Twenty-one new faculty members, made up of both tenure-track and visiting professors, have joined the Lafayette community this academic year. Three of them spoke with The Lafayette about their own research projects and thoughts on the college so far.
Abbey Mann, a psychology professor who specializes in health and gender and sexuality psychology, noted that her work is done with the intention of largely helping others and developing communities. She has previously taught at Vanderbilt and East North Caroline State University.
“I’m a community psychologist by training, which means I work with community groups. I go to groups of people and I ask them what they are interested in, what they need, and then I use my research tools to help out, to kind of improve things,” Mann said.
Mann said that her favorite part of her research is being able to learn from the people with which she interacts, noting that their lived experiences give them large insight that she will never be able to get.
“I really like being able to actually see change happen, and I like learning from the experts–the people in communities,” Mann said. “I enjoy that I’m not the expert when I walk into the room, they are the exper and then I get to actually talk to real people and make small changes all the time.”
Speaking about her time so far at Lafayette, Mann said that she has loved how passionate and connected Lafayette students are within their community and regarding their interests. She said that this made the classroom environment much more dynamic and allowed for students to make relationships between the material and outside content.
“It’s been great having so many interested students who have interests that they’re bringing into the classroom. Especially in my Psychology of Gender class, people are coming with all kinds of different perspectives and backgrounds, and I love that,” Mann said. “I think it’s just great to have so many interested, engaged students who have lively discussions and come up with great ideas.”
Mann will be speaking about her research on healthcare in Appalachia on Oct. 14 over Zoom.
Another new professor to the Lafayette community is Henry …….