Campus / News / October 23, 2013

Psychology Department works to fill gaps

The Knox College Psychology Department has experienced a few bumps in the road as it attempts to fill positions left unoccupied for the fall term of 2013.

At the end of spring term of 2013, it was realized that former Assistant Professor of Psychology Gail Ferguson, who had taught clinical and developmental psychology, would be leaving Knox for a job at  University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and that two new expanded positions in health psychology would be opened.

According to Professor and Chair of Psychology Heather Hoffmann, Ferguson’s departure left the Psychology Department short-staffed in the clinical and developmental areas, though the department is “doing pretty well” covering the opening left by Ferguson. After interviewing many candidates, there was still no one the department found suitable to fill the positions left open by her departure.

Hoffmann stated that the primary reason that the positions of clinical and developmental psychology have been left unclaimed for this fall term is because “it’s harder, in Galesburg particularly, to find clinicians willing to be part of academia.” The Psychology Department will be doing interviews during winter to fill the gaps left by Ferguson’s departure.

The ramifications of not filling the clinical or developmental psychologist positions at Knox are that the Clinical Psychology Immersion Term may not take place at its regular interval, which is to be offered every other year. According to Hoffmann, the unavailability of that course will mostly affect the nine to 12 students who generally will opt to take it.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Andy Hertel was found to fill one of the expanded positions in health psychology and now teaches classes on the social psychology of health behavior, with a specific passion for addictive behaviors associated with smoking.

Monika Bauer was also hired as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Psychology and will be working with Professor of Psychology Tim Kasser, teaching a course in cross-cultural psychology for winter term and a course in consumer behavior for spring term.

Michelle Stomberski

Tags:  clinical psych developmental psych faculty gail ferguson gaps heather hoffman psychology shortages staffing

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