Debra L. Hollister, EdD
Valencia Community College, Orlando, Fla.
Professor of Psychological Sciences and Department Coordinator (full time)
Honors and Organizational Positions:
- Member, American Psychological Association
- Member, Association of Chapter Advisors for Phi Theta Kappa
- Member, Florida Forum on Engineering Technologies, St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Multiple listings in "Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers"
- Professor of the Semester at Valencia Community College multiple times
- Multiple NISOD recipient for Excellence Awards
- Academic fellowship at the University of Central Florida
- Phi Theta Kappa — Advisor of the Year
- Selected to be a participant at APA's National Conference on Undergraduate Education in Psychology
As a therapist working with individuals with many different disorders, I observed how important the role education played in helping the family help my clients to become better adjusted in their personal community settings. Once that observation was made, I began teaching one class and found that allowed me to open the door to the discipline for many students. The students were so interested and excited to learn about psychology and I began to teach classes regularly. A professor can enhance student learning and encourage students to be excited about the discipline through lectures, discussions and demonstrations in the class. Discovering ways to help keep students involved in their learning allows them to connect with the broad spectrum of influence that psychology has in their everyday life. It also enables the student to understand how the discipline will benefit them in their future careers and family life.
Since our students transfer to various four-year universities, it is important to make connections with colleagues at these schools as it opens up the door for our students to participate in research opportunities. Students at universities often have the opportunity to contribute in research that a professor may be conducting at the university. Universities also have more internship placements. Providing internship placements for students is important in allowing students the chance to expand their networking and to see the activities and opportunities other students are engaged within the discipline.
I have been fortunate to attend several APA yearly conventions and meetings. I was able to participate in APA's National Conference on Undergraduate Education in Psychology at Puget Sound in 2008; as well as several professional development conferences in educational practices. I have attended and taught many workshops on the development of online learning practices for students. In addition I also teach honors classes and am a Phi Theta Kappa advisor as well as a mentor for new faculty at our college.
I am seeking election to the PT@CC Committee to further promote the importance of psychology at the community college and to help facilitate the position of collaboration with others in the discipline. This also includes increasing availability of resources for the contingent faculty that are frequently teaching the core concepts of our discipline with quality instruction. I believe that we also need to increase the awareness of the importance of internships for our students. We know that internships can provide valuable insights for our students and they can receive enormous benefit from participating in these activities in their future academic and research professions.
PT@CC Committee will elect two new members. Balloting period: Sept. 17-Oct. 31, 2013.