Feb. 23—Susan Owen said she loves teaching so much she can’t imagine doing anything else and is thrilled when she knows she has made a difference.
She is an Athens State University psychology professor and chair of the behavioral sciences department.
Owen said she is trained to be a researcher.
“To do research, you need to be in an academic setting,” she said, “and so teaching goes along with that — and then, I just fell in love with teaching.”
Owen was in graduate school when she decided teaching would be her path. She taught at the University of Kansas for five years while earning her doctorate in social psychology.
Stephen Spencer, Athens State’s dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has worked with Owen for four years. He said she is an insightful professional and a positive leader.
“Dr. Owen is a great listener, and I have observed her many times actively listening to her colleagues, always seeking to understand diverse perspectives,” Spencer said.
Teaching is both the most challenging and most gratifying part of her job, Owen said.
“You really want students to get something out of your classes. You want to give them a different way of looking at things. Sometimes that’s challenging,” she said. “It’s also very gratifying when you see light bulbs go on. When you know you made a difference.”
Owen said it “warms my heart” when students keep in touch over the years and let her know how well they are doing and how their careers are going.
A particular former student came to Owen’s mind who graduated in 2011. The former student, Owen said, has a master’s degree in social work and is applying for a doctorate program.
“It’s nice to see a student you have inspired to go on to get a Ph.D.,” Owen said. She said a lot of her students go on to graduate school and end up with a master’s in social work.
Another former student, Owen said, has since earned master’s degrees in sociology and psychology and is going for another master’s in public health.
Spender said Owen “is passionate about psychology, …….