Dr. Bethel is a Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Mississippi State University (MSU). She is an ACM Distinguished Speaker (2017-2020) and in September 2017 was awarded the Billie J. Ball Endowed Professorship in Engineering (2017-2020), from the Bagley College of Engineering at MSU. She is the Director of the Social, Therapeutic, and Robotic Systems (STaRS) lab and a Research Fellow with the MSU Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) Human Performance Group. She is an affiliated faculty with the Department of Psychology. She is a Senior Editor for the International Journal of Human-Robot Interaction. She received her B.S. in Computer Science (summa cum laude) and her Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of South Florida. Her research interests include human-robot interaction, human-computer interaction, interface design, social robotics, and artificial intelligence. Her work focuses on the use of robots for therapeutic support, information gathering, law enforcement, and military applications.