Loyola University Maryland

Messina

The Good Life Course Pairing

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Introductory Psychology: Making Sense of Our Lives (PY 101)

Psychology is the study of mental processes and behavior and includes such topics as how we do research in psychology, memory, learning, social relationships, development, and psychopathology. Learning about various topics in psychology can help inform students' understanding of 'The Good Life.' For example, some psychological theorists think humans are inherently good and there are those that think we are driven by base instincts. Class will also include information on what leads to optimal performance (e.g., in memory, in learning, in mental health).  In addition, students will consider what social responsibilities come with psychological knowledge.

Faculty Biography

Dr. Grover obtained her degree in Clinical/Developmental Psychology at the University of Maine, Orono, in 2002. She came to Loyola in 2005 and has taught Introductory Psychology, Child Development, and Research Methods in Psychology in the undergraduate program. She also supervises the clinical training of second year Psychology doctoral students in the administration and interpretation of psychoeducational assessments. She is engaged in research on social skills, romantic relationships, and anxiety. She lives in Towson, MD, with her husband, daughter, and two guinea pigs.

“From Jerusalem to Jericho”:  An Introduction to Theology (TH 201)

This course, which fulfills the first core curriculum requirement in Theology, explores how those in the formative Jewish and Christian communities conceived of God, the world, and humanity, and how those conceptions shaped what individuals valued and what they considered to be a good life. The course not only looks at Jewish and Christian foundations in the Bible, but also how theology and practices evolved over time in relation to evolving conflicts, cultural contexts, and intellectual reflection.  The course aims to help students reflect on and sharpen their own values, and their conception of the good life, as it explores the intersection of course material with contemporary issues and contexts.

Faculty Biography

As an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, Dr. McGinnis was an anthropology-sociology major and a religion minor, where she became deeply interested in religion from an anthropological perspective.  She continued her studies in Christianity (and Judaism) at Yale Divinity School where she earned an M.Div., and subsequently, a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament from Yale University’s Department of Religious Studies.   She has taught at Loyola for more than twenty years.  Her research interests include the Prophets, biblical narrative, and theological interpretation.  A native of Baltimore, she very much enjoys getting students off campus to share with them what is fun and interesting about “Charm City.” She has a special interest in Central America, particularly El Salvador. She is an Orioles fan, and spends a lot of time watching ice hockey.

Mentor Biographies

Raven Williams has been with Loyola since September 2014 and is the Associate Director of ALANA Services.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication from Eastern Michigan University and her master’s degree in Administrative Science/Public Administration from Saginaw Valley State University.  Raven has been working in higher education for over eight years, with the majority of her work focused on student retention, diversity awareness and cultural competencies

Rodney Parker is from Wilson, NC and serves as the Director of ALANA Services. He obtained his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!). Later, he received his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Duke University (Go Blue Devils!). He came to Loyola more than eight years ago and worked with the dynamic Center for Community Service and Justice staff. After the first two and a half years at Loyola, he joined the ALANA team in the Spring 2005. His job responsibilities include providing leadership for the ALANA team. He is currently working on his doctoral degree in Pastoral Counseling. In his spare time, he likes to read, hang out with friends, and listen to all types of music.

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