Jeanette Altarriba

Jeanette Altarriba

Dean of College of Arts and Sciences; Professor
Department of Psychology
Department of Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Africana, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies
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Arts & Sciences 217D
Jeanette Altarriba

Dr. Jeanette Altarriba is a Professor of Psychology and a University at Albany Collins Fellow. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Florida International University (1986), her master's degree (1988), and her PhD (1990) in Cognitive Psychology from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Her postdoctoral research training under the tutelage of Dr. Keith Rayner was completed at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1990-1992).

Dr. Altarriba joined the University at Albany's Department of Psychology in 1992. Since then, she has held a number of key positions at UAlbany including Chair of Communication, Chair of Psychology, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences, and most recently, Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education. In her latter role, she founded the University's Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (CURCE) and led a leadership team overseeing many undergraduate programs focused on student success. Dr. Altarriba also served as campus Co-Chair for the Accreditation Self-Study and Review, as per the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

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 80 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." Her impact is reflected in the many recognitions she has received from student groups and in receiving both campus excellence and SUNY Chancellor's awards for excellence in teaching and in faculty service.


My research program can be broadly categorized into two main areas: (a) bilingual language processing, and (b) the representation of emotion and emotion concepts. In general, my program of research is directed toward uncovering the ways in which bilingual speakers learn, store, and use language information. The thrust of my research program in bilingual memory can be summarized under two main aims: (1) the application of bilingual paradigms in solving issues of general language processing, and (2) the investigation of the structure and function of bilingual memory.

  • Language Representation (monolingual and bilingual speakers)
  • Bilingualism (language abilities; aspects of language and culture)
  • Language Use in Applied Settings
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Cognition and Emotion
  • Cognition and Culture