Jim Coan headshot
Professor of Psychology

For years I've been interested in pushing the boundaries of my teaching, in structure, content and engagement with students. When I learned of the New Curriculum, my first thought was "this is exactly what I've been hoping for." This is because I feel passionate about my work, my field, and the transformative power of scientific knowledge, and I want to explore new ways to share that passion with young people. Every day, by virtue of the work that I do at UVA, I get to experience real awe and wonder--the beauty of learning about how our social relationships shape and support our brains and bodies, and what that knowledge suggests about our origin and future as a species. The knowledge created in my lab and in labs throughout the world has also instilled in me a desire to engage with my broader community--which is part of why I've been involved in things like television programs, podcasting, and UVA's Center for Media and Citizenship. It is a privilege to add teaching for the New Curriculum to that list.

I am Professor of Psychology and Director of the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Virginia. I consult for clinicians, businesses and researchers, working with groups as diverse as the Oregon Social Learning Center, the Anna Freud Center, the Kurt Lewin Institute, and the Community of Democracies. I am the co-editor of the Handbook of Emotion Elicitation and Assessment and have authored more than eighty peer-reviewed articles. My work has been covered in Science, Nature, and the New York Times, among other media outlets. I've also appeared as an expert for the National Geographic show Brain Games. In addition to being a professor at UVA, I'm a fellow of the Mind and Life Institute, produce the podcast Circle of Willis, and serve as Chief Scientific Advisor at Movius Consulting.

Things I Do: 
Faculty Co-Director for the College Fellows