HASS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Associate Professor CogSci
- B.S. in Psychology, Montana State University
- M.S. in Applied/Experimental Psychology, Montana State University
- Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Virginia Tech
Dr. Michael Kalsher is currently associate professor of psychology and cognitive science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and President of Kalsher & Associates, LLC. Prior to his appointment at Rensselaer in 1988, Kalsher earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in applied/experimental psychology at Montana State University, completed a four-‐year internship in the Division of Behavioral Psychology at the John F. Kennedy Institute at Johns Hopkins, and earned a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology at Virginia Tech. While at Virginia Tech, Kalsher collaborated with Scott Geller, a pioneer in the field of behavior-‐based safety, to carry out community-‐based studies aimed at effecting important changes in safety-‐related behaviors, including motivating safety belt use and deterring drunk driving. Since coming to Rensselaer, Dr. Kalsher has carried out and published nearly one-‐hundred peer-‐reviewed papers and book chapters on a variety of applied topics in a number of related fields within psychology, including industrial/organizational psychology and human factors, the majority of which have focused on issues related to warnings and risk communication, including the role of safety symbols and pictorials in communicating safety information. Kalsher has served in the role of evaluator on a number of fund projects focused on improving educational technologies, including the development of the studio approach to teaching physics at Rensselaer. Kalsher is also co-‐author of a success introductory psychology textbook. Kalsher’s teaching responsibilities have covered a broad range of topics within psychology and human factors, most recently focusing on experimental methods and statistics and human factors at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Administratively, Dr. Kalsher chaired the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer from 1997-‐2002 and he currently serves as the department’s Graduate Program Director, the Director of the Undergraduate Psychology Program, as Chair of the Institute’s Institutional Review Board, and as a member of the Institute’s Academic Standing Committee. Kalsher is regularly called upon as a human factors expert in litigation involving warnings and risk communications. Kalsher is a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society. Within HFES, Kalsher served as the Chair and Program Chair for the Safety Technical Group, as Chair of the Forensics Professional Group, and currently serves as Chair of the Arnold M. Small Safety Lecture Series now in its 25th year.