Chelsea is a doctoral candidate who teaches statistics, research methods, and social psychology courses here at the University of Georgia. An experimentalist and affect control theorist, she utilizes a social psychological framework to approach her main focal areas of emotion, relationship, and culturally-based communication. Her dissertation research—funded through the Army Research Office as a component of the Measures of Emotion grant—computationally and longitudinally explores emotion signals' effects on future behaviors and mental health (testing a formal means of predicting interconnected behavior, identity, and relationship changes over time using discrepancy between current felt and expected emotions within structured social relationships as predictor). She is heavily involved with several ongoing projects in the Laboratory for the Study of Social Interaction; other current projects include a vignette study testing a framing theory of interpersonal communication, a semantic network analysis project on emergent relationship classification labels within hookup culture, and a group of studies (with Dawn Robinson and Lynn Smith-Lovin) on cross-cultural variations in social expectations.
Commitment to her active research agenda notwithstanding, Chelsea's primary love is teaching. A dedicated teacher-scholar, her novel activities and passion in the classroom consistently earn her excellent student, peer, and faculty evaluations. In her own words, "I thrive on getting others to see the magic in the complexity and ingenuity of human beings in process."