While in college getting her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky, there was a brief period when Dr. Sabina Widner didn’t know whether she wanted to study journalism or psychology. After thinking long and hard about it, she chose the latter.
“Psychology is never boring,” says the associate professor of psychology. “People are always different, and they always have unique stories to tell.”
It wasn’t until she was pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Georgia that she decided to become a teacher. She was a teaching assistant to one of her professors, and the experience stayed with her.
“When you’re teaching, you almost always have a couple of students who are really interested in what you are saying, and I love it,” Dr. Widner says. “That’s not the case in therapy. It can be years before you get any feedback from a patient . . . in teaching, you get immediate feedback.”
Dr. Widner began teaching at Augusta State University in 1995, and she is the director of the Department of Psychology’s graduate program and chair of the ASU Sexual Harassment Committee. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Mental Health Association of Greater Augusta, which advocates for those with mental health problems. Presently, Dr. Widner is working on research with Dr. Deborah Richardson, chair of the psychology department, involving the influence of service providers on older people.
Her husband is a practicing clinical psychologist, and with two children, parenting can be quite interesting in the Widner household. “We teach people how to be good parents every day, and I want to do what I teach,” says Dr. Widner. “My number one advice to parents is to notice the good things your children do. Oftentimes, parents point out the negative. It’s okay to gripe, vent, and complain, but what we don’t do a lot of–which we need to do–is reinforce and compliment each other.”
Dr. Widner’s philosophies on good parenting go hand-in-hand with her number one hobby–playing with her children.
“That’s pretty much what I do,” she laughs. “I know all the playgrounds in Augusta.”
Dr. Widner has published more than five articles and has given numerous regional, national, and international presentations. She is a member of the American, Southeastern, Georgia, and the Augusta Area Psychological Associations, and the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Widner earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree from Wake Forest University, and a doctoral degree from the University of Georgia.
Who: Dr. Sabina Widner
Position: Associate professor of psychology
At ASU since: 1995
Native of: Germany
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Last Modified: March 31, 2005 by K. Smith
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