Pioneer Spotlight: Julie Hill
Julie Hill is an assistant psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She earned her degree in developmental psychology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. She graduated from graduate school in the spring of 2015. This is her second year teaching at UW-Platteville. She teaches general psychology, adolescence, and research methods.
What made you want to pursue a career in psychology?
As an undergrad I actually started as a biology major. I was at a very small school of only 1,600 students and I just didn’t like the time of day when the bio labs were held and I was already doing a psychology minor so I decided to make that a major. It is a terrible reasoning behind becoming a psychology major but I was really enjoying the classes and I got into research in my undergraduate and just kept going.
What type of research did you do?
I’ve almost always done developmental research. As an undergrad I was doing stuff with adolescence and their online friends. That was back when the Internet and online friends was a very new and very scary thing. So I was trying to learn more about that.
Are you still working on developmental research at UW-Platteville?
A little bit. I have a couple of students doing an independent study with me this semester and we’re looking at college students. My research is from adolescence through the emerging adulthood time period which is between 18-25.
What drew you to teach at UW-Platteville?
I really wanted to find an institution that its main goal was undergraduate education and it really valued good teaching, somewhere I would be able to use my personal research to help with the undergraduate education process as opposed to trying to use my research to push the field forward. We are definitely an institution that is all about our undergraduates and that’s our top priority in our classes. Then when we do research we’re doing it as a tool for teaching our undergrads not just our own personal gain.
What is your favorite thing about teaching psychology?
In general, for teaching I love just getting to know the students. Every student has a different story and they all have unique things to bring to the classroom and that makes every semester new and different. Psychology is just such a relatable topic so it makes it even more fun to teach because I can ask my students “have you seen this in your life?” and they get to tell me more about themselves. Far more than what I think you can do in other subjects.
Interview conducted by Olivia Joehl, Communications. To nominate someone for the Pioneer Spotlight, email firstname.lastname@example.org.