- Research Interests
“I love teaching!” states Paula. “I have been in a classroom in some way, shape, or form since I was five years old. I went right from my Undergraduate degree at SUNY Oswego to get my Master’s degree at SUNY Albany to my first job as an instructor at Bryant & Stratton Business Institute. While I was teaching, I went back to school to get my PhD at Syracuse University in the Counselor Education and Supervision program and continued teaching part-time at various colleges including Bryant & Stratton, Syracuse University and SUNY Morrisville until I came to teach full-time here at FM in September 2000.”
Paula credits her upbringing for how she teaches today. “I grew up on a dairy farm with an older brother and a younger sister and brother in a small, rural town in Central New York called Morrisville,” she tells us. “I realized early in life that education was the key to a future with many possibilities.
Living in a college town I took advantage of the opportunity to take college classes during my senior year of high school. Being the first person in my family to attend college, my professors had the greatest impact on my perception of higher education.
My psychology professor in particular took an interest in me as a person and became a mentor to me serving as a role model and source of support and information. She opened up my world with knowledge and encouraged me to be a critical thinker. With her encouragement, I pursued a degree in higher education. Being a first generation college student, I faced many struggles throughout my college career. Fortunately, there was always a professor that I felt had my best interest at heart and that I could turn to for support, encouragement and guidance. I hope to be the type of professor that students know they can approach and ask for assistance and come to for encouragement, guidance and support.”
As she teaches today, Paula’s goal is to not only impart knowledge upon her students and encourage them to become critical thinkers, but to incite in them the passion for education that was incited in her. She uses her own life experiences to teach, particularly in her Developmental Psychology courses. “I also use my two children, Rachel and Rebecca, and their development to illustrate many of the concepts I talk about,” she says. “I get feedback from students that giving real life examples helps them to understand the material better. I also appreciate humor, and try to use humor as often as I can in my lectures. My husband Gary, who I married in 1990, is often an excellent source for some humorous stories!”
If you take a class with Paula, you will quickly learn that she is a huge Boston Red Sox fan. “I particularly like the Red Sox /Yankee rivalry and enjoy the friendly bantering back and forth with my students who are Yankee fans!” she exclaims.