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USJ Course Spotlight: Psychology Goes to Hollywood

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Learning never stops at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ)! With a wide selection of courses divided between two sessions, USJ offers students the opportunity to earn college credit during the summer months. Among the courses offered is Psychology Goes to Hollywood, a class that is running from Monday, July 8, through Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019.

Led by Tracey-Anne Robinson ’06, M’08, LPC, a visiting instructor in the department of Psychology, students watch films – ranging from “The Sixth Sense” to “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” – that portray specific human behaviors, characteristics, and disorders within the field of psychology. The course, which meets Mondays through Thursdays and runs for three hours, is divided into two parts: a lecture on the day’s topic and a viewing of the related film. The unique course has proven popular among its students, who include those currently enrolled at USJ as well as incoming first-year students, who are part of the Summer Opportunity for Academic Readiness (SOAR) program.

“I feel like this class helped me by getting me ready to start college and knowing what is expected,” said Brianna Kennedy ’23.

Classmate Carina Putnam ’23 agreed, saying, “I think this class has been a great opportunity, as an incoming first-year, to get accustomed to parts of campus and, especially, form a bond with a professor before starting in the fall.”

During the lecture portion of the class, Robinson leads students through an in-depth and interactive discussion about the day’s topic. From eating disorders to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the lessons define the illnesses, identify warning signs, discuss the official DSM-5 diagnoses, and highlight treatment options. The material proves eye opening to the students, who seize the opportunity to ask questions of Robinson – a practicing licensed professional counselor – and offer their own personal insights.

“We get to see how mental illness can occur in so many different situations,” said Mikayla Schwartz ’23. “This class has helped me recognize my ability to comprehend different situations when it comes to a person dealing with something.”

Robinson is glad students are benefitting from learning the material and, for some, getting their first taste of college life. She noted, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with some wonderful students this summer and to introduce them to the field of Psychology through our summer course, Psychology Goes to Hollywood.  In addition to learning about Psychology, the course is also designed to introduce essential learning and study skills to ensure that each student is successful in his/her transition to college.  My favorite part of teaching is bringing the enthusiasm I have for the field of psychology into the classroom.  I hope this summer course inspires a passion for discovery, exploration and learning in each of my students!”

Interested in USJ’s undergraduate Psychology program? Visit the department’s webpage.