Man on Board, for the Long Haul

June 30, 2009 by Lauri Umansky  
Filed under Spotlight, The Faculty

As the tanker that would haul oil to Bahrain by way of Aruba and Naples picked up its crew in the slicing wind off Brooklyn Flats, Robert Brustein thought, “I’m going to be the loneliest man in the world.” It was 1945, and although the war had ended, his hitch in the service had a year and a half to go. He was 18 years old.

Robert Brustein, a central figure in 20th-century American theatre, joined Suffolk University's College of Arts Sciences in 2006 as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence, a permanent faculty appointment.

Following an accelerated course of study at the High School of Music and Art in New York City with a final year at Columbia Grammar School, Brustein graduated at 16 and entered Amherst College in 1943. The war had swept most of the students from the pristine New England campus, leaving only the underage and the 4Fs, those deemed physically unable to serve. “We ruled,” he says. “We were the football team, the baseball team, the drama club. One hundred-fifty kids.”

Enlisting for service in April 1945, he entered the Merchant Marine, which capped four months of basic training in San Mateo, California with six months at sea, eight months at the Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, Long Island, and the rank of Cadet-Midshipman in the Naval Reserve. On one of his seven-hour monthly leaves from basic training on August 15, 1945, Brustein witnessed V-J day in San Francisco. “It was orgiastic. Women tore their clothes off in the street. People climbed to the top of huge statues. I’ve never seen a city go so berserk. And all I did was watch. The envious observer.” Read more

Spotlight: Unmatched–Psychology PhD Program is a Collaborative Gem

April 19, 2009 by Sara Romer  
Filed under Spotlight, The Faculty

During one cold weekend at the end of February, nearly 70 of the most highly ranked PhD hopefuls from more than 60 colleges and universities across the country and beyond, don their interview-best and huddle in the crowded hallways of the Donahue Building, hoping to meet their “match.” They’ll experience Suffolk’s clinical psychology program up close during two demanding days of individual and small group interviews and info sessions designed to enable the candidates, faculty, and current PhD students to get to know one another, and their research interests, work styles, and career objectives. After the weekend-long mix of grueling questions and more casual get-togethers, the psychology department will identify those faculty-student matches with the greatest synergy and potential for success.

Training researchers, practitioners, and teachers

From left: Professor Debra Harkins, Professor David Gansler, and Professor and Psychology Departmet Chair Krisanne Bursik, of the PhD Program in Clinical Psychology

Suffolk’s Psychology PhD program graduated its first class in 2000, and attracted 314 applicants for just 13 program openings this year. According to Department Chair Krisanne Bursik, it is the scientist practitioner model of training that distinguishes the College of Arts & Sciences’ highly competitive program from other more applied programs in the area. “Our research component is front and center,” she says. “And our students are trained to be active researchers, clinical practitioners, and teachers. We’ve developed a program that provides training and supervision in all three areas, and this absolutely sets us apart.”

Throughout the six-year program, students and faculty work side by side in the research lab and classroom, and in clinical placements. “Though all of our faculty members serve as teachers and mentors to all 85 doctoral students currently enrolled in the program, the bond that naturally forms within each faculty-student research team is a very close and critically important one,” says Bursik. “Faculty members actively pursue their research interests with their student collaborators, while making a significant long-term investment in the career development and success of each of their students.” Read more

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