Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Know Your Profs: Psychology instructor Judy Caldwell loves to research

November 12, 2014 by Jason Schreurs, assistant editor

Know Your Profs is an ongoing series to help you get to know the instructors at Camosun College. Every issue we ask a different instructor at Camosun the same 10 questions.

Do you have a favourite instructor that you want to see interviewed in the paper? Maybe you want to know more about one of your teachers, but you’re too busy, or shy, to ask? Email editor@nexusnewspaper.com and we’ll add your instructor to our list.

This issue we caught up with Camosun College psychology instructor Judy Caldwell and found out about her passion for learning, her vision for the future of education, and her guilty pleasure of a big plate of nachos.

Camosun’s Judy Caldwell dislikes slow drivers in the fast lane (photo by Jill Westby/Nexus).

1: What do you teach and how long have you been a teacher at Camosun?

I have been teaching psychology at Camosun since 2000. The courses I teach are Introduction to Experimental Psychology and Research Methods. I really enjoy teaching students about how to conduct research. I love getting them excited about a topic that most people think is quite dull. Research is really not dull at all; it’s actually quite interesting and exciting.

2: What do you personally get out of teaching?

What I find just wonderful is when students come back years later when they’ve completed their degree and tell me that taking Research Methods with me gave them the basics that they needed to successfully negotiate the more difficult, higher-level statistics and research methods courses in the third and fourth years of their degree. Or when they tell me that taking one of my courses inspired them to continue in psychology. These are the reasons I love my job.

3: What’s one thing you wish your students knew about you?

I wish my students knew about my passion for learning. In fact, I’m back at school doing a Masters in Leadership Studies. I am also learning the Italian language and have been taking classes here in Victoria and in Italy. I firmly believe in lifelong learning, and I hope to inspire lifelong learning in my students.

4: What’s one thing you wish they didn’t know about you?

I wear progressive. Sheeesh.

5: What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

So many great things have happened to me since I’ve started working at Camosun, so it’s really hard to put my finger on one thing. When I’m in the classroom, I feel that I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m fortunate to have found a vocation that I am passionate about. I really have a lot of fun when I teach, and I hope the students do, too.

6: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you as a teacher here?

In one class, several years ago, I was walking about the room as I was lecturing. Up and down the aisles, forward, backward, discussing the topic of interest. Next thing you know, I was stumbling backwards over a student’s knapsack that was on the floor. Yup, I landed on the floor with a thud. I’ve never stood up so fast! We all had a good laugh and then moved on. Very embarrassing.

7: What do you see in the future of postsecondary education?

I think over the next 10 years learner demand is going to change the face of education at Camosun and other postsecondary institutions around the province. Learners are changing, and I think that in the future they will span a wider range of ages and experiences, and this will force greater flexibility in course offerings. I believe the future of postsecondary education will be learner driven, and students will demand options. So maybe the traditional semester system will have to make way for weekend and evening learning, as well as for 24/7 asynchronous instruction. Learning will need to be on the student’s schedule, not on schedules set by institutions. I also believe that the future student will choose courses from institutions across the province and around the globe, and they will demand seamlessness in articulation and transfer and portability of credits and credentials.

8: What do you do to relax on the weekends?

On the weekends you’ll find me just chilling with my sweetie and my pup, Allie. I also enjoy spending time working on my Italian, having a good workout, doing the Sunday crossword, or just hanging with friends, sipping a delicious white wine, and discussing life.

9: What’s your favourite meal?

I enjoy having a fresh green salad with a breast of chicken. However, my favourite indulgence in terms of a meal is nachos. And I also love onion rings. With ketchup.

10: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

People that drive slow in the passing lane.

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