How many years have you been with the department?
I began teaching with the Department as soon as I received my Ph.D. here in Clinical Psychology in 1975. (I had been a GSI for 3 years before that.) In all these years I have taught classes in Adjustment, Marriage, Developmental Disturbances, Community Psychology and for the last thirty-one years, Project Outreach.
What does teaching in the Psychology Department mean to you?
Teaching in the Department at the University of Michigan has been a tremendous privilege for me. I have had the opportunity to work with extremely impressive students at all levels. I am inspired daily by the depth and breadth of faculty members across the entire University. In Project Outreach, I highly value enabling students to observe psychological concepts in the world outside the classroom, while providing meaningful community service. I am very proud that Outreach students have provided over two and a half million hours of service. In addition, research I conducted demonstrated that taking Project Outreach produces substantial positive effects on students.
What other ways are you involved in the Department and beyond and what inspired you to get involved in these ways?
For 16 years, from 1994-2010, I was the director of the University Center for the Child and the Family, where we trained several hundred graduate students in Psychology and Social work in contemporary interventions for children and families. I have been on several University committees working to improve opportunities for our students. Outside of the university, I have consulted with many social service agencies and schools. I was an internship site visitor for the American Psychological Association. I have an enduring interest in gifted children and have tested about 2500 of them for admission to programs for talented children. I have always maintained a private psychotherapy practice. For 13 years, I was a Faculty Speaker at the UM Alumni Association’s Camp Michigania. I enjoy every aspect of Psychology, and love using what we know to help other people and organizations.
What advice would you give to aspiring Psychology students?
As an undergraduate I took a wide variety of classes. I enjoyed them all but didn’t deeply connect with any of them until I took my first Psychology class. I was so excited about this class that I took only Psychology classes in my last year so that I could complete a Psychology major. Psychology is a very broad scientific field, with all subsets working better to understand human behavior and how to improve lives. Earning a Psychology degree significantly improves your understanding of people and opens many future career doors.