A. Celeste Gaia

Professor of Psychology & Department Chair Psychology

Dr. Gaia is an experimental social psychologist with primary research interests in interpersonal relationships, gender, and culture. Recent research has examined the predictors of attitudes toward transgender individuals and how short-term study abroad programs may help in the development of global citizenship. 

Since 2007, Dr. Gaia has served as the Director of International Education, a position in which she promotes global awareness both on and off campus. She assists students and faculty in academic experiences that allow them to study throughout the world and also serves as the campus liaison & PDSO for international students. She believes that global citizenship education and cultural exchange are essential to peaceful human relations and fundamental human rights.

Dr. Gaia teaches an Emory & Henry Abroad course where students study the social psychology of the Holocaust and psychological factors involved in understanding countries in transition while in Prague, Czech Republic; Krakow and Warsaw, Poland.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaia


  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
    Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, 1997
    M.A., Experimental Psychology, 1995
  • Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN
    B.A. Psychology, Minor: French, 1991


Courses Taught: Introduction to Psychology as a Social Science, Social Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology (Study Abroad in Czech Republic and Poland), Child Development, Lifespan Development, Research Design, Seminar in Interpersonal Relationships, Sex & Gender, Statistics for the Health & Behavioral Sciences.


Recent Publications:
  • Gaia, A. C. & Leite, M. (2019). International education in the 21st century: Lessons learned from 9/11 and cautious hope for the future. In M. Finney & M. Shannon (Eds.), 9/11 and the Academy: Responses in the Liberal Arts and the 21st-century world (pp. 275-309). Palgrave McMillan.

  • Greenburg, J. & Gaia, A. C. (2019). Stereotype acceptance, gender role beliefs, interpersonal contact, religiosity, and causal attribution as predictors of attitudes toward transgender individuals. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 24. 19-32.

  • Leite, M., & Gaia, A. C. (2017). Cross-culture outcomes of a Brazilian professor Fulbright in the USA (English)/Resultados interculturaisde um professor brasileiro Fulbright nos EUA (Portuguese). Revista de Educação do Cogeime, 26 (50), 105-113.

  • Gaia, A. C. (2015). Short-term faculty-led study abroad programs enhance cultural exchange and self-awareness. International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 14 (1), 21-31.

Recent Presentations:
  • *Dollmont, T. & Gaia, A. C. (2024, April). Student, Faculty & Staff Perceptions and Utilization of Title IX Services. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.
  • *Bowman, A. & Gaia, A. C. (2023, April). A Qualitative Study of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adults with Disabilities. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.
  • *Welch, M. & Gaia, A. C. (2023, April). Political Affiliation, Mental Health Education, and Interpersonal Contact as Predictors of Attitudes Toward Mental Health and Seeking Psychological Help. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.
  • Gaia, A.C., Shannon, M., Leite, M., & Arnold, D. (2017, September). Bringing Global Home: Technology Bridges the U.S. and Brazil in Core Curriculum and Teacher Preparation. Interactive poster presentation at the annual meeting of the European Association of International Educators, Seville, Spain.
  • Gaia, A. C. & Shannon, M. (2016, October). Using high-impact learning practices as bookends of global citizenship education. Paper presentation at the AAC&U Global Learning and the College Curriculum: Nurturing Student Efficacy in a Global World, Denver, CO. 

*Denotes student co-author

Professional Experience

  • Chair, Department of Psychology, Emory & Henry College, January 2006-present
  • Director, Office of International Education, Emory & Henry College, August 2007-present
  • Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) administered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 2012- present
  • Director, General Education Program, Emory & Henry College, January 2006- August 2007

Contact Info

McGlothin-Street Hall, Room 120
Emory, VA 24327



McGlothlin-Street Hall