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Susan Henney is the first to admit that some of her students will be better clinicians than she's ever been - and this delights her. In fact, the joy of taking students along this journey to success is what caused her to step away from life as a therapist to pursue her real dream of educating others.
"I love my students and shepherding them along their own road to becoming clinicians and helping others is a real joy for me," says Henney, associate professor of psychology, who also supervises the Field Experience Program for psychology majors.
Her approach to education is very hands-on, working closely with psychology students on special projects and research, and periodically publishing papers with undergraduates in her classes. One great benefit she appreciates about UHD is the small class size and the opportunity for students to learn what research is and the role it plays in psychology. With a doctoral degree in child development and family relationships, her active research agenda includes child-centered issues such as adoption, foster care, volunteerism and parenting.
"Following graduation, I worked for Child Protective Services for several years, which furthered my interest in what makes people the way they are, especially in relationships," she says. "I've also consulted with the Protective Services Training Institute for many years and am passionate about improving the lives of children."
Henney also is intent on improving lives and building opportunities for her students, and therefore refuses to treat them as anything other than high-achieving. "I teach classes at UHD exactly the way I would teach them at any ivy-league institution," she says. "I would be doing my students a disservice if I held them to anything but the highest standards."
In addition to her on-campus courses, Henney teaches a number of online courses and is a proponent of online education, especially for UHD's diverse student population. "It's important for us to acknowledge our student body, many of whom work full- or part-time, are older and juggle multiple responsibilities," she says. "For these students, online courses are an excellent option and provide the flexibility they need to graduate."
Her students and fellow colleagues clearly approve of her teaching style and expectations; she received the 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award.
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Last updated or reviewed on 10/2/12