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Michelle Rosen Haney, PH.D. ('90)
Associate Professor of Psychology, Berry College
What was your favorite experience when you were majoring in psychology at Oglethorpe?
I loved my research methods courses with Dr. Nancy Kerr. We worked on a class research project that investigated some type of instructional technique being piloted campus wide. I felt like I was part of something important and real. I admired all of my professors, and my current work as a professor in many ways is inspired by my undergraduate professors, especially psychology faculty, at OU. I also was a research assistant for Dr. Jeffrey Arnett -- helping him with a study on sensation seeking and heavy metal rock music. We rewarded participants with heavy metal vinyl records (so long ago)! I graduated with a BA from OU in 1990, at that time there were only two faculty in the Psychology Department.
What was your favorite psychology class and why?
I really liked the Research Methods courses. I also recall a taking a great developmental psychology class with Dr. Jeffry Arnett, who is now a leader in the field of developmental psychology in emergent adulthood.
What did you do immediately following graduation from OU and how did it affect your path in life to date?
I actually worked for a psychologist who taught psychological testing as an adjunct at OU, Dr. Betty Noble. Dr. Noble is a licensed psychologist with a practice in Roswell. She became my mentor and great friend, and because of her I applied for a master’s program in school psychology at UGA. I loved graduate school, but wanted to get out there and work with children. I was employed as a school psychologist in Bartow County schools, and later Cobb County School Systems. Went back to get my doctorate in school psychology from Georgia State University, and had the opportunity to teach as an adjunct at OU (Psychological Inquiry and Psychological Testing) and as a graduate teaching assistant at GSU (courses in intelligence testing). I realized how much I enjoyed teaching in higher education.
What are you doing today and what inspired you to enter that field/profession/position?
I am an associate professor of psychology at Berry College in Rome GA. I also direct our psychology lab. I just published a book with SAGE, Understanding Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Without a shadow of a doubt my inspiration was my wonderful experience as a psychology major at OU, along with my father who was also a psychologist and was actually on faculty at OU at one time. My father, Dr. Ted Rosen, peaked my interest in psychology. He was a big behaviorist and made me go hear BF Skinner talk at GA Tech when I was a junior in high school. Drs. Nancy Kerr and Jeffrey Arnett introduced the subdisciplines of psychology in all their variety and themes, while encouraging student research and critical thinking. I loved the carefully planned, organized, and really beautifully taught courses of Dr. Nancy Kerr. She was a cognitive psychologist during the "cognitive revolution" in psychology. Dr. Arnett helped me see how creative you could be when studying psychology, especially when doing research. Dr. Betty Noble took me under her wing and encouraged me to develop my own clinical niche. Her devotion to children with special needs and overall kindness was inspirational.
How do you use your psychology undergraduate experience in your work or life today?
Every day constantly. My teaching, research, raising my own children, day to day decisions! Honestly, I think back to my years at OU very frequently in my role as a professor at Berry. I am sure one of the reasons I love being a professor at Berry is it reminds me of how much I enjoyed being a student in psychology at a liberal arts college!
What advice do you have for students earning a degree in psychology at OU or who might be considering your profession?
Take risks, get involved in research and community service. Get to know your professors. Ask them if you might help them with a project. So many great things came from getting to know my professors, student work opportunities, research experiences, and career exploration.