By Monica Philipp (BA 2014 Psychology)
During my junior year I had the honor of taking Chris Peterson’s last iteration of his Positive Psychology course. As a psychology major, I was told countless times that I needed to enroll in the course, so I felt very lucky to get into it. It was clear from day one why he was the recipient of the Golden Apple award; he cared about all of the individuals sitting in front of him. He had a lecture hall with more than two hundred students, but he lectured as if it was a one-on-one conversation over coffee. He warned us that his class would challenge the way previous classes taught us to think about psychology.
Unlike other classes, we were not trying to diagnose a problem; instead we were discovering how to push individuals and organizations from surviving toward thriving. The discipline recognizes that many horrible things happen in the world, and individuals need to build resilience in those situations and reach for even further greatness. This became all too evident one day in early October when we found out that Dr. Peterson tragically passed away. It was at this moment that our class was charged with the mission to take the research Dr. Peterson spent his life studying and teaching and apply it to a situation that drastically affected us all.Comments
By: Nicole Wójcik (BA 2008, AAPTIS and Linguistics)
I’ve worn many hats since graduating from the University in April of 2008. I’ve worked for numerous organizations in often surprising parts of the world, doing meaningful work and menial tasks alike. One can paint broad strokes to connect my work experience - among them education and development and public service - but I’ll be the first to admit that I rarely use my degree in its true form. I am not a linguist. I do not work in the Middle East, or with Middle Eastern populations. What I do is, in fact, what my Bachelor of Arts best prepared me for: working in the real world, with real people.
While I currently use my linguistics background as a high school Language Arts teacher in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, my attempts to discuss semantics and syntactic structures with teenagers often fall flat. Miss, when do Romeo and Juliet finally kiss? Was Juliet hot? Little do my students know that memories of those late-night study group meetings are what keeps them motivated. Having studied a variety of topics with a variety of students, I have a veritable grab bag of learning techniques at my disposal.