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Interviews

Daniel G. Webster, PhD
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Virginia R. Black, EdD
Amy A. Hackney, PhD
Larry Locker, PhD
Edward W. L. Smith, PhD
Daniel G. Webster, PhD
Kathy Wiegand, PhD
Rebecca M. Murray, PhD
James L. Pugh, PhD
Dr. Paul Kleinginna
Dr. Janie Wilson
Janice N. Steirn, PhD
Dr. William McIntosh, PhD
Dr. Lisa Ferdinand, PhD

1. From where did you earn your degree?







University of Wisconsin - Undergraduate



University of Florida PhD















2. What is your degree(including grad school)?







Psychology - Graduate areas Comparative and Physiological











3. When did you come to GSU to teach and why?







1991 ... I was teaching at Delta State University in Cleveland MS ...



but Mississippi decided it did not want to be educated (support for



education was slashed) .. so I started looking for/applying to schools



that emphasized education over research (but still valued research) ...



and found a match here.











4. Have you taught at other universities and colleges and if so what subjects did you teach?







I taught Introductory Psychology and Comparative Psychology as a



graduate student at UF .... then about 12 different courses at Delta



State (we had a small department and a number of courses outside of my



areas needed to be taught)







5. What courses have you taught at GSU or currently teaching; how are



they different from other universities?










The courses here are much the same, but I had not taught Methods or



Statistics at Delta State. I am currently teaching Methods and



Introductory Psych and will be teaching the Physiological course and



Animal Behavior with Intro in the spring. I teach a graduate neuropsych



course in the summer ... and am planning a new course (not previously



offered) for next year ... stay tuned for details!!!







6. What was the teacher to student ratio when you arrived here?







“It has been so long I'm not sure!! .... but I know there were fewer



students per class.











7. What classes were offered when you started at GSU and how has that changed from when you started?







The major change since I have been here has been in the statistics and



methods sequence ... everyone (BA and BS) used to take pretty much the



same sequence except for a difference in the foreign language



requirements.



The other change is in the breadth of courses offered ... because of



budget problems we have had FEWER faculty over the past four years than



when I first came here ... but have had the same number of courses to



teach .... since a certain number of sections of some courses MUST be



taught because they are required (e.g. Methods) we have been unable to



offer others that are in the catalogue (e.g. sensation perception,



animal behavior).











8. What were student's attitudes toward psychology when you started



and how have they changed over the years? To what do you attribute these



changes if any?







I don't think I've seen much of a change in attitudes toward



psychology.











9. What was the male to female ratio in the Psychology department when



you started?






M/F about 13:3 when I started ... and 7:6 currently.











10. How has the department changed since Georgia Southern became a university?






Other than new faces not much ... we have always been fortunate enough



to find good faculty who got along with each other well.








11. What is your favorite course to teach?



That is a difficult question ... I like a lot of different things ...



and I enjoy different aspects of each of the courses I teach; if I'm



forced to select just one I would probably have to say the undergraduate



physiological course ... but mostly because that area is one of my own



favorite areas of psychology; I find brain/behavior relationships



fascinating.








12. From what you can tell, what are student's favorite courses?




The ones they are getting an A in !!! ;) More seriously ... I



think that if you asked a dozen different student you would probably get



at least a half dozen different answers.











13. Do you see a correlation in classes that you or students find favorable and high grades?




I think some correlation exists ... but there is some difficulty in determining why ... do students work harder in courses they like better .... or do they like courses better when they perceive themselves as doing well???









14. What types of research have you been, or are currently involved in?



I have been involved in, and have an interest in, a wide range of topics. I enjoy conducting animal research (immobility responses) but have recently changed my focus entirely to humans. I am currently developing an assessment approach that should have application to a wide
range of areas in psychology ... so I conducting a number of different studies that would otherwise seem unrelated (e.g. emotions, religious perception, color and personality).







15. Have you, or do you have a private practice? If so, what kinds of patients did you or do you see?


Nope!!!





16. What are some things that you hope to see happen in the Psychology department in the future(5/10 years)? In addition, is there a psychology course not offered at GSU that you would like to see offered, or would like to teach?



I would hope that the department will continue to attract the type of faculty we have now and that the PsyD will be approved. It would be nice to get our own building with more research space for students and faculty! I am hoping this next year to offer a course that I am currently thinking of calling "Psychology of the Bizarre" (or at least 'of the unusual') ... I think this would be a fun course and allow students to explore some topics not covered in the more 'traditional' psychology courses.







17. Do you for see the number of psychology students, or an interest in psychology in general growing at GSU?



Yes ... we have seen constant growth since I first came here ... and I think this will continue.







18. What is your response to the possibility of the offering of a PsyD program at GSU and how would you see yourself getting involved in the program if the program is commenced?


I think this program is an ideal fit for the university and am excited about the prospect of offering a PsyD. I would see myself contributing primarily in the neural areas.







19. What is the best and worst thing of being a psychologist/professor at GSU?






Best ... working with the students .... worst .... trying to balance all of the demands of the job (never enough time).







20. What do you look forward to the most after leaving GSU?



I'm going to leave???? I have a number of interests ... but plan on staying in academics until I'm carried out!!
(I do like to fish, garden, read, etc ... so I expect I would be doing more of that ... but would like to remain associated with education in some capacity ... even if I volunteer somewhere).











21. Finally, what advice would you give to students interested in pursuing a degree in Psychology?



This may be the only opportunity you ever have to really become immersed in completely intellectual pursuits .... take advantage of it... learn all you can ... not just what is required for the exam!!!

Contact:
Ben Kellum
mrben12002@yahoo.com