Series: Meet HSU’s Newest Faculty Members - Humboldt State Now

Series: Meet HSU’s Newest Faculty Members

Over the course of the fall semester, Humboldt State NOW will be profiling our new tenure-track faculty. In this edition, we introduce Amber M. Gaffney, Dept. of Psychology, a researcher of social identities and influence, and Tyler Stumpf, School of Business, whose research has included hotel and tourism business management in Pacific Island countries.

Professor Amber M. Gaffney, Dept. of Psychology

Where are you originally from?
Denny, Calif.

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Amber M. Gaffney, Dept. of Psychology

Where did you complete your education?
Ph.D. work at Claremont Graduate University

Why did you choose your field?
It is fun and interesting

Where have you taught prior to coming to HSU?
The Claremont Colleges, Whittier College

What are your specific areas of expertise?
I research social identities and social influence.

What classes are you teaching this year?
Social Psychology, Abnormal Psychology

What attracted you to Humboldt State?
It is a unique place to conduct research if you are interested in groups and it is a beautiful place to live!

What do you do in your free time outside the classroom?
I am a cyclist. I also like to run, backpack, and hike.

What is your favorite classroom technique to engage students?
My genuine enthusiasm for the material I teach.

What is the best thing about being a university professor?
Being in a place surrounded by people who are excited to learn new things.

Where is the strangest place you’ve done research?
On trains. The trains were not the strange part and neither were the passengers who participated in my study. The conductors were the strange ones!

If you weren’t an HSU professor, what would you be?
1) Observing big cats such as jaguars in their natural habitats; 2) On a bike track preparing for 2016.

What superpower would be most valuable to your research?
I’m just going to say flying regardless of how it aids my research- it would be fun!

Professor Tyler Stumpf, School of Business

Where are you originally from?
Bismarck, North Dakota

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Tyler Stumpf, School of Business

Where did you complete your education?
I completed a baccalaureate at North Dakota State University (2001), an MBA at Gonzaga University (2011), and a PhD at Washington State University (2015)

Why did you choose your field?
I became involved in business while living in a part of the world where how business fits within the sociocultural and natural environment is particularly nuanced and tedious. So once I started to understand more about the interdisciplinary facets to the study of business and economics, I realized there were lots of interesting and important things to explore.

Where have you taught prior to coming to HSU?
Domestically I have taught at United Tribes Technical College and at Washington State University. I have also taught internationally at the College of Micronesia.

What are your specific areas of expertise?
My main area is service business management, and much of my research has focused on hotel and tourism business management in Pacific Island countries.

What classes are you teaching this year?
In the fall I will teach BA 102 Critical Thinking in Organizations and BA 470 Organization and Management Theory.

What attracted you to Humboldt State?
Finding the right fit is important for both employers and employees. HSU is a place that seems to value many of the things I value, and so coming here has been a privilege.

What do you do in your free time outside the classroom?
I like riding my bike, music, and doing things outdoors with my family.

What is your favorite classroom technique to engage students?
The rule of thumb I use is to put myself in the students’ shoes when designing and delivering classroom sessions. This helps me try to engage students in ways that would engage me if I was on the other side of the desk.

What is the best thing about being a university professor?
Definitely the students. I look forward to walking into the classroom and interacting with students each day.

Where is the strangest place you’ve done research?
My doctoral dissertation research led me to some pretty cool places. Transcribing data onboard an old pirate ship that had been converted into a hotel bar in Yap Island seemed a little strange.

If you weren’t an HSU professor, what would you be?
I would probably still be in Micronesia working as a teacher and entrepreneur.

What superpower would be most valuable to your research?
Using the occasional Jedi mind trick on stubborn journal reviewers would come in pretty handy!