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Psychology News

Keyword: faculty

Dr. Dyer Bilgrave has been teaching at Stevenson University (once Villa Julie) for over 30 years. He is loved by many students and is known as the “counseling sequence professor” who provides a hands-on approach to the learning of counseling skills.

Dr. Bilgrave and Makaylah Morton

Makaylah Morton interviewing Dr. Bilgrave

Surprisingly, Dr. Bilgrave did not take a straightforward route going from college to graduate school in becoming a college professor. During his undergraduate years, Dr. Bilgrave had three major interests: religion, counseling psychology, and acting/theater. He spent one year studying religion at Pendle Hill, which is a Quaker study center located in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. After completing his Master’s degree in ministry, he focused on pursuing his interest in psychology and obtained not one, but two Master’s degrees in psychology-related areas. Lastly, Dr. Bilgrave attained a Master’s degree in fine arts and acting. In brief, he was able to pursue all three of his interests through master’s degrees.

Dr. Bilgrave began working at Ville Julie College during his early 30s to teach theater and communications (not psychology!). During this time, he discovered that psychology was the most interesting to him and decided to go back to school for a Doctorate degree at UMBC. As time passed, he slowly transitioned to teaching psychology courses. In 2002, he became a full-time psychology professor. He has also served as the department chair from 2002 to 2005. For the past years, Dr. Bilgrave has been teaching the counseling sequence (PSY 230-Basic Counseling Skills, PSY 340- Advance Counseling Skills, PSY 341- Counseling Theories, and PSY 306-Counseling Lab), all of which are heavily skill-oriented. In addition, he has his own private practice where he sees about 12 clients per week.

As I interviewed Dr. Bilgrave, I found his broad education background very inspiring. Being an undergraduate student, I often find myself having so many interests that I want to pursue but am often worry that I may stray away from what is important. It is very reassuring to know that it is possible to study multiple areas of interest with hard work and a growth-oriented mindset.

Dr. Bilgrave recently announced that he would retire at the end of the Spring 2019 semester. For his colleagues and his students, they can admire all his remarkable work that has been done throughout the years and use it as motivation to keep the Psychology department the best. Anakay Alexander, a Junior Psychology major, has taken 4 courses with Dr. Bilgrave. She said he is very caring and made it a priority to learn every student’s names within the first few classes. In addition, she noted that he always took time to make sure students understood the material by providing a plethora of real-world examples. Lastly, she pointed out that if students did not understand something, he would go back and further explain to make sure everyone had a thorough understanding of the material.

Dr. Bilgrave will be very missed but his amazing contributions to the department will always be remembered!

By: Makaylah Morton

As a science, Psychology is heavily based on research. Among our amazing faculty, Dr. Metzger has an active research program in the area of cognitive psychology.

Dr. Metzger’s Background

Dr. Metzger received his Ph.D. in Experimental Cognitive Psychology from the University of North Dakota and completed his post-doctoral training at the Institute for Child Development at the University of Minnesota and the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina. Before coming to Stevenson University, he has worked as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as well as Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Metzger

Dr. Metzger and his students from left to right Danielle Gershman, Bryce Merkt, and Cole Simmons

Dr. Metzger’s Research Projects

As a progressive thinker, Dr. Metzger has been looking into the idea of quantum physics in psychology. He states, “You don’t need to know the math, but the understanding is important.” He has applied these ideas to cognitive psychology, mentioning how twins can have similar thought process because of the principle of superposition. Dr. Metzger currently has three different research groups, Psych and Law, Cognition and Emotion, and Health Behaviors.

SEPA

Dr. Metzger led a group of students to attend the Southeast Psychological Association (SEPA) conference in March 2019. From left to right: Savanna Angel, Akera Williams, Jenny Tran, Kelly Sweeney, and Nick Mehiel

SEPA2

From left to right: Cole Simmons, Samantha Burney, and Nick Mehiel

SEPA3

Congratulations to Hanne Wilburn for winning the Psi Chi Regional Research Award at SEPA!

With all these research opportunities, Dr. Metzger has gathered a group of dedicated psychology students who are eager to learn more. For the past semesters, his students have collaborated with the researchers at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga to investigate how well faces of an already known individual can be identified. The goal is to determine the reliability of facial recognition and how it can be applied to witness statements in court. Stevenson students have taken part in the data management and collection for the studies.

Without a doubt, research is a process that requires a lot of work. Dr. Metzger’s students are learning so much. For example, research assistant Danielle Gershman finds that through this research experience, she is gaining a better understanding of her interest and is equipped with the skills she needs for grad school.

Dr. Metzger’s Mentoring Style

Every professor is unique. Students repeatedly report that they enjoy working with Dr. Metzger because of his consistent supportive guidance. One student Cole Simmons mentions, “Dr. Metzger is different and very smart. He cares about the students who work with him. He listens to them and supports their ideas.”

Overall, Dr. Metzger has been fostering the growth of many Stevenson Psychology students. Interested in learning more about Dr. Metzger’s work? Email him at rmetzger@stevenson.edu

By: Olivia Webb

On a very cold winter day in December, a really special email from Dean Cheryl Wilson warmed the hearts of all the Psychology faculty....

Help out your fellow psychology students by completing their research! As psychology research opportunities for Fall 2018 obtain approval by the Institutional Review Board, they will be posted on the SU Portal. To access these opportunities, go to the psychology page through the portal and click on the "Research Opportunities" tab. You will find both student and faculty research projects conducted to fulfill requirements for their research courses in psychology. 
Meet the Faculty was a great success! Thank you to the Psychology club for organizing and hosting the event and thank you to the awesome staff members that were able to introduce themselves to our new students. We appreciate everyone who was able to stop by!