Over 50 years ago, while struggling to adjust in my first year at college, I found an academic home in the psychology department. Classes had relatively low enrollments, the professors were great, and there was an enjoyable camaraderie among the majors. Upon graduation in 1970 from the University of Notre Dame, I was accepted into the PhD program at Kent State University, specializing in Developmental Psychology. As those from my era will vividly recall, four students died during a Vietnam War protest at Kent State in May of 1970 but, thankfully, the school reopened in the fall. Four years later, I was hired by St. Lawrence.
The longer I stayed at St. Lawrence, the more I was reminded of my own undergraduate experience: I taught small classes on a relatively large and attractive campus, there was an emotional connection between students and the university, and the camaraderie among our majors was terrific. The core of my teaching responsibilities was always the four sections of Developmental Psychology that were generally offered each year. As a byproduct of longevity, my cumulative enrollments in this course eventually exceeded 5400 SLU students.
My research interests evolved over the years, and I ended my career with a focus on risky behaviors in middle school children. Currently, my teaching is centered on a course in critical thinking.