Please join us in congratulating Dr. Spada and Dr. Popoli for their 10 years of service at the SU Psychology Department. We will be featuring both of them this week. Today, we will be featuring Dr. Spada, who is an Assistant Professor of Psychology.
What made you choose Stevenson?
I first saw the job opening and started as an adjunct professor, teaching one session of PSY-101. But after being at Stevenson for about two semesters, I truly started to feel at home and welcomed! It meant a lot to me, especially since I was only an adjunct professor. I never felt like an extra, but a part of the community as a whole.
What qualities about the Psychology Department did you like that drew you to work within it?
I believe that the welcoming community drew me to work within the Department. Everyone works well together in a group, playing off of one another’s strengths. I especially love the diversity among the faculty, as we all have various backgrounds and skill sets. Yet, what ties us together is our support for each other’s ventures! For instance, for my special topics course of Anxiety, Stress, & Relaxation, I proposed the idea of inviting an acupuncturist to the class. Everyone was for it! Receiving support like this builds the comradery among us, which is important to me.
What have been your favorite memories of the department?
My favorite memories always draw back to the experiences that I have been able to have with the students. I sometimes have students who take my courses from semester to semester, so seeing their growth and development as well as being able to know that we have adequately prepared them for the next stage of their life is truly invaluable for me as an educator.
What are some of your memorable contributions?
I have had the opportunity to teach different special topics courses, including an anxiety course, a multicultural psychology course, and a psychology of woman course. I have been able to incorporate a service-learning piece into all of them, which is significant to me as it gives students a chance to contribute to the community, as well as present their findings in the Psychology Showcase! I have also organized a screening of anxiety-related film and panel discussion, with the goal of reducing the stigma behind anxiety as a whole. It was very productive, and we had a great turn out!
What have you learned working in the department?
In the last year and a half, I became a full-time faculty member. From this new experience, I have learned that being a full-time faculty member is a lot more than teaching. I have had to stretch my ideas of what I am capable of doing. Every semester is a learning experience for me, and I have pushed myself to try new things! For instance, I had volunteered to teach Writing in Psychology, and in teaching this course, tried different facets to teach and support my students. In doing so, I have made connections with students, and maintain these connections post-graduation. To see their growth and achievements has been significant.
What are you looking forward to for the future of the department?
I am really looking forward to seeing how the Psychology Department’s new Psy.D. program goes! I believe it will be a great opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in new opportunities for research at all levels.
We commend Dr. Spada for all her hard work and am looking forward to her continuous achievements!
Written by: Semira Nock