Clarissa Palmer

Clarissa Palmer

Program Coordinator, Curriculum & Instruction
Phone: (603) 535-2915
Office: Education, Democracy & Social Change, Rounds Hall, MSC 38, Plymouth, NH 03264


Clarissa M. Palmer teaches courses in research design, assessment, and human-animal interaction programing. She is also the program coordinator for the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction program.

She coordinates the campus pet therapy program and develops professional development opportunities for pet therapy handlers focusing on assessing engagement and enjoyment the therapy animal is experiencing during visits. If you are interested in scheduling a time to met with a therapy animal, or need to schedule an event that included pet therapy teams, please email the PSU Wellness Animals at

Dr. Palmer previously worked in private preschools in Massachusetts with children from age 3 to 6 and their families. She has presented at numerous educational conferences including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the New England Educational Research Organization (NEERO) annual conferences. Her work has been published in the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Journal of Emotional Abuse, and she continues to present her research for national and international audiences.

Degrees and Education

  • PhD, Psychology with a specialization in Behavioral Science and Research Methodology, University of Rhode Island
  • BS and MS, Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child Studies, University of Rhode Island
  • AA, Early Childhood Education, Community College of Rhode Island

Research Interests

  • Quantitative Research Design
  • Assessment In Educational Settings
  • Human-Animal Interaction (Pet-assisted therapy)

Scholarly Publications/ Writings/ Conference Presentations

  • Palmer, C.M. (Accepted, expected 2022-2023). History of Working Animals in Transportation and Recreation. In Kline, C. & Hooper, J. (Eds.) Emerging Voices in Animal Tourism.
  • Palmer, C.M. (In Press).Sullivan Anne: From abandoned rabbit to beloved campus pet therapy animal. In Kogan, L. & Erdman, P. (Eds.). The Gifts We Receive from Animals – Stories to Warm the Heart.
  • Uttley, C.M. (2021). A Long Road to Professional Satisfaction. In Kogan L. & Erdman, P. (Eds.). Career Paths in Human-Animal Interaction for Social and Behavioral Scientists. ISBN 9780367366148
  • Flynn, S.V. & Uttley, C.M. (2022). Explanatory and Exploratory Designs. In Flynn, S.V. (Ed.). Research Design for the Behavioral Sciences: An Applied Approach. Springer Publishing Company. Pgs. 457-480. ISBN: 978-0-8261-4384-6
  • Uttley, C.M. (2019). Animal Attraction: Including animals in early childhood classrooms to engage and inspire young learners. In Paciorek K.M. (Ed.). Annual Editions: Early Childhood Education. McGraw Hill Education.
  • Uttley, C.M. (2019). Adolescence, Pet Loss, Grief and Therapeutic Interventions. In Kogan, L. & Erdman, P. (Eds.). Pet Loss, Grief, and Therapeutic Interventions: Practitioners Navigating the Human–Animal Bond (pp. 35-54)New York: Routledge Publishing. ISBN 978-1-138-58557-7.
  • Piper, L.J., & Uttley, C.M. (2019). College Students and Their Pets. In Kogan, L., & Blazina, C. (Eds.). Pets, People and Psychotherapy: Best practices for common human-animal interaction clinical scenarios (pp. 47-75). London, United Kingdom: Elsevier Publishing. ISBN 978-0-12-812962-3.
  • Uttley, C.M. (2015). There is a Rat in my Classroom! How exposure to rats may increase empathy in college students. In Blanco, C. & Deering, B. (Eds.). Who’s Talking Now? Multispecies Relations from Human and Animals’ Point of View (pp. 131-138). Inter-Disciplinary.netISBN 978-1-84888-376-5.
  • Cournoyer, G.P., & Uttley, C.M. (2014). Human-Animal Bond: Trauma victims help each other heal. Hope Matters: The Power of Pet Assisted Therapy in Social Work Settings (pp. 113-118). Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers. ISBN 978-0-87101-454-2
  • Cournoyer, G.P. & Uttley, C.M. (Summer, 2012). Pet Assisted Therapy and the Traumatized Child. National Association of Social Workers. Children, Youth, and Adolescent Specialty Section, 8-9
  • Uttley, C.M. (April 2009). From Graduate Student to Faculty Member: A Student-focused Approach. Teachers’ Corner. Developments: Newsletter of the Society for Research in Child Development
  • Uttley, C.M. & Horm, D.M. (2008). Mentoring in Early Childhood Professional Development: Evaluation of the Rhode Island Child Development Specialist Apprenticeship Program. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 29, 237-252
  • Cournoyer, G.P. & Uttley, C.M. (2008). Cisco’s Kids: A behavior intervention program. In M.T. Loring, R.A. Geffner, & J. Marsh (Eds.), Animal Abuse and Family Violence: Linkages, Research, and Implications for Professional Practice. San Diego, CA: Haworth Press. ISBN: 978-0-7890-3819-7
  • Cournoyer, G.P. & Uttley, C.M. (2007). Cisco’s Kids: A behavior intervention program. Journal of Emotional Abuse. 7(3), 117-126

Associations, Boards, and Committees

  • American Psychological Association
  • International Society of Anthrozoology
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Northeastern Educational Research Association

Courses Currently Taught

  • ED 5000 Social Behavior in a Diverse Society
  • ED 5030 Research Design
  • ED 5140 Educational Assessment: Practices and Principles
  • ED 6900 Graduate Capstone