By Jared Larson (’15), psychology major
Being known academically is a promise that our university holds to high standards. When I think back to when a professor has academically challenged, encouraged and pushed me to my limits, I think of Sue O’Donnell.
Sue is a psychology professor at George Fox. Her main focus is on developmental psychology. Some of the classes she teaches are Child Development, Adolescent Development and Research Methods.
Sue does a fantastic job getting to know all of her students within a few weeks. She is passionate about learning and making sure students understand what she is teaching them. One of the things that I admire about Sue is her willingness to help students outside of class. I have taken Research Methods and Adolescent Development from her, and every time she is more than willing to meet with me outside of class to help me understand the material a little bit more. This could include something that I didn’t understand with the notes, study preparation for a test, or sometimes it just involves giving me a piece of chocolate.
One of my other favorite things about Sue is her dedication to her students. She wants her students to succeed. She holds a study session before an exam where students are able to go to her house and discuss questions that are on the study guide. Along with discussing questions, she orders the students pizza, offers them something to drink, and even asks if we want to watch the latest Survivor with her.
Recently, Sue applied for and received tenure for her diligent work at George Fox. I couldn’t imagine someone else who deserves this sort of recognition more than her. At points, I have wanted to just scream because I didn’t understand the material, but Sue is always there with an encouraging word. I am so privileged to go to a school where the professors and faculty want to see students gain knowledge in a personal way. I am so blessed to have been challenged, encouraged and pushed by Sue O’Donnell. She is one of the reasons why I am the student I am today.