John Moore, Ph.D., serves as assistant professor of psychology at Olivet College, but his role goes far beyond the classroom. Professor Moore is also dedicated to helping students succeed in all aspects of their educational journeys and shares his knowledge applied to mental health and other relevant issues with all Comets. In fact, Professor Moore is so passionate about psychology that he holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s degrees in health psychology and research methods and a Ph.D. in language and social interaction.
When and what brought you to OC, and why do you love OC?
My husband and I moved to Battle Creek when he took the position as rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church there ten years ago. I heard about a position in the psychology program at Olivet through Dr. Karen Chaney a few years later, so I have her to thank for helping to bring me here! I love the size of this school, which helps me to build better relationships with students, and I am proud of our focus on inclusivity.
What is your favorite memory from your time at OC?
There are many! If I have to pick one, I would say being given a Morris Award, which I was nominated for by student BreAnne Rudlaff. It is a very moving thing to have students talk about your influence on them. I always love seeing students be successful, and we have many great alumni of the psychology program doing really wonderful things.
Where do your passions for teaching and psychology stem from?
I am a naturally curious person, and I love being able to help build curiosity in students, and to help them find answers to questions about human behavior. There are many really surprising and fascinating things to learn about human behavior, and I love sharing them with students.
What is your teaching style like?
I like to connect the factual material from lectures and textbooks to specific examples from people’s lives. I also like to include activities wherever possible, such as going to the gallery to discuss perception, or getting students to draw pictures so that we can discuss how some psychologists might use the picture to determine aspects of a person’s personality. The students in my psychology and language class are in for a treat when we have our week on non-verbal communication!
What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?
Teaching takes up the majority of my time, but is just one aspect of my role here. I am also involved in all aspects of managing the psychology major, which can involve everything from deciding on program requirements to meeting with psychology faculty from across the state to decide which courses should automatically transfer between colleges. I am also very happy to be helping Director of Bands Jeremy Duby and Drum Major Abigale Smith in organizing the annual Out of the Darkness walk on campus, through which we raise awareness and provide information about suicide prevention.
Why do you encourage students to attend OC?
It is much easier for students to get time with faculty members here than at many other institutions (particularly large institutions) and that can make a profound difference. It can really change the way students engage with not only their course material, but with their discipline.
What do you look forward to in your role?
I hope to connect more with alumni from the program and keep them updated on what we are doing now, and particularly in what our current students are doing. It would be great to get them more connected. I am also looking forward to doing more courses that include a travel component.
What advice do you share with students and alumni?
For current students, I would say that they should actively engage in discussions about class topics as much as possible. They need to be able to talk fluently about psychological topics when they show up at interviews and that takes practice. For alumni, I would encourage them to see the program as a resource for them, even if none of their original professors are still here. All of us in the program would be very happy to connect with and support them where possible.
What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?
I am originally from a small town called Dungarvan, in County Waterford, Ireland. It is one of the two places in Ireland where Waterford Crystal was produced, and one of my brothers was a master glass cutter there.