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Psychology Professor Urges Educators To Remain Passionate

Dr. Ross Avilia is a professor of psychology at both the University of California, Merced and California State University Stanislaus. Dr. Avila attended UC Davis, where he graduated with his Doctorate of Philosophy in psychology.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Ross Avilia)

What does your job entail?

"I teach students across fives different classes in psychology. The job entails lecturing, collaborating with students on assignments and research projects and evaluating student performance. I also assist students in their independent research projects."

What parts of your job do you enjoy the most?

"I love all aspects of my job. What's most enjoyable is interacting with students and helping them to reach their full potential. Our students are incredibly bright and a joy to work with. They motivate me to always give it my all in the classroom."

What was your education history like?

"I graduated with a Ph.D. in psychology from UC Davis. I specialized in research on intergroup relations and prejudice/stereotyping."

Has your education helped you in your current position?

"Yes, I received a wonderful education at UCD. They really pushed me to TA and teach as a graduate student and encouraged me to begin teaching while I was still finishing up in grad school. They even offered classes on how to be a college professor, with a follow-up class that allowed me to 'team teach' an Introduction to Psychology course with other grad students."

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

"The most important thing is to learn as much as you can in your field and to work on your people-skills. Beyond that, enjoy your work and field of study, because you want to maintain a high level of enthusiasm and passion for what you're teaching. And try not to get too overwhelmed with extra duties, as this can cause early burn-out."

Paulo Acoba is a California native raised in the Bay Area and living in the Central Valley. He enjoys distance running, cycling and grassroots motorsports. He holds a degree in management from the University of California Merced. Paulo has been writing for since 2012 and covering the Fresno area.

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