Get to know your professors at WBU
Here at Williams Baptist University, we consider ourselves more of a family than simply a University. We pride ourselves in our ability to form close relationships between students and professors through Christ-centered education. This blog is created to help alleviate some of the stress incoming freshmen may be feeling when transitioning to college classes. After getting to know your professors at Williams, not only will the task of tackling college coursework become less daunting, it will be easier to form a close relationship with your professors in order to gain the best college experience possible. (Going to them for help when you need it won’t be nearly as intimidating!)
Professor: Ruth Provost
B.A. – Williams Baptist University
M.S. – Wheaton College
Psy.D. – Wheaton College
Classes Taught: General Psychology, History and Systems of Psychology, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Theories of Learning, Social Psychology, Advanced Positive Psychology, Adolescent Development.
Dr. Provost has been teaching at WBU since 2004. Her positive outlook on life along with her steadfast faith has graced the Psychology department for sixteen years.
An interview with the professor herself!
What made you want to become a professor at WBU?
I am from the 1998 graduating class at Williams. The professors I had when I attended Williams made a huge impact on my life. They cared about me as a person and as a student. I valued their mentorship and friendship. While teaching is a passion for me it is also a ministry. God gave me those special relationships with my professors when I was a student, and I hope I can provide that type of relationship today for my students.
What has changed the most since you started working here?
Technology in the classroom. In 2004 I was using a chalkboard or whiteboard to write all my notes on for class. Today (thankfully) I use my iPad.
What is your teaching philosophy and class management style?
My classes tend to be more lecture-style, but I encourage and welcome questions and class discussions.
What are the benefits to teaching smaller classes?
I enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere in smaller classes and having the opportunity to get to know my students better.
What is your favorite thing about teaching?
One of my favorite things about teaching is having the opportunity to share what it is about psychology that I love. I can also share my passion for helping people. In today’s society, people with mental illness are dismissed but rather than their disease or disorder. Having the opportunity to share with students that we are all made in the image of God and are all worthy of love and demonstrate what that looks like in psychology is wonderful.
What made you want to pursue the profession?
When I began my college career at Williams, I was an English major and a Psychology minor. One day I was reading my textbook for one of my psychology classes, and it was about preventing mental illness. Psychology captured my interest and curiosity and provided me with a way to help others. Helping others was what I really wanted to do, and psychology provided me an avenue to do that.
How do you incorporate your Christian worldview into your lesson?
My Christian worldview encompasses how I see and think about the world, culture, society, and individuals. In my classes we talk about people and how they think, feel, and behave. A Christian worldview shows how we view people – in my view we are made in the image of God, and that has a tremendous impact on how I think about what it means to be human. I often present the psychological theories and then will also talk about how they do or do not fit in with my Christian worldview.
Have you taught anywhere before coming to WBU? If so, how did that experience help you in your teaching here?
I had the opportunity to adjunct at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for about two years before coming to Williams to teach. At a larger university, I didn’t know my student’s really well or have the opportunity to get to know them. The fact that Williams is smaller and I do get to know my students even if they are not psychology majors is wonderful, and I think this helps me to be a better teacher.
What advice can you give incoming freshmen?
I advise you to make friends and develop a social support system. Go to class, talk to your professors, we want you to succeed and we care about you and your wellbeing. Get sleep, it is important.
What activities or hobbies do you do outside of work?
I love to read for pleasure. I have a dog and cat that I love to snuggle with, and I love taking my dog on walks. I also enjoy spending time with my family.
If you had to pick another profession, what would it be?
Well, when I was little I wanted to be a missionary to the moon…so that is one of my back up plans. The other is an archeologist. I love history, world history, and ancient Egypt and Roman history. It fascinates me.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
That would be my students and having the opportunity to talk and teach things that I am passionate about.
What can students expect from you during class?
They will learn about psychology. I will teach them how to write papers, how to do research, ask questions, and how we can apply psychology to our everyday life. I hope that my love for God and my faith shine through, that my passion for psychology is evident, and that my love for Williams shows in my classes.