Employee Information

Barb Houle

Barb Houle

Barb Houle

About Barb

It is my honor to be a part of the educational journey of the students! I greatly enjoy teaching psychology and sharing in the students' successes. One aspect that I especially appreciate and convey to students is that psychology is all around us. For example, I tell students that Developmental Psychology is the story of us--we are all somewhere in the lifespan! A part of learning psychology is the ability to apply psychological concepts in everyday life to create a better understanding of human nature. My own personal topic of interest is volunteerism and this theme has run through different areas of my life--from being a volunteer in the Peace Corps, to researching motives for volunteering, and finally, initiating the Read to Recovery program

Phone: 507-433-0584
E-mail: Barb.Houle@riverland.edu
Department: Psychology
Job Title: Faculty

Area(s) of Expertise

Throughout my years as a Psychology instructor, I have taught a variety of courses utilizing different learning formats--classroom, hybrid, online, and field experience. These courses include: General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Stress Management, and Psychology of Community Engagement--Field Experience.


  • Northern Illinois University, Ph.D. 2001 (Social Psychology)
    Dissertation Topic: The Functional Approach to Volunteerism: An Investigation of Motives, Choice, and Task Framing

  • University of Northern Iowa, M.A. 1995 (Experimental Psychology)
    Thesis Topic: The Effects of Self-Care Information on Intentions to Engage in Preventive Health Behaviors of Healthy and Ill College Students

  • College of Saint Benedict, B.S. 1985 (Natural Science)

  • Mental Health First Aid USA

Professional Associations

  • American Psychological Association

  • Midwestern Psychological Association

Volunteer and Community Service Activities

  • Friends of the Austin Library

  • Friends of the Hormel Nature Center

Awards and Honors

  • April 2022 - Notable Women of Austin - Austin Daily Herald

  • 2020 - College of Saint Benedict Benedictine Service Award Nominee

  • May 2015 - College of Saint Benedict Notable Alumni Award Recipient, (click here to read about receipt of award)

  • Quality Matters Online Certified Courses--General Psychology (2012) and Developmental Psychology (2013)

  • December 1987 - United States Peace Corps Volunteer Completion of Service Award,

Student Instructional Activities

Psychology of Community Engagement--Field Experience Course

I developed this course to provide students with an opportunity to experience community engagement work under the supervision of experienced workers. The goal is for students to learn to apply psychological concepts and theories in the context of community service projects, be better prepared for future service opportunities, and gain a lifelong appreciation for civic engagement.

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