Santa Clara University

Psychology department

In-Class Guest Speakers

Chester S. Spell

Associate Professor of Management at Rutgers Univeristy

Chester S. Spell is an associate professor of management at the School of Business-Camden, Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the area of behavioral/occupational health and organizational justice. He is also interested in the role of group demographics on the relationship between justice and psychological health of employees, and employee reactions to being monitored at work. His research has appeared in the Academy of Management Journal, Personnel Psychology, the Journal of Management, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Human Relations and the Sloan Review of Management.

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Michelle Donovan, Ph.D.

People Analytics Group at Google

Michelle Donovan joined Google in 2006 and is a manager in the People Analytics group. Her team specializes in surveys, focus groups, and people-related metrics; they manage the Googlegeist survey (Google's annual employee survey) and have advised on over 100 surveys at Google. In her current role she helps solve challenging problems at Google, like how to have the healthiest workforce and best managers on the planet. Prior to her work at Google she worked in HR Research at Intel Corporation for six years where she managed their annual survey and consulted on surveys and focus groups. Before Intel she was a consultant with Terranova Consulting Group, an HR consulting firm, where she worked on HR audits, training needs analyses, job analyses and surveys. She earned her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has served as an officer of the Bay Area Applied Psychologists and IT Survey Group, and has published her work in journals, such as the Journal of Applied Psychology and Personnel Psychology.


Robin Jeffries, Ph.D.

UI Lead at Google

Robin Jeffries is currently a User Experience Analyst at Google. She was previously a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, reporting to the CTO and responsible for the user experience of all system management applications. Prior to Sun, she had a number of positions in academic and industry research, including Hewlett-Packard Laboratories and Carnegie-Mellon University. Her research has ranged from understanding programmers and software design to information finding to usability methods. She is an associate editor for the journal ACM TOCHI. In 2003, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Service from SIGCHI. She moonlights as Her Systers-Keeper, the moderator of systers, a mailing list of 3000 women in computing.

View her presentation


Debbie Hirsch, J.D.

EEO & Diversity Director at Santa Clara University

Debbie earned her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. She has worked for equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and diversity and inclusion for over 25 years. Before joining Santa Clara, she worked as an employment lawyer at both large and small law firms, and as in-house employment counsel for MCI Communications, a global telecommunications company, before it was acquired by Verizon in 2007.

Debbie joined Santa Clara in October 2007 as its EEO & Diversity Director. In her role, she is responsible for managing the University’s Office of Affirmative Action, including:

  • the development, implementation, monitoring, maintenance, and communication of the University’s EEO/Affirmative Action policies, programs and staffing and resource initiatives;
  • providing leadership and guidance in the University’s overall Strategic Plan and goal of creating a community of excellence through inclusion;
  • advising and assisting with diversity recruitment and employment;
  • reviewing and investigating complaints related to the University’s policy on the Prevention of Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination, including EEO related complaints; and
  • conducting training programs related to the University’s policy on the Prevention of Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination, including sexual harassment training mandated by California law, and diversity and inclusion.

Lin Brown, Ph.D.

Director of User Experience at Cisco Systems

Lin Brown received his Ph.D. in Applied Psychology / Human Factors Engineering from Georgia Tech. He has 30 years experience in high tech industry working for various companies such as Lockheed, Xerox, Sun Microsystems, Inktomi, and a number of startups before joining Cisco. Lin Brown is also an author of the book Human-Computer Interface Design Guidelines.

You can view his presentation on video by clicking here.


Daniel M. Russell, Ph.D.

Google Search Quality & User Happines

Daniel Russell is a research scientist at Google where he works in the area of search quality, with a focus on understanding what makes Google users happy in their use of web search.

As an individual contributor, Dan is best known for his recent work on the large, interactive IBM BlueBoard system for simple shoulder-to-shoulder collaboration, and for his studies of sensemaking behavior of people dealing with understanding large amounts of information.

Before joining Google, he also held research positions at IBMs Research Almaden Research Center (San Jose, CA), Apples Advanced Technology Group (ATG), and Xerox PARC.

Dan enjoys long-distance running, music and wordplay, becoming disgruntled when all three dont happen in a single day.

You can view his presentation on video by clicking here.

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Lindred L. Greer, Ph. D

Assistant Professor of Management at Stanford University

Lindred Greer is an assistant professor of organizational behavior in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and wrote her PhD in organizational psychology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her research interests focus on power and conflict in teams, including the different forms of power structures and hierarchies that may exist in teams and the conflict dynamics that take place when team hierarchies shift and evolve. Her research has appeared in journal such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Science. She is currently an associate editor at the journal Small Group Research and on the editorial boards at the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Search Quarterly, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.