by Aero Cavalier / Staff Reporter
Psychology as both a major and a minor has gotten a lot of attention over the years, and it is now one of the most popular degrees available at Roosevelt University. Its flexibility is useful for all types of fields and can be used in many jobs and research opportunities. No one at Roosevelt University is as passionate about RU’s psychology programs than Dr. Elijah Ricks, psychology professor and coordinator of the forensic psychology concentration.
“To me, [psychology] is the most relevant thing you can study, because we’re all human and we all experience these things that psychology tries to deal with,” said Ricks.
Although Dr. Ricks finds it to be a useful major and believes everyone should take “a couple classes” in psychology, he cautions that if you choose to pursue a career in the field, you should be prepared for graduate school or familiar with jobs that you can do with just a bachelor’s degree.
Dr. Ricks is now entering his fifth year at Roosevelt, and over his duration at the university, he has garnered acclaim from his students because of his dynamic teaching style and personable skills.
“You have to be dedicated to what you’re doing,” said Dr. Ricks. “You have to really care about the students you’re teaching or else you’re wasting everybody’s time. You have to want them to succeed and do everything you can for them to succeed, and that shapes everything else.” Although it may not be easy to be so intricately tied to his work, Ricks said he still enjoys his job as a professor.
Dr. Ricks’ efforts haven’t been for naught. Many of the students find his enthusiasm and patience with students to also be his most significant qualities as a professor. One of Dr. Ricks’ students, Gina Guerra, a senior majoring in psychology, is one of the admiring students.
“He’s a really good professor; he’s there for you when you need someone, he’s very caring, he loves his work,” Guerra said.
At her first year at Roosevelt University, Guerra found herself in Ricks’ Advanced Forensic Psychology course questioning her major.
“He instantly changed my perspective on why I’m majoring in psychology,” said Guerra. “Before that I was kind of swaying away from it. I was like ‘Oh, do I really want to do psych? Why am I interested in this?’” This year, Guerra is again in a psychology class taught by Dr. Ricks and plans on pursuing graduate school after her graduation in the spring.
Another one of Ricks’ students, Amiracle Williams-Anderson, a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in writing, has also credited him with giving her relevant information than can help her in her future.
“I went away for the summer to do research at Michigan State and we had a whole week of statistics,” said Williams-Anderson. “The professors there made it kind of hard to understand things, but because I had Dr. Ricks before leaving, I fully understood the concepts.”
Dr. Ricks has been an influential professor to many of his students by not only advancing their education but also by being a support system and role model.
“If you really care about what you do, that will come across,” Ricks said.
According to his students this statement holds true.
“I appreciate his work a lot. I really have enjoyed his classes,” said Guerra. “And he’s honestly one of my favorite professors, I’m not going to lie.”