"I was a lazy student," admits Dr. Anna Hatten. "I remember in the seventh grade, the science teacher had to keep me after school. I loved the science, but I wouldn't write answers to the homework questions. Lazy."
Things changed, finally, when she went to college. "When I was in undergraduate school, I got with some friends who were interested in psychology, and the chair of the department was very charismatic. I fell in love with psychology then. After all, psychology is how you understand human behavior."
She also met and fell in love with a fellow psychology student, Jean Hatten, now her husband and also a psychology professor at Averett.
"When I came to Averett, the faculty seemed like a family, and that was important to me. About two years later, my husband joined the faculty. That was the first year Averett hired spouses."
Both Hattens are deeply committed to Averett. "We felt, during the early years and now, that we have built something good here. At first, we wanted a graduate program, but we soon realized that we really need a strong undergraduate program. And, with both of us being experimental, we were interested in the research the students did. So our plan was to get the students involved in some kind of research."
That's important. It means that if you are a psychology major, you will do some (interesting) research, and you will present your findings in public.
"First we give them the tools to do presentations, then — starting in their junior year — they do them. Almost all of the graduates in psychology who go onto graduate school say they were accepted because of their research.
Averett psychology graduates, however, having already done their own research and made presentations on it, are, she says, "pre-freaked."
That's a good thing.
Doctor of Philosophy, experimental psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Sears-Roebuck Foundation's "Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award"
American Association for Behavior Analysis
Hatten, J.L. & Hatten, A.D. (1989) Implementing an undergraduate research apprenticeship with the Macintosh computer. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments and Components, 21, 142-147.