses in the psychology department: Behavior Modification (Psychology 312); Abnormal Psychology (Psychology 220); and Statistics and Research Design (Psychology 201). In these courses, I am able to apply the solid behavioral training I received in the SUNY-Binghamton clinical program, which is well-known for its behavioral orientation. I teach Race, Class and Gender in Contemporary American Society through the Multicultural Studies Department (Multicultural Studies 110). I also serve as a faculty advisor to the Psychology Service Club and Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology.