“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”  

When people first hear these famous words spoken by Juliet, they instantly think of the famous Shakespearean play Romeo & Juliet. Although few people would regard this play as a work that raises suicide awareness. Dr. Schurtz and his research assistants take a closer look at this subject by examining whether or not reading excerpts from Romeo and Juliet would help participants to become more open to suicide prevention.

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Alicia Hughart and Dr. Schurtz

One of his research assistants, Alicia Hughart, discussed the importance of the Romeo & Juliet Suicide study, as she explained: “Being a Psychology major I am both personally and professionally surrounded by mental illness in a multitude of ways. I have lost and nearly lost loved ones to suicide, and I find that conducting research on this topic goes a long way. Working with Dr. Schurtz has given me the chance to expand my horizons and changed my career path in significant ways.” Dr Schurtz enjoys working with his students very much and finds it rewarding to study topics that have important social implications. To this end, Dr. Schurtz wants his students to learn the many steps of planning and carrying out research studies, which are useful skills that students need to hone for their future careers.

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Dr. Schurtz in action!

Besides conducting research, Dr. Schurtz excels in his teaching. In December 2018, he received a prestigious teaching award from the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi). During the semester, he regularly teaches courses such as PSY 262 Social Psychology and PSY 343 Research Methods and Statistics II. He also teaches special topics on love, self-esteem, gender, and aggression. Derek Davis, who is currently enrolled in Dr. Schurtz’s Social Psychology class, really enjoys being taught by him. Derek says: “I like having Dr. Schurtz as my professor because he always finds ways to keep students engaged… We are always able to get involved and apply topics to real life situations. It has truly been great so far!” 

Interested in learning more about Dr. Schurtz research and teaching? Email him at dschurtz@stevenson.edu 

 By: Tamera Stanley and Semira Nock