Dr. Kurt Olsen, assistant professor of psychology
Dr. Rebecca Gilbertson, assistant professor
of psychology, with Shannon Lesher ’13 (left)
and Shannon Kryder ’13 in the newly renovated
biopsychology laboratory, which features a
centrifuge that was recently purchased through
funding by the George I. Alden Trust.
verybody should have an intro
psych course,” says Dr. Rebecca
Gilbertson, assistant professor of
If the trends of the last several years
are any indication, students may be
taking her advice. Psychology consistently
ranks as one of the most popular majors
at colleges and universities across the
United States, and Lycoming College
is no exception. At the beginning of the
2012 fall semester, the program had the
third highest number of declared majors,
and it consistently graduates a high
percentage of students each
year. In addition, psychology
courses welcome a number
of non-majors in many of
their courses.
“Psychology is the study
of behavior,” says Dr. Tina
Norton, assistant professor.
“The way I put it to my intro
students is that unless you’re
going to be living in a cave,
you will have to live and
work around other people,
and it would be helpful if
you know a little bit about
them and their behavior.”
“I think they find it very
relevant,” echoes Dr. Susan
Beery, assistant professor.
“Many know someone with depression
or anorexia and we’re giving them the
information and critical thinking skills
they need to understand them.”
Though the popularity of the program
keeps pace with national trends, the
College’s psychology program holds
some unique opportunities for Lycoming
students. Practical experiences facilitated
by close relationships with teaching
professionals who boast a breadth
of interests lead to an individualized
education that prepares students to enter
the professional world.
Putting it into practice
Opportunities for individualized,
experiential learning opportunities
through the department abound. Faculty-
guided research projects, lab-based
learning beginning in introductory
psychology, conference travel and
presentations, and practicums are the
norm, not the exception, for Lycoming
psychology students.
“The best experience I
have had in the department
so far has been attending the
Eastern Colleges Science
Conference during my
sophomore year,” says
Kassandra Lee ’14. “One of
my professors asked me to
attend the conference, along
with juniors and seniors,
and aid in presenting some
research I had been
working on.”
Access to hands-on
experience was further
enhanced this year thanks
to a grant from the
George I. Alden Trust in
“Many don’t know that
they’ve got the potential
that we see in them.”
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