Edward W. L. Smith, PhD
1.What are your degrees and from where did you earn them?
2 years at a Danish-Lutheran community college in Desmones, Iowa B.S. of Psychology, minor in Sociology from Drake
University in Des Moines, Iowa
M.S. in General Experimental Psychology from the University of Kentucky
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky
2.When did you come to GSU to teach and why?
Came in 1994, due to a visit to GSU with his son where in which he fell in love with the way Georgia Southern looked
Also he had had a series of dreams in which he interpreted them as telling him to go back into academics.
3.Have you taught at other colleges or universities, if so, what courses did you teach?
Yes, Georgia State University for 7 years. Taught in the doctoral program, specifically personality assessment courses
as well as some undergraduate courses including abnormal psychology, psychology of adjustment, and psychometrics.
4.What courses do you teach at GSU and how are they different from those taught at other universities?
Clinical courses in the graduate program and undergraduate courses. About half and half. Courses taught at Georgia State
were at a doctorate level. Undergraduate courses at both schools are comparable.
5.What was the teacher to student ratio when you arrived here?
Could not say.
6.What courses were offered when you started teaching at GSU and how has that changed till the present?
Undergraduate: sensation and perception taught by Dr. Rogers (no longer offered) Evolutionary psychology taught by Dr.
Kleinginna (no longer offerd Humanistic and Transpersonal psychology added by Dr. Smith and Dr.McIntosh
(generally when the psychology department gets new faculty, they try to they try to offer him/her a chance to teach a course
in his/her special interest)Graduate: Changes in the Masters Licensing law in Georgia to require
45 hours as Opposed to the previous 36 hours to be an LPC. Due to this and the change from the quarter system to a semester
system there More courses at a higher level and specifically, more practicum
7.What were students attitudes toward psychology when you started teaching here and how have they changed over the years?
If anything, students may be more serious about it now. There wasn't such an active psychology coalition when he started.
As far as graduate students are concerned, the students have gotten better over the years. (more applications, higher standards,
8.To what do you attribute these changes, if any?
9.What was the male to female ratio in the psychology department when you started?
As far as graduate admissions are concerned, definitely more women than men. This years first year class has 3 men and
9 women. Noticing a trend in recent years toward more women than men.
10.How has the department changed since Georgia Southern became a university?
Came in 1994
11.What is your favorite course to teach?
No favorites but may seem partial to a new class that will be offered in fall of 2006 (psychology, art and artists).
If you asked me in fall of 06 probably say this is favorite.
12.From what you can tell, what are your students favorite courses to take?
Undergraduate: Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology
Psychology of Adjustment
Graduate: Foundations of Psychotherapy
13.Do you see a correlation between classes that your students find favorable and higher grades?
Grades tend to be higher in classes that are students favorites and also in classes with contract grading.
14.What types of research have you been or are you currently involved in?
Current: Theoretical writing in the area of psychotherapy and existential psychotherapy
Past: empirical research in nonverbal communication, verbal conditioning, altered states
Consciousness, psychotherapy outcome
15.Have you had or do you currently have a private practice?
While at Georgia State, had a part time practice
Full time between teaching at Georgia State and teaching at GSU
Part time again after coming here
16.If so, what kind of patients did you or do you see?
All clients are professionals, mostly psychotherapists
17.What are some things you would like to see happen in the psychology department in the next five years?
Most importantly, to see us get our doctoral degree, hopefully by fall 2007
Like to see the experimental track get a lot stronger (more students)
Would like to see the psychology department get it's own building
18.Are there any psychology courses not offered at GSU that you would like to see offered or that you would like to teach?
When doctoral program comes we will see 2 more years worth of courses
Would like to see someone pick up the evolutionary psychology course that is no longer offered
More opportunity for selected topics courses
19.Do you see the number of psychology students or an interest in psychology growing at GSU?
20.What is your response to the possibility of the offering of a PsyD program at GSU?
Firmly in favor of it. Has been the major backer of the idea since 1997. Firmly believes it is a good idea for the department,
the college, the university, and the state of Georgia. We really need a lot more practitioners, particularly in the rural
parts of Georgia.
21.What is the best thing about being a psychology professor at GSU?
Having appreciative students
22.What is the worst thing about being a psychology professor at GSU?
The opposite. Students who are not appreciative, demanding and complaining.
23.What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a degree in psychology?
It is going to be a hard major. Don't make up your mind definitely. Try it out, see if you like it because due to the
fact that it is a hard major, if you don't like it you're going to be miserable. But if you like it, you'll love it.