RIO GRANDE — Students from the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College History of Psychology class and the Psychology Club recently visited the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology in Akron, Ohio.
Professor of Psychology Dr. Chad Duncan said he believes scholastic field trips are important to his students’ education.
“I believe taking students on trips specific to the field is an important part of the learning process. The Cummings Center is like a walk through history, so it’s very exciting to share this experience with my students as we learn about the history of psychology in the classroom,” Duncan said. “To me, these trips are a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students. Once they go off into their careers they’re going to remember this trip.”
The center includes a museum and archive dedicated to historical psychology artifacts including old therapy techniques and devices, manuscripts, video footage, government documents and even personal correspondences, notes and doodles made by renowned psychologists. Betty Jones, a senior, said she enjoyed getting the opportunity to view these artifacts first hand.
“I found the tour really fascinating, especially getting to see the archives along with the public museum. Getting to see the actual research, data and theories in the handwriting of so many famous psychologists, and not just reading about it was a great experience,” Jones said.
The trip allowed the students to take a walk through the history of psychology to see where the field began and how it has grown through research and discovery. Chasity Price, a junior, said the trip helped them see the real-life applications of what they’ve been learning in the classrooms.
“It was so amazing to see the experiments on display in the museum in person and to be able to interact with some of them as well. Being able to see all of these different applications and the way they were used helped add perspective to what we’ve learned about in the classroom,” Price said.
Rio’s psychology program provides students with a broad understanding of behavior and mental processes as well as with skills needed to design, analyze, and interpret research. The department includes a baccalaureate program, an associate program and minor program, which prepare students for a variety of careers or further study of the psychology field. Natasha Sperry, a junior, said she believes being able to visit the Cumming Center while still in college will benefit the class as they continue their education and begin working in the field.
“This trip was an opportunity for hands-on learning that will also help us with future classes and our careers because it was so interactive. We’re all really grateful to the psychology department and to Rio for providing us with this kind of experience while we’re still students,” Sperry said.
For more information on the psychology program, contact the Office of Admissions at 740-245-7208.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist for the University of Rio Grande.