Stacy Freiheit: The value that I want to impart is that people become aware of their own values so that students are able to articulate what their values are. Once they know what their values are, that can help them in their interactions with other people, to recognize that not everybody is going to have the same values, they're not going to rank-order their values, I guess, in the same way and, yet, how to still be open to other value systems, other ideas and how to work with other people come to consensus and figure out how to be effective together.
Paul Pribbenow: Augsburg University educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers and responsible leaders. I'm Paul Pribbenow, the president of Augsburg University, and it's my great privilege to present the Augsburg Podcast, one way you can get to know some of the faculty and staff I'm honored to work with every day.
Catherine Day: I'm Catherine Reid Day, host of the Augsburg Podcast, and, today, I'm speaking with Stacy Freiheit, associate professor of psychology at Augsburg, and we're going to focus a bit on some research and how it connects to students' learning and their direction.
Stacy Freiheit: Thank you.
Catherine Day: When did you come to Augsburg? What was your path here?
Stacy Freiheit: I started at Augsburg full time in 2005, and this came after a period of time when I was working as a part-time professor at some institutions in the Twin Cities. I had young children at home, and so I was a stay-at-home mom for a little bit of time after I'd earned my Ph.D. and loved teaching, loved research, so I continued part time and knew that, at some point, I wanted to go into full-time teaching and research, and so it was in 2005, when my youngest was in kindergarten, that I was very fortunate that Augsburg had an opening, and I started in a limited-term position and I was hired for a tenure track position in 2006, and I've been here ever since.
Catherine Day: Where did you first discover your passion for the field of psychology?
Stacy Freiheit: The first time I took a psychology course was at junior in high school, and I really loved the course and, at that time in my life, that wasn't saying much because I loved just about every course I was taking in high school, and then same in college, but when I was a senior in high school, one of my friends was having a challenge, and so we talked about it, and she came back to me a few days later and said, "One of the things that you said I really thought about," and she said it was very helpful, and that's just a moment that I still remember today, that sometimes the things that we say, things that we do when we listen to other people could be really impactful and helpful.
When I was a sophomore in my undergraduate years, I had to literally sit myself down and decide what it was I wanted to major in and what I wanted to do. It was a time to declare a major, and so that was one of the moments in my life that I turn back to and realize I'm one of those stereotypical people in mental health, the people that friends come and talk to, and you're known as the listener in the group. That, combined with that moment with my friend, with my interest in psychology classes and with just this belief at the time, which has not been disproven since, that people are fascinating,