Five years after an introductory course at Geneva first sparked her passion for psychology, Karen Aiken ′06 is passing it along to undergrads at the University of Akron, where she is in the middle of her second year in a nationally acclaimed PhD program in industrial/organizational psychology.
"I was given the special job this year of teaching the distance-learning class," Karen says. "I have 25 University of Akron students in my classroom, and the class is transmitted live to eight local high schools that are equipped so that the students can still participate in my class."
Karen points to the personal aspect of psychology as that which drew her into the field - and into her chosen focus of gerontology, the study of the aging workforce.
"I chose to study this because work is a huge part of our lives," she says. "The vast majority of people spend at least 33-percent of their day at work."
Understanding and relating to others figured prominently into Karen's varied experiences at Geneva, and she′s putting those interpersonal skills to use in her current endeavors.
"Geneva prepared me to deal with worldview issues from a faith perspective," Karen says. "I was amazed when I first came to Akron how strong the lens was through which I viewed everything. What came naturally to me to think and say and was previously commonplace at Geneva now was different enough at Akron to spur questions and conversations from people with different backgrounds."