The Psychology and Child Development Department is saying good bye to two retiring faculty members after the 2017-18 year: Dan Levi and Michael Selby.
We had a question and answer session with our retiring faculty about Cal Poly, teaching, passion and life on a desert island. Here’s what they had to share:
What is your favorite thing about Cal Poly?
DL: I have enjoyed the freedom to teach and explore new ideas.
What has been your favorite class to teach and why?
DL: Teaching environmental psychology is a pleasure. It helps students to see their world differently, and it reminds me of the challenges of creating a better world.
MS: Psychopharmacology – it’s clinically relevant.
Are there any scholars or individuals that have inspired you?
DL: My graduate school advisor William Ittelson was an inspiring mentor. He was a perceptual psychologist who taught me how we create the world we live in. He published his last scholarly article the week he died at age 100.
What has kept you enthused about your teaching career? What advice would you give a new faculty member or someone considering going into teaching?
DL: Every 3-5 years, I start to actively research and study a completely new topic. It is very important to keep learning new things to stay excited about learning and psychology.
MS: Dividing my time between teaching and clinical practice.
What do you think will change in the field of Psychology in the next five or 10 years?
DL: As society deals with the challenges of climate change, psychologists will be asked to help people and communities to become more resilient.
MS: More women, less men.
What is one thing you wish your students knew about you?
DL: I am shyer than you think.
MS: I work hard to provide them with useful information that will help them with their careers.
Besides work, what are your passions?
DL: My passions include hiking, kayaking, dancing and blues music. I have been producing blues concerts for 20 years. Last summer, I kayaked down class-4 rapids on the Rogue River.
MS: Surfing, running, biking and swimming.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring one personal item, what would it be?
DL: A knife – I am an eagle scout.
MS: A surfboard.
What’s the "best" advice you didn’t take — or wish you had taken?
DL: Spend more time making your wife happy. You can never spend enough time with the people you love.
MS: Study harder in my undergrad years!