July 21, 2024

Getting to know USU Eastern’s new psychology professor

This archived article was written by: Priscilla A Sharp

USU Eastern’s newly named psychology professor, Megan A. Smith, Ph.D., is a caring, considerate woman. Her biggest self-doubt is not seeming approachable to her students and she wants to be the kind of teacher you feel comfortable with and can talk about most anything.
Smith grew up in Gurnee, Ill., a town north of Chicago and it was probably the biggest sacrifice of her life to move away from her family especially her little sister who lives in Minneapolis Minn., and who is applying for medical school. She says her relationship with her means the most to her.
She came from a place filled with corn that was flat land and very humid, from the altitude of 500 feet above sea level to Price, Utah, which is 5,566 feet above sea level and surrounded by mountains. One of the biggest changes for her is waking up every morning and walking out her front door to be greeted by the mountains.
The first thing she says people notice about her is that she’s short and for a long time tried to wear heels to make herself taller; however, she’s given up on that. At one point it was her hair, which she had dyed red, but has now faded to a darker auburn warm color.
She has been told that she is an intimidating person, but doesn’t think that is true. She has also been told that she is empathic and caring and thinks that is more deserved. Her doctorate was not an easy task to achieve and she says that it is one of the things she is most proud of in her life.
Even if money were of no importance in this world, she would still pick becoming a teacher. Her two choices would be to stay where she is on the college level, or become a kindergarten teacher. She loves her job because she says the most satisfying part of her week is having students come into her office, meeting her after class to discuss their majors or problems, and helping them figure out what they want to do with themselves for the rest of their lives.
She knew she wanted to gain more teaching experience when she was about halfway through grad school, she had substituted for a kindergarten class and had enjoyed it immensely.
She thinks education is the most worthy cause on earth and the individual teaching through all grades as well as the funding for education, especially funds for science which help improve teaching strategies.
Next semester, she is teaching cognate of psychology with a lab component. Smith recommends that anyone, who is even remotely interested in learning about cognate of psychology which includes problem solving, learning, how to process information, how we make decisions, memory, and even some persuasion techniques, should take the class.