Biographical Statement

Gary Felsten is associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC). He previously served as head of the Division of Science at IUPUC and as director of its psychology program. Dr. Felsten is trained as a psychobiologist.


  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Cornell University
  • Master of Science and Ph.D. in Psychology from Purdue University

Professional Activities

  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Stress and Anxiety Research Society
  • International Association for People-Environment Studies

Courses Taught

  • PSY-B 105& Psychology as a Biological Science
  • PSY-B 311& Introductory Laboratory in Psychology
  • PSY-B 320& Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSY-B 334& Perception
  • PSY-B 365& Stress and Health
  • PSY-B 394& Drugs and Behavior
  • PSY-B 497& Capstone Individual Research

Administrative & Service Responsibilities

As associate dean for academic affairs, Dr. Felsten oversees academic programs, student success, and faculty advancement at IUPUC. He previously served as head of the Division of Science and director of the university's psychology program.  He has served on many campus and university committees, including chair of the Columbus Academic Council, which was the precursor to what is now IUPUC's Faculty Senate.

Research Activities

Professor Felsten's research focused for many years on sensory coding in the visual system and neural control of the cardiovascular system. More recently, he has studied relationships between stress, personality factors, coping, and physical and psychological well-being. In particular, he has studied links between hostility and cardiovascular and affective responses to stress, stress reactivity as a predictor of depression, and gender differences and similarities in coping. Currently, he investigates environments that promote stress recovery and attention restoration.

Awards & Activities

  • Teaching Excellence Recognition Award from the Trustees of Indiana University; 1997, 2000
  • Trustees Teaching Award from the Trustees of Indiana University; 2001, 2008
  • Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award, 2003
  • C. W. Coons Distinguished Service Award, 2004


  • Felsten, G. (2014).  Personality predicts perceived potential for attention restoration of natural and urban scenes. Psyecology: Revista Bilingüe de Psicologia Ambiental / Bilingual Journal of Environmental Psychology, 5, 37–57.
  • Felsten, G. (2009). Where to take a study break on the college campus:  An attention restoration theory perspective. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29, 160-167.
  • Felsten, G. (2004). Stress reactivity and vulnerability to depressed mood in college students.  Personality and Individual Differences, 36, 789-800.
  • Blobecker, A. R., Cheng, Z., Felsten, G., Kong, K-L., Lim, C. C. M., Nisly-Nagele, S. J., Wang-Bennett, L. T., & Wasserman, G. S. (2002).  Two asymmetries governing neural and mental timing.  Consciousness and Cognition, 11, 265-272.
  • Felsten, G. (2002).  Minor stressors and depressed mood:  Reactivity is more strongly correlated than total stress, Stress and Health, 18, 75-81.
  • Felsten, G. & Hill, V. (1999).  Aggression Questionnaire hostility scale predicts anger in response to mistreatment, Behaviour Reserach and Therapy, 37, 87-97.
  • Felsten, G. (1998).  Gender and coping:  Use of distinct strategies and associations with stress and depression.  Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 11, 289-309.
  • Felsten, G. (1998).  Propagation of action potentials:  An active participation exercise.  Teaching of Psychology, 25, 109-111.
  • Felsten, G. & Leitten, C. L. (1996).  Gender of opponent and Type A competitiveness predict cardiovascular responses during competition.  Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 11, 79-96.
  • Felsten, G. (1996).  Five-factor analysis of Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory neurotic hostility and expressive hostility factors:  Implications for health psychology.  Journal of Personality Assessment, 67, 179-194.
  • Felsten, G. (1996)  Cardiovascular reactivity during a cognitive task with anger provocation:  Partial support for a cynical hostility-anger-reactivity link.  Journal of Psychophysiology, 10, 97-107.
  • Felsten, G. (1996).  Hostility, stress and symptoms of depression.  Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 461-467.

Civic Engagement

Dr. Felsten serves on the Board of Directors of the Columbus Regional Hospital Foundation, the Healthy Communities Council, and the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives (CIAA). He co-chaired the CIAA Symposium Committee responsible for hosting a three-day symposium in October 2007 titled "Preserving the Past, Educating the Present, Planning the Future" in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Institute of Architects' Indiana and Kentucky chapters. He has presented numerous talks on stress and changes in the brain with aging in the community and at the annual Columbus Indiana Elderhostel.