Serge Onyper

Associate Dean of Advising for Academic Programs Academic Advising

Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology
Syracuse University (2007)

Associate Dean of Academic Advising

I had a unique experience in college – as a junior, I enrolled in a psychology course that placed students at internship sites in the local community. I ended up at a residential rehabilitation facility for adults suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI), and saw firsthand the cognitive outcomes of TBI – amnesia, deficits in reasoning and decision-making abilities, emotional problems. Until then I had at best a very vague notion that I wanted to study psychology, but did not know what area of psychology was for me. After working with TBI individuals for almost two years, I made my decision – I wanted to learn more about the human mind, about its capabilities and limitations.

I received a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Syracuse University in 2007. I came to St. Lawrence in August 2007 because of my love of teaching and my passion for research, and St. Lawrence was the perfect place to combine the two. Soon after, however, I realized that what I treasure most is being able to work closely with talented, motivated students – who are the rule at St. Lawrence, rather than the exception. Since my arrival, I have enjoyed teaching classes with laboratory components that present opportunities for small group discussions with a few students at a time or one-on-one work, and I have an active research lab where students, my colleagues on the faculty, and I study topics that fascinate us. I love watching students learn and grow – as rational beings, aspiring scientists, or individuals – and teaching, advising, and working on research all allow me to do just that. As a cognitive psychologist, I study the invisible – thought processes, memories, emotions – but I have also done applied research that has examined the relationship between sleep, learning, emotions, and behavior.

I’ve come to believe that one of the best things student can do in college is try to get to know professors outside of the class, and to not be afraid to admit that you may not know what you’d like to do with your life (and even if you do, you might be surprised to learn that the opportunities open to you are countless). After all, we know what it’s like to be in your shoes, we’ve all been there, and we are here to help you make the best of your time at St. Lawrence and – if we can – nudge you in the direction of discovering where your true feelings lie.

In July 2023, I have been appointed Associate Dean of Advising for Academic Programs, a position where working with students as advisor and mentor is an integral part of the job. Please stop by Fox Hall to meet me and my wonderful colleagues in the Offices of Advising!

Contact Information

Office Hours

Students may schedule a meeting through Starfish.