By: Lane Vanderford ‘15
PLU and the psychology department received one quirky and delightful treat this fall when Katie Crowell shredded her way onto PLU’s campus with liveliness and enthusiasm that she carries into the classroom. Katie Crowell expresses her passion for PLU, “I have never seemed to come to a place where people have cared so much about pedagogy and the students, it seemed magical!”
Professor Crowell brings this magic to the classroom by taking the time to assist her students in actualizing what they are capable of.
Crowell describes psychology as being as much of an art as it is science. This concept was brought to light by one of Crowell’s undergrad professors Scott Bates, which will be visiting PLU this May.
Katie attended Utah State for her undergraduate and purchased her season snowboarding pass before paying her tuition. This aspiring snowboarder intended on studying marketing, though her real passion was for the freshly powdered slopes of Utah. This was until Professor Bates enlightened her about the art aspect of psychology and how psychology is marketing people to themselves.
Crowell continued to study psychology and graduated with her masters in school psychology. When working in this field she was able to experience a magical aspect of her career, “It’s not only that I am helping them, they help me. It is moving to be in such a raw human experience.”
This human experience Katie was practicing helped influence her to ditch her spot behind a desk and go on to studying clinical psychology. Crowell describes psychology as an academic family. Crowell is now doing what she can to help this family grow within the classroom. Junior and one of Crowell’s students, Madeleine Brekke, said, “Professor Crowell has a humorous way of teaching. She definitely keeps us engaged in the discussion and excited about class.”
Professor Crowell has a verbal way of connecting with her students that is unlike most professors. “I genuinely want to connect with my students but my language has something to do with my deep deep personal value systems.” Katie Crowell comes from a blue collar family and expresses that herself and her parents would be disappointed if she ever conformed to that uptight professor persona.
There is one thing Professor Crowell asks of her current and incoming students and that is to be curious, “If a student is curious, I can help with everything else.” This confidence and passion keeps Professor Crowell’s classroom thriving. According to Professor Crowell, curiosity is key, and is what will continue to help her students prosper and find a home within this academic family.