Professor Emerita, Psychology

Eugenia Gerdes

Contact Information


B.S. Denison University
Ph.D. Duke University

Read Professor Gerdes' faculty profile in Bucknell Magazine.


I joined the Psychology Department in 1974 and taught social psychology and psychology of women until 1988 when I moved to the Dean’s Office. My research interests have been in the areas of stress and stereotypical biases, especially as they apply to women in traditionally male work roles. Over my 18 years as Dean, these interests focused on women in higher education and expanded to include other higher education topics as well. At the end of the 2005-06 Academic Year, I stepped down as dean and became Dean Emerita and Professor of Psychology. In August 2006, I was able to pursue my interest in China by accompanying the Bucknell Dance Company to the “Ode to Peace” Festival in Penglai , China and speaking at the UNESCO-sponsored forum on “Quality Education for Youth and Sustainable Development.” I will continue to apply my background in social psychology to issues in higher education, both in my scholarship and in my teaching.


  • What’s So Special about a Liberal Arts Education? [Foundation Seminar]
  • The Commodification of Higher Education [Capstone]

Recent Research

Gerdes, E. V. P., & Gerdes, E. P. (2007). Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin. Journal of Dance Education, 7, 30-31.

Gerdes, E. P. Achievements of Senior Academic Women. Paper presented at The Art of Gender in Everyday Life IV conference, Idaho State University , Pocatello , ID, April 5-6, 2007.

Gerdes, E. P. (Summer 2006). Women in higher education since 1970: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Advancing Women in Leadership Journal.

Gerdes, E. P. (September/ October 2004). Valuing Parents. Change, 2-5.

Gerdes, E. P. (Spring 2003). What price success? Senior academic women's stress and life choices. Advancing Women in Leadership Journal.

Gerdes, E. P. (2003). Do it your way: Advice from senior academic women. Innovative Higher Education, 27, 253-276.

Gerdes, E. P., Coombs, V. M., and Zdravkovich, V. The Centrality of Liberal Learning in the Undergraduate Curriculum. Paper presented at American Council of Academic Deans – Phi Beta Kappa Meeting, “Intellectual Leadership in the Liberal Arts,” Charleston , SC, October 2003.

Gerdes, E. P., & Keefe, R. The Finger in the Dike: How the Dean Can Protect the Curriculum. Paper presented at American Council of Academic Deans Annual Meeting, "The Courage to Question: The Dean's Role," Seattle, January 2003.

Gerdes, E. P., & Gerdes, J. L. Backing off and Backing up. Part I: Backing off. Part II: Providing Back Up. Distributed as ParentLine supplement, Wesleyan University, Homecoming/ Family Weekend, October 2002. Condensed version published in Wesleyan

University ParentLine and InSights: A Newsletter for Bucknell Parents, fall-winter 2002.

Gerdes, E. P. (Summer 2002). Disciplinary dangers. Liberal Education. 88 (3), 48-53.

Gerdes, E. P. (Winter 2002). Still stressful after al l these years? Studying women in the academy. On Campus with Women, 31 (2), 4, 16.

Gerdes, E. P. (Spring 2001). Managing time in a liberal education: A parent’s perspective. Liberal Education, 87 (2), 52-57.

Gerdes, E. P. (1999). Women in higher education administration: How much progress? In AAUW and AAUW Educational Foundation (Eds.), Higher education in transition: The politics and practices of equity (Symposium Proceedings of AAUW’s June 17-19, 1999 College/University Symposium) (pp. 155-170). Washington, D. C.: AAUW.

Gerdes, E. P. (1999). Progress since 1970? Academic women’s perceptions of changes. In D. Calhoun-French (Ed.), Proceedings of the 12th annual conference--Women in higher education (pp. 58-67). Washington, D. C.: National Association for Women in Education.

Gerdes, E. P. (Spring 1998). Remembering the Contemplative Life. Liberal Education, 84 (2), 58-62.

Gerdes, E. P. (1995). Vulnerability of women preparing for traditionally male professions: Physical and psychological symptoms associated with work and home stress. Sex Roles, 32, 787-807.

Gerdes, E. P., & Guo Ping. (1994). Coping differences between college women and men in the United States and the People's Republic of China. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 120(2), 169-198.