Faculty Focus: Dr. Julie Nelson
DR. JULIE NELSON
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Title: Associate Professor of Psychology
Years at GCU: 2011-present (began as Chair of the Ph.D. in Psychology programs with the College of Doctoral Studies in July 2011; taught adjunct for CDS from August 2013 to 2017; full-time psychology faculty from January 2017 to present)
Academic degrees: Ph.D. in Social Psychology; M.A. in General Psychology, B.S. in Journalism
Faculty scholarship (publications, scholarly presentations, fellowships, etc.): 19 conference presentations; 7 peer-reviewed publications
Notable research in your field: Three publications on the effects of written praise notes
Notable employment in your field: I have taught undergraduate and master’s psychology students since 2000. I was chair of the Ph.D. in Psychology programs (College of Doctoral Studies) at GCU from 2011 to 2013. I now teach GCU undergraduate psychology students but have continuously taught online and ground doctoral courses, residencies for CDS, and I chair doctoral learners’ dissertation committees.
What are you most passionate about in your field? I really love to discuss everything psychology, but I am most passionate about teaching statistics to psychology students. Many of them enter afraid that they will fail the course; most have nearly perfect attendance during the semester and say it was their hardest but one of their favorite courses. As a professor, this is most rewarding!
What aspect of your teaching style is the most distinctive and/or memorable? I think I have positive energy in the classroom; I’m enthused, passionate about what I teach and I care about my students personally. I genuinely look forward to interacting with students and want them to have a good academic experience in my class.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time? I’m crazy about golf, hot yoga and hiking the hills of Phoenix while listening to music or to one of my many favorite podcasts — the Hidden Brain, Radiolab, The Daily, This American Life, Serial, etc.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know? I’m a card player! My family has been playing a card game called “Rummy” since I was very young, and we get very competitive! Recently, I was playing with friends and an opponent caught me with a lot of points, to which I responded: “You had better sleep with one eye open tonight!” Another friend who was playing with us called my daughter, Karley, and said: “Do you know what your sweet mom, who is usually so nice, said last night?” Karley replied, “Were you playing Rummy? Because if you were, that makes perfect sense!” Karley also plays family Rummy — very competitively!
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