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Sharing HERstory: Professor Leah Warner

Professor Leah Warner

This is the second installment in a series featuring women who inspire at Ramapo College during Women’s History Month 

By Victoria Vuz ‘24

As Women’s History Month continues, we spotlight exceptional women whose dedication and methods have left an incredible mark on their fields. Among these women shines Professor Leah Warner, a distinguished psychology professor whose passion for teaching and unparalleled ability to simplify complex concepts have captivated students at Ramapo College.

Professor Warner’s unique approach to education transcends traditional boundaries, making difficult topics accessible and engaging for her students. With a career spanning almost two decades at Ramapo College, she has earned a reputation as a transformative force in the realm of psychology education, igniting a passion for learning and critical thinking in each of her students through courses such as Social Psychology, Psychology of Gender, and Social Justice. 

“As soon as people become my students, I immediately feel such a strong connection and care for them on a different level because I want them all to succeed,” Professor Warner remarked. “My goal is to have challenging goals for them and give them the tools to get there under my care and responsibility.”

In her classroom, Dr. Warner employs a dynamic blend of interactive exercises, and real-world examples to elucidate intricate topics. By using slides, videos, and worksheets, she makes difficult course material easier to understand in the hopes that “topics we discuss makes learning infectious for students.” Her commitment to clarity and comprehension ensures that even the most challenging topics become digestible and relatable to her diverse group of learners.

Central to Dr. Warner’s teaching philosophy is the belief that students learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process. By encouraging lively discussions and inviting students to share their perspectives and experiences, she creates a collaborative learning environment where every voice is heard and valued.

“Professor Warner has a gift for breaking down complex theories into bite-sized pieces that are easy to understand,” remarked Bella LaMonica, a sophmore psychology major. “Her enthusiasm for the subject is contagious, and her approachability encourages us to ask questions and delve deeper into the material.”

Professor Warner’s impact extends far beyond the confines of her classroom. She fosters a supportive learning environment where students feel empowered to explore their intellectual curiosity and engage in meaningful discussion. Her dedication to student success is evident in the time she devotes to mentoring and guiding her students both academically and personally.

“There is a concept in social psychology called safety cues, which employs different signals through behavior that demonstrates that you have a care and understanding of various people of different backgrounds,” Professor Warner noted, adding, “These signals show you care for students. I try to emphasize to different communities of students that I am someone you can reach out to.”

In addition to her role as an educator, Professor Warner is a respected published author whose work delves into the difficulties and potential of integrating intersectionality into psychological research. Furthermore, her research aims to connect the topics of psychology and feminist, anti-racist and postcolonial critiques of science as well as discussing the teaching strategies of engaging in difficult topics. Her multifaceted teaching addresses disputable societal issues, engaging with students to acknowledge social inequity through discussion, methods of social science, and also activism. 

“Professor Warner not only teaches us psychology; she instills in us a sense of confidence and curiosity that extends beyond the classroom,” reflects Sara Akinson, a sophomore psychology major. “Her ability to connect with students on a personal level creates a sense of community and belonging that is truly transformative.”

As Women’s History Month unfolds, Professor Warner stands as a beacon of inspiration, embodying the spirit of empowerment and resilience that defines this commemorative month. Her unwavering commitment to her students and her ability to make complex topics accessible to all underscore the profound impact women continue to have in academia and beyond.

In celebrating Professor Warner’s contributions, we honor not only her individual achievements but also pay homage to the countless women who have paved the way for progress and innovation in their respective fields. As we look to the future, Professor Warner’s contributions to Ramapo College serve as a testament to the transformative power of education and the enduring spirit of female excellence.

Celebrate Women’s History Month on campus! 

Wednesday, March 13, 6:00 p.m., Alumni Lounges (SC 156-158): Women in the Workplace Panel 

Thursday, March 28, 8:00 p.m., Adler Black Box Theatre: Vagina Monologues 

Thursday, March 28,  3:30 – 5:00 p.m., Friends Hall: Women’s HERstory Month Garden Party 

For further details about these events, please visit the Women’s Center located in Room C-220 or contact