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Featured Faculty

Santiago Family

Rochelle Caroon-Santiago, PhD

  • Ph.D., Capella University
  • M.S., Lamar University
  • B.S., Northern Arizona University


I am privileged to be enjoying my 27th year of working in higher education; teaching is my passion. I was in the right place at the right time and was immediately hired as faculty at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, after completing my M. S.. I have been working in higher education ever since. I am honored to be part of the initial group of full-time faculty members hired in the School of Professional Studies. I became enamored with psychology during my years as an undergraduate student at Northern Arizona University. More specifically, sport and performance psychology, so I actively pursued graduate education that would help me fulfill my dream of becoming an educator, applied performance psychology researcher, and consultant. I have been fortunate to practice performance psychology in an applied setting as the team sports psychologist for the UIW National Champion Synchronized Swimming team for the last eleven years. My research interests focus on transitions, performance enhancement, confidence, and most recently, resilience.

I am originally from Minnesota, but New Mexico is where I spent my childhood. My husband Michael and I have two great sons, Dallas, and Tyler, who recently graduated from UIW. We also have a rescue Great Dane named Dani. My hobbies include running (I have completed seven marathons, including Boston), skiing, scuba diving, reading, and travel with the family when time permits. I am also an avid football (Minnesota Vikings) and soccer (Barcelona/Manchester United) fan.

Dr. Caroon-Santiago and husband

Currently Teaching

  • PSYC 3380 - Applied Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
  • PSYC 43CS - Capstone in Psychology
  • PSYC 4332 - Theories of Psychotherapy

I also enjoy teaching courses in motivation, developmental psychology, personality, and diversity.

Q and A

  1. Have you always had a passion for teaching? Why did you decide to become an educator?
    I have always had a passion for teaching; educators make a positive difference in the world. It is my philosophy to focus on the learner in a holistic sense, providing support, academic challenges and encouragement to advance them toward achieving both intellectual and life goals. 
  2. What is one of your most memorable moments in the classroom?
    I was teaching a face-to-face class one night when one of our alumni paid an unexpected visit and proceeded to share with me and everyone in the class how well we had prepared him for graduate school. He believed he was more prepared than most of his peers, and the entire class broke into spontaneous applause. He stayed with us for a little while and answered all the questions current students posed to him. It made me enormously proud of UIW, the School of Professional Studies, and our dedicated students.
  3. If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?
    If I could pass on any wisdom to my students, it is never giving up on their goals, be patient, and be persistent because there is always time to become the best version of themselves.
  4. Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?
    This is easy, I have two:
    “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” - Albert Einstein
    “Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela
  5. What is your favorite book?
    Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
  6. What is one thing you would like students to know about you?
    I consider myself a success when my students experience success.