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Wanda Ruffin

Wanda Ruffin

Associate Professor of Psychology and Thanatology

Tel: 301-696-3761
Office: Rosenstock Hall, Room 22
Office hours: By appointment


  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
  • M.S.W., University of Pittsburgh
  • B.S., Mississippi Valley State University

Courses taught

  • PSY 203: Survey of Clinical Community & Counseling Psychology
  • PSY 206: Psychology of Women
  • PSY 208: Adolescent Psychology
  • PSY 239: Developmental Psychology
  • PSY 500: Human Development as a Lifelong Process
  • HON 202: Sophomore Practicum
  • AF/PY 270: African American Perspectives in Psychology
  • THAN 527: African American Perspectives in Thanatology


With a strong background in minority student development and family counseling, Professor Wanda Ruffin specializes as a clinician in addiction, family and marital therapy, and adolescent issues. Her research interests include funeral and death rituals within the African American community, in particular the New Orleans Jazz Funeral. Her current research involves interviewing resilient African Americans 85 and older in order to understand psychological factors that contribute to successful aging.

Areas of expertise

Cultural death rituals, developmental psychology, family therapy and adolescent concerns, addictions and prevention


National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology Outstanding Teaching Award for research on the New Orleans Jazz Funeral Hood College Board of Associates McCardell Professional Development Grant, Summer Research Institute Grant Service Learning Faculty Award presented by Maryland-DC Campus Compact