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Students, Faculty, & Staff Testimonials

Students - 

In recent surveys, 69% of psychology majors at SVSU indicated plans for careers that entail further study after college. Nationally, 40-60% of psychology students plan on some further education, with 22% indicating a career within psychology. The most common careers/areas of interest listed by current psychology students included: social work and mental health fields, teaching, becoming a college psychology professor, medical study, industrial psychology, business, graphic arts, pharmacy, and human resource management. Classes seen as particularly valuable by current students surveyed included: Abnormal Psychology, Child Psychology, Adolescent, Personality theories, "all psychology classes," followed by Social Psychology, Statistics, and Experimental Psychology.

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Comments from psychology students surveyed:

  • "I really enjoy the fact that undergrads have the opportunity to work with a prof on a one-to-one basis to do research."
  • "...the faculty has gone the extra mile to help when needed."
  • "I like psych at SVSU because the professors are all very helpful and are willing to dedicate their time to assist you in a variety of ways. They help you in demonstrating different ways to study, understand concepts, review questions, or form a study session. What I particularly like about the professors is that they encourage you to do more than just take classes, but encourage you to apply what you have learned in those classes to the real world. They encourage you to do research and apply what you've found. They encourage you to learn, question, investigate, and have fun all at the same time!" - Rosa M. Cepeda
  • "One thing I value about the psychology department at SVSU is the professors. They are more than willing to help students out in any way they possibly can and encourage students to come to them with any questions or concerns. It makes college a lot easier to handle when you know there is someone who is on your side and willing to help." - Janelle Schrader

Faculty - 

There are currently thirteen full-time faculty, and several adjunct faculty from surrounding communities that serve our students and our program. All of the full-time faculty have completed the highest academic level of education, the Ph.D. Surveys of students taking psychology classes, including both majors and non-majors, indicated 94.6% found their instructors well-qualified and over 95% found them helpful. There are many points of view in psychology, and different approaches to the study of behavior and mental processes. Our faculty reflect such a diversity in their teaching styles, research approaches, and personal backgrounds. The psychology faculty at SVSU all share an appreciation of scholarly inquiry and a foundation in scientific research that is central to the field. We hope that the mutual respect, congeniality, and plain fun that characterize our department will be obvious to the student and promote an enjoyable learning atmosphere.

Faculty Comments

  • "In my classes and contacts with students I try to build the skills of being a real student; having the desire to learn, the courage to question, and the motivation to critically evaluate what is known. I hope the SVSU psychology program creates an atmosphere where students can become serious thinkers, learners, and problem-solvers. As we explore challenging topics together, we may share a few laughs, and I may perform a little magic to maintain the joy and wonder of our learning together." - Dr. Gerald (Gary) Peterson
  • "Thinking deeply and critically about psychological phenomena is truly hard work, but richly rewarding for those who endeavor to do so. It is my strong desire that our majors experience the personal growth and deep satisfaction that results from such intellectual labor. Personally collecting psychological 'facts' and other ephemera can be an engaging diversion, but is neither of sustaining value nor catalytic of intellectual development." - Dr. Andrew Swihart
  • "I teach Developmental Psychology from conception to death and dying. I say this not just because I teach it, but I really think we can all benefit from understanding about how people grow, learn, and develop. Whether you are a parent, teacher, sister, brother, or a single person, whether you are looking to become a Psychology professional, or not, psychology classes give you a cutting edge in dealing with the people in any job that you will take, and understanding yourself too." - Dr. Ranjana Dutta

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Alumni - 

Recent surveys of psychology alumni indicated 94% found employment, with 61% having completed or planning further education or professional training. Nationally, around ten percent of psychology graduates pursue careers in psychology. At SVSU, over 17% of alumni indicated they are pursuing further study in psychology, most typically in areas of mental health, industrial-organizational psychology, and school psychology. The psychology classes seen as most valuable or useful by alumni were (in order of frequency) Experimental Psychology, Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, Senior Research, Clinical Interviewing, Neuropsychology, and Social Psychology. A number of alumni simply noted, "all of high quality," "all accepted at MA level," "solid foundation," and "enjoyed all."

Asked to rate the effectiveness of their SVSU psychology education in providing them specific skills, alumni rated their education as most effective in providing the following: Critical thinking, Understanding professional values and ethics, Personal growth, Ability to design good research, and Evaluate the quality of published research.

Comments from Alumni:

  • "I feel that my experience in psychology has provided me with a foundation that can be applied to any career. It has been a wonderful asset in the field of education."
  • "The (psychology) research dept is way above the rest. I literally took grad stats at another university and learned very little because I learned so very much at SVSU. My thanks to a great program....I am very proud of my SVSU psychology degree, and I know that my success professionally is related to my SVSU experience, and I have had 2 promotions since graduation. My success as an undergrad was so revealing that I have returned to SVSU to the OLA program. I wish more people would see how they are simply not seeing the wonderful educational experience right in their own backyards. I hold my SVSU degree up to any university around. Again and again--the research dept in psychology is great!!"
  • "It is my opinion that my degree in psychology has been an excellent stepping stone for my career in the mental health field and Masters degree. In my current position it is very important that I am able to create research projects and take that process all they way through the scientific method. Without my time at SVSU I would not be able to do it."
  • "I found Dr. DeVos' Motivation & Morale extremely useful in grad school. He was an excellent professor as well as advisor outside of class. Also, I found Larry Hatcher and Lou Cohen to be equally beneficial to my success in my current endeavors."
  • "I really liked Dr. Margres's teaching technique. I learned a lot from him and he made it fun. He must really enjoy teaching because it shows. I liked his statistics, experimental psych and history and systems classes best."
  • "One by one, I got to know the entire faculty in the psychology department. I tried to be diverse by taking different classes with different faculty and challenged myself by taking harder classes. I learned about the many branches of psychology, and became more open-minded as the faculty peeled my eyelids open so I could see, and come to respect, different viewpoints....I am also very grateful for the psychology faculty at SVSU who have served as a compass, redirecting my energies in a positive and challenging direction that facilitates my needs and gives a new perspective to my future.... I know that I am fully capable because I have been well prepared, challenged, inspired and encouraged." - Diane Siemen class of '99
  • "Saginaw Valley's program allowed me not only to learn a lot about psychology, but also to become more deeply involved in those things that really interested me. I was able to design a large study around my interests and completely follow through with it. I developed my own hypotheses, ran subjects in the laboratory, analyzed results and wrote the report. I hope to present the results at a national conference next year." - Amanda Schafer class of '01
  • "The education I received from the Psychology Department at SVSU was nothing short of stellar!  The classes are exceptionally taught, and offer a solid foundation in the various subdisciplines of psychology. The biggest strength in the department is the faculty, who always seem to go above and beyond to help students understand the material and excel.  I owe a good portion of my success in graduate school to those professors.  Thank you!  ~Pete Martini, "Outstanding Graduate" Class of 2009, Doctoral Student at University of Nevada, Reno (2011)
  • "Being a psychology student at SVSU not only left with me great connections and resources but also helped prepare me for medical school.  The professors strive to challenge students, providing them with opportunities to enhance their critical thinking skills, research skills, and interpersonal skills along with teaching them the nuts and bolts of psychology.  The classes are generally taught at more of a graduate student level, especially once you start taking upper level classes.  With small class sizes and the genuine interest in teaching that the professors show, it's easy to become an active participant in your learning, which helps you get the most out of your education and overall experience at SVSU.  There are many research opportunities in which students can partake, which enable them to build further relationships with professors and develop skills that may not be learned exclusively in the classroom, along with being a great tool to build your CV.  I always look back fondly on my memories of SVSU, and I am very thankful that I chose to spend my undergraduate years there!"  ~Meaghan Carpenter Beasly, "Outstanding Graduate" Class of 2008, Medical Student at Wayne State University, Detroit (2011)

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Contact Us
(989) 964-4351(989) 964-4351

Department Chair

Julie Lynch


Brown 157