Photo of campus building in Fall.

Lasting Lessons

Montclair State graduates remember favorite professors who were teachers and mentors, and whose wisdom has stayed with them throughout the years.

Debra Zellner

Professor Emerita, Psychology

Professor Emerita Debra Zellner, who retired in 2019 after 18 years at Montclair, was renowned as a teacher and a caring and supportive mentor to her students. “If it wasn’t for Dr. Zellner I don’t know if I would be where I am today as a doctoral student,” says Veronica Schneider ’17. “Working with her was one of the most impactful things I’ve done for myself and my future.”

Zellner was well known for involving students in her work, giving them hands-on experience and boosting their confidence.

“Dr. Zellner believed in me, even when I doubted myself,” recalls Nancy Greene ’14. “She has always fostered an inclusive environment, even during her tenure as president of the Eastern Psychological Association, ensuring all lab members participated in conference events.”

Melissa Dolese ’03, ’06 MA, a professor at the University of Alaska, says “Dr. Zellner was my professor and research mentor. Her class on sensation and perception gave me foundational knowledge for my research, my teaching, and shaped my love for our sensory systems.”

For Elizabeth Cogan ’11, who switched her major to Psychology after taking an introductory class from Zellner, “Deb instilled knowledge and confidence in me that changed my life. As a first-generation college student, her mentorship meant the world to me.”