We invited members of the Marywood community to share their memories, wisdom, and messages of thanks as we approach our Centennial in 2015. These are their responses.
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Dr. Carl Persing has been instrumental to my development and self-concept. In my late teens, I presumed undergraduate degrees only consisted of attending class, completing the mandatory assignments and sometimes studying for exams. Thankfully, after matriculating to Marywood University from my local community college, I had the opportunity to meet with Professor Carl Persing. After Professor Persing solicited a meeting from me via a typed letter that was delivered by Professor Crawley, I met with and discussed Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology and all my grandiose ideas for the workplace. Immediately following our synergistic didactic dialog – Professor Persing informed me of real, concrete ways to channel my ideas and pursue my ambitions. His encouragement and support also propelled me to persevere through very difficult familial and personal matters. Consequently, my passions propagated, preparing me for graduate studies and also for industry. Professor Persing gave me the opportunity to exercise my aptitude and creativity in illimitable opportunities. Straight away Dr. Persing gave me the autonomy of working on consulting projects, laboratory research, assistantships, and tutoring. Professor Persing believed in my ability to contribute meaningfully and encouraged me to take part in designing a survey with Jill Murray and other members of the Marywood University Institute for Corporate Health and Wellness. Professor Persing also consulted with me on projects regarding Fastenal, Offset Paperback, Norton Publishing, and Marywood University. Dr. Persing ingratiated himself into the university community instantly and tried to help every student as much as possible, regarding both professional and personal matters. This is exemplified by his I/O pizza meetings where he motivated undergraduates to take control of their environment and begin a recycling visibility program across campus, as well as benevolent acts such as sending Girl Scout cookies to US troops abroad, and volunteering his time for such events as the Flap Jack Fest and various committees. Additionally, he offered his resources to all students who needed assistance writing up their research proposals, and even analyzing data for students outside of his college. Regardless of how many hats Dr. Persing had to wear, he was always dependable, open-minded, adaptive, inspiring, and generous. Initially, I struggled with academic jargon and writing scientifically. Graciously, Professor Persing spent countless hours revising my work, providing examples and assistance. This mentorship demanded me to work harder than ever before in my life and reach levels no one previously thought possible. This grounding in the scientific method, prompted me to assist in the laboratories of Dr. O’Brien and Dr. Crawley as well. Investigations that either began or completed under the guidance of Professor Persing led me to receive grants from the National Honor’s Society and the university. I was afforded the opportunity to complete research at one of the top ten doctoral programs in I/O psychology, the University of South Florida (USF). An abstract of work I carried out while at USF and Marywood that was a brainchild of Professor Persing was published in Eye on Psi Chi Professor Persing was my instructor for multiple courses, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His expectations are high, the material is difficult, the assignments are strenuous, and the take-away is immeasurably rewarding and pragmatic. Professor Persing emphasized being an intelligent consumer of life, data, science and philosophy in his classes. This meant a lot of work reading, reviewing, and critiquing scholarly and practical publications, as well as requiring students to propose their own primary investigations based on an extensive literature reviews. There is not a day that goes by that his lessons have not shaped my workplace success. This is also true for cohorts of mine. Since Professor Persing designed a graduate program for the ambitions of Marywood graduate students, they have since gone on to achieve success in the Human Resources field at Binghamton University and conducting research at Harvard University. These mentees were not the only ones who benefited from Professor Persing’s wisdom and advisement; having operated his own company, having an encyclopedic knowledge of social cognition-psychology, having worked on various consulting projects, having earnest dependability, having genuine concern, having the ability to monitor individual’s needs and adjust discussion to maximize the benefits of communication – Dr. Persing is the ideal model of a professor, researcher, mentor, advisor, consultant, and colleague. It always impressed me how Dr. Persing had an ostensible omniscience regarding most any matter; that this ability to pose philosophical questions from every angle related to any question truly had the ability to expand a students’ mind, and force them to think as individuals instead of acquiescing to their surroundings. Professor Persing’s flexibility in teaching style helped me to apply rigorous theoretical and conceptual abstractions to the workplace. Some of my undergraduate cohorts struggled with the quantity of material covered in Professor Persing’s classes, but in retrospect the investment was greatly beneficial. This training made us attractive candidates for graduate programs and even to employment recruiters during an economic downturn. Many of my university friends have gone on to happy and healthy lives in various cities, undertaking a gamut of careers with varying degrees of responsibility. The I/O program is designed such that the student can get exactly what he or she puts into it; tailoring the courses to meet their individual goals and aspirations – with Dr. Persing always nearby for consultation and recommendations. For example, I was hired as an Industrial Engineer two months following the completion of my coursework. This career was partially possible because of the heavy emphasis Dr. Persing and I placed on business and behavioral statistics and applied psychology. Indeed, the hiring company was enthused to have an individual who understood human behavior and could relate to people on all levels of the company hierarchy. In sum, I am truly grateful and feel one thousand blessings for having had the opportunity to work for, and work with, Dr. Persing.
-- Lilunia Steinman Class of 2007