Office: Bldg III, Room 4145
Diane Alonso, Ph.D., serves as the
UMBC Psychology Department's Program Director at the Universities at Shady
Grove. She started the undergraduate program at the Center in 2004 and
the Graduate I/O Psychology program in 2007. Diane is a lifetime Maryland
resident and received her undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Computer Science
and her graduate degrees (M.S. and Ph.D.) in Psychology from the University
of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). With a background in Cognitive Psychology
and Human Factors/Usability, Diane has over 10 years experience working
in industry both for IBM's Federal Systems Division and for Computer Sciences
Corporation (CSC)'s Health and Human Services Division. While employed
at CSC, Diane performed usability work for clients such as the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the
Department of Education, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She
also created and led a successful training program for new software implemented
for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Systems (MMCS).
In addition to her vocation, Diane's avocation is musical theater. For over 15 years she performed locally in community and professional theaters in the D.C. and surrounding metro areas. In 1992, during a production of an original version of the "Phantom of the Opera" at Toby's Dinner Theater in Columbia, Maryland, Diane met her future husband, Tom Alonso, the very talented composer of the commissioned production. They were married a year later and now have 2 beautiful daughters.
Office: Bldg III, Room 4149
Karen Watkins-Lewis, Ph.D., serves as a full-time Instructor in the UMBC Psychology Department at the Universities at Shady Grove. Karen received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and her doctorate degree in Developmental Psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC. Her research areas of interest are socio-cultural child development and the processes of parenting as it relates to the mental health and academic success of children in underserved communities. While pursuing her graduate degree, Karen worked as a research associate with the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (currently known as CAPSTONE) at Howard University. She has completed post doctoral fellowships with the Child Development Institute at the University of Maryland, College Park and the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education at the University of Virginia. She has co-authored several peer reviewed publications and book chapters in the areas of socio-cultural child development and education. Karen has over 5 years of experience as a lecturer in psychology and human development, and has served as an Instructor and mentor for two student scholars programs: the Child Advocacy Scholars program at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Meyerhoff Scholars program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Karen currently resides in the Washington, DC metro area. She lives with her husband of 23 years, Gilbert Lewis, Jr., and has three beautiful daughters: Morgan, Maya, and Michelle "Kai."