CalSouthern Faculty Mentors

CalSouthern’s faculty mentors are talented, highly credentialed educators who are also experienced practitioners in the subject areas in which they teach—and they use that practical experience to help learners apply the concepts they learn to current, real-world issues.

A common misconception about online learning is that it is impersonal, that learners are on their own. At CalSouthern, that could not be further from the truth. Faculty mentors get to know their students and provide one-on-one, personalized feedback on their assignments. They are also available by email, phone or Skype to answer their questions or provide any additional support or guidance they might need.

To learn more about CalSouthern’s faculty mentors, their professional and academic backgrounds and research areas of interest, please use the directory below.


Suzy O’Donnell, PhD

Faculty Mentor, Behavioral Sciences

Areas of Interest and Expertise
The patient-physician relationship, happiness and physical health, the use of complementary and alternative medicine

Dr. O’Donnell earned her PhD in social personality psychology from the University of California, Riverside and then pursued a post-doctoral degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has spent the last 13 years working as a strategic market research professional applying her extensive research skills in understanding the psychological nature of attitudes, beliefs, and motivations to a variety of consumer behaviors.

Prior to her career in consumer research, Dr. O’Donnell focused her efforts on understanding the predictors of health and well-being. A few of her research areas included: the therapeutic quality of the patient-physician relationship and its association to adherence to medical regimens; psychological predictors to adherence to cancer screenings; complementary and alternative medicine use among patients with serious illness; and the relationship between happiness levels and physical health.

She loves sharing her passion for psychology with her students. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and her Pomeranian named Moki, running on the beach, visiting art museums, and finding new and interesting eateries.

Educational Background

Phd Social Personality Psychology and Statistics, University of California, Riverside, California; BS Psychology, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas

Courses Taught
  • PSY 87537 - Psychology of Chronic Illness
  • PSY 87709 - Foundations of Humanistic Psychology