Dr. Emily M. Sweitzer

Professor, Director of Liberal Studies / Program Coordinator Social Deviance

Department of Humanities


Dr. Sweitzer is a nationally certified school psychologist, certified school psychologist in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and is certified as a K-12 principal in West Virginia. She has been employed as a family therapist, school psychologist and assistant principal prior to coming to PennWest California.


She has completed a post-baccalaureate certificate in forensic science and law from Duquesne University. She is a graduate of Violent Behavior 1, a specialized and invited training offered by former and retired members of the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI. She is also the director of Liberal Studies and Global On-line and Program Coordinator for Social Deviance.


Dr. Sweitzer has appeared on WPIX-TV's "Target 11 Investigates: School Safety Reports," in various newspapers and online publications and webinars relating to social profiling and social/psychological dynamics. She also is a consultant for hit TV shows including "Dopesick," "Messiah," "Lucifer," "Rosewood," "The Blacklist," "Bones," "CSI," and "Notorious.”


  • 2007: Awarded the Presidential Faculty Award for Teaching.
  • 2011: Awarded the California University Alumni Pavlak/Shutsy Special Service Award
  • 2008/2012: Selected for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Women's Leadership Conference (College of Liberal Arts representative
  • 2018: Awarded the TRIO Faculty Appreciation Award. 
  • 2019: Awarded the CB Wilson Distinguished Faculty Award


  • Principles of Sociology
  • Sociology of Crime
  • Social Deviance
  • Sociology of Technology
  • Society and the Sociopath
  • Child Abuse and Neglect: A Societal Perspective
  • Sociology of Addition, Excess, and Exploitation
  • Structural and Institutional Violence: School, workplace and eldercare
  • Seminar in Liberal Studies


  • Author of Developing Social Interest in Conduct Disordered Adolescents: An Adlerian Approach
  • Author in National Student Assistance Journal
  • Articles in the Journal of Individual Psychology,and the Journal of Law, Ethics, and Intellectual Property
  • Co-author articles in American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Book chapter: Adolescent vocational choice: An Adlerian Perspective.Career Development in the Schools (185-204).Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing
  • Book Chapter: Sweitzer, E.M. (2019). Creating Career Narratives II: Contextualizing Adolescent Career Development and Constructivist Career Counseling. In Counseling for Community, Schools, Higher Education, and Beyond (2nd Edition)
  • Sweitzer, E.M. (2019). Pre- and Post-Secondary Career Selection: A Process for Mentorship and Identity Development. In Counseling for Community, Schools, Higher Education, and Beyond (2nd Edition) 


  • Psychological and Socio-Cultural Consultant for TV Programming Series:  "Dopesick," "Messiah," "Lucifer," "Rosewood," "The Blacklist," "Bones," "CSI," and "Notorious
  • Train the trainer consultant for Cops and Kids, affiliated with the Fred Rogers Company

Research Interests

  • Conduct disorder
  • Violence prevention
  • Behavioral Analysis
  • Instructional design/Problem-based learning
  • Mental health ethics
  • Parent-child behavioral and relationship issues

Student Research Projects

  • Walk in My Shoes: Student-decorated shoes for Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Class Freedom Quilt: Benefiting St. Jude Cancer Foundation
  • Friendship "Crows": Project demonstrated value of friendship and benefited the Susan G. Komen Foundation
  • Undergraduate Thesis Adviser: "Crime and Women" and "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder"
  • Undergraduate Honors Thesis Committee Samples: "The Pedophile”, "Perspective of a Sexual Serial Killer: the Social Perceptions between Power-Reassurance and Anger Retaliatory Serial Killers", "Commanding Without Conscience: Determining the Frequency of Sociopathic Presidents’ Elections" , Crime and Women" and "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" and “The Practica Applicability of Enforcing Human Rights Laws in the Area of Human Trafficking”
  • Graduate Thesis Committee: "Social Emotional Development in Adolescents" and "Art Therapy and Special Needs"

Community Service

  • Advisory and editorial board member for the Scientific International Journal
  • Academic Affairs PASSHE/APSCUF PennWest California representative
  • B.A.: Psychology, PennWest California
  • M.S.: School Psychology, PennWest California
  • Certification in School Psychology: PennWest California
  • Ed.D.: Educational Psychology, West Virginia University
  • Certification: 39 credits beyond doctorate: K-12 Administrator, West Virginia University

Email: sweitzer@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-4438

Office: Manderino Library Room 450