Trisha Folds-Bennett


Special Advisor to the Chancellor
Professor of Psychology

Trisha Folds-Bennett is a Special Advisor to the Chancellor and professor of Psychology.  Prior to coming to UVA Wise, she served as Dean of the Honors College at the College of Charleston for 7 years. As Dean, she oversaw all operations of the 750-student Honors College, including admissions, curriculum, student and faculty development, assessment, budget and staff management, and fundraising. From June 2006 to January 2013, she served as Associate Dean of the Honors College. In that role, she established the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, as well as a scholarship program aimed at recruiting and engaging high achieving students at the College of Charleston. She took a brief hiatus from her academic career from January 2004 through June 2006 to serve as Director of Programs, Products, and Services at Darkness to Light, a nonprofit organization focused on the prevention of child sexual abuse. While there, she oversaw the development and implementation of a sexual abuse prevention curriculum that is now used internationally. Before her time at Darkness to Light, she had a 14-year career as a faculty member in the College of Charleston Psychology Department. During that time, she was elected to be Speaker of the Faculty, the first female in the history of the College of Charleston to serve in that role.

Folds-Bennett earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from Wake Forest University and her doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her disciplinary research focuses on the factors that contribute to cognitive and moral development in childhood and adolescence, and she has published several articles and book chapters in the area including a 2021 chapter in a book on memory development with Cambridge University Press. In her role as dean, she wrote several articles and gave presentations and workshops on the importance of reflective and experiential learning in student success, and is co-author of a monograph in progress focused on the First-Year Experience.

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