Loyola psychology tradition extends four generations
Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014 20:01
An accidental pattern has formed among the psychology department at Loyola.
It all started in 1975, when Glenn Hymel, professor of psychology, taught Mary Brazier, associate professor of psychology, in educational psychology.
Hymel also had Lawrence Lewis, currently an associate professor of psychology, as a student in 1991 and Kendall Eskine, also currently an assistant professor of psychology, as a student in 2005.
Hymel said that all three of his former students’ work ethic and conscientiousness made them rise high above their peers.
“Each of the three of them really stood out in terms of their intelligence, maturity and seriousness in the courses that they had with me,” Hymel said.
Hymel said that he cannot help but reminisce to when he instructed his colleagues, and wonder how he has grown as a professor since that time.
“I wish I could have them as students now with the amount of years that I have accumulated,” Hymel said.
Brazier returned to Loyola as faculty in 1986. She said that she and Hymel immediately became friends. They joked about their disagreement on the subject of intervening variables, and passed notes to each other asking things such as, “Are we going to have a crawfish boil this year?”
In the early 1990s, Brazier taught Lewis. Lewis said that he took every course that Brazier offered. Brazier was also Lewis’ mentor for his senior thesis on language processing. He said that although she did not enjoy this topic, she helped in every way she could.
“Lawrence has been my right arm. He has been the person I can always rely on,” Brazier said.
Once Lewis got word of a job opening at Loyola, he jumped at the oppportunity.
“This was home to me. I was very intrigued by the type of relationship that students had with faculty,” Lewis said.
Once becoming a professor, Lewis formed a close relationship with Eskine while instructing his independent study courses and mentoring his senior thesis project on cognition.
“He was a tremendous presence in my life. I think of Lewis as more of a life coach and personal mentor more than a professor. He was quite adept at meeting me where I was in life and giving me just the right nudges where I needed them,” Eskine said.
Eskine eventually returned to Loyola as a part of the staff in 2011.
It remains to be seen if Eskine is mentoring the next psychology professor at Loyola. What is certain is the sincere bond that the four share with each other.
“It is a really pleasant experience to have an academic family of which you are a part. As with all families, you can see how personalities are formed and passed along the lineage, particularly in terms of how information and schools of thought are passed down,” Eskine said.
Each of the professors agrees that there is comfortability and openness among them.
“There is an authenticity that I think is needed. It is very healthy,” Hymel said.
The history that they have is even evident to current students, like psychology senior Jasmine Hall.
Hall said that being exposed to professors’ close relationship gives her hope that one day she will have the opportunity to work along side the individuals that have inspired and educated her.
“I believe that the relationship between the professors in our department possesses a lot of mutual respect that I admire. The four-generation aspect from Hymel to Eskine is interesting, because it shows how much of an impact a psychological education at Loyola has on all of it’s students,” Hall said.
Brazier said that she thinks it is meaningful to have the four of Loyola alumni work together.
“I think that Loyola’s students just want to come home. We all have no desire to go anywhere else,” Brazier said.
The rare history that the four have together makes for a connection that strengthens the psychology department.
“I think that there is an implicit caring between us all, one that has been cultivated with time and care. Mind you, the caring takes many different forms, but like most other families, it always reveals itself when it matters most,” Eskine said.
Amber Blossman can be contacted at email@example.com