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The Blue & Gray Press | October 18, 2018

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Students assist in professor selection


The psychology department is involving its students in the selection of a replacement for professor Denis Nissim-Sabat who is retiring after this semester.

Students were encouraged in class to attend the job talks given by the three different candidates. A selected few students also ate lunch with the candidates while other students volunteered to give them tours of the campus.

All the students who participated in these activities were allowed to evaluate the candidates. The survey to evaluate them asked, among other things, how comfortable the student would be going to the applicant’s office hours or if they would be comfortable with having them as their advisor. These surveys were collected and summarized by four student representatives who presented their finding on student opinions to the psychology department faculty.

The applicants, Carolina Mann, Laura Wilson and Kevin Handley, a psychology adjunct professor, have visited over the course of the semester.

Debra Steckler, chairperson of the psychology department, feels that this level of student involvement with the faculty is the norm in her department.

“What sets us apart from other departments is that we tend to have a lot of contact with our students,” said Steckler.

Students were generally in support of this initiative.

“This is a good idea because students are the ones spending the most times with the professor,” said junior psychology major Kaylee Wilsher. “Sometimes a professor may look good on paper and have a good resume, but they may not make the best teacher.”