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Psychology News

Keyword: teaching

Dr. Maria Wong is an Associate Professor of Psychology specializing in developmental psychology. She teaches PSY 108 Human Growth and Development, PSY 201 Writing for Psychology, and PSY 136 Statistics for Behavioral and Social Sciences. Her approach to teaching is greatly shaped by her experiences being a Chinese American woman and having a multicultural background.

Dr. Wong’s Background

Dr. Wong was born and raised in Hong Kong but moved to Canada with her family where she completed her last year of high school and college. During her time as an undergraduate student, she volunteered to be a research assistant and became interested in cultural psychology and child development. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree, she moved to the United States for graduate school. While in grad school, Dr. Wong was given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant and an instructor. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Dr Wong with RA 

Dr. Wong and her research assistants Stephanie Charney and Kelsey Krupski. They surprised her one day with a trophy that says "The Best Professor, Mentor, Advisor, and Overall Person."

Dr Wong trophy

Dr. Wong’s Teaching and Research

Due to PSY 108 and PSY 201 as required courses for our psychology majors, many students know and love Dr. Wong. I have had the pleasure to be taught by her in PSY 201, work alongside her as a student assistant, and complete a teaching assistantship under her supervision. Her caring and positive personality made me so eager to learn and work with her. I can happily say she made my transition to Stevenson from community college wonderful!

Psychology Major Olivia Webb is currently taking PSY 108 with Dr. Wong. She states that Dr. Wong is full of positivity and great at explaining complicated concepts. In addition, she notes Dr. Wong keeps the class really interesting by including activities that connect the concepts being learned to real life.

Stephanie Charney has been working as one of Dr. Wong’s research assistants for the past year and states that it has been an irreplaceable experience. Dr. Wong has taught her a lot about reviewing literature, thinking critically, analyzing data, and writing effectively for large scale research projects. She offers research assistants the perfect balance of guidance and freedom when giving assignments, which students are always appreciative of.

Sarah Goranson has worked closely with Dr. Wong for all four years she has attended Stevenson. When she was a freshman, she approached Dr. Wong stating she was interested in Developmental Psychology, and Dr. Wong offered her a research assistant position. Sarah has presented a poster with Dr. Wong at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference and is currently revising a manuscript that has been accepted for publication.

In sum, Dr. Wong has shaped students experience as they work towards their undergraduate degree. Her lively approach to teaching is something that grabs her students' attention and makes them very eager to learn. Her caring demeanor is something that does not go unnoticed, and as I’m sure many students can agree, Dr. Wong is an excellent instructor!

By: Makaylah Morton

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

 
 
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