Grateful for the personal mentoring he received as a Wabash student and praising advances in the psychology department’s curriculum and research requirements, Access Abilities, Inc. Director Joshua Paul ’07 told senior majors on Thursday, “You won’t realize just how good you are and how well you’ve been prepared here until you leave and go somewhere else.”
A special guest for the psychology department’s Fourth Annual Senior Research Symposium and Poster Presentation, Paul joined his former teachers in judging the posters and the research that was the seniors' capstone project, then gave an informal talk. Before Paul spoke, Associate Professor of Psychology and Department Chair Preston Bost announced that the winner of that competition was Drew Casey ’12.
“You guys have it so much harder than we did—and I’m excited to see that,” said Paul, a behavior clinician who directs centers in Merrillville, Bloomington, and a newly opened facility in Indianapolis. “The new model for the department is great; you guys do more than what most of the people in my grad school did.”
Paul recalled the balance between high expectations and personal care that infused his own experience at Wabash. Both of his parents became disabled when he was in high school, and though faculty at the College were supportive, “they didn’t lower their standards.”
Paul smiled as he mentioned the heart-to-heart talk he had with Professor Bobby Horton when, as a Wabash senior, he was trying to decide whether or not to marry.
“We had a great conversation.” Paul laughed. “He asked, ‘Do you really think you can do better?’ I ended up getting engaged!”
Paul told seniors about the program he created for himself as a grad student at Valparaiso University.
“Based on my experience here, I developed this hybrid research/clinical program,” Paul said. “Students and faculty there would ask, ‘How did you learn to talk about research this way?’ Later, when I was working with people with traumatic brain injury and others were finding the work overwhelming, I never stressed out, because I was well trained here.”