As a media psychologist, Dr. Durnell offers analysis on the impact technology and media can have on human behavior. Her understanding and experience include all areas of business, healthcare, technology and education, which includes marketing and business communications, researching industry trends, collaborative learning, and ethics within the technology and business ecosystem. As an Assistant Professor of Practice teaching and advising graduate students, she focuses on the theoretical basis behind the complexities of media and technology and its influence on human behavior. Dr. Durnell has been teaching both synchronous and asynchronous formats to graduate students for the past five years on the topics of “Consumer Neuroscience,” “Foundations of Media Psychology” and the “Psychology of Technology.” Working with the newly formed World Health Organization’s (WHO) Digital Health Roster of Experts, Dr. Durnell is a subject matter expert on strategic approaches to address global digital health opportunities and investments. Dr. Durnell is also recognized for her technology-driven entrepreneurship and social change initiatives in Silicon Valley. At Apple Computer she managed channel communication strategies, sales development and the design and implementation of business marketing and promotions. Durnell has presented her research at Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, Amazon Lab126 and at technology (AWE) and psychology (APA) conferences. She consults with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) and Joint Staff. Dr. Durnell assesses options in the cognitive space, to promote educational and technology-driven solutions for warfighters and by training Psychological Operations (PO) operators.
- PhD Psychology, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara California
- MA Media Psychology and Social Change, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California
- BA, Communications, University of Washington Seattle, Washington
- What Do Others Think and How Do We Know What They Are Thinking? Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) Periodic Publication, March 21, 2018.
- The Role of VR/360° in Promoting Behavioral Change. Research presented at Harvard Medical School VR Healthcare Symposium, March 5, 2018.
- Emotional Reactions of Experiencing a Crisis in Virtual reality (VR)/360°. ProQuest Publishing, February 22, 2018.
- Viewing a Crisis in VR: A Different Approach to Behavioral Change.
- The Use of Virtual Reality (VR): A New Approach to Behavioral Change in Response to Medical Crises Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR).
- Marketing and Branding Communications
- Management & Organization
- Consumer Behavior
- Business Analytics
- Business Leadership & Human Values
Honors and distinctions
Awarded the Michael R. Neal Legacy Scholarship for demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, media innovation and collaboration with and support of fellow media scholars.
Impact and engagement
Durnell founded a consulting group, which provides a complete business team that executes strategies and operational tactics for strategic communications, market and entrepreneurial technology development and communications. For 20 years, Dr. Durnell has worked in a cross functional environment within the technology, business, media, and online educational space. Durnell understands the psychology behind human experience—moving from idea to application—and how we must go beyond the traditional approaches in order to gain critical insights necessary to address business communication priorities, education and social change. Broad-based capabilities include developing partnerships and networks, researching industry trends, marketing and business development and technology-driven solutions. Dr. Durnell has consulted with high tech companies as well as MedTech companies specializing in wearables, robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Dr. Durnell has founded two foundations and spearheaded several community partnerships with Stanford Hospital, Valley Medical Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and pediatric specialty centers in San Jose, CA that serve children and families throughout Santa Clara County and provides outpatient evaluation, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment services to children with autism spectrum disorders, developmental and learning disabilities, social-emotional and behavioral issues, and complex medical conditions. Non-profit positions; Vice Chairman of the Board, Founder, Vice-President of Executive Council, Public Relations and Finance Committee member. Dr. Durnell has served as a member of the Advancement Board at West Valley and Mission Colleges, a member of the Women’s High-Tech Coalition, and founding member of the Women’s Educational Success Fund. Dr. Durnell is also a keynote speaker and has presented at Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, Amazon Lab126 and at many industry, technology (AWE) and psychology (APA) conferences. Dr. Durnell presents on the human behavior side of technology. She provides insight on innovative technologies for digital health, business communications, education and improving health systems and the broader implications of ethics in the digital age.
In the media
- Media Psychology Symposium, Presenter, “Changes to Human Behavior During COVID-19” 2020
- Society of Actuaries (SOA), Keynote Presenter, “Technology-Driven Healthcare” Philadelphia, PA 2019
- International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), “The Power and Purpose of Technology for Social Change” Melbourne, Australia 2019
- American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Conference, “In Group/Out Group Bias: Virtual Reality and Perspective Taking” San Francisco, CA 2018
- Digital Hollywood “Technology-Driven Healthcare,” Los Angeles, CA 2018
- Harvard Medical School, “The Role of VR in Promoting Behavioral Change” 2018
- Stanford Medical School, 3rd Annual Innovations in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health: Virtual Reality and Behavioral Health Symposium, “Viewing a Crisis in VR: A Different Approach to Behavioral Change” 2017
- Augmented World Expo, (AWE) “Technology for Good” Santa Clara, CA 2017
- Fielding Graduate University, public lecture on “Racial and Ethnic Tensions: From Public Discourse to Community Action” 2017
- Digital Hollywood “The Human and Factor in Immersive Interfaces” Los Angeles, CA 2016
- Digital Hollywood Speaker, “The Neuroscience of Persuasion in Immersive Technology” Los Angeles, CA 2015
- Digital Media & Developing Minds Conference, “The Ethics of Social Media Use” The National Academy of Sciences Beckman Conference Center, Irvine, CA 2015