Jeanette Altarriba

Interim Dean, Professor of Psychology and Collins Fellow, Founder and Director of The Cognition and Language Laboratory.

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Jeanette Altarriba

Interim Dean
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

psychology of language, psycholinguistics, second language acquisition, bilingualism, knowledge representation, eye movements and reading, concept and category formation, cognition and emotion, cross-cultural psychology, false and autobiographical memory within and between languages, survival processing, interaction between language, memory, and perception

Campus phone: (518) 442-4651
Campus email:


Dr. Jeanette Altarriba holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University and masters and doctoral degrees in cognitive psychology from Vanderbilt University. Following a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she joined the University at Albany in 1992, as an assistant professor of psychology. She was subsequently jointly appointed to the department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies and the program in linguistics and cognitive science.

Dr. Altarriba was promoted to full professor in 2004. She is an internationally recognized scholar and an outstanding teacher and mentor. Her research has advanced the areas of bilingualism, memory, and emotion, and she has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles in her field. Countless students have benefited from her guidance and support in the classroom, in the laboratory, on the job market, and beyond. As she recently remarked, “I can think of no more important, gratifying, or humbling experience than to see students grow, and learn, and develop a sense of self-confidence and achievement.”

Dr. Altarriba’s professional achievements in research and teaching are particularly remarkable given her extensive service profile and contributions to the institution. In addition to serving on numerous University councils and committees, she has served in major leadership roles as Chair of Psychology, Chair of Communication, Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, and since 2019, Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Undergraduate advisement, living learning communities, the Writing and Critical Inquiry Program, and the Honors College have all grown and flourished under her stewardship. Her impact is reflected in the many recognitions she has received from student groups and in receiving both campus and SUNY awards for excellence in teaching and in faculty service.