Dr. Tracy Henley
Professor and Head, Department of Psychology, Counseling & Special Education
Dr. Tracy Henley was “born and raised” in East Tennessee (indeed, in the same town as ET’s most famous alum – Sam Rayburn). He first attended Ole Miss as, you guessed it, a physics major... He switched to philosophy which he continued through his Masters work, before “seeing the light” and earning his PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Henley has taught at the University level for 25 years, both at Tennessee and Mississippi State (where he spent most of his career) before his arrival as Department Head at Texas A & M University - Commerce. He also did an extended sabbatical with a computer software firm (2001-2) as a follow-up to NSF and DoE funded projects that involved using games to teach kids math.
His empirical work has been mostly in the area of cognitive science, broadly defined. He has co-authored several books in the area of history and theory, including Reflections on The Principles of Psychology: William James after a Century, LEA, 1990, The Phenomenology of Everyday Life, Cambridge University Press, 1997, and Connections in the History and Systems of Psychology, Houghton Mifflin, which appeared in a 3rd edition in 2005. He has another history text in progress with Cengage Wadsworth that should appear in late 2012. Additionally, he has over 60 peer-reviewed publications and has been PI or Co-PI on over 2.25 million dollars of grant work– mostly from NSF.
Much of Tracy’s current work (funded by NSF) involves exploring the limits of games and other virtual environments for training. Other active interests include theory of mind in adults, and his first love – cognitive linguistics in real-world contexts. Truth be told, he’s becoming more eclectic in his dotage.
Service wise – Tracy was an IRB Chair for about 18 years, between here and Mississippi State, and is currently the President-Elect of the Southwestern Psychological Association.
Dr. Henley is married to Dr. Lani Lyman-Henley, a reptile ethologist, and they have one son (who is currently learning to drive – what joy). Beyond his life as an academic, Tracy cooks, designs games, and plays golf miserably.