Heather Harden Mangelsdorf is a Lecturer in Psychology at Elmhurst College. She received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Chicago in 2018. She studies how movement and mindfulness affect social-emotional and cognitive functioning in educational and artistic contexts

Heather got her start in cognitive psychology at Haverford College, where she earned her B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Dance from nearby Bryn Mawr College. She worked as a research assistant with Marilyn Boltz and completed a senior thesis on how movement and music convey emotion in dance performances.

After graduating from Haverford, Heather become a full-time research assistant at the University of Chicago, working with Susan Goldin-Meadow and Susan Levine on a longitudinal study of language development. Here, Heather investigated the development of gesture and higher-order thinking skills throughout childhood. Heather also worked with Howard Nusbaum and Berthold Hoeckner on a project examining the influence of mental and somatic practices on the development of wisdom. 

Heather stayed at the University of Chicago for graduate school and completed her masters degree in 2015, which investigated changes in children's speech and gestures over the process of learning a new mathematical concept. Her dissertation was on how autonomic nervous system activity can reveal insights about gesture and learning. She also spent a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology at North Central College in Naperville, IL.

Please explore this site to learn all about Heather's teaching, research, and other interests!