Tag Archives: psychology

Professor to give last lecture before retiring from Linfield

Eugene Gilden, professor of psychology, will be giving his last lecture about what he hopes the most important thing students learned from his classes was at 7 p.m. May 2 in T.J. Day Hall room 219.

The lecture will be partially autobiographical, as Gilden discusses how his interests started while he was an undergraduate student, how those interests influenced him and how different events contributed to those topics.

Gilden will also be focusing on social psychology and its affects on everyday life.

“The major thing that I’m interested in, and I think that I have explored some, is the way that very subtle kinds of influence turn out to be quite powerful in our lives,” Gilden said. “While human beings do have agency [and] some level of free will, we are a lot more influenced by things that we’re unaware of.”

Gilden has given numerous lectures before, but he finds it “nerve-wracking” to give this final lecture because it is a different type of audience, he said.

He won’t have time to establish a relationship with the audience, which he thinks is important when giving a lecture.

When asked to do the lecture, he was given wide latitude to talk about anything he wanted to, Gilden said.

Because of this, he has no idea if the audience will enjoy his final lecture, but he is still excited to see how students and faculty respond.

“Now all I have to do is execute it,” Gilden said.


Samantha Sigler/News editor

Samanthar Sigler can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.


Psych professor retires from 
Linfield after 30 years of service

Eugene Gilden, professor of psychology, is retiring from Linfield after 30 years.

“[Since] my very first day on campus one of the things that has remained is how attractive the campus is,” Gilden said. “It really looks like how a college campus ought to look.”

Before coming to Linfield, Gilden worked at various research positions and at Oregon Health & Science University in the medical psychology department.

When Gilden first began working at Linfield, he was not sure if this was where he really wanted to be working for the rest of his career. However, he ended up falling in love with the campus and the people.

“I had the thought that this would be okay for a first job, and I guess I was kind of right about that,” Gilden said. “It was my first full-time academic position.”

Gilden received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, his masters degree from California State of Los Angeles and his Ph.D. from the University of Houston.

Although he began college as an anthropology major, after about a year, he found psychology to be more interesting and switched majors.

Gilden also knew as soon as he started college that he wanted to work in an academic career. Because Gilden has always been a disciplined self-starter, he thought that working in an academic job would be perfect for him, he said.

“It’s kind of interesting because there’s a combination of constraint and freedom at the same time,” Gilden said. “You’re constrained by the boundaries of the academic calendar and the semester and things like that, but at the same time between each of the days within those constraints, you have a lot of freedom of how you’re going to spend your day.”

Although Gilden is ready to move on from Linfield, he will miss the opportunities and relationships he’s had with people in all departments and areas on campus.

“I think at a lot of schools there are less opportunities for cross-talk among different departments and different parts of the faculty, but I came here at a time when there’s a lot of interaction between people,” Gilden said.

Having past students furthering their careers and lives because of things that Gilden taught them or helped them with will also be something that Gilden will miss after retiring, he said.

However, Gilden said he is looking forward to traveling, working with new research opportunities and participating in music opportunities.

“The top thing I’m looking forward to is being able to pick up and go from September through the end of May if I want to,” Gilden said. “Time will tell.”


Samantha Sigler/News editor

Samantha Sigler can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com. 

Faculty practices own style of TED talks


The first faculty lecture of the spring semester was held Feb. 20 in Riley 201.

When Susan Agre-Kippenhan, dean of faculty, introduced the speakers for the lecture, she took a moment to explain an experiment that the Office of Academic Affairs was doing with faculty lectures, “We are experimenting with our own style of TED faculty talks. The faculty members will each talk for 15 minutes, in alphabetical order.”

In recent years, TED Conference’s TED Talks have caused many to rethink the idea of a lecture. There have been TED Talks from professionals in many fields of academic study.

During this experimental lecture event, three Linfield faculty spoke briefly about an area of study that they have been focusing on recently: Susan Currie Sivek, assistant professor of mass communications, Melissa Jones, assistant professor of nursing, and Yana Weisberg, assistant professor of psychology.

Sivek was the first to speak. She spoke about a recently published article she wrote entitled: “Packing Inspiration: Al Qaeda’s Digital Magazine Inspire in the Self-Radicalization Process.”

During Sivek’s talk, she talked about the fact that Al Qaeda members, like the former Inspire editor Samir Khan, created digital magazines to try to get people to become self-radicals and commit acts of terror.

Susan Currie Sivek, assistant professor of mass communication, was one of three professors to talk during Linfield’s faculty lecture Feb. 20 in Riley 201. She discussed a published article she wrote about Al Qaeda’s digital magazine.

Sivek stated on a slide of her Prezi presentation that “[Inspire] mimics the style of western magazines to normalize participation in terrorism as self-radicals.”

She went on to talk about how the narratives in the magazine articles mirror those of western superheroes and display acts of heroism. The magazine creators also use political slogans from Americans and turn their meanings around. This can have huge impacts.

One observer pointed out, “It is backward that they would use western culture as influences because of the huge amount of hatred they have toward us.”

Sivek ended her talk with a disclaimer that just because an individual reads these magazines will not guarantee that they will be moved to commit acts of terror; at the same time, when addressing a question from a member of the audience, she made it known that it is unknown to find out how many people download and read each issue of Inspire.

The next Linfield faculty member to talk was Jones. Jones presented some initial results of her research for her dissertation.

Jones talked about the generational differences of learning that appear in the online classroom.

At the moment, she is still in the process of data collection and only beginning to analyze what material she does have.

On her presentation she wrote that a reasoning for her research was a “gap in nursing education research related to learning and the diversity of students from a generational perspective.”

This information has become so important because of the trending statistics that nurses with associate degrees are being forced to go back to school to get bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

The return of many to school has created a wide variety of people who take advantage of online learning.

Jones is conducting her study using nurses in an online class that range from ages 26 to 56.

Because of the huge variation of ages in online classes, there are a variety of comfort levels among the students with technology.

Jones shared a statement from one of the older nurses, “I was able to gain a perspective on issues from my (younger) project partner that I would not have thought about on my own, and it helped me grow in tolerance and understanding.”

As her research continues it seems as if the trends of mentorship will evolve in two directions, from elder, more experienced nurses teaching younger nurses techniques for nursing, as well as the younger participants teaching the elders about technology and how to effectively use it both on and off the job.

The last lecture was given by Weisberg. She was interested in finding out if people can change their personalities if they had the desire to do so. Weisberg conducted a study using surveys of 228 college students to see what their goals for change were and how much they did change during the course of eight weeks.

The 228 people surveyed were made up of 114 couples so she was also able to see how one participant’s personality affected that of their partner. The study also allowed Weisberg to talk about what happens when two partners have different personalities.

“I am in a relationship so I thought that it was interesting to see what happens when your partner has a different personality trait than you,” said freshman Lacey Dykgraaf, a member of the audience.

The general trend of the data showed that personality can change during the course of eight weeks. The majority of results that Weisberg shared were ones that had positive changes, but she did share when asked that the changes can certainly go both ways.

This series of lectures inspired by TED Talks was quite informative.

The reception in the crowd was welcoming to the variety of materials that were covered during the hour and a half long event.

“I am addicted to TED Talks, which was my inspiration to come tonight.  I feel that the lecture fulfilled this goal because it opened the listeners up to new ideas,” said freshman Dana Lester, a student at Linfield College.

The mini lecture series offered observers the ability to hear what was going on in a handful of the departments on campus.

Weisberg said at the beginning of her lecture that she was excited to be able to hear what people in other disciplines on campus are researching.

Julian Adoff

Multimedia editor

Julian Adoff can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Photo by Julian Adoff