An interview with Dr. James Martin from Missouri University of Science and Technology - USA
Prof. James H. Martin is the Associate Professor in Psychology at the Missouri University of Science and Technology - Missouri S & T (Former University of Missouri- Rolla) in the United States.
He is specialized in Industrial Organisational Psychology and did his Ph. D. Thesis on Personality, Motivation and Individual Task Performance. Prof.Martin was recently in Sri Lanka for a brief period to conduct a short course on Psychology of Personality (Personality Theory) for Missouri S&T students at their International Programme Center in Sri Lanka.
What is Industrial Organisational Psychology?
This is psychology applied to the work place and the areas of study including selection and performance development, testing and measurement, job satisfaction and motivation, leadership in groups and teams, and organizational development. Psychology of Personality is basic psychology that includes personality predictions of job attitude, job performance and mental health.
n How would you explain your short term teaching experience in Sri Lanka?
Well, I am extremely surprised. Despite stories I have heard about Sri Lankan students being reserved and shy, I found them to be very interesting, hard working. The best thing about them is their attitude on helping others. Unlike US students, who are more individualistic and resistant to group work, Sri Lankan students are more interactive and collaborative in learning. This approach is collective and valuable. The interdependent culture of Sri Lankan students in turn helps them to understand important psychological values in society, learning environment itself.
I must say that I really enjoyed the interaction between a teacher and student contributions during my lectures. Sri Lankan students sincerely work hard and are interested in Psychology.
Was there any difference in your teaching techniques in Sri Lanka compared to US?
In US many of my students were Engineering students and they learnt more about quantitative aspects of psychology which is the hard side of psychology as a subject, whereas my lectures on 'Personality Theory' in Sri Lanka were more on the quantitative, soft side of psychology.
n What are the opportunities available for Sri Lankan students majoring in Psychology in USA?
In spite of the present high level of unemployment in the United States, there are still more opportunities for capable students graduating in Psychology. Psychology majors find employment in a vast number of industries and organizational levels in Human Resources, Organization Development and Industrial Organizational Psychology. But Sri Lanka still needs to increase its potential on psychology oriented recruitment in areas such as education, healthcare services, organizational psychology and human resources. I see there is a great opportunity to improve research going on in Psychology as Psychology becomes more familiar among Sri Lankans.
What are the Majors that Missouri University of Science & Technology offers?
We have Majors in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Psychology of Leadership, Clinical Psychology/Human Services, Cognitive and Neuroscience and there are about 80 students who are following Psychology majors at S&T.
We would love to see many Sri Lankan students come to study in S&T and many of them find Missouri, Rolla a safe place to pursue their higher education career. And we are very happy to continue our partnership with ANC as it offers the platform for us to provide access to Sri Lankan students to follow our International Bachelor's Degree Programmes.
You may contact Mr.Gishan Sumanasiri - Sri Lankan on site Administrator for Missouri S&T on 0777 662211 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any further details about our university, degree programmes, admission etc.
Dr.James Martin will be conducting a free workshop on "Amazing Careers in Psychology" for students who are considering Psychology as a career.
Date - Wednesday March 10 2010
Time - 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Followed by refreshments)
Venue - Cinnamon Lake view Hotel - Dukes Court (Please confirm)
Since limited number of seats are available prior reservation would be an encouragement.
Call Jani on 0777-517517 for confirmations.