A bachelor’s degree in psychology is a great background for people entering the counseling professions, but that’s not all college graduates can do with this versatile degree, says Dr. Kelley Wilson, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Mobile.
“Psychology is such a broad field! While most folks typically think of the counseling professions when they think of psychology, we really do so much more. The central theme in our courses is understanding the human mind and behavior, which can really be applied to a wide variety of fields. While many of our graduates enter graduate programs in counseling-related fields, many others go on to pursue careers in non-profit organizations, religious organizations, or even human resources,” she said.
We asked Dr. Wilson how she became a professor in UM’s College of Arts and Sciences, and what makes teaching at this Christian university different from other schools.
Q: What is your background?
A: I got my master’s in applied psychology from the University of South Alabama in 2011 and went on to complete my Ph.D. in clinical and counseling psychology in 2015. I then completed my pre-doctoral internship at the Counseling Center at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I moved back to the area after this and began working as a psychologist for AltaPointe Health Systems in Mobile and Baldwin counties. I worked there for three years, and I started teaching at the University of Mobile in fall of 2018. I have always enjoyed clinical work; but teaching students about psychology has become a new passion of mine.
Q: What courses do you typically teach?
A: I teach Introduction to Psychology each and every semester. I really love teaching this class, as it allows me to help anyone see how psychology can be relevant to their life. Whether it be a business major or an education major, there is something interesting in psychology for everyone. In addition, I teach several upper level courses including Experimental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Learning and Behavior, Health Psychology, and History and Systems of Psychology. One of my favorite courses to teach is Health Psychology. Everything we learn in that course is not only helpful in preparing students for future careers, but it is also helpful in teaching them how to best care for themselves.
Q: We say UM is a place where students can “Know and Be Known.” What does that mean to you?
A: Most campuses focus primarily on part one of this statement: know. We teach, and therefore, you have some knowledge as a result. What is unique about UM is the fact that you (truly) are known in the process of gaining this knowledge. I know each of the psychology majors on campus by name. This not only makes for a more pleasant work day, it also allows me to help them tailor their educational experience to their unique needs.