Department of Psychology


Kristy M. Keefe, Psy.D.

Education: Dr. Keefe is currently a licensed psychologist in the states of Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana. She obtained her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and her M.A. and Psy.D. from the University of Indianapolis. Her training and expertise encompasses several years as a therapist at university counseling centers, including her APA accredited internship at Miami University and a post-doctoral residency at Purdue University.

Teaching: Dr. Keefe teaches undergraduate courses such as PSY 200 Careers in Psychology and PSY 424 Abnormal Psychology. Within the Clinical/Community Mental Health program, she teaches PSY 582 Clinical Assessment I: Cognitive Assessment; PSY 583: Clinical Assessment II: Personality Assessment; and PSY 595 Career Assessment in Professional Psychology. Dr. Keefe also provides supervision and direct services in the Psychology Clinic.

Research: Her research interests involve training competencies and psychotherapy outcome, delusion proneness and cognitive decision-making, AD/HD and behavioral correlates in college students, and mental health self-stigma and treatment seeking/quality of life.

Tracy K. Cruise, Ph.D.

Education: Dr. Cruise earned her PhD in School Psychology in 1998 from Illinois State University. Her Master’s is in Clinical Psychology (1993) from Illinois State University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in 1991. Her dissertation was entitled An Examination of Differences Between Peer- vs. Adult-Perpetrated Child Sexual Abuse: The Effects and Mediators. Dr. Cruise is a licensed clinical psychologist and licensed school psychologist in Illinois.

Teaching: Dr. Cruise teaches undergraduate courses, including PSY 380 Introduction to Clinical Psychology and PSY 251 Personality and Adjustment. Within the School Psychology program, she teaches PSY 541 Practicum I: Orientation to School Psychology; PSY 543 School Psychology Practicum III: Consultation & Assessment; and PSY 544 School Psychology Practicum IV: Evaluation & Intervention. Courses she instructs in the Clinical/Community Mental Health program include PSY 571 Group Processes and Group Psychotherapy; PSY 574 Professional Issues in Clinical/Community Mental Health; and PSY 576 Family Therapy. Dr. Cruise also provides clinical supervision and direct services in WIU’s Psychology Clinic.

Research: Historically, Dr. Cruise has been interested in the predictors of negative outcomes for sexual abuse victims. For example, do factors associated with abuse or aspects that occur after the abuse (e.g., disclosure or cognitive interpretation) predict outcomes. More recently, Dr. Cruise's research interests regard supervision and how direct training in supervision impacts supervisor and supervisee satisfaction.

Tiffany Gorsuch Bainter, Ph.D.

Education: Dr. Bainter earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from Northcentral University. She graduated from the Clinical/Community Mental Health program at Western Illinois University with an M.S. and received her B.S. from Western Illinois University in Psychology with a minor in Communications. Her dissertation was entitled “Binge Drinking as a Conformity Behavior:  Self-esteem, Social Acceptance and the Sociometer Theory”.  She is a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinois.

Teaching: Dr. Bainter teaches undergraduate courses, including PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology; PSY 250 Human Social Behavior; PSY 251 Personality and Adjustment; PSY334 Perspectives in Substance Abuse. She also teaches graduate courses in the Clinical/Community Mental Health program, including PSY 570 Systems of Psychotherapy; PSY 587 Practicum: Humanistic Therapies. Dr. Bainter also provides supervision and direct services through the WIU Psychology Clinic.

Research: Dr. Bainter’s research centers on an exploration of the impact of belongingness needs.  More specifically, her research explores possible relationships among factors such as self-esteem, social acceptance, conformity or personality traits and behavior in young adults.  Historically, her research interests have spanned varied social and clinical topics such as exploring how perceived social support and expressive writing impact mood and how the need to belong motivates behavior, as well as effective strategies in the treatment of eating disorders.

Garrett A. Pollert, Ph.D.

Education: Dr. Pollert earned his B.S. in Psychology from North Dakota State University in 2008. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetville in 2018. In addition, he had an APA Accredited Internship at the Central Arkansas VA in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Teaching: Dr. Pollert teaches Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, Abnormal Psychology at the Undergraduate level. At the graduate level he teaches Career Assessment, Group Psychotherapy, and supervises clinical/counseling graduate students.

Research: Dr. Pollert is interested in understanding the mechanisms that drive problematic eating behavior (overeating, binge eating). In the past, he has researched self-control, the power of beliefs, visual attention, inabilities to regulate emotions, and attempts to restrict eating.